The term “Saman” means a chant or melody, and it designates the whole Samhita of the Samveda, because it is metrical, set to music, and is meant to be sung and chanted by the udgatr priest at the time of fire-sacrifice. Except the 75 suktas or hymns, most others of the Samveda are borrowed from the Rigveda. Of these 75 hymns, some are partly found in other Samhitas, and some are only pieced together out of various suktas of the Rigveda, and so offer divergent readings. But traditionally it is held that there is no repetition in the Vedas, because a mantra in different texts and contexts reveals different meanings and when the Vedic texts are revealed and visioned worlds how there can be any repetition. Would God repeat Himself ?
The Samveda comprises two parts: (i) the “Purvarchika” and (ii) the “Uttrarchika”. Archika means a “verse collection”. The Purvarchika consists of five kandas, viz., Agneya Kanda, Ayendra Kanda, Pavaman Kanda, Arayaka Kanda, and Mahanamnya Archika. Uttrarchika is also divided into books and chapters. The hymns or strotas in the Purvarchika are comparatively more orderly in their arrangement and are older in composition than the verses of Uttrarchika. The later also introduces some such melodies as for which the Purvarchika has no chant.
The Samveda, about half the size of Rigveda, is the songbook of the udgatr priests, and its text is all drawn from the Rigveda, but it is set to music. The hymns in this Veda are addressed to Indra, Soma and Agni. Among the Vedas, Samveda is regarded the foremost. In the Bhagvat Gita Lord Krishna has declared. “Of the Vedas, I am Saman, (10:22). Similarly in the 8th verse of the 7th chapter of the Gita, Sri Krishna says that in all the Vedas He is the sacred pranav or syallable OM, And Samveda is one of the forms of pranava.
The Chandogya Upnishad, associated with the Brahman of Samaveda, calls Saman the blossom of the Veda tree, A In the beginning of the same Upnishad, a verse praising Samveda reads:
“Om. One should meditate on this syllable as the Udgitha chant, for every chant starts with Om.
“The essence o all beings is the earth, the essence of earth is water, the essence of water is plants, the essence of plants is man; the essence of an is speech; the essence of speech is the Rigveda; the essence of Rigveda is the Samveda, and the essence of Samveda is the Udgitha chant,”
“Speech is the Rigveda, breath the Samveda, the syllable Om the Udgitha. Now these two form a union, speech with breath and Rigveda with Samveda. Their union consists in Om, it is in thus sound that they are united. Whenever they come together and unite, they fulfil each other.”
“He who knows this and meditates on this syllable as the Udgitha chant, he himself becomes fulfilled.”
-Chandogva Upnishad (1:1:1-7)