About the Book
The Sam Veda
The Sama Veda is the third of the four Vedas, the ancient core Hindu scriptures, along with the Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, and Atharva Veda. Its earliest parts are believed to date from 1700 BC (since all of its verses are from the Rigveda) and it ranks next in sanctity and liturgical importance to the Rigveda. It consists of a collection (samhita) of hymns, portions of hymns, and detached verses, all but 75 taken from the Sakala Sakha of the Rigveda, the other 75 belong to the Bashkala Sakha, to be sung, using specifically indicated melodies called Samagana, by Udgatar priests at sacrifices in which the juice of the Soma plant, clarified and mixed with milk and other ingredients, is offered in libation to various deities.
About the Translator
Ralph Thomas Hotchkin Griffith (1826-1906) was a scholar of Indology. he wa a B.A. of Queen's College and was elected to the vacant Sanskrit Scholarship on Nov 24, 1849. He translated the Vedic scriptures into English. He also produced translations of other Sanskrit literature, including a verse version of the Ramayana and the Kumara Sambhava of Kalidasa. He held the position of principal at the Benares College in India. His translation of the Rigveda follows the text of Max Müller's six-volume Sanskrit edition. His readings generally follow the work of the great scholar Sayana who was Prime Minister at the court of the King of Vijaynagar - in what is now the District of Bellary in the Indian state of Karnataka - in the fourteenth century.