Two: Description of the Metres


2.19 Hypermetres, Veḍha & Gubbinī

Only two examples of gaṇacchandas hypermetre have been found in the Canon so far, they are Veḍha and Gubbinī. The structure of both is similar and can be defined as follows:





⏔⏔¦  ¦

⏔⏔¦  ¦⏔×

The middle gaṇas can be repeated a flexible number of times. The end normally finishes with a full gaṇa as described above but may finish with a half gaṇa . Note that in these metres the pattern ⏑−⏑ is supposed to occur only in the odd gaṇas (in contradistinction to the Ariyā class of metres).

The Veḍha metre is normally composed of descriptive compounds (vaṇṇakas) of varying length. The only examples discovered so far are in the Kuṇāla-jātaka Ja 536. Sometimes there are only four gaṇas in the compound, then the structure looks like this:


but the text of these compounds now is very corrupt, and they sometimes have only three gaṇas (lacking the first).

As the example here is a 6 gaṇa compound:   



Gubbinī has the same structure, but need not consist solely of compounds. The only known example is the frequently repeated praise of the Three Treasures beginning "Iti pi so...":   

Iti pi so Bhagavā Arahaṁ Sammāsambuddho, We must take the 1st syllable as pādādigaru.01

vijjācaraṇasampanno The 2nd gaṇa is short as it stands, we could read caraṇaṁ to correct the metre.02 Sugato lokavidū,

anuttaro purisadammasārathi,

satthā devamanussānaṁ Buddho Bhagavā ti.