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SAMHITA ( Sanskrit
Sanskrit
: संहिता, _saṁhitā_) literally means "put together, joined, union" and "a methodically, rule-based combination of text or verses". _Samhita_ also refers to the most ancient layer of text in the Vedas
Vedas
, consisting of mantras , hymns, prayers, litanies and benedictions .

Parts of _Vedic Samhitas_ constitute the oldest living part of Hindu tradition.

CONTENTS

* 1 Etymology * 2 Discussion

* 3 Examples

* 3.1 Rig veda * 3.2 Sama veda * 3.3 Yajur veda * 3.4 Atharva veda * 3.5 Post-Vedic Samhitas

* 4 See also * 5 References * 6 External links

ETYMOLOGY

_Samhita_ is a Sanskrit
Sanskrit
word from the roots, sam (सं) and hita (हित), which mean "correct, proper" and "wholesome, arranged" respectively. The combination word thus means "put together , joined, compose, arrangement, place together, union" and "combination of letters according to euphonic rules, any methodically arranged collection of texts or verses".

DISCUSSION

In the most generic context, a _Samhita_ may refer to any methodical collection of text or verses. Any sastra , sutra or Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Epic, along with Vedic texts, can be called a _Samhita_.

_Samhita_, however, in contemporary literature typically implies the earliest, archaic part of the Vedas. These contain mantras – sacred sounds with or without literal meaning, as well as panegyrics, prayers, litanies and benedictions petitioning nature or Vedic deities. Vedic Samhita
Samhita
refer to mathematically precise metrical archaic text of each of the _ Vedas
Vedas
_ ( Rigveda
Rigveda
, Yajurveda
Yajurveda
, Samaveda and Atharvaveda ).

The Vedas
Vedas
have been divided into four styles of texts – the Samhitas (mantras and benedictions), the Aranyakas (text on rituals, ceremonies, sacrifices and symbolic-sacrifices), the Brahmanas (commentaries on rituals, ceremonies and sacrifices), and the Upanishads (text discussing meditation, philosophy and spiritual knowledge). The Samhitas are sometimes identified as _karma-kanda_ (कर्म खण्ड, action/ritual-related section), while the Upanishads are identified as _jnana-kanda_ (ज्ञान खण्ड, knowledge/spirituality-related section). The Aranyakas and Brahmanas are variously classified, sometimes as the ceremonial _karma-kanda_, other times (or parts of them) as the _jnana-kanda_.

The _Vedic Samhitas_ were chanted during ceremonies and rituals, and parts of it remain the oldest living part of Hindu tradition.

A collective study of Vedas
Vedas
and later text suggests that the compendium of _Samhitas_ and associated Vedic texts were far larger than currently available. However, most have been lost at some point or over a period of Indian history.

EXAMPLES

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RIG VEDA

The Gayatri mantra
Gayatri mantra
is among the famous Hindu mantras. It is found in Rig Veda Samhita. ॐ भूर्भुवस्वः। तत्सवितुर्वरेण्यम्। भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि। धियो यो नः प्रचोदयात् _Oṁ Bhūr Bhuva~Swah', Tat savitur varenyam, Bhargo devasya dhīmahi, Dhiyo yo nah prachodayāt_ Let us meditate on that excellent glory of the divine Light (Sun). May he inspire our thoughts, stimulate our understandings. – Rig Veda 3.62.10

SAMA VEDA

Weber noted that the _Samhita_ of Samaveda is an anthology taken from the Rigveda-Samhita. The difference is in the refinement and application of arts such as melody, meters of music and literary composition. Thus, the root hymn that later became the _Rathantara_ (Excellent Chariot) mantra chant is found in both Rigveda
Rigveda
and Samaveda Samhitas, as follows, Rigveda
Rigveda
form: _Abhi tva sura nonumo 'dugdha iva dhenavah isanam asya jagatah svardrsam isanam indra tasthusah_ Samaveda form: _obhitvasuranonumova adugdha iva dhenava isanamasya jagatassuvardrsam isanama indra ta sthu sa o va ha u va as _ Translation (same for both): We cry out for you, hero, like unmilked cows to the lord of the living world ! To the lord of the unmoving world who eye is the sun, O Indra
Indra
!

YAJUR VEDA

The hymns in Section 4.1.5 of the Yajurveda
Yajurveda
_Samhita_, dedicated to several ancient deities, state:

May the Vasus prepare you, with the gayatri meter, you are the earth, May the Rudras prepare you, with the tristubh meter, you are the sky. May the Adityas prepare you, with the jagati meter, you are the heaven. May the Visvedevas , common to all men, prepare you, with the anustubh meter, you are the directions. You are the unchanging direction, make unchanging in me children, abundance of wealth, abundance of cattle, abundance of heroism. —  Taittiriya Samhita, 4.1.5

ATHARVA VEDA

A hymn in the Atharva Veda Samhita, for example, is a woman's petition to deity Agni
Agni
, to attract suitors and a good husband.

May O Agni!, a suitor after this girl's heart come to her, May he come to this maiden with fortune! May she be agreeable to suitors, charming at festivals, promptly obtain happiness through a husband! — Atharva Veda , 2.36

POST-VEDIC SAMHITAS

There are many well known books written in the post-vedic period, also known as Samhitas or Sanhitas, because the word “Samhita” also means “systematic compilation of knowledge”. Vedic samhitas should not be confused with these samhitas of post-vedic period.

Some post-vedic Samhitas are: Ashtavakra Gita , Bhrigu Samhita , Brahma Samhita , Charaka Samhita
Charaka Samhita
, Deva Samhita , Garga Samhita
Samhita
, Gheranda Samhita , Kashyap Samhita , Shiva Samhita , Sushruta Samhita (a treatise on food and medicine), Yogayajnavalkya Samhita .

SEE ALSO

* Aranyaka * Brahmana * Upanishad * Veda

REFERENCES

* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ saMhita, Monier-Williams' Sanskrit-English Dictionary, Cologne Digital Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Lexicon, Germany * ^ samhita Sanskrit-English Dictionary, Koeln University, Germany * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ Lochtefeld, James G. "Samhita" in The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Vol. 2: N-Z, Rosen Publishing, ISBN 0-8239-2287-1 , page 587 * ^ _A_ _B_ A Bhattacharya (2006), Hindu Dharma: Introduction to Scriptures and Theology, ISBN 978-0595384556 , pages 8-14 * ^ Jan Gonda (1975), Vedic Literature: (Saṃhitās and Brāhmaṇas), Otto Harrassowitz Verlag, ISBN 978-3447016032 * ^ Gavin Flood (1996), An Introduction to Hinduism, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0521438780 , pages 35-37 * ^ See _Shankara\'s Introduction_ at Google Books to _Brihad Aranyaka Upanishad_ at pages 1-5; Quote - "The Vedas
Vedas
are divided in two parts, the first is the karma-kanda, the ceremonial part, also (called) purva-kanda, and treats on ceremonies; the second part is the jnana kanda, the part which contains knowledge, also named uttara-kanda or posterior part, and unfolds the knowledge of Brahma or the universal soul." (Translator: Edward Roer) * ^ Stephen Knapp (2005), The Heart of Hinduism: The Eastern Path to Freedom, Empowerment and Illumination, ISBN 978-0595350759 , pages 9-16 * ^ _A_ _B_ Monier Monier-Williams (1893), Indian Wisdom, Luzac position: absolute;" /> Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title= Samhita
Samhita
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