Sāmaga

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Samaga, SAmaga, Saamaga


Sāmaga literally means ‘one who sings the sāma’.

Priests of Sāmaveda

A sāma or sāman is any mantra of the Ṛgveda set to tune as per the rules given in works like the Nāradiyaśikṣā. The Sāmaveda is full of such sāmas. A sāmaga in general, is the one who sings the sāma. All the four priests of the Sāmaveda:

  1. The udgātr
  2. The prastotṛ
  3. The pratihartṛ
  4. The subrahmaṇya

Chanting of Sāmaga

  • These are sāmagas, though the udgātṛ is the chief among them.
  • Chanting of a sāma needs specialized training.
  • A sāmaga should have a musical voice and a fine sense of śruti or tuning of his voice to a basic note.
  • He should chant in a medium tone, neither too loud not too low, uttering the words clearly and without tremor.
  • He should know where the words have to be paused and must never make a mistake of the svara.[1]
  • Those who cannot chant in this way, should never attempt to learn it.

Sāmaga as per Viṣṅusaharanāma

Sāmaga is also one of the names of Viṣṇu as given in the Viṣṅusaharanāma.[2]

Sāmaga as per Bhagavadgītā

Śrī Kṛṣṇa declares that he is Sāmaveda among the Vedas.[3] Hence one who sings this Veda, the sāmaga, has practically identified himself with the Lord in ecstasy.


References

  1. Svara means intonation.
  2. Viṣṅusaharanāma 575
  3. Bhagavadgītā 10-22
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore