By Swami Harshananda
Sāmaga literally means ‘one who sings the sāma’.
Priests of Sāmaveda
A sāma or sāman is any mantra of the Ṛgveda set to tune as per the rules given in works like the Nāradiyaśikṣā. The Sāmaveda is full of such sāmas. A sāmaga in general, is the one who sings the sāma. All the four priests of the Sāmaveda:
- The udgātr
- The prastotṛ
- The pratihartṛ
- The subrahmaṇya
Chanting of Sāmaga
- These are sāmagas, though the udgātṛ is the chief among them.
- Chanting of a sāma needs specialized training.
- A sāmaga should have a musical voice and a fine sense of śruti or tuning of his voice to a basic note.
- He should chant in a medium tone, neither too loud not too low, uttering the words clearly and without tremor.
- He should know where the words have to be paused and must never make a mistake of the svara.
- Those who cannot chant in this way, should never attempt to learn it.
Sāmaga as per Viṣṅusaharanāma
Sāmaga as per Bhagavadgītā
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore