About the Book :
Third in the order of the Vedic Samhitas or collections, the Samaveda represents the middle phase of the older Vedic literature. It also exemplifies an early stage of literary activity in the Indian context and bears reflections of Indo-Aryan religious life and thought. Samaveda, which mainly consists of musical hymns largely drawn from the Rgveda, the oldest of the four Vedic texts, is only next in sanctity and liturgical significance to the latter. On account of melodious nature of its verses which were intended to be sung by the udgatri or chanter-priest during the course of the performance of grand sacrificial rituals connected chiefly with the preparation of juice out of the sacred Soma creeper, the giver of mystic joy, it had special importance. In fact the Samaveda together with Yajurveda, marks an important period of the growth of Vedic sacrifices from a simple domestic ritual to a complex and grand ceremonial conducted by four special priests. Besides, it also has deep connections with the antiquity of Indian Music, with at least two specialized groups of chanters viz., the Idichya-Samagas or the northern singers of Sama (melody) and the Prachya-Samagas or eastern singers, of which the former might represent the older tradition of Sama recitation. According to the traditional view, the Samaveda had originally about a thousand sankhas or branches but today only a few of them are extent, the rest are believed to have been lost before the text itself was reduced to writing. The present translation of Samaveda is considered as one of the authentic rendering of the Vedic text in fine metrical English with explanatory notes and useful indices without any element of subjectivity or prejudice.