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From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Sāmaga literally means ‘one who sings the sāma’.

Priests of Sāmaveda[edit]

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[edit]

  • 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[edit]

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

Sāmaga as per Bhagavadgītā[edit]

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.


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