When I was visiting a pathashala (traditional school for training Vedic pandits), I chanced on this group of students out in the woods learning to sing Sama Veda. They have to learn everything by heart, though the acharya (teacher) has allowed them to have the written text while they are learning. In former times, this would never have been allowed as transmission was purely oral. But times are changing, and it’s a blessing that there are still people learning it at all. There are not so many competent Sama Veda pandits in India. A sight like this is rare indeed.

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