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Sama Veda
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Sama Veda
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About the Book

 

Veda is Shabda Brahma, Divine Knowledge in metalanguage. The very word 'Veda' means knowledge. It is derived from the root 'vid', which means: 'to be, to know, to think, and to benefit from'.

 

So whatever is is Veda: the very world of existence is Veda.

The knowledge of the world of existence is Veda. The extension of knowledge through thought and research further is Veda. And to use that knowledge for the benefit of mankind with the protection and preservation of nature and the environment, without hurting any form of life, that is Veda.

 

Vedic knowledge is classified thematically into three: Jnana (knowledge), Karma (action) and Upasana (prayer). Formally, Vedic knowledge is divided into four:

Rgveda is the Veda of Knowledge, Yajurveda is the Veda of Karma, Samaveda is the Veda of Bhakti, and Atharva-veda is Brahma Veda, an umbrella code, celebrating the all comprehensive Divine Presence as in Book 10, hymns 7 and 8.

 

Vedas are the essence of life, and Samaveda is the essence of the Vedas, says Chhandogyopanishad, 1, 1, 1-2:

 

Samaveda is a symphony of mantric songs of prayer sung by the seers of all time Truth in a state of Ananda. It consists of 1875 mantras which, except for about 100, are common with the celebrative mantras of Rgveda. In some mantras there are minor variations from the Rks, turning descriptive celebrations into prayerful songs of meditative ecstasy.

 

The theme of Samaveda is, predominantly, musical celebration of three attributes of the Godhead, Parama Brahma: Agni, Indra and Soma. Here and there, there are other themes too, but they are rare rather than frequent: Indragni, Mitra- Varuna, Usha, Ashvins, Maruts, Aditya, Vishvedeva, Surya as Atma, Sarasvati, Savita, Brahmanaspati, Vishnu, Brhaspati, and Vishvakarma.

 

However, these themes do not mean different deities, they are reflections of the existential manifestation of the same One Brahma, immanent as well as transcendent. The celebration of Agni, Indra and Soma is celebration of the One Supreme Divinity, the original, ultimate and eternal Unity of existence reflecting in infinite variety, Aum.

 

About the Author

 

Dr. Tulsi Ram Sharma M.A., English (Delhi, 1949), Ph.D. (London, 1963) has been a university professor, academic administrator, researcher, and writer of long standing with prestigious assignments.

 

Besides his professional studies of secular literature in English, Hindi, Sanskrit and Urdu, Dr. Tulsi Ram Sharma has devoted his life and time to the study and discipline of Sacred literature specially Vedas, Upanishads, Darshan Philosophy, Puranas, Ramayana, Mahabharata with concentration on the Bhagwad Gita, Greek, Roman, Sumerian and English Epics, Gathas of Zarathustra, Bible, Quran, and the writings of Swami Dayananda, and Swami Vivekananda, in search of the essential values of Sanatan Vedic Dharma with reference to their realisation in life and literature through social attitudes, collective action, customs, traditions, rituals and religious variations across the fluctuations of history.

 

Foreword

 

Veda Bhashya by Prof. Tulsiram - A step to make Vedas available to the English World

 

I have had the privilege of going through some of the chapters of Yajurveda Bhashya written by Prof. Tulsiram, a well known Vedic scholar and author of English language and literature. I congratulate him because he has done this translation for an average English reader who is keen to know the Vedas. Knowledge of the Vedas is like the knowledge of science. Vedic language is a scientific language and nobody can understand that without the profound knowledge of Vedangas, especially Nirukta of Maharshi Yaska and the grammar of Panini and Patanjali. Nobody can interpret the Veda mantras without these two. This translation proves that Prof. Tulsiram has done this insightful translation after doing hard work in both Vedangas.

 

In translating the Vedas, only literal meaning is just not sufficient, sometimes it may create confusion and contradiction. Prof. Tulsiram deeply merges himself into Vedic Mantras, thinking deeply about words, derivatives and analyzes the hidden nuances of meaning in their context. For example, 'Sumitriya na aapa oshadhayah santu . Yajur. 36, 23': If we take literal meaning in the ordinary sense, "may the waters, vital forces of life, and herbs be friendly to us and may they be enemies to those who hate us and whom we hate", it will not make acceptable sense. After raising some questions, he says, "How can we accept this?" So, after going deeply into the words and context he gives this meaning of the said mantra: May waters, tonics, pranic energies and medicinal herbs be good friends of our health system and immunity and let the same waters, tonics, pranic energies herbal medicines act against those ailments, diseases and negativities which injure us, which we hate to suffer and which we love to destroy, moreover let them have no side effects because side effects too help the negativities and injure us.

 

After giving the actual sense of the Mantra he writes that this Mantra is a reasonable prayer for the health programme of an advanced society, and then, logically in the next Mantra, follows the prayer for a full hundred years and more of life and healthy living (Tacchakshurdevahitam purastat-Yajur.36,24).

 

The translation by Prof. Tulsiram is without any extraneous motive and without any extra-academic intention. The translation has been done purely as communication of the Vedic message for the welfare of mankind.

 

While giving his opinion on the Vedas Prof. Tulsiram writes in his Introduction. Veda is the Voice of God revealed in scientific Vedic Sanskrit free from local color and historical facts, therefore Vedic language is to be interpreted and understood according to its own laws and structure, and the only key available for such interpretation is the Nirukta of Maharshi Yaska and the grammar of Panini & Patanjali. According to Maharshi Dayananda Saraswati, 'without reference to these bases of Vedic interpretation certain words have been given a distorted meaning in the translations of Max Muller, Griffith, Whitney and even Sayana.' Actually the torch light for proper translation today, as Aurobindo says, is the Arsha tradition followed by Maharshi Dayananda Saraswati.

 

At the end I will say that this translation of Yajurveda, based on Nirukta and Grammar, follows the known ancient Indian tradition. It is factual, without prejudice or hidden motive. Prof. Tulsiram thinks deeply on every word of the mantra, looks into the context and etymology according to Nirukta and then does the translation. I congratulate him on this one more pioneering step to make the knowledge of Vedas available to the western world and the average English knowing reader. May God give him long and healthy life so that he continues to do this kind of stupendous work.

 

Introduction

 

This translation of Samaveda is meant for an average English knowing reader who is keen to know:

 

What is Veda? What is it all about? Is it old or new?

 

If it's old, what is its relevance today? And if it is relevant, is it relevant to me also? Or is it relevant only to some particular community in some particular country at some particular time?

 

These are relevant questions especially in an age of science, democracy and globalism.

 

Veda is Divine Knowledge in metalanguage. The very word 'Veda' means knowledge. It is derived from the root 'vid', which means: 'to be, to know, to think, to benefit from' and 'to communicate' .

 

So whatever is is Veda: the very world of existence is Veda. The knowledge of the world of existence is Veda. The extension of knowledge through thought and research further is Veda. And to use that knowledge for the benefit of mankind with the protection and preservation of nature and the environment, without hurting any form of life, that is Veda.

 

Veda is knowledge, pure and simple, as science is knowledge. Science is knowledge of nature as nature is and as it works according to its own laws. In science, there is no story, no history. Similarly in the Veda, there is no story, no history. And just as science is knowledge in scientific language free from local colour and historical variations of form and meaning, so Veda too is knowledge in scientific language free from local colour and historical variations. Therefore Vedic language has to be interpreted and understood according to the laws and technique of its own structure as stated by seers such as Yaska, Panini and Patanjali and as explained by Swami Dayananda in his grammatical works and his notes on Vedic words in his commentary on the Vedas.

 

But there is a difference between scientific knowledge and Vedic knowledge: While science is knowledge of nature to the extent that man has been able to discover it, Veda is the quintessential knowledge of all that is, including Nature and humanity, all that happens, all that we are, all that we do, and all that we reap in consequence of our action. It is the Original and Universal knowledge of the Reality of Existence and the Ideality of our aspirations, covering the facts and processes of existence, their interaction and the laws that operate in the interaction. In short, Veda is an eternal articulation of Omniscience, The Voice of God.

 

Vedic knowledge is classified thematically into three: Stuti, Prarthana and Upasana. Stuti, praise, is solemn reverential remembrance and description of the attributes, nature, character and function of divine powers. Prarthana, prayer, is an autosuggestive resolution to realise our limitations and rise above those limitations by calling on Divinity for aid and blessings when we have exhausted our effort and potential. Upasana is meditation, the surrender of our limited identity to open out and participate in the Divine Presence. Stuti implies knowledge (Janana), Prarthana implies humility and action (Karma), and Upasana implies total love and surrender (Bhakti). In consequence, formally, Vedic knowledge is divided into four:

 

Rgveda is the Veda of Knowledge, Yajurveda is the Veda of Karma, Samaveda is the Veda of Bhakti, and Atharva-veda is Brahma Veda, an umbrella, celebrating the Divine Presence as in Book 10, hymns 7 and 8.

 

Yajurveda is Karma Veda, knowledge of the application of knowledge in practical living in a positive, creative and constructive manner at both the individual and the collective leveL This way of living and working is "Yajna" which, in simple words, means a selfless and participative way of living and thereby creating the maximum out of the minimum for all, including nature, humanity, the environment and the whole universe, with complete faith in the living, breathing, organismic, intelligent, self-organising, self-conscious, Sovereign System. Living the yajnic way, we realise that Nature is an organism, a tree, Ashwattha, and the entire cosmos including ourselves is a Purusha, and we as human beings are but cells in this Divine Purusha. Without living this. way in a state of full awareness, we cannot realise that you and I, Mother Nature and the Supreme Brahma are all together, one in union and communion.

 

Vedic knowledge then is the Divine knowledge of life in existence from the dimensionless point and particle unto Infinity. And prayerful living and communion in meditation and yoga means: Self-integration of the particle, Re-integration of the part with the whole, and Re-union of the finite with the Infinite.

 

Vedas are the essence of life, and Samaveda is the essence of the Vedas, says Chhandogyopanishad, 1, 1, 1-2:

 

"Of all these elements (Akasha, Vayu, Agni, Apah, and Prthivi) the earth is the essence. The essence of Earth is waters. The essence of waters is oshadhis, herbs. The essence of oshadhis is Purusha, the human being. The essence of humans is Yak, speech. The essence of Vak is Rk. Rgveda. The essence of Rks is Sama. The essence of Sama is Udgitha, the cosmic resonance of Aum. That Aum, chant, sing and worship in meditation."

 

Lord Krishna, divine persona of the Gita, also says: Of the Vedas, I am Sama (10, 22).

 

Samaveda is a symphony of mantric songs sung by the seers of all time in a state of Ananda. It consists of 1875 mantras which, except for about 100, are common with the celebrative mantras of Rgveda. In some mantras there are minor variations from the Rks, turning descriptive celebrations into prayerful songs of meditative ecstasy.

 

Samaveda is codified in two parts: the first is Purvarchika, the former phase of celebration (1-640 mantras), and the second is Uttararchika, the latter phase (651-1875 mantras), with an intermediary phase titled Mahanamnyarchika of ten mantras (641- 650).

 

The Purvarchika consists of four sections:

Agneya Kanda (Chapter 1: mantras 1-114)

Aindra Kanda (Chapters 2-4: mantras 115-466)

Pavamana Soma Kanda (Chapter 5: mantras 467-585)

Aranyaka Kanda (Chapter 6; mantras 586-640)

Intermediary Mahanamnyarchika (mantras 641-650)

The Uttararchika consists of twenty one chapters (mantras 651-1875).

 

The theme of Samaveda is, predominantly, musical celebration of three attributes of the Godhead, Parama Brahma:

 

Agni, Indra and Soma. Here and there, there are other themes too, but they are rare rather than frequent: Indragni, Mitra- Varuna, Usha, Ashvins, Maruts, Aditya, Vishvedeva, Surya as Atma, Sarasvati, Savita, Brahmanaspati, Vishnu, Brhaspati, and Vishvakarma.

 

However, these themes do not mean different deities, they are reflections of the existential manifestation of the same One Brahma, immanent as well as transcendent. God is One, says Rgveda (1, 164, 46), holy sages speak of It in many different ways by different names such as Agni, Indra, Mitra, Varuna and many more. Atharva-veda, in fact, has almost the last word: God is one, only one, neither two nor three nor four, nor five, nor six, nor seven, nor eight, nor nine, nor ten (13, 4,12 and 16-18). The celebration of Agni, Indra and Soma is celebration of the One Supreme Divinity, the original, ultimate and eternal Unity of existence reflecting in infinite variety, Aum.

 

Aum: this alone is the imperishable Divine, the Word. This all is the expansive creative evolution of That, the living articulation of That, the Veda, the Sama. That is the Seed (Gita, 7, 10), that is the womb, Hiranyagarbha (Rgveda 1, 121, 1), That is the Tree of Existence (Rgveda 1, 164, 20), the Ashvattha (Kathopanishad 2,3, 1) which grows on and on from the root to the expansive filaments (Gita, 15, 1-2), the germination as well as the termination of a life cycle in Eternity. That is the Purusha, self-conscious, self-articulative, self-generative, self-progressive, self-recessive, Cosmic Personality (Rgveda 10, 90, 1-16). That same is Agni, Indra, Soma and others of Samaveda. Sama celebrates That in music in a state of Ananda.

 

All the 1875 mantras of Samaveda, each mantra being like a note of a Raga, make up the symphony of the divine Rks of the Sama, the Song Celestial of the variety, stability, unity, peace and bliss of life for the yearning soul:

 

The celebration of Agni is the celebration of the divine warmth of life, of the light of the world and of the love and passion for living. Indra is the power of life, the power of the world and the love and passion for the rectitude of living. Soma is the poetry, beauty and pleasure of life, the sweetness and joy of the world and the bliss and beatitude of the soul's experience in its reunion with Divinity in Samadhi.

 

Who then is the poet of the Vedas? The answer is in Yajurveda 40, 8: That Cosmic Spirit which pervades and rules every moving particle in the moving universe is "the poet, thinker, all-comprehending, and self-existent". That is the Lord who creates the world of existence, ordains the Laws of its dynamics, and reveals the poetry of its beauty and majesty, the Vedas. "From that Lord of universal yajna were born the Rks and Samans. From Him were born the Chhandas of Atharva-veda and from Him were born the Yajus", (Yajurveda 31, 7). The Vedic lore comes in Pura- kalpa, the beginning of the world of humanity (Shvetashvataropanishad, 6, 22) and when its function is over at the end of the kalpa, one cycle of existence, it retires into Brahma- loka (Atharva-veda 19, 71, 1).

 

The Vedas were revealed by the Lord Omniscient to four primeval Rshis: Rgveda to Agni, Yajurveda to Vayu, Samaveda to Aditya, and Atharva-veda to Angira, directly in their spiritual consciousness. The Sage Brahma received and collected the four from them and passed them on to other sages.

 

When were the Vedas revealed? What is their age? How old are they? As old as the age of humanity on earth. The Lord who creates humanity leaves them not to nature like animals. He enlightens them with the knowledge of existence and their place in the world with the vision of their journey and its culmination. Swami Dayananda works out the age of the Vedas on the basis of Surya Siddhanta which in the year 2010 A.D. comes to 1,96,08,53,110 years.

 

If someone does not accept it and insists on historical proof, let us listen to Max Muller from whom we learn of the problem of the date or dates but with no possibility of solution on scientific and historical grounds.

 

Max Muller is known as a world renowned Vedic scholar and exegesist of the West. Max Muller once ventured to pronounce a purely arbitrary date based on unproven assumptions that around 1200 B.C. was the date of the Rgveda. Later, he himself warned his students that "Whether the Vedic Hymns were composed in 1000 or 1500 or 2000 B.C., no power on earth could ever fix . Whatever may be the date of the Vedic hymns . they have their own unique place and stand by themselves". Such daring presumptions of western scholars about the date of the Vedas are exposed by Graham Hancock in his latest researches, in his explosive book: Underworld: The Mysterious Origins of Civilization (2002).

 

Hancock first gives the range of dates accepted by Western scholars such as Max Muller and Dr. Mitchiner, a great authority on ancient Sanskrit texts: Vedas 1500-800 BC, Brahmanas 900- 600 BC, Aranyakas 700-500 BC, Upanishads 600-400 BC, Mahabharata 350 BC-50 AD, Ramayana 250 BC-200AD, Puranas AD 200-1500. "Amazing!" says he: "Whether starting in 1500 BC, 1400 BC or 1200 BC, the timelines, suggested for the compilation and codification of the Vedas, all rest on the now thoroughly falsified and bankrupt (and rejected) idea of an Aryan invasion of India around 1500 BC". He continues: 'There was no such thing as an Aryan race that spoke Indo- European languages and authored the Vedas, there was no such event as an Aryan invasion of India. 'Arya' does not mean a race, it means a noble, educated and cultured person. So once the hypothesis of the Aryan invasion is rejected, the structure of the supposed dates of the Vedas and other texts crumbles like a house of cards.' And then he sums up the view of the Western approach to the Vedas and Indian civilization: "Almost everything that was ever written about this literature and civilization before five years ago (i.e., before 1997) is wrong." (See pp. 131, 116, 129)

 

Max Muller himself in his Gifford Lectures in 1890 had confessed that "no power on earth could ever fix" the date of the Vedas. Even Mitchiner himself concedes that "the dating of Sanskrit texts is a notoriously difficult problem" (Quoted Ibid p. 131)

 

Contents

 

S. No.

Particulars

Page

From the Publishers Desk

vi

Homage, Thanks and Acknowledgements

vii

1

About the Author

xix

2

Foreword

xiv

3

About Dr. Tulsi Ram Sharma's English translation of the Samaveda

xvii

4

English Translation of Vedic Hymns: An Opinion

xviii

5

Message

xix

6

Message

xx

7

Appreciation

xxi

8

Sadbhavana (Good wishes)

xxii

9

To the Reader

xxiii

10

Introduction

xxxi

11

Diacritical Marks of Transliteration

xl

12

SAMAVEDA: PART-I (Purvarchika)

Agneya Kanda Chapter-1.

1-51

Aindra Kanda Chapter-2.

52-99

Aindra Kanda Chapter-3

100-157

Aindra Kanda Chapter-4

158-211

Pavamana Kanda Chapter-5

212-269

Aranyaka Kanda Chapter-6

270-301

PART-2 (Uttararchika)

Chapter -1

302-330

Chapter-2

331-357

Chapter-3

358-382

Chapter-4

383-408

Chapter-5

409-440

Chapter-6

441-475

Chapter-7

476-513

Chapter-8

514-539

Chapter-9

540-576

Chapter-10

577-617

Chapter -11

618-632

Chapter -12

633-659

Chapter -13

660-685

Chapter-14

686-705

Chapter-15

706-724

Chapter-16

725-745

Chapter-17

746-763

Chapter-18

764-787

Chapter-19

788-813

Chapter-20

814-853

Chapter -21

854-867

 

Sample Pages









Sama Veda

Item Code:
NAK544
Cover:
Hardcover
Edition:
2013
ISBN:
9788183858793
Language:
Sanskrit Text with Transliteration and English Translation
Size:
8.5 inch x 6.0 inch
Pages:
908
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 1.2 kg
Price:
$80.00
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About the Book

 

Veda is Shabda Brahma, Divine Knowledge in metalanguage. The very word 'Veda' means knowledge. It is derived from the root 'vid', which means: 'to be, to know, to think, and to benefit from'.

 

So whatever is is Veda: the very world of existence is Veda.

The knowledge of the world of existence is Veda. The extension of knowledge through thought and research further is Veda. And to use that knowledge for the benefit of mankind with the protection and preservation of nature and the environment, without hurting any form of life, that is Veda.

 

Vedic knowledge is classified thematically into three: Jnana (knowledge), Karma (action) and Upasana (prayer). Formally, Vedic knowledge is divided into four:

Rgveda is the Veda of Knowledge, Yajurveda is the Veda of Karma, Samaveda is the Veda of Bhakti, and Atharva-veda is Brahma Veda, an umbrella code, celebrating the all comprehensive Divine Presence as in Book 10, hymns 7 and 8.

 

Vedas are the essence of life, and Samaveda is the essence of the Vedas, says Chhandogyopanishad, 1, 1, 1-2:

 

Samaveda is a symphony of mantric songs of prayer sung by the seers of all time Truth in a state of Ananda. It consists of 1875 mantras which, except for about 100, are common with the celebrative mantras of Rgveda. In some mantras there are minor variations from the Rks, turning descriptive celebrations into prayerful songs of meditative ecstasy.

 

The theme of Samaveda is, predominantly, musical celebration of three attributes of the Godhead, Parama Brahma: Agni, Indra and Soma. Here and there, there are other themes too, but they are rare rather than frequent: Indragni, Mitra- Varuna, Usha, Ashvins, Maruts, Aditya, Vishvedeva, Surya as Atma, Sarasvati, Savita, Brahmanaspati, Vishnu, Brhaspati, and Vishvakarma.

 

However, these themes do not mean different deities, they are reflections of the existential manifestation of the same One Brahma, immanent as well as transcendent. The celebration of Agni, Indra and Soma is celebration of the One Supreme Divinity, the original, ultimate and eternal Unity of existence reflecting in infinite variety, Aum.

 

About the Author

 

Dr. Tulsi Ram Sharma M.A., English (Delhi, 1949), Ph.D. (London, 1963) has been a university professor, academic administrator, researcher, and writer of long standing with prestigious assignments.

 

Besides his professional studies of secular literature in English, Hindi, Sanskrit and Urdu, Dr. Tulsi Ram Sharma has devoted his life and time to the study and discipline of Sacred literature specially Vedas, Upanishads, Darshan Philosophy, Puranas, Ramayana, Mahabharata with concentration on the Bhagwad Gita, Greek, Roman, Sumerian and English Epics, Gathas of Zarathustra, Bible, Quran, and the writings of Swami Dayananda, and Swami Vivekananda, in search of the essential values of Sanatan Vedic Dharma with reference to their realisation in life and literature through social attitudes, collective action, customs, traditions, rituals and religious variations across the fluctuations of history.

 

Foreword

 

Veda Bhashya by Prof. Tulsiram - A step to make Vedas available to the English World

 

I have had the privilege of going through some of the chapters of Yajurveda Bhashya written by Prof. Tulsiram, a well known Vedic scholar and author of English language and literature. I congratulate him because he has done this translation for an average English reader who is keen to know the Vedas. Knowledge of the Vedas is like the knowledge of science. Vedic language is a scientific language and nobody can understand that without the profound knowledge of Vedangas, especially Nirukta of Maharshi Yaska and the grammar of Panini and Patanjali. Nobody can interpret the Veda mantras without these two. This translation proves that Prof. Tulsiram has done this insightful translation after doing hard work in both Vedangas.

 

In translating the Vedas, only literal meaning is just not sufficient, sometimes it may create confusion and contradiction. Prof. Tulsiram deeply merges himself into Vedic Mantras, thinking deeply about words, derivatives and analyzes the hidden nuances of meaning in their context. For example, 'Sumitriya na aapa oshadhayah santu . Yajur. 36, 23': If we take literal meaning in the ordinary sense, "may the waters, vital forces of life, and herbs be friendly to us and may they be enemies to those who hate us and whom we hate", it will not make acceptable sense. After raising some questions, he says, "How can we accept this?" So, after going deeply into the words and context he gives this meaning of the said mantra: May waters, tonics, pranic energies and medicinal herbs be good friends of our health system and immunity and let the same waters, tonics, pranic energies herbal medicines act against those ailments, diseases and negativities which injure us, which we hate to suffer and which we love to destroy, moreover let them have no side effects because side effects too help the negativities and injure us.

 

After giving the actual sense of the Mantra he writes that this Mantra is a reasonable prayer for the health programme of an advanced society, and then, logically in the next Mantra, follows the prayer for a full hundred years and more of life and healthy living (Tacchakshurdevahitam purastat-Yajur.36,24).

 

The translation by Prof. Tulsiram is without any extraneous motive and without any extra-academic intention. The translation has been done purely as communication of the Vedic message for the welfare of mankind.

 

While giving his opinion on the Vedas Prof. Tulsiram writes in his Introduction. Veda is the Voice of God revealed in scientific Vedic Sanskrit free from local color and historical facts, therefore Vedic language is to be interpreted and understood according to its own laws and structure, and the only key available for such interpretation is the Nirukta of Maharshi Yaska and the grammar of Panini & Patanjali. According to Maharshi Dayananda Saraswati, 'without reference to these bases of Vedic interpretation certain words have been given a distorted meaning in the translations of Max Muller, Griffith, Whitney and even Sayana.' Actually the torch light for proper translation today, as Aurobindo says, is the Arsha tradition followed by Maharshi Dayananda Saraswati.

 

At the end I will say that this translation of Yajurveda, based on Nirukta and Grammar, follows the known ancient Indian tradition. It is factual, without prejudice or hidden motive. Prof. Tulsiram thinks deeply on every word of the mantra, looks into the context and etymology according to Nirukta and then does the translation. I congratulate him on this one more pioneering step to make the knowledge of Vedas available to the western world and the average English knowing reader. May God give him long and healthy life so that he continues to do this kind of stupendous work.

 

Introduction

 

This translation of Samaveda is meant for an average English knowing reader who is keen to know:

 

What is Veda? What is it all about? Is it old or new?

 

If it's old, what is its relevance today? And if it is relevant, is it relevant to me also? Or is it relevant only to some particular community in some particular country at some particular time?

 

These are relevant questions especially in an age of science, democracy and globalism.

 

Veda is Divine Knowledge in metalanguage. The very word 'Veda' means knowledge. It is derived from the root 'vid', which means: 'to be, to know, to think, to benefit from' and 'to communicate' .

 

So whatever is is Veda: the very world of existence is Veda. The knowledge of the world of existence is Veda. The extension of knowledge through thought and research further is Veda. And to use that knowledge for the benefit of mankind with the protection and preservation of nature and the environment, without hurting any form of life, that is Veda.

 

Veda is knowledge, pure and simple, as science is knowledge. Science is knowledge of nature as nature is and as it works according to its own laws. In science, there is no story, no history. Similarly in the Veda, there is no story, no history. And just as science is knowledge in scientific language free from local colour and historical variations of form and meaning, so Veda too is knowledge in scientific language free from local colour and historical variations. Therefore Vedic language has to be interpreted and understood according to the laws and technique of its own structure as stated by seers such as Yaska, Panini and Patanjali and as explained by Swami Dayananda in his grammatical works and his notes on Vedic words in his commentary on the Vedas.

 

But there is a difference between scientific knowledge and Vedic knowledge: While science is knowledge of nature to the extent that man has been able to discover it, Veda is the quintessential knowledge of all that is, including Nature and humanity, all that happens, all that we are, all that we do, and all that we reap in consequence of our action. It is the Original and Universal knowledge of the Reality of Existence and the Ideality of our aspirations, covering the facts and processes of existence, their interaction and the laws that operate in the interaction. In short, Veda is an eternal articulation of Omniscience, The Voice of God.

 

Vedic knowledge is classified thematically into three: Stuti, Prarthana and Upasana. Stuti, praise, is solemn reverential remembrance and description of the attributes, nature, character and function of divine powers. Prarthana, prayer, is an autosuggestive resolution to realise our limitations and rise above those limitations by calling on Divinity for aid and blessings when we have exhausted our effort and potential. Upasana is meditation, the surrender of our limited identity to open out and participate in the Divine Presence. Stuti implies knowledge (Janana), Prarthana implies humility and action (Karma), and Upasana implies total love and surrender (Bhakti). In consequence, formally, Vedic knowledge is divided into four:

 

Rgveda is the Veda of Knowledge, Yajurveda is the Veda of Karma, Samaveda is the Veda of Bhakti, and Atharva-veda is Brahma Veda, an umbrella, celebrating the Divine Presence as in Book 10, hymns 7 and 8.

 

Yajurveda is Karma Veda, knowledge of the application of knowledge in practical living in a positive, creative and constructive manner at both the individual and the collective leveL This way of living and working is "Yajna" which, in simple words, means a selfless and participative way of living and thereby creating the maximum out of the minimum for all, including nature, humanity, the environment and the whole universe, with complete faith in the living, breathing, organismic, intelligent, self-organising, self-conscious, Sovereign System. Living the yajnic way, we realise that Nature is an organism, a tree, Ashwattha, and the entire cosmos including ourselves is a Purusha, and we as human beings are but cells in this Divine Purusha. Without living this. way in a state of full awareness, we cannot realise that you and I, Mother Nature and the Supreme Brahma are all together, one in union and communion.

 

Vedic knowledge then is the Divine knowledge of life in existence from the dimensionless point and particle unto Infinity. And prayerful living and communion in meditation and yoga means: Self-integration of the particle, Re-integration of the part with the whole, and Re-union of the finite with the Infinite.

 

Vedas are the essence of life, and Samaveda is the essence of the Vedas, says Chhandogyopanishad, 1, 1, 1-2:

 

"Of all these elements (Akasha, Vayu, Agni, Apah, and Prthivi) the earth is the essence. The essence of Earth is waters. The essence of waters is oshadhis, herbs. The essence of oshadhis is Purusha, the human being. The essence of humans is Yak, speech. The essence of Vak is Rk. Rgveda. The essence of Rks is Sama. The essence of Sama is Udgitha, the cosmic resonance of Aum. That Aum, chant, sing and worship in meditation."

 

Lord Krishna, divine persona of the Gita, also says: Of the Vedas, I am Sama (10, 22).

 

Samaveda is a symphony of mantric songs sung by the seers of all time in a state of Ananda. It consists of 1875 mantras which, except for about 100, are common with the celebrative mantras of Rgveda. In some mantras there are minor variations from the Rks, turning descriptive celebrations into prayerful songs of meditative ecstasy.

 

Samaveda is codified in two parts: the first is Purvarchika, the former phase of celebration (1-640 mantras), and the second is Uttararchika, the latter phase (651-1875 mantras), with an intermediary phase titled Mahanamnyarchika of ten mantras (641- 650).

 

The Purvarchika consists of four sections:

Agneya Kanda (Chapter 1: mantras 1-114)

Aindra Kanda (Chapters 2-4: mantras 115-466)

Pavamana Soma Kanda (Chapter 5: mantras 467-585)

Aranyaka Kanda (Chapter 6; mantras 586-640)

Intermediary Mahanamnyarchika (mantras 641-650)

The Uttararchika consists of twenty one chapters (mantras 651-1875).

 

The theme of Samaveda is, predominantly, musical celebration of three attributes of the Godhead, Parama Brahma:

 

Agni, Indra and Soma. Here and there, there are other themes too, but they are rare rather than frequent: Indragni, Mitra- Varuna, Usha, Ashvins, Maruts, Aditya, Vishvedeva, Surya as Atma, Sarasvati, Savita, Brahmanaspati, Vishnu, Brhaspati, and Vishvakarma.

 

However, these themes do not mean different deities, they are reflections of the existential manifestation of the same One Brahma, immanent as well as transcendent. God is One, says Rgveda (1, 164, 46), holy sages speak of It in many different ways by different names such as Agni, Indra, Mitra, Varuna and many more. Atharva-veda, in fact, has almost the last word: God is one, only one, neither two nor three nor four, nor five, nor six, nor seven, nor eight, nor nine, nor ten (13, 4,12 and 16-18). The celebration of Agni, Indra and Soma is celebration of the One Supreme Divinity, the original, ultimate and eternal Unity of existence reflecting in infinite variety, Aum.

 

Aum: this alone is the imperishable Divine, the Word. This all is the expansive creative evolution of That, the living articulation of That, the Veda, the Sama. That is the Seed (Gita, 7, 10), that is the womb, Hiranyagarbha (Rgveda 1, 121, 1), That is the Tree of Existence (Rgveda 1, 164, 20), the Ashvattha (Kathopanishad 2,3, 1) which grows on and on from the root to the expansive filaments (Gita, 15, 1-2), the germination as well as the termination of a life cycle in Eternity. That is the Purusha, self-conscious, self-articulative, self-generative, self-progressive, self-recessive, Cosmic Personality (Rgveda 10, 90, 1-16). That same is Agni, Indra, Soma and others of Samaveda. Sama celebrates That in music in a state of Ananda.

 

All the 1875 mantras of Samaveda, each mantra being like a note of a Raga, make up the symphony of the divine Rks of the Sama, the Song Celestial of the variety, stability, unity, peace and bliss of life for the yearning soul:

 

The celebration of Agni is the celebration of the divine warmth of life, of the light of the world and of the love and passion for living. Indra is the power of life, the power of the world and the love and passion for the rectitude of living. Soma is the poetry, beauty and pleasure of life, the sweetness and joy of the world and the bliss and beatitude of the soul's experience in its reunion with Divinity in Samadhi.

 

Who then is the poet of the Vedas? The answer is in Yajurveda 40, 8: That Cosmic Spirit which pervades and rules every moving particle in the moving universe is "the poet, thinker, all-comprehending, and self-existent". That is the Lord who creates the world of existence, ordains the Laws of its dynamics, and reveals the poetry of its beauty and majesty, the Vedas. "From that Lord of universal yajna were born the Rks and Samans. From Him were born the Chhandas of Atharva-veda and from Him were born the Yajus", (Yajurveda 31, 7). The Vedic lore comes in Pura- kalpa, the beginning of the world of humanity (Shvetashvataropanishad, 6, 22) and when its function is over at the end of the kalpa, one cycle of existence, it retires into Brahma- loka (Atharva-veda 19, 71, 1).

 

The Vedas were revealed by the Lord Omniscient to four primeval Rshis: Rgveda to Agni, Yajurveda to Vayu, Samaveda to Aditya, and Atharva-veda to Angira, directly in their spiritual consciousness. The Sage Brahma received and collected the four from them and passed them on to other sages.

 

When were the Vedas revealed? What is their age? How old are they? As old as the age of humanity on earth. The Lord who creates humanity leaves them not to nature like animals. He enlightens them with the knowledge of existence and their place in the world with the vision of their journey and its culmination. Swami Dayananda works out the age of the Vedas on the basis of Surya Siddhanta which in the year 2010 A.D. comes to 1,96,08,53,110 years.

 

If someone does not accept it and insists on historical proof, let us listen to Max Muller from whom we learn of the problem of the date or dates but with no possibility of solution on scientific and historical grounds.

 

Max Muller is known as a world renowned Vedic scholar and exegesist of the West. Max Muller once ventured to pronounce a purely arbitrary date based on unproven assumptions that around 1200 B.C. was the date of the Rgveda. Later, he himself warned his students that "Whether the Vedic Hymns were composed in 1000 or 1500 or 2000 B.C., no power on earth could ever fix . Whatever may be the date of the Vedic hymns . they have their own unique place and stand by themselves". Such daring presumptions of western scholars about the date of the Vedas are exposed by Graham Hancock in his latest researches, in his explosive book: Underworld: The Mysterious Origins of Civilization (2002).

 

Hancock first gives the range of dates accepted by Western scholars such as Max Muller and Dr. Mitchiner, a great authority on ancient Sanskrit texts: Vedas 1500-800 BC, Brahmanas 900- 600 BC, Aranyakas 700-500 BC, Upanishads 600-400 BC, Mahabharata 350 BC-50 AD, Ramayana 250 BC-200AD, Puranas AD 200-1500. "Amazing!" says he: "Whether starting in 1500 BC, 1400 BC or 1200 BC, the timelines, suggested for the compilation and codification of the Vedas, all rest on the now thoroughly falsified and bankrupt (and rejected) idea of an Aryan invasion of India around 1500 BC". He continues: 'There was no such thing as an Aryan race that spoke Indo- European languages and authored the Vedas, there was no such event as an Aryan invasion of India. 'Arya' does not mean a race, it means a noble, educated and cultured person. So once the hypothesis of the Aryan invasion is rejected, the structure of the supposed dates of the Vedas and other texts crumbles like a house of cards.' And then he sums up the view of the Western approach to the Vedas and Indian civilization: "Almost everything that was ever written about this literature and civilization before five years ago (i.e., before 1997) is wrong." (See pp. 131, 116, 129)

 

Max Muller himself in his Gifford Lectures in 1890 had confessed that "no power on earth could ever fix" the date of the Vedas. Even Mitchiner himself concedes that "the dating of Sanskrit texts is a notoriously difficult problem" (Quoted Ibid p. 131)

 

Contents

 

S. No.

Particulars

Page

From the Publishers Desk

vi

Homage, Thanks and Acknowledgements

vii

1

About the Author

xix

2

Foreword

xiv

3

About Dr. Tulsi Ram Sharma's English translation of the Samaveda

xvii

4

English Translation of Vedic Hymns: An Opinion

xviii

5

Message

xix

6

Message

xx

7

Appreciation

xxi

8

Sadbhavana (Good wishes)

xxii

9

To the Reader

xxiii

10

Introduction

xxxi

11

Diacritical Marks of Transliteration

xl

12

SAMAVEDA: PART-I (Purvarchika)

Agneya Kanda Chapter-1.

1-51

Aindra Kanda Chapter-2.

52-99

Aindra Kanda Chapter-3

100-157

Aindra Kanda Chapter-4

158-211

Pavamana Kanda Chapter-5

212-269

Aranyaka Kanda Chapter-6

270-301

PART-2 (Uttararchika)

Chapter -1

302-330

Chapter-2

331-357

Chapter-3

358-382

Chapter-4

383-408

Chapter-5

409-440

Chapter-6

441-475

Chapter-7

476-513

Chapter-8

514-539

Chapter-9

540-576

Chapter-10

577-617

Chapter -11

618-632

Chapter -12

633-659

Chapter -13

660-685

Chapter-14

686-705

Chapter-15

706-724

Chapter-16

725-745

Chapter-17

746-763

Chapter-18

764-787

Chapter-19

788-813

Chapter-20

814-853

Chapter -21

854-867

 

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