हन्ताहमेतद्भगवतो वेदानीति विद्धीति होवाचामुष्य लोकस्य का गतिरित्ययं लोक इति होवाचास्य लोकस्य का गतिरिति न प्रतिष्ठां लोकमिति नयेदिति होवाच प्रतिष्ठां वयं लोकं सामाभिसंस्थापयामः प्रतिष्ठासंस्तावं हि सामेति ॥ १.८.७ ॥
hantāhametadbhagavato vedānīti viddhīti hovācāmuṣya lokasya kā gatirityayaṃ loka iti hovācāsya lokasya kā gatiriti na pratiṣṭhāṃ lokamiti nayediti hovāca pratiṣṭhāṃ vayaṃ lokaṃ sāmābhisaṃsthāpayāmaḥ pratiṣṭhāsaṃstāvaṃ hi sāmeti || 1.8.7 ||
7. Dālbhya said, ‘Sir, if you permit, I would like to ask you about this.’ Śilaka replied, ‘Yes, ask.’ Dālbhya then asked, ‘What is the support of that heaven?’ Śilaka said, ‘This earth.’ ‘What supports this earth?’ asked Dālbhya. Śilaka replied: ‘Don’t think Sāma’s base is beyond this earth. We think Sāma is based on this earth, and we respect it as so’.
Hanta, if you permit; aham etat bhagavataḥ vedāni iti, I would like to learn this from you, revered sir [said Dālbhya]; viddhi iti ha uvāca, yes, learn from me, said [Śilaka]; amuṣya lokasya kā gatiḥ iti, what is the support of that world [Dālbhya asked]; ayam lokaḥ iti ha uvāca, this earth, said [Śilaka]; asya lokasya kā gatiḥ iti, what is the support of this earth [Dālbhya asked]; pratiṣṭhām lokam na atinayet iti ha uvāca, [in order to find the support of Sāma] don’t go beyond the earth, replied [Śilaka]; pratiṣṭhām lokam vayam sāma abhisaṃsthāpayāmaḥ, we see Sāma based on this earth; pratiṣṭhāsaṃstāvam hi sāma iti, Sāma is respected because it is based on this earth.
Heaven is supported by the various Vedic rites performed on the earth, and this is why the earth is said here to be the support of heaven. To be more precise, however, the gods and goddesses in heaven depend upon what men and women on earth offer them through their Vedic rites. In this sense, the earth is the support of heaven. The earth is the support of everything, and it is also the base of the Sāma. This is why the earth is described as a kind of chariot (rathantara) in the Sāma Veda.