Three: The Mixing of Metres


3.4 Siloka and other metres

So far we have mainly been considering the mixing of metres that employ similar structural principles, and that may account for the ease with which it was felt to be possible to move between the metres. However, when we come to Siloka, we have a syllabic metre with an Addhasamavutta structure. None of the other metres have this particular combination of characteristics of course, but still we frequently find Siloka lines appearing alongside other metres, perhaps because it was by far the most common and familiar of the metres employed.

Normally the situation appears to be that account has been taken of the structure of the Siloka in mixing, and we usually find Siloka odd and even lines appearing in their expected positions in the verse. Below we will see that various combinations can be illustrated:


Siloka & Tuṭṭhubha

Th. 1253 = Tuṭṭhubha, a - Siloka, bcd etc.

Dhp. 330 = Siloka, ab - Tuṭṭhubha, cd

Sn. 1061 = Tuṭṭhubha, ab - Siloka, cd

Sn. 1055 = Siloka, a - Tuṭṭhubha, bcd

Sn. 423 = Siloka, abd - Tuṭṭhubha, c

Sn. 482 = Tuṭṭhubha, abc - Siloka, d

Sn. 995 = Tuṭṭhubha, abd - Siloka, ef (Jagatī, c):   

−−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−−   Tuṭṭhubha
So Bāvarī attamano udaggo,

−−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−−   Tuṭṭhubha
taṁ devataṁ pucchati vedajāto:

⏑⏑−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−⏑−   Jagatī
katamamhi gāme nigamamhi vā pana,

⏑⏑−⏑−¦⏑⏑⏑−¦−⏑−−   Tuṭṭhubha
katamamhi vā janapade lokanātho ?

−⏑−−¦⏑−−−¦¦−−−⏑¦⏑−⏑−   Siloka
Yattha gantvā namassemu Sambuddhaṁ dipaduttamaṁ? (Sn 995)


Siloka & Jagatī

Th 306 = Siloka, ab - Jagatī, cd

Th 1089 = Siloka, abc - Jagatī, def


Siloka & Mattāchandas

Th 1 = Op, acd - Siloka, b

Th 551 = Siloka, a - Vetālīya, bcd

Th 1004 = Āpātalikā, ab - Vetālīya, c - Siloka, d!:   

⏑⏑−⏑⏑¦−⏑⏑⏑−−   Āpātalikā
Ubhayena-m-idaṁ maraṇam-eva, The line has an extra syllable in the cadence, we could think of reading maraṇaṁ va to correct the metre.01

−⏑⏑−−¦−⏑⏑−−   Āpātalikā
nāmaraṇaṁ pacchā va pure vā,

⏑⏑−⏑⏑¦−⏑−⏑−   Vetālīya
paṭipajjatha mā vinassatha,

⏑−−−¦⏑−⏑−   Siloka
khaṇo ve mā upaccagā! (Th 1004)


Siloka & Gaṇacchandas

Siloka lines appear in gaṇacchandas verses a surprising number of times. It seems to be the rule that when the two metres share a pādayuga, Siloka takes the odd line.

Gotama's gāthās Th 587-596 provide a good example of the mixing of Siloka lines in what are otherwise gaṇacchandas verses:   

−−⏑−¦⏑−−−   Siloka
Ācāragocare yutto

−−¦−−¦⏑−⏑¦−−¦−   Gīti
ājīvo sodhito agārayho

−−¦⏑⏑−¦⏑⏑−   Ariyā
cittassa ca saṇṭhapanaṁ:

−−¦⏑⏑−¦⏑¦⏑⏑−¦−   Ariyā
etaṁ samaṇassa paṭirūpaṁ.


−−−⏑¦⏑−−−   Siloka
Cārittaṁ atha vārittaṁ,

−−¦⏑⏑−¦⏑¦−⏑⏑¦−   Ariyā
iriyāpathiyaṁ pasādaniyaṁ

⏑⏑−−¦⏑−−−   Siloka
adhicitte ca āyogo:

−−¦⏑⏑−¦⏑¦⏑⏑−¦−   Ariyā
etaṁ samaṇassa paṭirūpaṁ. (Th 590-1)