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What is the proper meaning of the following phase? How do they relate to each other in the following manner?

If the Rig Veda is the word, Sama Veda is the song or the meaning. If Rig Veda is the knowledge, Sama Veda is its realization. If Rig Veda is the wife, the Sama Veda is her husband.

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3 Answers 3

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The relation between Rik and Saman is described in Chandogya Upanishad -Adhyaya 1 - verse 2.

एषां भूताना पृथिवि रस: पृथिव्या आपो रस: |
अपामोषधयो रस औषधीनां पुरुषो रस: पुरुषस्य वासग्रो
वाच ऋग्रस ऋच :साम रस: साम्न उद्गित्थो रस: ||2||

The earth is essence of all the beings ; Water is the essence of the earth ;Herbs are essence of water ; Man is essence of herbs ;Speech is essence of man ; Rik is essence of speech ; Saman is the essence of Rik ; Udgita is essence of Saman .

In simple words Sama is Rasa or essence of Rig-Veda i.e. That is most essential part.


Explanation- Basically this mantra is meant for givings us the idea of Importance Sama-Veda and above all significance of letter "Om" "ॐ".This is explained by giving the examples.

Adi Shankaracharya in his commentary on the above Verse is explaining this mantra as thus.

Prithivi (earth) is the "Ashrya" i.e. residing place of rest of the Bhutas i.e. elements.(Agni ,Vayu ,Jal etc.).

The "Aap" jal or water is essence of this earth. Because earth is full of water. (Also water is the support of life on earth ).The essence of water is "Aushadhi's" or "Food" , (because from the water itself food and medicine's are grown) ,which keeps us alive and healthy. The essence of these "Aushadhi's" or "food" is human body. Because our body sustains on food and gets rejuvenated by food and medicine.

The important part or essence of this human body is "Vaak" i.e. speech.(good speech). Because the good speech is "result of healthy body and mind. The most important or residual part of all of the speech is Rik (i.e.Rig-Veda) mantras. And the Saman or Sam-Veda is even more refined part of Rik. i.e. Sama is essence (most important part) of Rik mantras. And the ultimate essence of Sama is "Udgita" i.e. Om (for Sam-Vedis).

We can read Chandogya Upanishad hindi with Shankar's commentary here.


We can also listen to a very good explanation of this Verse given by Acharya Satyajit Arya .(You Tube)

Seek 5.42

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  • Good link is provided, I may learn many things from that. But it took so much time load may be my slow network. Yes I would like to know about all the 3 relations, how each relations satisfy. Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 17:24
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    Ok , I will explain this relations in answer , will update the answer tomorrow. BTW do you know hindi? I will provide a good video link explaining all in answer. :-) Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 17:26
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    @KailashChandraPolai And yes this could be because of slower connection. I will add the screenshot as well as hindi commentary in answer tomorrow. Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 17:28
  • Yes, I do as i stay in Mumbai Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 17:36
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    Perfect answer! Indeed that Chhandogya verse nicely explains it.
    – Pandya
    Commented Jan 18, 2018 at 12:22
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In his Introduction to his book The Upanishads: A New Translation, Swami Nikhilananda writes (p 3):

Vyasa compiled the Rig-Veda by collection the riks. Of the samans he composed the Sama-Veda, while the Yajur-Veda he composed of yajus. The Rig-Veda, which may be called a book of chants, is set to certain fixed melodies. The Sama-Veda has no independent value; for it consists mostly of stanzas from the Rig-Veda. The arrangement of its verses is solely with reference to their place and use in the Soma-sacrifice. The Yajur-Veda contains, in addition to verses taken from the Rig-Veda, many original prose formulas which may be called sacrificial prayers.

So the Sama Veda is Rig Veda and was arranged for ease of use by priests in the Soma sacrifice.

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Rig Veda and Sama Veda are married. The relationship seems to be literal. It is referenced a bunch of times in the Upanishads, such as this Khandogya Upanishad mention.

  1. The Rik indeed is speech, Sâman is breath, the udgîtha is the syllable Om. Now speech and breath, or Rik and Sâman, form one couple.

  2. And that couple is joined together in the syllable Om. When two people come together, they fulfil each other's desire.

Also, the Aitareya Brahmana clarifies their relationship as polygamous.

First there existed the Rik and the Saman (separate from one an- other) ; sd was the Rik, and the name amai?i.was the Saman. Sd, which was Rik, said to the Saman, '* Let us copulate for begetting children." The Saman answered, " No ; for my greatness exceeds (yours •." (Thereupon) the Rik became two ; both spoke (to the Saman to the same effect); but [ 197 j it did not comply with their request. The Rik became three (divided into three) ; all three spoke (to the Saman to the same effect). Thus the Saman joined the three Riehas. Thence the Sama singers use for their chant three Richas,^^ (that is) they perform their work of chanting

with three Richas, (This is so also in worldly affairs.) For one man has manj^ wives (represented by the Richas), but one wife has not many husbands at the same time. From sd and avialt, having joined, sama was produced. Thence it is called sdman.^ He who has such a knowledge becomes sdman, i.e., equal, equitous. He who exists and attains to the highest rank, is a sdman, whilst they use the word asdmanya, i.e., inequitous, partial, as a term of reproach.

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