Sanskrit scholar Kandadai Ramanujacharya spoke of how principles of Saamaveda can create wellbeing

Kandadai Ramanujacharya, an authority on classical literature is adept at analysing Sanskrit works, from the Vedas to their extended form of epics. The renowned Sanskrit scholar served as Principal of Sanskrit College, Secunderabad. He was hosted by Trividya Peetham for a discourse on Saamavedam at Ravindra Bharati. Saamavedam is considered by many to be the base for Indian classical music.

Another attractive part of the discourse was Ramanujacharya giving scientific reasons for following the principles of life as envisioned by the Vedas, principles that are being dubbed sadly as mere ‘beliefs’ these days.

Ramanujacharya dealt in detail with Saamaveda and its musical element, the topic of day. He rightly chose to introduce three other Vedas - Rigveda, Yajurveda and Atharvana Veda for chanting of mantras in any Veda is based on musical elements taught in Saamaveda.“The notations began as the first letters of each of the mantras like ‘Sala Bhasmi’, 'Amogha Bhasmi’ and so on the essence of the Veda. ‘One is ‘Sa’, the other is ‘Aa’ and the other is ‘Ma’ which is part of ‘Omkaram’, made of ‘Aum’. When added they sound ‘Sama’ what the Veda named after, symbolic of music,” he explained. ‘Sa’ is feminine gender, symbolising Prakriti (nature). ‘Aa’ is masculine gender and is ‘Paramatma’, the almighty. ‘Ma’ stands for ‘Jeevatma’ and all the three constitute ‘Tatva Trayam’. Thus ‘Sama’ is in essence ‘Tatva Trayam’ which are ‘Prakriti, ‘Paramatma’ and ‘Jeevatma’. What we call ‘Sangeetham’ is a ‘Samyak Geetham', he explained, which when metrically framed turn into ragas like Mohana or Bilahari that sounded pleasant.

Ramanujacharya then defined Saptaswaras as vivid expression of the tatvas of Prakruti, Paramatma and Jeevatma, embedded in the very concept of Saamaveda. “The expression of all the saptaswaras explained these very aspects of Saamaveda. ‘Shadjam Mayuro Vadati’ meaning sounds a Peacock makes. Koil’s tweak is ‘Panchamam’. Similarly each of these swaras were those of horse, elephant, Swan and so on. This union of Saptaswaras charmed the world that helped to portray the conditions of the world and society. ‘There is a sloka that says even the almighty is protecting the universe with ‘Saptaswaras’’, he explained. All the swaras were born out of ‘Omkaram’. Even the swara notes are born of out of placing of the three letters in permutations and combinations, he says. Hence we salute ‘Omkaram’.

In another interpretation, ‘Sa’ is Ganamu, ‘Aa’ stands for Nrityam and the entire body gets exercise by song and dance. Letters in songs like ‘Dantavyas’ and ‘Talavyas’, exercise facial muscles, he said. Natyam is simply a homage to the Tala structures that emanate from the face, responded by seven parts of our body to these saptaswaras. ‘Durjyam’, ‘Lasyam’, ‘Tandavam’ and ‘Pralaya Tandavam’, ‘Nartanam’, ‘Natanam’ exercise body parts.

Of the thousand branches in Saamavedam, only 12 branches are available, the rest are lost, he informed.

In short, Saamavedam washes off all bad traits and inculcates good behaviour, with the impact of musical appeal.Girish Kumar, former DGP felicitated the scholar.