Two: Description of the Metres

 

2.10 Vetālīya and Opacchandasaka
(Vaitālīya and Aupacchandasaka)

The first of these metres, Vetālīya, has 14 measures in the odd lines, and 16 in the even, with the cadence at the end of each line being ¦−⏑−⏑×.

Opacchandasaka, the second of the metres, has 16 measures in the odd lines, and 18 in the even. The cadence is similar to Vetālīya, but with an extra heavy syllable in penultimate position ¦−⏑−⏑−×.

The most common forms of the odd lines are:

−−⏑⏑¦−⏑−⏑()×

⏑⏑−⏑⏑¦−⏑−⏑()×

−⏑⏑−¦−⏑−⏑()×

The most common forms of the even lines:

−−−⏑⏑¦−⏑−⏑()×

⏑⏑−−⏑⏑¦−⏑−⏑()×

−⏑⏑−⏑⏑¦−⏑−⏑()×

with occasional resolution of a heavy syllable giving rise to other patterns in the opening. Through syncopation of syllables in adjacent groups we occasionally find different patterns in the opening of the prior lines, so that sometimes:

−−⏑⏑ > −⏑−⏑

⏑⏑−⏑⏑ > ⏑−⏑⏑⏑

⏑⏑−− > ⏑−⏑− etc.

Occasionally we find a light syllable at the beginning of the line, which must be counted as heavy in order to complete the mattā count (this we may call pādādigaru, in compliment to pādantagaru).

Examples: Vetālīya, Dhp 15-18, 235-238; Subhā Jīvakambavanikā's gāthās Thī 367-399; Jarāsutta Sn IV:6

Opacchandasaka, Uragasutta Sn I:1; Cundasutta Sn 1:5; Kātiyāna's gāthās Th 411- 416.

Vetālīya example from Jarāsutta (Sn IV:6) (vs 804):   

−−⏑⏑¦−⏑−⏑−
Appaṁ vata jīvitaṁ idaṁ,

−−−⏑⏑¦−⏑−⏑−
oraṁ vassasatā pi miyyati,

−−⏑⏑¦−⏑−⏑−
yo ce pi aticca jīvati

⏑⏑−−⏑⏑¦−⏑−⏑−
atha kho so jarasā pi miyyati.

 

Opacchandasaka example from Kātiyāna's gāthā (Th 412):   

⏑⏑−⏑⏑¦−⏑−⏑−−
Sayathā pi mahāsamuddavego

−−−⏑⏑¦−⏑−⏑−−
evaṁ jātijarātivattate taṁ,

⏑⏑−⏑⏑¦−⏑−⏑−−
sŏ karohi sudīpam-attano tvaṁ, Reading sŏ as short to give the correct opening.01

⏑⏑−−⏑⏑¦−⏑−⏑−−
na hi tāṇaṁ tava vijjateva aññaṁ.