27.3  SOME OTHER METERS IN SANSKRIT

OTHER MOST COMMON METERS

No. of syllables in each quarter:  This is the first thing that you look for in order to identify the meter. If there are more than eight, we look at the triad sequence.  In a triad of three successive syllables (=alphabets in Sanskrit), there are eight possibilities of the occurrence of the  S and L sequence  ('S' meaning 'short' (=laghu) and 'L' meaning 'long' (= 'guru')). 

The eight Triad sequences:  SSS; LLL; SSL; LLS; SLS; LSL; LSS; SLL.

They have names:                   na; ma ;  sa;    ta;     ja  ;   ra;    bha; ya

 How does one remember this mumbo-jumbo?  This is where Sanskrit excels.   They commit to memory just  only one mantra-like  formula, namely

ya-mA-tA-rA-ja-bhA-na-sa-la-gA                    (*)

which helps them to know all the eight triads and their names, thus. For each syllable you pull out the triad in (*) following that syllable, starting from that syllable:

'ya' stands for ya-mA-tA;  this has the three syllables in the order SLL.

'ma' stands for  mA-tA-rA; this has the three syllables in the order LLL

'ta'  stands for  tA-rA-ja;   this has the three syllables in the order  LLS

'rA' stands for rA-ja-bhA; this has the three syllables in the order  LSL

'ja' stands for   ja-bhA-na ; this has the three syllables in the order SLS

'bhA' stands for  bhA-na-sa; this has the three syllables in the order  LSS

'na' stands for  na-sa-la ;  this has the three syllables in the order   SSS

'sa' stands for  sa-la-gA ; this has the three syllables in the order  SSL

Examples: In each case the shastra of meters (chandas-shAstra)  has a shloka which uses the above symbolism to define that meter. (though we do not cite below this defining shloka for every example). For each shloka-example we cite only one quarter.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------11    Eleven syllables in each quarter. : 

 

LLS/LLS/SLS/LL(S)

Indra-vajrA (also called by another name:  upajAti)

  1. ast-yut-ta-ras-yAM di-shi de-va-tAt-mA                                                                                      (first quarter of first shloka from Kalidasa's Kumarasambhava)

  2. shri vaidyanAthAya namaH shivAya  (from vaidyanatha ashtottaram)

  3. vAsAmsi jIrNAni yathA vihAya  (from the Gita) 

  4. lokAs-samastAs-sukhino-bhavantu

  5. kArpaNyadoshho.apahata-svabhAvaH

The defining shloka for this meter 'indravajra'  ends like this: 

'syAd-indravajrAs-ta-ta-jAs--tato-gau'

i.e.,  'becomes indravajra (which is) the sequence of triads ta-ta-ja-ja and then two long.

Using the symbolism explained above, this sequence of triads reduces to

LLS/LLS/SLS/LL .  

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Three more meters  with eleven syllables in each quarter

SLS / LLS /SLS /LL            Upendra-vajrA

1.Namah-shivAbhyAM nava-yauvanAbhyAM

2.manojavaM mAruta tulyavegaM

3. avaimi cainAM anagheti kim tu

4.namostu rAmAya salakshmaNAya

5. tvamAdidevaH purushhaH purANaH 

 

LSL/SSS/LSL/SL

RathoddhatA

  1. yatra yatra raghunAtha-kIrtanaM

 

LLL/LLS/LLS/LL 

ShAlinI 

1.ekodevah keshavo vA shivo vA

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  12 syllables in each quarter:

SLL/SLL/SLL/SLL

BhujangaprayAta

  1. kumAreshasUno guha-skanda-senA

  2. sadA rAma rAmeti rAmAmRtaM te                                                                                 

 

 

SSS/LSS/LSS/LSL            Druta-vilambita

  1. vara-parAshara-gotra-samudbhavaM

  2. nigamakalpa-tarorgalitaM phalaM

 

 SLS/LLS/SLS/LSL             Vamshastha

  1. tvameva tAvatparicintaya svayaM

 

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13 syllables

SLL/LLL/LSL/LSL/L         ChandriNI 

1.suvarNaprAkAre'shAnyadigbhittibhAge 

 

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14 syllables

LLS/LSS/SLS/SLS/LL          Vasanta-tilaka

  1. tvaM nityamukta-parishuddha vibuddha AtmA

  2. mAtA mameti nagarAja sutorupIThaM

 

 The definuing shloka for 'Vasantatilakam' ends like this:

  jneyaM vasantatilakam ta-bha-jA jagau gaH

meaning 'know it as Vasanta-tilakam which has the triad sequence 

ta-bha-jA-ja  plus two long syllables

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 16 syllables

 SLS/LSL/SLS/LSL/SLS/L         (Pancha-chamara)

1.  jaTAkaTAha sambrahma bramannilimpanirjarI

2.  mudAkarAttamodakaM sadAvimuktidAyakaM 

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17 syllables

LLL/LSS/SSS/LLS/LLS/LL        MandAkrAntA

  1. kascit kAntA virahaguruNA svAdhikArAt pramattaH

  2. shAn-tA-kA-raM bhu-ja-ga-sha-ya-naM pad-ma-nA-bhaM su-re-shaM

 


SLL/LLL/SSS/SSL/LSS/SL       ShikhariNI 

1. shivaH shaktyAyukto yadi bhavati shaktaH prabhavituM 

 

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19 syllables

LLL/SSL/SLS/SSL/LLS/LLS/L             ShArdUla-vikrIditaM

   1. am-bA shAm-bha-vi can-dra-mou-li-ra-ba-lA par-NA u-mA pAr-va-tI

   2. yAkundendu tushArahA davaLA yA shubra-vastrAvRtA

   3. vishvaM darpaNa dRshyamAna-nagarI tulyaM nijAntargataM

 

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21 syllables

LLL/LSL/LSS/SSS/SLL/SLL/SLL

Sragdhara

  1. kshirodanvatpradeshe suchimaNivilasatsaikatair-mauktikAnAM

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All the above have the same number of syllables in the four quarters of the verse.  There are meters called 'vishama-vritta', which have different number of syllables  in the different quarters.  Here is one simple example.  This occurs in Kalidasa's Raghuvamsa 7th chapter where Kalidasa has to describe the wailing of the King Aja over the untimely death of his wife and the meter employed reflectts the melancholy state:

SSL/SSL/SLS/L   in the first and third quarter which have 10 syllables each

SSL/LSS/LSL/SL  in the second and fourth quarter which have 11 syllables each

The shloka is:

a-tha-vA ma-ma bhA-gya-vi-pla-vAd a-sha-niH kalpita e-shha ve-dha-sA /

yadanena tarurnapAtito kshapitA tadviTapAshritA latA //

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