Vuttodaya, The Composition of Metre

Vuttodaya Dīp: Vttodaya; Th: Vuttodayappakaraṇaṁ.

Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammāsambuddhassa MP, MR14, Sid: Namo Buddhāya.
Reverence to Him, the Auspicious One, the Worthy One, the Perfect Sambuddha

[1. Saññāparibhāsāniddeso] Sid: Pathamo Paricchedo; Th: Saññāparibhāsāniddesa-paṭhamapariccheda. The chapter titles given here are extracted from the end titles that appear at the end of each chapter, they do not appear in the manuscripts, and have therefore been placed in brackets.
The Description of the Technical Terms and Symbols

Homage

⏑−⏑⏑¦⏑−−⏑¦⏑⏑−−¦⏑−⏑−
Namatthu janasantānatamasantānabhedino,
−−⏑−¦⏑⏑⏑−¦¦⏑−−−¦⏑−⏑−
Dhammujjalantarucino Munindodātarocino. The metre of the opening chapter (apart from v. 9) is written in Vatta metre, which is described in Chapter 5 below. [1]

Namo + atthu = may you revere (imp.); jana = people; santāna = spread; tama = darkness; santāna = (as before, but here meaning that which is spread out =) rays; bhedino = break up; Dhamma = the Teaching; ujjalanta = shining; rucino = splendid; Muni + Inda = Lord of Sages; odātarocino Odātarocino, the second -o- is m.c. = rucino; Vuttodayavivaraṇa says: gāthāsukhattham-ukārassokāro. = moon-like.

May you revere the moon-like Lord of Sages, who, with his splendid, shining Teaching breaks up the rays of darkness that have spread among the people.

 

Reason for the Composition of this Work

−⏑−⏑¦⏑−−−¦¦−−⏑⏑¦⏑−⏑−
Piṅgalācariyādīhi chandaṁ yam-uditaṁ purā,
−⏑−⏑¦⏑−−−¦¦⏑−−⏑¦⏑−⏑−
Suddhamāgadhīkānan-taṁ na sādheti yathicchitaṁ. a) MP, Wim: -ācariyādihi; c) Vim: Sudha-; MK, Laṅk, Sid, Kat, Th: -kānaṁ; d) Fry, Sid: yaticchitaṁ; [2]

Piṅgala = proper name; acariya = teacher; ādīhi = beginning with; chandaṁ = prosody; yam = which; uditaṁ = written (lit: spoken); purā = before; Suddha + Māgadhīkānan = for those who know Pure Māgadhī; taṁ = that; na = not; sādheti = serve the purpose; yathā = in the way; icchitaṁ = desired.

That prosody which was written before, beginning with the teacher Piṅgala, does not serve the purpose for those who know Pure Māgadhī, in the way it is desired.

Piṅgalācariya’s treatise on prosody is called Chandaḥ Śāstram. It forms the basis for Śrī Kedārabhaṭṭa’s Vttaratnākara, which itself forms the basis for Vuttodaya. There are many commentaries on the Chandaḥ Śāstram, the most important being Mtasañjīvanī by Śrī Halāyudhabhaṭṭa.

We might have expected that Ven. Saṅgharakkhita would have named Śrī Kedārabhaṭṭa or his work Vttaratnākara here, which is the source for most of the material that follows, but he misses the opportunity.

Māgadhī is the name of the language we now designate as Pāḷi, in the medieval commentaries and grammers it is usually referred to as Māgadhī, as it was believed to have been the language of Magadha, where the Buddha spent much of his teaching career. It was also known as Suddhamāgadhī, to distinguish it from e.g. Ardhamāgadhī (lit: half-Māgadhī), the language of the Jaina canon.

 

The Extent of this Book

Mātrāvarṇavibhedena When we have good parallels, or partial parallels from Chandaḥ Śāstram or Vttaratnākara I include them above the Vuttoadaya verse for comparison. cchandastadiha kathyate || VR 4cd ||
Tenedaṁ kriyate chando lakṣyalakṣaṇasaṁyutaṁ || VR 3ab ||

⏑−−⏑¦⏑−−−¦¦−−−⏑¦⏑−⏑−
Tato Māgadhabhāsāya, mattāvaṇṇavibhedanaṁ,
−⏑−⏑¦⏑−−−¦¦⏑−−⏑¦⏑−⏑−
Lakkhalakkhaṇasaṁyuttaṁ, pasannatthapadakkamaṁ. b) Dīp: -bhedinaṁ; c) MK, MP, Fry, Kat, Th: Lakkhya-; [3]

Tato = therefore; Māgadha + bhāsāya = in the language of Magadha; mattā = measure (metres); vaṇṇa = syllabic (metres); bhedanaṁ = divided; lakkha = examples; lakkhaṇa = characteristics; saṁyuttaṁ = together with; pasanna = pleasing; attha = sense; pada = line; kamaṁ = order.

Therefore (this prosody), in the language of the country of Magadha, is divided into measure (metres), and syllabic (metres), together with examples and characteristics, in pleasing lines that have (good) sense and order.

For the measure metres see Chapter 2; for the syllabic metres see Chapters 3–5.

A pada is one of the four lines that make up the normal verse structure, see v. 10c below.

 

The Name of the Book

Atha laukikam || ChŚā 4:8 ||
Vttaratnākaraṁ nāma bālānāṁ sukhasiddhaye
Piṅgalādibhirācāryairyaduktaṁ laukikaṁ dvidhā || VR 3cd & 4ab ||

⏑−−−¦⏑−−−¦¦−⏑−−¦⏑−⏑−
Idaṁ Vuttodayaṁ nāma, lokiyacchandanissitaṁ,
−⏑−−¦⏑−−−¦¦−−⏑⏑¦⏑−⏑−
Ārabhissāmahaṁ dāni, tesaṁ sukhavibuddhiyā a) MP: Vuttodayan-nāma; c) MR93: Ārabhissāmahan-dāni; MR14, Vim, Dhm, Laṅk: Ārabhissamahan-dāni; Sid: Ārabhiissam (printer’s error); [4]

Idaṁ = this; Vuttodayaṁ = The Composition of Metre; Vivaraṇa: Vuttassa mattāvaṇṇavibhedassudayo yasmā taṁ, evaṁ nāmakaṁ pakaraṇaṁ–as it deals with the composition of both the measure and syllabic metres, the name of the book is (Vuttodaya). nāma = named; lokiya + chanda = (i.e. prosody pertaining to the world =) classical prosody; nissitaṁ = concerned with; ārabhissāmi = I will begin (fut); ahaṁ = I; dāni = now; tesaṁ = of those; sukha + vibuddhiyā = easy comprehension.

This (prosody) named Vuttodaya (The Composition of Metre), which is concerned with classical prosody, I will now begin, for the easy comprehension of those (who know Suddhamāgadhī).

Laukiya in Sanskrit signifies non-Vedic; in Pāḷi Lokiya has to be taken as meaning non-Canonical. It should be noted that in this verse the author expressly states that this prosody is not meant as a description of the Canonical prosody, but is concerned with the non-Canonical material of a later date, which we would now call classical prosody.

In passing down the Canonical texts, however, it appears that many of the texts were ‘corrected’ to Medieval standards, something that is especially noticeable in the Burmese tradition.

 

Symbols in the Syllabic Metres

Dhī-śrī-strī m; varā sā y; kā guhā r; vasudhā s; sā te kva t; kadā sa j; kiṁ vada bh; na hasa n; g l || ChŚā 1:1–9 ||
Sarvagurmo mukhāntarlau yarāvantagalau satau |
Gmadhyādyau jbhau trilo no ’ṣṭau bhavantyatra guṇāstrikāḥ || VR 7 ||

−−−−¦⏑⏑⏑−¦¦−−−⏑¦⏑−⏑−
Sabbaglā mnādi, galahubhyā, majjhantagarū jasā,
−−⏑−¦⏑−−−¦¦⏑−−⏑¦⏑−⏑−
Majjhantalā rateteṭṭha gaṇā; go garu lo lahu. a) MK, MR93, Vim, Dhm, Laṅk: -glahubhyā; MR14, Dīp: glahūbhyā; Kat, Th: -lahū; b) MR14, MR93, Sid: -gurū; c) Fry: majjhanta-la ra t’, ete ’ṭtha; MK: ratetāṭṭha; MR14, Vim, Dhm, Laṅk, Sid: ratetaṭṭha; d) MP: ganā; MR14, MR93, Dīp: guru. [5]

Sabba = all; glā = heavy syllable + light syllable; mnā = magaṇa + nagaṇa; ādi = beginning with; galahubhyā = heavy syllable + light syllable + bhagaṇa + yagaṇa; majjha = middle; anta = end; garū = heavy syllables; jasā = jagaṇa + sagaṇa; majjha = middle; anta = end; = light syllables; ra = ragaṇa; ta = tagaṇa; iti Fryer seems to think this is ete, but the Sannaya reads: iti, mesē. = thus; aṭṭha = eight; gaṇā = bars; go = i.e this word ‘go’; garu = heavy syllable; lo = i.e. this word ‘lo’; lahu = light syllable.

1) Bars which are all heavy syllables (or) all light are (called) ma and na (respectively).
2) (Bars) beginning with a heavy syllable (or) with a light are (called) bha and ya.
3) (Bars) with a heavy syllable in the middle (or) at the end are (called) ja and sa.
4) (Bars) with a light syllable in the middle (or) at the end are (called) ra and ta.
5) Thus (there are) eight bars; ga = heavy syllable; la = light syllable.

Here is a chart giving the bars as outlined in this verse, together with their Greek names:

Indian names: Greek names:
ma or magaṇa −−− molossus
na or nagaṇa ⏑⏑⏑ tribrachys
bha or bhagaṇa −⏑⏑ dactylus
ya or yagaṇa ⏑−− bacchius
ja or jagaṇa ⏑−⏑ amphibrachys
sa or sagaṇa ⏑⏑− anapaest
ra or ragaṇa −⏑− cretius, amphimacer
ta or tagaṇa −−⏑ palimbacchius

ga or garu heavy syllable
la or lahu light syllable

This is known as the Trika (Triplets) system in the Sanskrit prosodies.

Ga is short for garu, heavy syllable; la is short for lahu, light syllable. Similarly the gaṇa names are abbreviated to ma, na, bha, ya, ja, sa, ra, & ta. These are often run together in the verses; they are sometimes written out in full, and sometimes abbreviated (as g’ or l’ m’ etc.) according to the exigencies of the metre.

All these symbols are conjugated as normal masculines in -a. Therefore nominative singular go, lo, mo, etc.; nominative plural gā, lā, mā, etc. (note that these plurals very often represent the dual, which is used in the Sanskrit prosodies, but has been lost in Pāḷi). In Sanskrit theory, genuine plurality only begins with three of anything, and this was observed in Grammar also. Therefore the Sanskrit prosodies, through their employment of the dual, could be more specific about the number than the Pāḷi, which has only the singular and plural forms, with the dual absorbed into the plural.

Other cases which are not so frequent: instrumental singular: bhena (v. 122); instrumental plural: gehi (v. 59), sehi (v. 74, 81), yehi (v. 78) rehi (v. 79); ablative singular: bhā (vv. 48, 68) sato (v. 112).

There is a memorial verse found in some editions of the Sanskrit prosody Śrutabodha, which summarises the gaṇa system rather succintly:

Ādimadhyāvasāneṣu bhajasā yānti gauravam
Yaratā lāghavaṁ yānti manau tu gurulāghavam.

Heavy syllables are found in the beginning, middle, and end of bhagaṇa (−⏑⏑), jagaṇa (⏑−⏑), & sagaṇa (⏑⏑−) (respectively).
Light syllables are found (in the beginning, middle, & end of) yagaṇa (⏑−−), ragaṇa (−⏑−), & tagaṇa (−−⏑) (respectively).
But magaṇa (−−−) & nagaṇa (⏑⏑⏑) are (all) heavy & (all) light (respectively).

This sequence is a mnemonic:

⏑ − − − ⏑ − ⏑ ⏑ ⏑ −
ya mā tā rā ja bhā na sa la gā

Here yagaṇa is calculated as the weight of the three syllables that it starts with (ya mā tā = ⏑−−); the same with the others, with the exception of lahu and garu, of course.

ya = yavipulā ⏑−− ya mā tā
mā= mavipulā −−− mā tā rā
tā= tavipulā −−⏑ tā rā ja
ja= javipulā ⏑−⏑ ja bhā na
bhā= bhavipulā −⏑⏑ bhā na sa
na= navipulā ⏑⏑⏑ na sa la
sa= savipulā ⏑⏑− sa la gā
la= laghu la
gā= garu

As can be seen, what we have here is a shorthand system for describing the verses, and as such it works well enough. Unfortunately, however, it also serves to hide certain relationships in the metres. If we take the following shorthand descriptions:

ta-ta-ja-ga-ga = Indavajirā
sa-ya-sa-ya = Kamalā
ta-bha-ja-ja-ga-ga = Vasantatilakā

It is hard to see any relationship between the metres at all, and yet they are in fact intimately related, as they have all developed out of the Vedic Tuṭṭhubha metre. This is easy to see when we write out the sequence of light and heavy syllables:

−−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−×
⏑⏑−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−×
same with resolution at the 1st syllable
−−⏑−¦⏑⏑⏑−⏑⏑¦−⏑−× same with insertion of three lights at the 5th

The other problem with the system, is that it seems to indicate that the metres are made up of rhythmic units of three syllables, which are then combined to make up a metre, which is not the case at all.

In fact most metres are made up of smaller metrons of three, four, seven and eight syllables – and sometimes five or six syllables – or combinations of these, which then make up the longer lines, like the 8-syllabic Anuṣṭubh (4+4 in the cadence), 11-syllablic Triṣṭubh (7+4, later: 4+3+4), 12-syllabic Jagatī (7+5, later: 4+3+5), and so on. Even the later long metres, or at least the most successful of these metres, use these combinations, like Mālinī (7+8), Mandākrāntā (4+6+7), Śārdūlavikrīḍitam (12+7), Sragdharā (7+7+7), etc.

The most prominent patterns that turn up are in the cadence especially, and later, in the opening.

Popular cadences include:

¦−⏑−× Indravajrā, Indavaṁśā, etc. and
¦−⏑−⏑× Vaṁśastham, Rucirā, etc.
which show an alternation of syllabic weight; others also occur, like the long cadence:
¦−⏑−−⏑−× Śālini, Vaiśvadevī, Mālinī, etc.
and metres derived from the measure metres
¦⏑−⏑× Vetālīya Also used in the Śloka cadence, of course. and derived metres like Bhadrikā, etc.
¦−⏑⏑−× Āpātalikā and derived metres like Toṭaka, Svāgatā, etc.

Popular openings:

−−⏑−¦ Indravajrā, Vasantatilakā, etc.
⏑−⏑−¦ Upendravajrā, Vaṁśastham, etc.
as well as runs of light syllables, derived from measure metre openings; or of heavy ones, which are later resolved in the cadence:
⏑⏑⏑⏑⏑⏑¦ Puṭa, Ujjvalā, etc.
⏑⏑⏑⏑⏑⏑−¦ Aparājitā, Paharaṇakalitā, etc.
−−−−¦ Vidyunmālā, Śālinī, Mandākrāntā, etc.
−−−−−¦ Vaiśvadevī, Kusumitalatāvellitā, etc.

It is these metra that combine to form the metres and give them their distinctive feel and rhythm.

 

Symbols in the Bar Metres

Gau gantamadhyādirnlaś-ca || ChŚā 4:13 ||
Jñeyāḥ sarvāntamadhyādi guravo ’tra catuṣkalāḥ |
Gaṇāścaturlaghūpetāḥ pañcāryādiṣu saṁsthitāḥ || VR 8 ||

⏑⏑−−¦⏑⏑⏑−¦¦−⏑−−¦⏑−⏑−
Bhajasā sabbagalahū pañcime saṇṭhitā gaṇā
⏑⏑−−¦⏑−−−¦¦⏑−⏑⏑¦⏑−⏑−
Ariyādimhi; viññeyyā gaṇo idha catukkalo. a) Vim, Dhm, Laṅk: -glahu; Dīp: glahū; MP, MR93: -glāhu; MK: -galahu; b) MP: ganā. [6]

Bhajasā = bhagaṇa + jagaṇa + sagaṇa; sabba = all; galahū = heavy syllables + light syllables; pañca + ime = these five; saṇṭhitā = occur; gaṇā = bars; Ariyā = Proper name; ādimhi = beginning with (loc.); viññeyyā = should be known (opt.); gaṇo = bar; idha = here; catu + kalo = four instants.

1) Bha, ja, sa, all heavy, all light – these five bars occur in the (metres) beginning with the Ariyā;
2) It should be known that here (i.e. in Ariyā) a bar has four instants.

We can display the gaṇa chart thus:

bhagaṇa −⏑⏑ dactylus
jagaṇa ⏑−⏑ amphibrachys
sagaṇa ⏑⏑− anapaest
magaṇa −− spondee
nagaṇa ⏑⏑⏑⏑ trybachus

It should be noted that magaṇa and nagaṇa differ in the syllabic and bar systems. This is because in the bar metres there can only be four instants (mattā) in a bar, therefore magaṇa has only two heavy syllables, and for the same reason nagaṇa has four syllables, to make up the necessary four mattā.

When the author refers to the Ariyā metres, he is using the term as a generic name. In modern works these are usually referred to as Gaṇacchandas, or bar, metres, and are distintinguished from the Mattacchandas, or measure metres, such as Vetālīya and Opacchandasaka.

 

Heavy and Light Syllables

Gante; dhrādiparaḥ; he; lau saḥ; glau; aṣṭau vasava hati || ChŚā 1:9–15 ||
Sānusvāro visargānto dīrgho yuktaparaśca yaḥ |
Vā pādānte tvasau gvakro jñeyo ’nyo mātriko ljuḥ || VR 9 ||

−−−⏑¦⏑−−−¦¦−⏑−⏑¦⏑−⏑−
Saṁyogādi ca, dīgho ca, niggahītaparo ca yo
⏑⏑−−¦⏑−−−¦¦−−−−¦⏑−⏑−
Garuvaṅko padanto vā, rassoñño mattiko luju. a) Vim: ādī; c) MR14, MR93, Vim, Dhm, Dīp, Laṅk, Sid: Guru-; MR14, MR93: -vaṁko; Kat, Th: pādanto (against the metre); MP: padaṁto; Vim: lūju. [7]

Saṁyoga = conjunct (consonant); ādi = (at the beginning of, i.e.) before; ca = and; dīgho = long vowel; ca = and; niggahīta = the pure nasal sound, which is produced when the air escapes solely through the nasal passage, it is written as ṃ, or ṁ, or sometimes ŋ; paro = before; ca = and; yo = that which; garu = heavy syllable; vaṅko = curved; pada = line; anto = end; = or; rassa = short; añño = other; mattiko = a measure; la = light syllable; uju = straight.

1) (That vowel) which is before a conjunct,
2) and the long one,
3) and that which is before niggahīta;
4) or at the end of a line,
is heavy, and (its sign) is a curved (line).
5) The other, short (vowel), with only one measure,
is light, and (its sign) is a straight (line).

This is the convention that is followed in India and the one that the author was familiar with. In the Sanskrit prosodies written in Devanāgarī script the metrical markings are indicated as I = light syllable; S = heavy syllable. In Sinhala works on the subject normally = light syllable; = heavy syllable, which is the exact opposite to the convention used in Europe. Occasionally in Sinhala works we also see used to indicate the heavy syllable.

As stated in the Introduction, however, the convention employed in this edition is the one familiar in Europe, and is therefore the opposite of what is stated here.

It may be pointed out here that vowel length and metrical weight are not the same thing. To find the metrical weight we have to know the length of the vowel, and what follows it. As stated in the rule, a vowel before a conjunct consonant is normally heavy in weight, and so is the vowel which precedes niggahīta. A long vowel and the last syllable in a line are also normally considered as heavy.

Here is a chart showing the weight of syllables graphically:

 

 

 

SYLLABLES

V
O
W
E
L
S

 

 

open

closed

short:

a i u

variable:

eo

long:

ā ī ū

(−)

We can illustrate this with the first verse of the Dāṭhāvaṁsa by a contemporary of Ven Saṅgharakkhita, Ven Dhammakitti:

⏑−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−⏑−
Visāradaṁ vādapathātivattinaṁ
⏑−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−⏑−
tilokapajjotam-asayhasāhinaṁ
⏑−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−⏑−
asesañeyyāvaraṇappahāyinaṁ
⏑−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−⏑−
namāmi satthāram-anantagocaraṁ.

We may note that the following syllables are heavy because of being before a double consonant: line a: 8th; line b 4th, 8th; line c 8th; line d: 4th, 8th.

The following are heavy because the vowel is long: line a: 2nd, 4th, 7th; line b: 2nd, 5th, 10th; line c: 2nd, 4th, 5th 10th; line d: 2nd, 5th, 6th, 10th.

When followed by a vowel niggahīta may be changed to labial -m, which then retains the lightness of the syllable, as we can see at line b: 6th; d: 6th.

Being followed by niggahīta, the following syllables are heavy: line a: 3rd; line b, c, d: 11th. Even if one of these were light, it would have been counted as heavy by virtue of being at the end of the line. In recitation there is a pause at the end of each pāda which gives it added weight.

In the Medieval period we quite often find that a compound crosses the seam of a pādayuga; then the last syllable must be marked as light, as there is no pause involved, as in the second pādayuga of the Siloka verse 321 of Jinacaritaṁ, by Ven. Saṅgharakkhita’s disciple Ven. Vanaratana Medhaṅkara: Cf. the opening verse of Vuttodaya and also verse 15 below.

−−−−¦⏑−−⏑¦⏑⏑−−¦⏑−⏑− pathyā
ussāpetvāna saddhammajayatthūṇuttamaṁ subhaṁ
⏑−−⏑¦⏑−−⏑¦−−−−¦⏑−⏑− pathyā
patiṭṭhāpiya lokekarājā hutvā sivaṅkaro

The same is true of the longer metres also, as in verse 222 from Jinacarita, written in Vasantatilaka metre (14 syllables to the line):

−−⏑−¦⏑⏑⏑−⏑⏑¦−⏑−⏑¦−−⏑−¦⏑⏑⏑−⏑⏑¦−⏑−−
brahmāsurāsuramahoragapakkhirājasaṁsajjitoruvaṭume dipadānam-indo
−−⏑−¦⏑⏑⏑−⏑⏑¦−⏑−−¦¦−−⏑−¦⏑⏑⏑−⏑⏑¦−⏑−−
pāyāsi sotthiyadvijo Here -dv- doesn't make position, see the next two verses. tiṇahārako taṁ disvāna tassa adadā tiṇamuṭṭhiyo so

 

Syllables not Making Position

Pādādāviha varṇasya saṁyogaḥ kramasaṁjñakaḥ |
Puraḥsthitena tena syāllaghutāpi kvacidguroḥ || VR 10 ||
Idamasyodāharaṇaṁ:

⏑−−−¦⏑−−−¦¦−−−⏑¦⏑−⏑−
Pare pādādisaṁyoge yo pubbo garukakkharo
⏑⏑−⏑¦⏑−−−¦¦⏑⏑−⏑¦⏑−⏑−
Lahu sa kvaci viññeyyo, tad-udāharaṇaṁ yathā: b) MR14: guru-; MR93: guru-v-akkharo; MP, Vim, Dīp, Laṅk, Sid: garu-v-akkharo; c) Sid: lahū; MR93: viṁñeyyo. [8]

Pare = before; pāda = line; ādi = at the beginning; saṁyoge = conjunct (consonant); yo = which; pubbo = before; garuka = heavy syllable; akkharo = syllable; lahu = light syllable; sa = that; kvaci = sometimes; viññeyyo = should be known (opt.); tad + udāharaṇaṁ = this example; yathā = as.

That syllable which is heavy (because it comes) before a conjunct at the beginning of a line should sometimes be known as light – as in this example:

 

Example Verse

⏑⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−−,¦¦⏑−⏑¦−−¦⏑−⏑¦⏑⏑−¦−
Taruṇaṁ sarṣapaśākaṁ navodanaṁ picchilāni ca dadhīni |
−−¦⏑−⏑¦−⏑⏑,¦¦−⏑⏑¦−−¦⏑¦−−¦−
Alpavyayena sundari grāmyajano miṣṭamaśnāti || VR 11 ||

−⏑⏑¦⏑−⏑¦⏑⏑−,¦¦⏑−⏑¦−−¦⏑−⏑¦−⏑⏑¦−
“Dassanarasānubhavane nibaddhagedhā Jinassayaṁ janatā
−⏑⏑¦⏑⏑−¦−⏑⏑,¦¦⏑−⏑¦−−¦⏑¦−⏑⏑¦−
Vimhayajananī saññata kriyā – nu kaṁ nānurañjayati?” c) MR93: saṁñata; MP: saññatu; d) MK, Dhm: kaṇ-ṇānuraṁjayati; MR93, Vim, Dīp, Laṅk: kan-nānuraṁjayati; MP: kan-nānuraṁjayatī; Fry: nānurañjayate. [9]

“Through experiencing the pleasure of seeing the Victor this generation has a strong longing, his self-control causes wonder – whom would he not delight?”

The verse is written in Classical Ariyā metre, a full description of which occurs in Chapter 2. We can see that the end vowel in saññata has to be marked as light m.c., despite being followed by the conjunct consonant kr, which would normally make it long. This is the point that is being made with the verse.

The same point is made in the Āryā verse from Vttaratnākara, there the end vowel in sundari has to be scanned as light, even though it is followed by gr-.

The conjuncts that fail to make position normally have one of the semi-vowels (y, r, l) in the conjunct, as -r- in both of these cases.

 

Conventional Numbers, Lines, and the Word-Break

Yatirvacchedaḥ || ChŚā 6:1 ||
Abdhibhūtarasādīnāṁ jñeyāḥ saṁjñāstu lokataḥ |
Jñeyaḥ pādaścaturthāṁśo yatirvicchedasaṁjñitaḥ || VR 12 ||

−−−−¦⏑−−−¦¦⏑−−⏑¦⏑−⏑−
Viññeyyā lokato saññā: samuddosurasādinaṁ.
−−−−¦⏑−−−¦¦⏑−−−¦⏑−⏑−
Pādo ñeyyo catutthaṁso; padacchedo yatibbhave. b) Sid: samuddotu-; c) MK: ñeyyā; Kat: catutthaṁ so (sic); d) Kat, Th: yatī bhave. [10]

Viññeyyā = should be known (opt.); lokato = in the world (abl, with loc. meaning); saññā = signs; samudda = ocean; isu = arrow; rasa = taste; ādinaṁ = and so on; pādo = line; ñeyyo = should be known (opt.); catuttha = fourth; aṁso = part; pada + cheda = word-break; yati = diaeresis, or word-break; bhave = should be (opt.).

1) The (conventional) signs that are used in the world should be known: the (four) oceans; the (five) arrows; the (six) tastes, and so on.
2) A pāda (line) should be known as (being) one fourth part (of a verse);
3) the word-break should be (known) as a yati.

The first pādayuga refers to the fact that in Indian writings numbers are often referred to metaphorically, by something that is well known as having a number invariably attached to it. Siddhartha gives the following examples: the (one) moon, chanda; the (two) eyes, nayana; this is known as bhūtasaṅkhyāvidhi. Siddhartha is mistaken in his note to this verse, where he says that: The terms pāda and pada are being used synonymously. In fact, here, pāda refers to a line; pada to a word.

The words used as bhūtasaṅkhyā in Vuttodaya may be listed here: Note that neither PED nor DP (vol 1) give these bhutasaṅkhyā meanings for the words listed here, though they do appear in CPD and in the Sanskrit Dictionaries.

Veda = 4 (vv. 66, 78)
Yuga = 4 (ages) (vv. 76, 97, 98)
Aṇṇavā = 4 (oceans) (vv. 38, 116, 122, 124) (Skt = Arṇava)
Ambudhi = 4 (oceans) (v. 74)
Sindhu = 4 (oceans) (vv. 117, 118)
Jaladhi = 4 (oceans) (v. 119)
Akkha = 5 (dice) (v. 99) (= Akṣa)
Rasa = 6 (tastes) (vv. 96, 97, 100)
Utu = 6 (seasons) (vv. 98, 99, 100) (= Ṛtu)
Assa = 7 (horses) (vv. 66, 83, 98, 100, 101) (= Aśva)
Isi = 7 (seers) (vv. 93, 97, 99) (= Ṛṣi)
Sara = 7 (lakes) (v. 88) (= Saras)
Haya = 7 (horses) (vv. 91, 92)
Muni = 7 (sages) (v. 103)
Vasu = 8 (gods) (vv. 36, 76, 92)
Bhogi = 8 (snakes) (v. 93)
Gaha = 9 (planets) (v. 87) (= Graha)
Hara This form not listed in SED, but s.v. Rudra, where Hara is given as one of the names of the 11 Rudras. = 11 (gods) (v. 96)
Akka = 12 (the sun, whose zodiacal signs are twelve) (v. 101) (= Akra)

Following Piṅgala, the yati or word break became an important part of the verse structure in the Sanskrit metres, and it is virtually invariable there; but in Pāḷi it was applied in a much freer way, as we will see many times in the examples accompanying the metres below.

 

The Types of Syllabic Metres, 1) Samavutta

Samam-Ardhasamaṁ Viṣamaṁ ca || ChŚā 5:2 ||
Samam-Ardhasamaṁ vttaṁ Viṣamaṁ ca tathāparam || VR 13cd ||
Aṅghrayo yasya catvārastulyalakṣaṇalakṣitāḥ |
Tacchandaḥśāstratattvajñāḥ Samaṁ vttaṁ pracakṣate || VR 14 ||

⏑⏑−⏑¦⏑−−−¦¦⏑⏑−−¦⏑−⏑−
Samam-Addhasamaṁ vuttaṁ Visamaṁ cāparaṁ tidhā.
⏑−−⏑¦⏑−−−¦¦−−−−¦⏑−⏑−
Samā lakkhaṇato pādā cattāro yassa taṁ Samaṁ. a) Fry, Kat: Aḍḍhasamaṁ–Kat normally reads aḍḍha- , but fails to note the variants in the editions it quotes; Sid: vutaṁ (printer’s error); Dīp: vutta (printer’s error); b) MP, Fry, Vim: Visamañ-cāparaṁ; MR14, MR93: Visamañ-cāparan-tidhā; Sid: tathā; c) MP: Samaṁ lakkhanato; MR93: pāda; d) Sid: cattaro (printer’s error); [11]

Samam = proper name; Addhasamaṁ = proper name; vuttaṁ = metre; Visamaṁ = proper name; ca aparaṁ = and furthermore; ti = three; idha = here; Samā = same; lakkhaṇato = from the characteristic (abl.); pādā = lines; cattāro = four; yassa = which; taṁ = that; Samaṁ = proper name.

Here, the syllabic metres are of three kinds: 1) Sama (= Similar), 2) Addhasama (= Half-Similar), and furthermore 3) the Visama (= Dissimilar).
1) That which has the characteristic of the four lines being the same is the Sama.

 

2) Addhasamavutta, and 3) Visamavutta

Prathamāṅghrisamo yasya ttīyaścaraṇo bhavet |
Dvitīyasturyavadvttaṁ tad-Ardhasamamucyate || VR 15 ||
Yasya pādacatuṣko ’pi lakṣma bhinnaṁ parasparam |
Tadāhurviṣamaṁ vttaṁ chandaḥśāstraviśāradāḥ || VR 16 ||

−−⏑−¦⏑⏑⏑−¦¦⏑⏑−−¦⏑−⏑−
Yassantimena dutiyo, tatiyenādimo samo
⏑−⏑⏑¦⏑−−−¦¦−⏑−⏑¦⏑−⏑−
Tad-Addhasamam-aññan-tu bhinnalakkhaṇapādikaṁ. a) MP: yaṁssa-; b) MR14: tatiyo-; c) Fry: aḍḍha-; Kat: Aḍḍha-...aññaṁ tu; Th: -aññaṁ tu; d) Sid: -lakkhṇamādikaṁ (sic); MP: -lakkhana-. [12]

Yassa = that which; antimena = last; dutiyo = second; tatiyena = third; ādimo = the beginning; samo = same; tad = that; Addhasamam = Half-Similar; aññan = other; tu = but; bhinna = not agreeing; lakkhaṇa + pādikaṁ = line characteristics (not in PED).

2) That which has the second with the last (line), and the beginning with the third the same – that is the Addhasama.
3) But (in) the other (i.e. the Visama), the line-characteristics do not agree.

Apart from the Vatta, which will come up for description in Chapter 5, by far the most common of the syllabic metres in the Classical period are the Samavutta (Similar) metres, in which all four lines follow the same pattern. Much less frequent, though still found, are the Addhasamavutta (Half-Similar) metres, in which the first and second lines are different to each other, and are repeated to make up a verse. Very rare are the Visamavutta (Dissimilar) metres, which have all four lines differing from each other.

In Vuttodaya 61 Samavutta metres are described, this compares with 11 Addhasamavutta metres, and only one metre in the Visamavutta section – and that is the Vatta, which is not a true Visamavutta metre. Similarly in the Vttodaya Pariśiṣṭaya Written by Ven. Dīpaṅkara. (Supplement) there are a further 111 Samavutta metres, 5 additional Addhasamavutta metres – but not even one metre of the Visamavutta class.

We can see in Ven. Saṅgharakkhita’s translation from the two Sanskrit verses here, some of the wonderful economy he is capable of, as he manages to convey the same information, but in only one verse.

 

The Names of the Syllabic Metres

Ārabhyaikākṣarātpādādekaikākṣaravardhitaiḥ |
Pthakchando bhavetpādairyāvatṣaḍviṁśatiṁ gatam || VR 17 ||

−⏑−−¦⏑−−−¦¦−⏑−−¦⏑−⏑−
Pādam-ekakkharārabbha, yāva chabbīsatakkharaṁ
⏑−−−¦⏑−−−¦¦−−−−¦⏑−⏑−
Bhave pādehi taṁ chandaṁ nānānāmoditaṁ; tato... a) MR93: -ārambha; MP: -ārabbhā; b) MR14, MR93, Vim, Dhm, Dīp, Laṅk: -akkharo; MP, Fry, Kat, Th: -akkharā; d) MK: -nāmoditan-; [13]

Pādam = line; eka = one; akkhara = syllable; ārabbha = beginning; yāva = up to; chabbīsati = twenty-six; akkharaṁ = syllable; bhave = should be (opt.); pādehi = with lines (inst.); taṁ = that; chandaṁ = metre; nānā = various; nāma = name; uditaṁ = called; tato = further.

Beginning with the line that has one syllable, up to (the one with) twenty-six syllables – that metre with these lines should be (called) by various names; further...

Although theoretically there are metres having anything from one syllable to 26 and more, in fact most of these are not found in the literature. As we will see below in Chapters 3 & 4, only the metres having from 6 syllables to 22 syllables are described in Vuttodaya – and even some of these are not found in the poetical works that survive, and are really only seen in the literature written to illustrate the prosody.

The names of the metres are not given in Vuttodaya, but they are given in Vttaratnākara (vv. 19–21), where the following verses are found:

Uktātyuktā tathā Madhyā Pratiṣṭhānyā Su-pūrvikā |
Gāyatryuṣṇiganuṣṭup ca Bhatī Paṅktireva ca || VR 19 ||

Triṣṭup ca Jagatī caiva tathātijagatī matā |
Śakvarī sātipūrvā syādaṣṭyatyaṣṭī tataḥ smte || VR 20 ||

Dhtiścātidhtiścaiva Ktiḥ Praktirāktiḥ |
Viktiḥ Saṅktiścaiva tathātiktirutktiḥ || VR 21 ||

For reference here is a table giving the names of the classes of the Samavutta metres from those that have 1 syllable up to those with 26, with their Pāḷi and Sanskrit names, the number of metres described in Vuttodaya, and the number of metres that are theoretically possible for each class:

Syllables:

Pāḷi:

Sanskrit:

Number in Vuttodaya:

Number in Vttaratnākara

Possible Number:

1:

Uttā

Uktā

1

2

2:

Accuttā

Atyuktā

1

4

3:

Majjhā

Madhyā

2

8

4:

Patiṭṭhā

Pratiṣṭhā

1

16

5:

Suppatiṭṭhā

Supratiṣṭhā

1

32

6:

Gāyattī

Gāyatrī

1

3

64

7:

Uṇhi

Uṣṇiḥ

1

1

128

8:

Anuṭṭhubha

Anuṣṭubh

5

7

256

9:

Brahatī

Bhatī

2

2

512

10:

Panti

Paṅkti

7

7

1,024

11:

Tuṭṭhubha

Triṣṭubh

12

15

2,048

12:

Jagatī

Jagatī

14

21

4,096

13:

Atijagatī

Atijagatī

2

5

8,192

14:

Sakkarī

Sakvarī

3

6

16,384

15:

Atisakkarī

Atisakvarī

4

7

32,768

16:

Aṭṭhi

Aṣṭi

1

2

65,536

17:

Accaṭṭhi

Atyaṣṭi

3

7

131,072

18:

Dhuti

Dhti

1

1

262,144

19:

Atidhuti

Atidhti

2

1

524,288

20:

Kati

Kti

1

2

1,048,576

21:

Pakati

Prakti

1

1

2,097,152

22:

Ākati

Ākti

1

1

4,194,304

23:

Vikati

Vikti

2

8,388,608

24:

Saṅkati

Saṅkti

1

16,777,216

25:

Atikati

Atikti

2

33,554,432

26:

Ukkati

Utkti

2

67,108,864

61

102

134,217,726

As can be seen, despite the enormous amount of possibilities, only a very few metres are recorded in Vuttodaya, and even then they are concentrated in the Anuṭṭhubha, Tuṭṭhubha and Jagatī classes, which total 31 out of the 61 Samavutta metres described. In the exhaustive collection from Classical sources made by H D Velankar in his Jayadāman (p. 56), there are a total of approx. 600 Samavtta metres listed, of which he believes only 100 were really in use, and only 25 regularly. For reasons stated in my edition of Vttaratnākara, I believe the number of metres in that work is exaggerated by addition to the text, This is even after relegating to the notes dozens of metres which have clearly been added in. and the number should probably be around 86.

The generic names like Gāyattī, Uṇhi, etc. are many times drawn from the Vedic metres, where however they have a different significance. The Gāyatrī (Pāḷi, Gāyattī), for instance, in Vedic times signified an eight-syllabic line repeated three times, which therefore gives 24 syllables. In Classical terminology it also means a verse having 24 syllables, but then there are four lines to the verse, so each line is 6 syllables.

The same sort of reasoning applies to some of the other generic names, in Vedic times the syllablic structure of

Uṣṇī (Uṇhi) was 8, 8, 12 = 28 (here 4 x 7)
Bhatī (Brahatī) was 8, 8, 12, 8 = 36 (here 4 x 9)
Paṅkti (Panti) was 8, 8, 8, 8, 8 = 40 (here 4 x 10)
Śakvarī (Sakkarī) was 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8 = 56 (here 4 x 14)
Atiśakvarī (Atisakkarī) was 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 12, 8 = 60 (here 4 x 15)
Atyaṣṭi (Accaṭṭhi) was 12, 12, 8, 8, 8, 12, 8 = 68 (here 4 x 17)

 

More Types

Daṇḍako nau raḥ; prathamaś-Caṇḍavṣṭiprayātaḥ || ChŚā 7:33–34 ||
Tadūrdhvaṁ Caṇḍavṣṭyādidaṇḍakāḥ parikīrtitāḥ |
Śeṣaṁ gāthāstribhiḥ ṣaḍbhiścaraṇaiścopalakṣitāḥ || VR 18 ||

−⏑−−¦⏑−−−¦¦−−⏑⏑¦⏑−⏑−
Daṇḍakā Caṇḍavuṭṭhyādi; pādehi chahi tīhi tu
−−⏑⏑¦⏑−−−¦¦−−−−¦⏑−⏑−
Gāthā ti ca paratthevaṁ chandosaññā pakāsitā. a) Sid: Ḍaṇḍakā (printer’s error); Th: -ādī; c) MR14: prattheva; d) Fry: chandosaññapakāsitā (sic). [14]

Daṇḍakā = proper name of a class of metre; Caṇḍavuṭṭhi = proper name; ādi = beginning; pādehi = with lines (inst.); chahi = with six (inst.); tihi = with three (inst.); tu = but; Gāthā = untranslated; ti = (quotation marker) = called; ca (= and, untranslated); parattha = elsewhere; evaṁ (= thus, untranslated); chando + saññā = metre names; pakāsitā = made clear.

(there are) Daṇḍakas beginning with Caṇḍavuṭṭhi(-ppayāta); but those (metres) with six or three lines are called Gāthā; the names of the metres have been made clear elsewhere.

These metres are not illustrated in Vuttodaya, though they are described and illustrated in Vttaratnākara. There is a good description of these metres in Appendix 1 of Vamam Shivram Apte: The Student’s Sanskrit English Dictionary (words in square brackets are explanatory additions), which deals with Sanskrit prosody:

“Metres of 27 or more letters [i.e. syllables] are designated by the generic name Daṇḍaka. The highest number of syllables in a quarter [i. e. pāda, or line] of this species of metre is said to be 999. In each quarter there must be first two nagaṇas or six short syllables, and the remaining may be either ragaṇas or yagaṇas, or all of the feet [i.e. gaṇas] may be sagaṇas. The Classics of Daṇḍaka usually mentioned are Caṇḍavṣṭiprayāta, Pracitaka, Sattamātaṁgalīlākara, Siṁhavikrāṁta, Kusumastavaka, Anaṁgaśesvara, Saṁgrāmac.”

Only some of the varieties of Daṇḍaka metres have been given names, here is a table for the first 28 varieties of Daṇḍakas containing two nagaṇas followed by ragaṇas:

 

first:

then:

name:

syllables:

1.

2 nagaṇa

7 ragaṇa

Caṇḍavṣṭiprayāta

27

2.

2 nagaṇa

8 ragaṇa

Arṇa

30

3.

2 nagaṇa

9 ragaṇa

Arṇava

33

4.

2 nagaṇa

10 ragaṇa

Vyāla

36

5.

2 nagaṇa

11 ragaṇa

Jīmūta

39

6.

2 nagaṇa

12 ragaṇa

Līlākara

42

7.

2 nagaṇa

13 ragaṇa

Uddāma

45

8.

2 nagaṇa

14 ragaṇa

Śaṅkha

48

9.

2 nagaṇa

15 ragaṇa

Ārāma

51

10.

2 nagaṇa

16 ragaṇa

Saṅgrāma

54

11.

2 nagaṇa

17 ragaṇa

Surāma

57

12.

2 nagaṇa

18 ragaṇa

Vaikuṇṭha

60

13.

2 nagaṇa

19 ragaṇa

Sotkaṇṭha

63

14.

2 nagaṇa

20 ragaṇa

Sāra

66

15.

2 nagaṇa

21 ragaṇa

Kāsāra

69

16.

2 nagaṇa

22 ragaṇa

Vistāra

72

17.

2 nagaṇa

23 ragaṇa

Saṁhāra

75

18.

2 nagaṇa

24 ragaṇa

Nīhāra

78

19.

2 nagaṇa

25 ragaṇa

Mandāra

81

20.

2 nagaṇa

26 ragaṇa

Kedāra

84

21.

2 nagaṇa

27 ragaṇa

Sādhāra

87

22.

2 nagaṇa

28 ragaṇa

Satkāra

90

23.

2 nagaṇa

29 ragaṇa

Saṁskāra

93

24.

2 nagaṇa

30 ragaṇa

Mākanda

96

25.

2 nagaṇa

31 ragaṇa

Govinda

99

26.

2 nagaṇa

32 ragaṇa

Sānanda

102

27.

2 nagaṇa

33 ragaṇa

Sandoha

105

28.

2 nagaṇa

34 ragaṇa

Nanda

108

 

Verses

⏑−⏑−¦⏑−−⏑¦¦−−−−¦⏑−⏑−
Anantaroditaṁ caññam-etaṁ sāmaññanāmato
−−−−¦⏑−−−¦¦⏑−⏑⏑¦⏑−⏑−
Gāthā-m-icceva niddiṭṭhā Munindavacane pana. a) MR14: aṇanta-; MK: anantaroditā; Vim, Laṅk: cāññam-; MR93: Anantaroditañ-cāññam- b) MR93: sāmañcha-; c) MK, Fry, Dīp, Kat, Th: gāthā icceva; Fry, Kat, Th: niddiṭṭhaṁ; d) MR14: paṇa. [15]

Anantara = previously; uditaṁ = spoken; ca = but; aññam = other; etaṁ = that; sāmañña = generally; nāmato = named as (abl.); Gāthā = (untranslated); -m- = euphonic consonant; icc = iti = quotation marker; eva = emphatic; niddiṭṭḥa = designation; Muni + Inda = Lord of Sages; vacane = of speaking (loc); pana = but.

But those spoken of previously, and others, are generally named as Gāthā – this is the designation in the Lord of Sages’ (way of) speaking.

By ‘those spoken of previously’ the author indicates the Vaṇṇa (Syllabic) metres spoken of in the preceding verses; the ‘others’ are the Mattacchandas (Measure) metres, which will be described next. They are all known as gāthā or verses or stanzas.

 

Suitable Metres

⏑−⏑−¦⏑−−⏑¦¦⏑−−−¦⏑−⏑−
Visesanāmato kiñci gahetvā sabbathocitaṁ,
−⏑−−¦⏑−−⏑¦¦−−−⏑¦⏑−⏑−
Dassayissāmahan-tettha, nāmānāvibhavissare. b) MP, Sid: sabbato-; c) Sid, Kat, Th: -ahaṁ tettha; d) MR14: nāmanāvi-; Fry: āvī- [16]

Visesa = distinctive; nāmato = with their name(s) (abl. with instr. meaning); kiñci = some; gahetvā = having taken (abls.); sabbatho = at all times; ucita = suitable (from uccati, neither are in PED); dassayissāmi = I will show (fut.); ahan = I; tu = but; ettha = herein; nāmāni = name; āvibhavissare = become clear (pr. med. ind) (not in PED).

But having taken some with their distinctive name(s) which are suitable at all times, I will show them herein, and their names (will) become clear.

As stated above Ven Saṅgharakkhita does not illustrate all the metres, even though he was certainly capable of it, but just takes a selection of metres. Exactly how his choice was made is not clear: he does of course describe all the popular metres, as we would expect, but a number of the metres do not appear in the literature. He also does not appear to be following Vttaratnākara either.

In what follows when I have been able to find a metre occurring in the literature I have included it as an example, but have omitted those which only occur in the prosodic literature which were written solely to illustrate the metres in Vuttodaya.

Iti Vuttodaye Chandasi Saññāparibhāsāniddeso Nāma Paṭhamo Paricchedo MR93: Vuttodayo; S omits Chandasi; Th: (simply) Paṭhamo paricchedo here but compare the chapter title given above.
Such is the First Chapter in the Prosody the Composition of Metre
which is called The Description of the Technical Terms and Symbols.