Vuttodaya, The Composition of Metre

[2. Mattāvuttaniddeso] Vim: -vutti-; Sid: Dutiyo Paricchedo; Th: Mattāvuttiniddesa-dutiyapariccheda.
The Description of the Measure Metres

Introduction to the Measure Metres

In the metres in this chapter the length of the line is determined not by the amount of syllables (as in the vaṇṇacchandas metres described in chapters 3–5 below), but by the amount of measures (mattā) there are in each of the lines. In these metres a light syllable is counted as one measure, and a heavy one as two, and it is therefore possible to determine the exact amount of measures there are in a line. When this principle is employed, of course, the syllabic length may vary.

We can usefully distinguish two groups of metres described in this chapter, according to the structural principles involved in their composition:

1) The Gaṇacchandas metres. In this group we can include the Ariyā, Gīti, & Mattāsamaka group of metres. In these the mattā count determines the length of the line, and they are further organized into bars, usually of four measures (mattā) to a bar.

2) The Mattacchandas metres. This refers to the Mattāchandas metres proper, which includes Vetālīya, Opacchandasaka, Āpātalikā, and their derivatives. In these the mattā count determines the length of the line; and the shape of the cadence (and sometimes of the opening also) serves to distinguish the metres.

Historically it appears that the first of these metres to arise were the Mattāchandas metres, For an in-depth examination of this development, see A.K. Warder’s book, Pali Metre, which traces the origin of these metres in detail. probably beginning with Vetālīya, which was either followed by, or arose simultaneously with, Opacchandasaka. If this theory is correct then the organisation into bars (gaṇas) would appear to be a later refinement of the structure used in the Mattāchandas metres.

The first of the Gaṇacchandas metres to appear in the literature is the Gīti, but in its old form, which normally had the Vipulā (Variant) structure, and the Capalā (Modulated) form. Later this metre developed into what is now referred to as the pathyā (normal) form. The Ariyā metre is a development from the Gīti, as are the Upagīti, and Uggīti. The Ariyāgīti, with a full last gaṇa, does not appear to have been used in Pāḷi, at least not in the extant literature.

Indeed, although there are some 20 odd metres that have been described in this section, most of them cannot be found in the literature, and some of them may be purely theoretical. The only metre that appears to be occasionally used in the Medieval period is the Ariyā. Besides the Ariyā, examples of Gīti (2 forms), Upagīti and Uggīti, can be found in the Canonical sources (there are approx. 450 verses in the Canon in gaṇacchandas metres).

The Vetālīya group The Mattāchandas metres are also fairly frequent in the Canon (approx 500 verses). are also not found in the Classical sources, and it seems their place has been taken by the fixed Addhasamavutta and Samavutta metres that have been derived from them, see the appropriate sections below.

It is not clear whether most of the Mattāsamaka metres ever existed at all. As far as I know no examples have been found in the Pāḷi literature of any period. Major Fryer, in his edition of Subodhālaṅkāra (pg. 16) says that v. 362 of that work is in Pādākulikā, but this is certainly incorrect. The metre, in fact, is Gīti (Fryer’s text emended from -lakkhi, and ati- in the first line:
apahasitaṁ sajalakkhī vikkhittaṅgaṁ bhavaty atīhasitaṁ
dve dve hāsā kathitā cesaṁ jeṭṭhe majjhe jamme pi ca kamato.
although it is hypermetric by 1 bar as it stands in the 2nd line.
According to Warder, Pali Metre § 203, the only examples of these metres are some verses in the Mahābhārata, and some sporodic verses that are occasionally found elsewhere in Sanskrit literature. Besides these, the only examples seem to be in the works on prosody. However it may be that some of the metres exist in fixed form, see the Appendix to the Samavutta section on Metre Families for a discussion.


Introduction to the Ariyā and Gīti Metres

1) The Ariyā and Gīti Groups

In the Gaṇacchandas metres practically speaking there are two lines involved in the composition, the first having a mattā count of 30 to the pādayuga, and the second has 27.

The first line has the following range of possibilities (30 mattā):

    1st     2nd     3rd      4th     5th      6th       7th    8th
⏔⏔ ⏔⏔ ⏔⏔ ⏔⏔

The second line has the following range of possibilities (27 mattā):

    1st     2nd     3rd      4th     5th   6th   7th    8th
⏔⏔ ⏔⏔ ⏔⏔ ⏔⏔ ⏔−

The only difference between the two pādayuga is in the 6th bar.

It should be noted that the even gaṇas (where appropriate) are described as being jagaṇa or magaṇa, but they can also be sagaṇa (i.e. ⏑⏑−), through resolution of the first long syllable. Resolution of the 2nd long syllable in any of the bars (except the last) is also allowed, but much more rare.

Sometimes we find a bar has four light syllables, by applying the rule of resolution, Described in my Outline of the Metres in the Pāḷi Canon, 1.15: we can find out the underlying structure of the bar, so that ⏑,⏑⏑⏑ = jagaṇa (i.e. ⏑,−⏑) ⏑⏑,⏑⏑ = sagaṇa (i.e. ⏑⏑,−), while ,⏑⏑⏑⏑ = bhagaṇa (i.e. ,−⏑⏑). Jagaṇa, as stated above, occurs only in the even bars.

The rhythm of these metres can be outlined as the alternation between these two basic structures:


In summary we can describe this group of metres in the first section here:

Ariyā has the 1st line followed by the 2nd (mattā 30 + 27);
Gīti has the 1st line repeated (mattā 30 + 30);
Upagīti has the 2nd line repeated (mattā 27 + 27);
Uggīti has the 2nd line followed by the 1st (mattā 27 + 30).

There are two other lines which are described in the prosodies, which can be combined to make up more metres. The only difference between these and the previous lines is that the last gaṇa is a full 4 mattā.

The third line has the following range of possibilities (32 mattā):

    1st     2nd     3rd      4th     5th      6th       7th    8th
⏔⏔ ⏔⏔ ⏔⏔ ⏔⏔ ⏔−

The fourth line has the following range of possibilities (29 mattā):

    1st     2nd     3rd      4th     5th   6th   7th    8th
⏔⏔ ⏔⏔ ⏔⏔ ⏔⏔ ⏔−

There is a fifth metre described in Vuttodaya which has the 3rd line repeated to make up a verse:


Ariyāgīti (mattā 32 + 32).

There are eleven other metres which are not described in Vuttodaya, but which may be listed here for reference. They are traditionally given in the following order: Saṅgīti (32 + 29); Sugīti (32 + 27); Pagīti (30 + 29) (Skt: Pragīti); The Pāḷi name of some of these metres are not found in the literature, but I have translated them here for reference. Anugīti (27 + 32); Mañjugīti (29 + 30); Vigīti (29 + 29); Cārugīti (29 + 32); Vaggugīti This is the metre Warder PM §202 calls Vallarī, and which is also known as Valgīti. (32 + 30) (Skt: Valgugīti); Lalitā (30 + 32); Pamādā (29 +27) (Skt: Pramādā); Candikā (27 + 29) (Skt: Candrikā).

There are seven metres described in the Sanskrit sources which have 29 mattā in one or other of the lines, but competant authorities have decided these are purely theoretical, See Warder Pāḷi Metre § 202. citing Cappeller: Die Gaṇachandas. and never existed in the literature.

Here is a table listing the sixteen types of Gaṇacchandas metres:

Ariyāgīti 32 + 32 Lalitā 30 + 32
Vaggugīti 32 + 30 Gīti 30 + 30
Saṅgīti 32 + 29 Pagīti 30 + 29
Sugīti 32 + 27 Ariyā 30 + 27

Cārugīti 29 + 32 Anugīti 27 + 32
Mañjugīti 29 + 30 Uggīti 27 + 30
Vigīti 29 + 29 Candrikā 27 + 29
Pamāda 29 + 27 Upagīti 27 + 27


Ariyājātiyo MK, MP, MR93, Vim, Dh, Sid, Laṅk: -jātayo. This title appears in the manuscripts as an end title, after the verses of which it is comprised (in this case after v. 22). Here though the end titles have been transposed to the beginning of the section to which they refer, for the sake of clarity, and in compliance with modern standards.

The Ariyā Group

[Ariyā] These headings do not appear in the text, and are therefore placed in square brackets to avoid confusion.

The Bars

Svarā ardha cāryārdham; atrāyuṅ na j; ṣaṣṭo j; nlau vā || ChŚā 4:14–17 ||
Lakṣmaitatsapta gaṇā gopetā bhavati neha viṣame jaḥ |
Ṣaṣṭho ’yaṁ nalaghū vā prathame ’rdhe niyatam-Āryāyāḥ || VR 23 ||

Chaṭṭhokhilalahu jo vā, gayutāññe chaggaṇā, na jo visame,
Ariyāyantaddhe lo chaṭṭhonte go, gaṇā chaññe. b) MR14: gayuttāñño; MR93: gayuttaṁññe (sic); MP: chagganā; c) MP: ariyāya antaddhe; MR93: ariyā antaddhe; MR14: Ariyāntaddhe; Kat: -aḍḍhe; Fry: Ariyā y antaḍḍhe lo chattho ’nte (sic), seemingly taking the y as a sandhi consonant, but Sannaya reads: Ariyānaṁ, Āryāyehi; d) MK: gaṇacchaññe; MP: ganā. [17]

Chaṭṭho = sixth; akhila = all (this meaning not in PED); lahu = light syllable; jo = jagaṇa; = or; ga = heavy syllable; yuta = together (this meaning not in PED); aññe = other; cha = six; gaṇā = bars; na = no; jo = jagaṇa; visame = in the odd (loc.); Ariyāyaṁ = proper name, in the Ariyā (loc.); anta + addhe = in the last half (loc.); lo = light syllable; chaṭṭho = sixth; ante = at the end (loc.); go = heavy syllable; gaṇā = bar; cha = six; aññe = other.

In the Ariyā:
1) the sixth (bar) is all light (syllables) or a jagaṇa, The underlying structure is always jagaṇa, but sometimes the heavy syllable in the middle is resolved, as we will see below.
2) together with a heavy syllable (at the end)
3) and six other bars,
4) there is no jagaṇa in the odd (bars),
5) in the last half the sixth (bar) has a light syllable (only),
6) at the end a heavy syllable,
7) and six other bars.

These seven rules define the structure of the Ariyā, the first three apply to the first pādayuga, the fourth to both, and the last three to the second pādayuga. With great economy the author sets out the gaṇa structure which is characteristic of the Ariyā, and which distinguishes it from the other gaṇacchandas metres.


The Word-Break

Nlau cetpadaṁ dvitīyādi; saptamaḥ prathamādi; antye pañcamaḥ; ṣaṣṭaśca l || ChŚā 4:18–21 ||
Ṣaṣthe dvitīyalātparake nle mukhalācca sayatipadaniyamaḥ |
Carame ’rdhe pañcamake tasmādiha bhavati ṣaṣṭho laḥ || VR 24 ||

Paṭhamaddhe chaṭṭho ce sabbalahetthādilahuni bhavati yati,
Tapparakonte pi sace, carime pabhavati catutthonte. a) Kat: aḍḍhe; Fry: Paṭhamaḍḍhe chattho; b) MR93: -etvādi-; Laṅk: -lahunī; Dhm: lahūni (originally reading lahuni; corrected to lahūni in the Śuddhipatraya, though it makes the metre wrong); MP: bhavatī; MR93: yatī; c) Tapparako pi (sic); d) MK, MP, MR14, MR93, Fry, Vim, Dīp, Sid, Kat, Th: carime pi bhavati; Siddhartha misinterprets this last line to mean that the word-break will come at the end of the fifth gaṇa–whereas it clearly says catutthonte, at the end of the fourth. On the strength of api occuring in the line, he states that there can be a word-break after the first syllable of the fifth gaṇa.
Despite the many sources which take pi bhavati as the reading, it must be incorrect as it would make the underlying structure of the 5th bar a jagaṇa, which is not allowed in the Ariyā (see previous verse).

Paṭhama + addhe = in the first half (loc.); chaṭṭho = sixth; ce = if; sabba = all; lahū = light syllables; ettha = here; ādi = beginning; lahuni = light (syllables); bhavati = is (pr. ind); yati = word-break (not in PED); taṁ + parako = that other (paraka not in PED); ante = at the end (loc.); pi later; sace = if; carime = subsequent; pabhavati = is (pr. ind.); catuttho = fourth; ante = at the end (loc.).

1) In the first half, if the sixth (bar) is all light syllables, the word-break is here, after the (first) light syllable at the beginning,
2) but (it is) at the end of the other one (i.e at the end of the sixth bar), if later (i.e. if the seventh bar is all light syllables),
3) but (if) the subsequent (bar, i.e. the fifth) (is all light syllables) it is at the end of the fourth.

This verse gives the three rules for the position of the diaeresis, or word-break. The verse itself is an illustration of the rule. In the first pādayuga we might have expected the word-break to come after the first syllable in the sixth gaṇa, but because the seventh gaṇa is all light syllables, it actually comes at the end of the sixth.

Similarly as the fifth gaṇa in the second pādayuga is all light syllables, the word-break comes at the end of the fourth.

Although these rules in themselves do not constitute a general rule for the word-break in relationship to the resolution of syllables, it will be seen that they do follow and re-inforce the Rule of Resolution, which I have outlined elsewhere. See An Outline of the Metres in the Pāḷi Canon, I.T. Vol XXVI, pg 22. In brief that Rule states that resolution is only allowed in regard to the first two syllables of a word (including words that appear as the second half of a compound, or after a prefix). The only exception to this seems to exist in regard to the negative particle ‘na’, which sometimes forms the first half of a resolved syllable, perhaps because of the close syntactical proximity it has to the word it modifies, or it may be we should simply regard the negative as part of the word and not separate from it.


[Ariyā Pathyā]

Triṣu gaṇeṣu pādaḥ Pathyādhye ca || ChŚā 4:22 ||
Triṣvaṁśakeṣu pādo dalayorādyeṣu dśyate yasyāḥ |
Pathyeti nāma tasyāḥ prakīrtitaṁ Nāgarājena || VR 25 ||

Ariyā sāmaññañ-ce pubboditalakkhaṇaṁ bhave yassā,
Ādimam-atha pādayugaṁ yassā tyaṁsehi sā Pathyā. a) Laṅk, Sid, Kat, Th: sāmaññaṁ ce; MR93: sāmañña ce b) MR93: lakkhaṇam-bhave yasni (sic); MR14: lakkhaṇam-bhave yassādimam-; d) MK, MR93: patthyā (as will be seen below, MK and MR93 regularly have this unusual form); curiously Fry, Kat, & Th divide this into two separate verses; also the next verse, with more justification, but even there we are dealing with one complete Ariyā verse, not two. [19]

Ariyā = proper name; sāmaññañ = conform; ce = if; pubba = before; udita = said; lakkhaṇaṁ = characteristic; bhave = should be (opt.); yassā = for that; ādimam = having a beginning; atha = then; pādayugaṁ = pair of lines; yassā = for that; ti = three; aṁsehi = part; = that; Pathyā = proper name.

If the Ariyā conforms to what was said before about what its characteristic(s) should be; and then (if) the beginning of the pair of lines for that (Ariyā) has three parts (or bars), that is the Pathyā (= normal form).

The description of the Ariyā Pathyā is now complete, and it can be outlined here (mattā 30 + 27):

    1st     2nd     3rd      4th      5th      6th       7th    8th
⏔⏔  ⏔⏔,  ⏔⏔  ⏔⏔ ×

    1st     2nd     3rd      4th      5th  6th   7th    8th
⏔⏔  ⏔⏔,  ⏔⏔ ⏑ ⏔⏔ ×

The only difference between the two pairs of lines is in the 6th bar.

As we will see when we get to the examples below, the last syllable may be a light syllable, but it is made heavy by position. I therefore indicate this with the sign ×, which means the syllable is anceps, but counted as heavy. This rule also applies to the syllablic metres, except when they specify the last syllable must be light.


[Vipulā and Capalā]

Vipulānyā; Capalā dvitīyacaturthau gmadhye jau || ChŚā 4:23–24 ||
Ullaṅghya gaṇatrayamādimaṁ śakalayordvayorbhavati pādaḥ |
Yasyāstāṁ Piṅgalanāgo Vipulāmiti samākhyāti || VR 26 ||
Ubhayārdhayorjakārau dvitīyaturyau gamadhyagau yasyāḥ |
Capaleti nāma tasyāḥ prakīrtitaṁ Nāgarājena || VR 27 ||

Yattha gaṇattayam-ullaṅghiyobhayatthādimo bhave Vipulā.
Garu majjhago jakāro catutthako dutiyako Capalā. a) MP: gana-; b) MK, MR14, MR93: -ullaṁghiy-; c) MR14, MR93, Vim, Dhm, Laṅk, Sid: Guru; MK, MP, MR93, Fry, Kat: majjhako; d) MR93: catutthato dutiyako palā (sic). [20]

Yattha = where; gaṇa = bar; tayam = three; ullaṅgiya = exceeds; ubhayattha = in both places; ādimo = has a beginning; bhave = should be (opt.); Vipulā = proper name (= Variation); garu = heavy syllable; majjhago = in between (not in PED); jakāro = jagaṇa; catutthako = the fourth; dutiyako = the second; Capalā = proper name (= Modulation).

Where (the Ariyā) has a beginning that exceeds three bars in both places (i.e. in both pādayugas) it should be (called) Vipulā.
(When) the jagaṇas in the second and fourth (bars) are in between (two) heavy syllables, (it is called) Capalā.

By leaving out both the references that are made to Śrī Piṅgala in VR, Ven. Saṅgharakkhita manages to describe both Vipulā & Capalā in one verse.

In the Vipulā (Variation), the word-break may occur after the first or second syllable of the 4th bar; or, as in the example, there may not be a word-break, owing to vowel sandhi. Siddhartha, in his note to this verse (pg. 10) is incorrect to state that the first part ends in the middle of the fourth gaṇa. That means that if a line has the characteristics of the Ariyā, but there is no word-break after the 3rd bar, it is known as Ariyā Vipulā.

In the example we see that Capalā (Modulation) is illustrated in the 2nd half of the Ariyā. However, the 1st half can have the same characteristics as that outlined in the description also, as we see in the verse that follows.



Purve Mukha-purvā || ChŚā 4:25 ||
Ādyaṁ dalaṁ samastaṁ bhajeta lakṣmacapalāgataṁ yasyāḥ |
Śeṣe pūrvajalakṣmā Mukhacapalā soditā Muninā || VR 28 ||

Capalāgatākhilañ-ce dalādimaṁ lakkhaṇaṁ bhajati yassā,
Pathyālakkhaṇam-aññaṁ, Mukhacapalā nāma sā bhavati. a) Sid: Capalāgataṁ khilaṁ ce (which reverses the meaning of akhilaṁ); MR93, Kat, Th: khilaṁ ce; b) MR93: lakkhaṇam-; MR14: lakkhaṇam-bhavati; c) MK, MR93: patthyā-; Fry: Fry: -lakkhaṇaṁ (which spoils the metre); MR93: aṁñaṁ. [21]

Capalā = proper name; āgata = come (pp.); akhilaṁ = all (this meaning not in PED); ce = if; dala = portion (this meaning not in PED); ādimaṁ = beginning; lakkhaṇaṁ = characteristic; bhajati = partakes (pr. ind.); yassā = for that (Ariyā); Pathyā = proper name; lakkhaṇam = characteristic; aññaṁ = other; Mukhacapalā = proper name; nāma = named; = that; bhavati = is (pr. ind.).

For the (Ariyā): if the beginning portion (of the verse) partakes of all the characteristics that come in the Capalā, and the other (half) has the characteristics of the Pathyā, that is named Mukhacapalā (= Modulation in the Prior Line).

Profile (mattā 30 + 27):

   1st   2nd 3rd    4th    5th    6th    7th    8th
⏔− ⏑−⏑ −− ⏑−⏑ −⏔  ⏔⏔ ×

   1st    2nd     3rd      4th      5th  6th   7th   8th
⏔−  ⏔⏔,  ⏔⏔ ⏑ ⏔⏔ ×



Jaghana-purvetaratra || ChŚā 4:26 ||
Prākpratipāditamardhe prathame prathametare tu Capalāyāḥ |
Lakṣmāśrayeta soktā viśuddhadhībhir-Jaghanacapalā || VR 29 ||

Pathyāya lakkhaṇañ-ce paṭhamaddhe, lakkhaṇan-tu Capalāya
Dutiye daletha, yassā pakittitā sā Jaghanacapalā. a) MR93: Patthyāya; Sid, Kat, Th: lakkhanaṁ ce; b) Fry, Kat: -aḍḍhe; Sid, Kat, Th: lakkhanaṁ tu; Vim, Sid, Dhm: Capalāyā; Dhm: Capalāyā; MP, MR93, Fry: Capalāyaṁ; d) MR14: Jaghaṇa-. [22]

Pathyāya = of the Pathyā (gen.); lakkhaṇañ = characteristic; ce = if; paṭhama + addhe = in the first half (loc.); lakkhaṇan = characteristic; tu = but; Capalāyā = of the Capalā (gen.); dutiye + dale = in the second portion (loc.); atha = then; yassā = that; pakittitā = proclaimed; = the; Jaghanacapalā = proper name.

If in the first half there are the characteristics of the Pathyā, but then in the second portion the characteristics of the Capalā, that is proclaimed to be the Jaghanacapalā (= Modulation in the Posterior Line).

Profile (mattā 30 + 27):

    1st    2nd     3rd       4th      5th      6th      7th    8th
⏔⏔  ⏔⏔,  ⏔⏔  ⏔⏔ ×

   1st   2nd  3rd  4th  5th  6th  7th    8th
⏔− ⏑−⏑ −− ⏑−⏑ −⏔ ⏑ ⏔⏔ ×

According to ChŚā 4:27: Ubhayor-Mahācapalā, when both the lines are Capalā, then it is known as Mahācapalā, though this is not mentioned in Vuttodaya itself.

If the word-break comes at the end of the 3rd bar in both lines, then it is known as Ariyā Pathyā Mahācapalā. But if the word-break comes somewhere else in both lines (or not at all), it is then known as Ariyā Vipulā Mahācapalā.

When the Pathyā, Vipulā, & Capalā, are applied to the Ariyā, we get the following posibilities:

Ariyā Pathyā
Ariyā Ādivipulā (vipulā in the 1st line)
Ariyā Antavipulā (vipulā in the 2nd line)
Ariyā Vipulā (vipulā in both lines)

Ariyā Pathyā Mukhacapalā
Ariyā Ādivipulā Mukhacapalā
Ariyā Antavipulā Mukhacapalā
Ariyā Vipulā Mukhacapalā

Ariyā Pathyā Jaghanacapalā
Ariyā Ādivipulā Jaghanacapalā
Ariyā Antavipulā Jaghanacapalā
Ariyā Vipulā Jaghanacapalā

Ariyā Pathyā Mahācapalā
Ariyā Ādivipulā Mahācapalā
Ariyā Antavipulā Mahācapalā
Ariyā Vipulā Mahācapalā

With suitable changes in the name this list can be adapted to other metres in the Ariyā class. When these 16 possibilities are multiplied by the 16 kinds of Gaṇacchandas metres, we get 256 kinds of metre, which is the traditional number.

We can work out from the rules given in this section the variety of forms that the Ariyā metre can take. There are five types of gaṇa, in the Ariyā group of metres, as stated in v. 6 above; they are bhagaṇa −⏑⏑; jagaṇa ⏑−⏑; sagaṇa ⏑⏑−; magaṇa −−; & nagaṇa ⏑⏑⏑⏑ .

In the first bar jagaṇa is excluded (by rule 3 in v. 17 above). That gaṇa can therefore take any one of the remaining 4 forms.

The second gaṇa can include any of the 5 gaṇas, so this gives the possibility of having 3 x 5 different combinations in the first two bars (=15). The 3rd bar can take 4 forms; the 4th 5; but the 6th, according to the first of the rules given in v. 17, must be all light syllables, or jagaṇa; the 7th can take any one of 4 forms, and the eighth has only one form, which is a single heavy syllable.

We can represent this configuation in a table:

1st line:

















From this we can see that the possibilities for the Ariyā metre prior line = 4 x 5 x 4 x 5 x 4 2 x 4 x 1 = 12,800.

The posterior line is similar except that in the 6th bar there must be a short syllable:

2nd line:
















The possibilities therefore are 4 x 5 x 4 x 5 x 4 x 1 x 4 x 1 = 6,400; this gives the possibility of there being 12,800 x 6,400 metres, which = 81,920,000!

The possibilities for the Capalā are, of course much more restricted. The table for the Capalā is given below:

















This means that in the prior line we may have 2 x 1 x 1 x 1 x 2 x 2 x 4 x 1 = 32 varieties.

In the posterior line with a light syllable in the sixth gaṇa, the range of possibilities is halved = 16.
















The metres that have Mahācapalā may be 32 x 16 = 512.

The metres with Mukhacapalā therefore may be 32 x 6,400 = 204,800.

The metres with Jaghanacapalā may be 16 x 12,800, which also = 204,800.

Examples, from Ganthārambhakathā to Dīghanikāyaṭṭhakathā, 4-13:

⏑⏑−¦⏑−⏑¦⏑⏑−,¦⏑⏑−¦⏑⏑−¦⏑−⏑¦−−¦− Pathyā
Iti me pasannamatino, ratanattayavandanāmayaṁ puññaṁ,
yaṁ suvihatantarāyo, hutvā tassānubhāvena.

−−¦⏑−⏑¦−−¦⏑−⏑,¦⏑⏑−¦⏑−⏑¦⏑⏑−¦− Vipulā Jaghanacapalā
Dīghassa Dīghasuttaṅkitassa, nipuṇassa āgamavarassa.
Buddhānubuddhasaṁvaṇṇitassa, saddhāvahaguṇassa.

−−¦⏑−⏑¦−−,¦−⏑⏑¦−−¦⏑−⏑¦⏑⏑−¦− Pathyā
Atthappakāsanatthaṁ, aṭṭhakathā ādito vasisatehi,
pañcahi yā saṅgītā, anusaṅgītā ca pacchā pi.

−⏑⏑¦−−¦⏑⏑−¦⏑−⏑,¦⏑⏑−¦⏑−⏑¦−−¦− Vipulā
Sīhaḷadīpaṁ pana ābhatātha, vasinā mahāmahindena,
ṭhapitā Sīhaḷabhāsāya, dīpavāsīnam-atthāya.

⏑⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−−,¦−⏑⏑¦−−¦⏑−⏑¦−−¦− Pathyā
Apanetvāna tatohaṁ, sīhaḷabhāsaṁ manoramaṁ bhāsaṁ,
tantinayānucchavikaṁ, āropento vigatadosaṁ.

⏑⏑−¦⏑⏑−¦−−,¦−−¦−−¦⏑−⏑¦−−¦− Pathyā
Samayaṁ avilomento, therānaṁ theravaṁsadīpānaṁ,
sunipuṇavinicchayānaṁ, Mahāvihāre nivāsīnaṁ.

−−¦⏑−⏑¦−⏑⏑¦−−,¦−−¦⏑−⏑¦−−¦− Ādivipulā
Hitvā punappunāgatam-atthaṁ, atthaṁ pakāsayissāmi,
sujanassa ca tuṭṭhatthaṁ, ciraṭṭhitatthañ-ca Dhammassa.

−⏑⏑¦−⏑⏑¦−−,¦−−¦−−¦⏑−⏑¦−−¦− Pathyā
Sīlakathā dhutadhammā, kammaṭṭhānāni ceva sabbāni,
cariyāvidhānasahito, jhānasamāpattivitthāro.

−−¦⏑⏑−¦−−,¦−−¦−⏑⏑¦⏑−⏑¦−−¦− Antavipulā
Sabbā ca abhiññāyo, paññāsaṅkalananicchayo ceva,
khandhādhātāyatanindriyāni, ariyāni ceva cattāri. This verse is in Gīti metre, for which see the next section.

−−¦⏑−⏑¦−−¦⏑−⏑¦−,⏑⏑¦⏑−⏑¦⏑⏑⏑⏑¦− Ādivipulā Mahācapalā
Saccāni paccayākāradesanā, suparisuddhanipuṇanayā,
avimuttatantimaggā, vipassanā bhāvanā ceva.


Gītijātiyo MK, MP, MR93, Vim, Dh, Sid, Laṅk: -jātayo.
The Gīti Group


Ādhyardhasamā Gītiḥ || ChŚā 4:28 ||
Āryāprathamadaloktaṁ yadi kathamapi lakṣaṇaṁ bhavedubhayoḥ |
Dalayoḥ ktayatiśobhāṁ tāṁ Gītiṁ gītavānbhujaṅgeśaḥ || VR 30 ||

Sabbaṁ paṭhamadale yadi lakkhaṇam-Ariyāya vuttam-ubhayesu
Yassā dalesu, yuttaṁ vuttā sā Gīti vuttayatilalitā. a) MR14: sabba paṭhama-; b) MR93: lakkhaṇa cariyāya (sic); Sid: -Ariyāyamuttam- (sic). [23]

Sabbaṁ = all; paṭhama + dale = in the first portion (loc.); yadi = if; lakkhaṇam = characteristic; Ariyāya = in the Ariyā (loc.); vuttam = spoken of (pp.); ubhayesu = in both (loc.); yassā = for that (untranslated); dalesu = portion; yuttaṁ = together with; vuttā = spoken of (pp.); = that; Gīti = proper name; vutta = called (pp.); yati = word-break; lalita = fine (not in PED).

If in both portions there are all the characteristics spoken of in regard to the first portion of the Ariyā, together with the fine word-breaks, that is called Gīti.

Profile (mattā 30 + 30):

   1st       2nd    3rd      4th      5th      6th      7th    8th
⏔⏔  ⏔⏔  ⏔⏔  ⏔⏔ ×

   1st       2nd    3rd      4th      5th      6th      7th    8th
⏔⏔  ⏔⏔  ⏔⏔  ⏔⏔ ×

Example, from Ganthārambhakathā to Saṁyuttanikāyaṭṭhakathā, v. 5: But note both lines are vipulā.

Saṁyuttavaggapaṭimaṇḍitassa, saṁyutta-āgamavarassa;
Buddhānubuddhasaṁvaṇṇitassa, ñāṇappabhedajananassa.



Antyenopagītiḥ || ChŚā 4:29 ||
Āryādvitīyake ’rdhe yadgaditaṁ lakṣaṇaṁ tatsyāt |
Yadyubhayorapi dalayor-Upagītiṁ tāṁ Munirbrūte || VR 31 ||

Ariyāyaṁ dutiyaddhe gaditākhilalakkhaṇaṁ yan-taṁ
Bhavati dalesubhayesu pi yadi yassā sāyam-Upagīti. a) Fry, Kat: -aḍḍhe; b) Vim, Dhm, Laṅk, Sid, Kat, Th: yaṁ taṁ; d) Fry, Kat: sā yam (sic). [24]

Ariyāyaṁ = of the Ariyā (gen.); dutiya + addhe = in regard to the second half (loc.); gadita = related; akhila = all; lakkhaṇaṁ = characteristic; yaṁ = which; taṁ = that; bhavati = is (pr. ind.); dalesubhayesu = dalesu + ubhayesu (-ŭ- is m.c.) in both portions (loc.); pi = (expresses completeness, untranslated); yadi = if; yassā = for that (untranslated); = that; ayam = this (untranslated); Upagīti = proper name.

If the (metre) has all the characteristics that was related in regard to the second half of the Ariyā, in both portions, that is the Upagīti.

Profile (mattā 27 + 27):

   1st       2nd    3rd      4th      5th   6th  7th    8th
⏔⏔  ⏔⏔  ⏔⏔ ⏑ ⏔⏔ ×

   1st       2nd    3rd      4th      5th   6th  7th    8th
⏔⏔  ⏔⏔  ⏔⏔ ⏑ ⏔⏔ ×

Example, Abhidhammāvatāra, v. 979:

Sumadhuravarataravacano, kaṁ nu janaṁ neva rañjayati,
atinisitavisadabuddhipasādajana vedanīyoyaṁ.



Utkrameṇodgītiḥ || ChŚā 4:30 ||
Āryāśakaladvitayaṁ vyatyayaracitaṁ bhavedyasyāḥ |
Sodgītiḥ kila gaditā tadvadyatyaṁśabhedasaṁyuktā || VR 32 ||

Ariyāyaddhadvitayaṁ pubbodita lakkhaṇopetaṁ,
Vipariyayenābhihitaṁ, yassā sambhavati ceha soggīti. a) Fry, Kat: -aḍḍha-; MK: -dvitaṁ yaṁ; b) MP: lakkhanupetaṁ; Dhm, Laṅk: -upetaṁ; MR14, MR93, Vim, Dīp, Sid: -ūpetaṁ; c) MR93: viparīya- d) MR93: so gīti; MK: soggiti (sic); Sid: Upagīti (printer’s error). [25]

Ariyāya = of the Ariyā (gen.); addha = half; dvitayaṁ = both (not in PED); pubba = before; udita = spoken of (pp.); lakkhaṇa = characteristics; upetaṁ = endowed with; vipariyayena = reversed (inst.); abhihitaṁ = indicated (pp.) (not in PED); yassā = for that; sambhavati = is (here = bhavati); ca + iha = and here (untranslated); = that; Uggīti = proper name.

The metre which is endowed with the characteristics of the Ariyā spoken of before in both halves, (but) reversed to that (previously) indicated, that is the Uggīti.

Profile (mattā 27 + 30): I have been unable to find examples for this and the following Ariyāgīti metre. Even the various Ṭīkās and texts written to illustrate the prosody tend to ignore this chapter, and give examples for the fixed metres and Vatta only.

   1st       2nd    3rd      4th      5th   6th  7th    8th
⏔⏔  ⏔⏔  ⏔⏔ ⏑ ⏔⏔ ×

   1st       2nd    3rd      4th      5th      6th     7th    8th
⏔⏔  ⏔⏔  ⏔⏔  ⏔⏔ ×



Ardhe vasugaṇa Āryāgītiḥ || ChŚā 4:31 ||
Āryāpūrvārdhaṁ yadi guruṇaikenādhikena nidhane yuktam |
Itarattadvannikhilaṁ dalaṁ yadīyamuditeyam-Āryāgītiḥ || VR 33 ||

Ariyā pubbaddhaṁ yadi garunekenādhikena nidhane yuttaṁ;
yadi pubbaddhasamānaṁ dalam-itarañ-coditāyam-Ariyāgīti. a) Fry, Kat: -aḍḍhaṁ; MR93: -addha sadi (sic); b) Laṅk: gurun-; c) MP: yava (sic); Fry, Kat: -aḍḍha-; d) Sid, Kat, Th: -itaraṁ; Sid: coditā yam (sic). [26]

Ariyā = proper name; pubba = former; addhaṁ = half; yadi = if; garunā + ekena = with one heavy syllable (inst.); ādikena = at the beginning (inst.); nidhane = at the end (not in PED) (loc.); yuttaṁ = joined; yadi = if; pubba = former; addha = half; samānaṁ = same; dalam = portion; itarañ = other; ca = and; udita = spoken of (pp.); ayam = this; Ariyāgīti = proper name.

If (the metre) has the former half of the Ariyā at the beginning, joined with one (extra) heavy syllable at the end; and if the other portion is the same as the former half, this is spoken of as the Ariyāgīti.

It will be noted that the extra syllable at the end of the line gives it a mattā count of 32 here.

Profile (mattā 32 + 32):

   1st       2nd    3rd      4th      5th      6th     7th    8th
⏔⏔  ⏔⏔  ⏔⏔  ⏔⏔ ⏔ ×

   1st       2nd    3rd      4th      5th      6th     7th    8th
⏔⏔  ⏔⏔  ⏔⏔  ⏔⏔ ⏔ ×

Jinavaṁsadīpa, Ch. 26 vv. 34, 35 Jinavaṁsadīpa has a run of 34 verses in this unusual metre at this point.
Lokuttarāya matiyā rāgaṁ bhaggaṁ akāsi dosaṁ mohaṁ,
yasmā kaṇṭakamānaṁ kilesamāraṁ tato pi Buddho Bhagavā.

Yasmā vibhajjavādi bhaji vibhaji pavibhajī sadhammakkhandhaṁ,
lokuttarañ-ca katavā bhavānamattaṁ tato pi Buddho Bhagavā.


Vetālīyajātiyo Dh: Vetālīyajātayo; Vim, Sid: Vetālījātayo; MK, MP, Laṅk: Vetālijātayo (note the short ĭ, here and below); MR14: Vetālijātiyo; MR93: Vetāḷijātiyo.
The Vetālīya Group

Introduction to the Vetālīya Metres

The Vetālīya group of metres are the mattacchandas metres proper. The structure of the metres arises from a mattā count, which determines the overall length of the lines on the one hand; and fixed patterns of syllables, that further define the individual metres on the other.

The Vetālīya group have two lines of different length, which are repeated to make up a verse, they all have a fixed cadence. There are 3 main forms of the metre, the Vetālīya itself, the Opacchandasaka, and the Āpātalikā, all three are relatively free in their opening structure, but differ from each other in the shape of their cadences.

The openings of all of these metres have the same mattā count (6 mattā in the first line, 8 mattā in the second), with most of the metres that gives an overall mattā count of 14 mattā in the prior line and 16 in the posterior, but owing to the extended form of the Opacchandasaka cadence, that metre has a measure of 16 mattā in the prior lines + 18 in the posterior. The cadence of the Āpātalikā metre differs from that of Vetālīya.

The other six metres described in the section below are all variations of the Vetālīya, but are more restricted in their openings.

Here is a table giving a synoptic view of the Mattacchandas metres:




Vaitālīyaṁ dviḥsvarā ayukpāde yugvasavo ’nte rlgaḥ || ChŚā 4:32 ||
Ṣaḍviṣame ’ṣṭau same kalāstāśca same syurno nirantarāḥ |
Na samātra parāśritā kalā Vaitālīye ’nte ralau guruḥ || VR 34 ||

Visame cha siyuṁ kalā mukhe, same tvaṭṭha, ralagā tatopari,
Vetālīyan-tam-uccate; lahuchakkaṁ na nirantaraṁ same. a) MK: siyu ?; b) MR14, Dhm, Laṅk: tāṭṭha; MR93, Sid: taṭṭha; c) Sid, Kat, Th: Vetālīyaṁ tam-; MK, MP, MR14, Dhm, Laṅk: Vetāliyan-tam-; MR93: Vetāḷiyan-tam-; d) MP: Lahupakkaṁ (sic); MK: chakkan-na;
There is some disagreement in the texts as to whether the name should by Vetālīya or Vetāliya, but the metre here and in the next verse is decisive is favour of the former.

Visame = in the odd (loc.); cha = six; siyuṁ = should be (opt.); kalā = instants; mukhe = in the opening (loc.); same = in the even (loc.); tv = tu = but; aṭṭha = eight; ralagā = ragaṇa + light syllable + heavy syllable; tato + upari = thereafter; Vetālīyan = proper name; tam = that; uccate = called (pr. ind. med.); lahuchakkaṁ = set of six light syllables; na = not; nirantaraṁ = without a break; same = in the even (loc.).

1) In the odd (lines) there should be six instants in the opening,
2) but in the even (lines) there are eight,
3) thereafter there is ragaṇa, a light syllable, and a heavy syllable – that is called Vetālīya;
4) (there should) not be a set of six light syllables without a break in the even (lines).

Profile (mattā 14 + 16):

⏔⏔⏔¦−⏑−⏑−¦¦⏔⏔⏔⏔¦−⏑−⏑× 2x

It should be borne in mind that according to the 4th part of the rule a run of six syllables in the even lines without a break is not allowed, so that we find in the opening, for example, the following patterns −−−⏑⏑; ⏑⏑−−⏑⏑; & −⏑⏑−⏑⏑; but not ⏑⏑⏑⏑⏑⏑− or −⏑⏑⏑⏑⏑⏑. This rule holds good for the other Mattacchandas metres also.

Example, Uttaravinicchaya, v. 3:

Bhaṇato paṭhato payuñjato, suṇato cintayato panuttaraṁ.
Paramaṁ abuddhabuddhivaḍḍhanaṁ, The opening of this line is syncopated. vadato me niratā nibodhatha.



Gaupacchandasakam || ChŚā 4:33 ||
Paryante ryau tathaiva śeṣam-Aupacchandasikaṁ sudhībhiruktam || VR 35 ||

Vetālīyopamaṁ mukhe taṁ Opacchandasakaṁ rayā yad-ante. a) MK, MP, MR14: Vetāliy-; MR93: Vetāḷiy- ... taṁñcacchand- (sic); b) Vim, Dhm, Dīp, Laṅk, Sid: Opacchandasikaṁ; MR14: raya yad-anto.
ChŚā calls the metre Aupacchandasaka; VR, on the other hand favours Aupacchandasika.

Vetālīya = proper name; upamaṁ = like; mukhe = in the opening (loc.); taṁ = that; Opacchandasakaṁ = proper name; rayā = ragaṇa + yagaṇa; yad = which; ante = at the end (loc.).

That which is like Vetālīya in the opening, (but) has ragaṇa and yagaṇa at the end, is the Opacchandasaka.

Profile (mattā 16 + 18):

⏔⏔⏔¦−⏑−⏑−−¦¦⏔⏔⏔⏔¦−⏑−⏑−× 2x

Opacchandasaka is the same as Vetālīya, except it has an extra, long syllable in penultimate position, making its mattā count 2 instants longer in both lines (16+18).

Example, Jinavaṁsadīpa, vv. 18.1-3 The majority of both chapters 5 and 18 of this work are in Opacchandasaka, well over 100 verses in all.

sisire kūṭabhujehi Gijjhakūṭe,
viharanto karuṇākaro kadāci.

iha rājaggahanāmarājadhanyā,

Yati sampati sannipātayitvā
yatisaṅghaṁ yatirājam-abruvī so,
samayaṁ maññatha yassadāni Bhante.



Āpātalikā bhgau g || ChŚā 4:34 ||
Āpātalikā kathite ’yaṁ bhādgurukāvatha pūrvavadanyat. || VR 36 ||

Āpātalikā kathitāyaṁ bhaggānte yadi pubbam-ivaññaṁ. a) MR14, Th: Āpāthalikā; Sid: kathiteyaṁ; b) MK, Fry, Kat, Th: bhagagānte (which is acceptable m.c.); MR93: ivaṁñaṁ. [29]

Āpātalikā = proper name; kathita = called; ayaṁ = this; bhaggā = bhagaṇa + heavy syllable + heavy syllable; ante = at the end (loc.); yadi = if; pubbam = before; iva = like; aññaṁ = other.

If (the metre) is like the other (i.e the Vetālīya), (but) has a bhagaṇa, and two heavy syllables at the end, this is called the Āpātalikā.

It is the cadence which again defines the metre here, the openings in Vetālīya, Opacchandasaka, and Āpātalikā having the same rules and form.

Profile (mattā 14 + 16): Again it is very hard to find examples for this and the following metres because they are ignored in the literature.

⏔⏔⏔¦−⏑⏑−−¦¦⏔⏔⏔⏔¦−⏑⏑−× 2x

I have not been able to find any examples of this metre in the literature, but it seems the posterior line has given rise to a number of prominent metres in the classical age, cf.

Svāgatā, v. 70 −⏑−⏑⏑⏑−⏑⏑−− with syncopation
Toṭaka, v. 75 ⏑⏑−⏑⏑−⏑⏑−⏑⏑− with resolution
Tāmarasa, v. 84 ⏑⏑⏑⏑−⏑⏑−⏑⏑−−
Vegavatī, v. 107 ⏑⏑−⏑⏑¦−⏑⏑−−¦¦−⏑⏑−⏑⏑¦−⏑⏑−−



Ttīyayug-Dakṣiṇāntikā samastapādeṣu dvitīyalaḥ || VR 37 ||

Yadādito Dakkhiṇantikā ṭhitettha pādesvākhilesu jo. a) Vim: Dakkhinantikā; MK: Dakkhaṇantikā; Fry: Lakkhaṇantikā (sic); b) Sid: Thitettha pādesākhilesu; MR14, MR93, Vim, Dhm, Laṅk: pādesākhilesu; Dīp: -svākhile jo (sic). [30]

Yadā = when; ādito = at the beginning; Dakkhiṇantikā = proper name; ṭhita = stands (pp.); ettha = position; pādesu + akhilesu = in all the lines (loc.); jo = jagaṇa.

When jagaṇa stands in the beginning position in all the lines (of the Vetālīya), it is the Dakkhiṇantikā.

Profile (mattā 14 + 16):

⏑−⏑⏔¦−⏑−⏑−¦¦⏑−⏑⏔⏔¦−⏑−⏑× 2x

This is only a particular kind of Vetālīya, of course, with a more restricted opening, which shows syncopation in the opening. The other metres in this section are also only variations of the Vetālīya.

The first of these variations is not found in ChŚā, though all the others are. It is present in VR.



Ayukttīyenodīcyavttiḥ || ChŚā 4:38 ||
Udicyavttirdvitīyalaḥ sakto ’greṇa bhavedayugmayoḥ || VR 38 ||

Udiccavuttīti vuccate jo cādo visamesu saṇṭhito. [31]

Udiccavutti = proper name; iti = quotation marker; vuccate = is called (pr. med. ind.) jo = jagaṇa; ca = if; ādo = at the beginning; visamesu = in the odd (loc.); saṇṭhito = stands (pp.)

If jagaṇa stands at the beginning in the odd lines it is called Udiccavutti.

Profile (mattā 14 + 16):

⏑−⏑⏔¦−⏑−⏑−¦¦⏔⏔⏔⏔¦−⏑−⏑× 2x

The opening shows a syncopated rhythm in the opening of the odd lines, and there is a similar phenomena in the following two metres.



Pañcamena purvaḥ sākaṁ Prācyavttiḥ || ChŚā 4:37 ||
Pūrveṇa yuto ’tha pañcamaḥ Prācyavttiruditeti yugmayoḥ || VR 39 ||

Pubbattha samesu ce gajā Paccavutti-r-uditeti saṇṭhitā. b) Fry, Kat, Th: uditā ti; MP, MR14, MR93: saṇṭhito. [32]

Pubbattha = former part (not in PED); samesu = in the even (loc.); ce = if; gajā = heavy syllable + jagaṇa; Paccavutti = proper name; -r- = euphonic consonant; udita = called; iti = quotation marker; saṇṭhitā = stands.

If in the even lines of the former part stands a heavy syllable and a jagaṇa it is called Paccavutti.


⏔⏔⏔¦−⏑−⏑−¦¦−⏑−⏑⏔¦−⏑−⏑× 2x



Ābhyāṁ yugapat-Pravttakam || ChŚā 4:39 ||
Yadā samāvojayugmakau pūrvayorbhavati tat-Pravttakam || VR 40 ||

Samāsamātrādinaṁ samā, saṁyutā bhavati taṁ Pavattakaṁ. a) MR14: Samātrādinaṁ; b) MR93: bhavanti. [33]

Sama = even; asama = odd; atra = here; ādinaṁ = preceding; samā = same; saṁyutā = joined together; bhavati = is (pr. ind.); taṁ = it; Pavattakaṁ = proper name.

Here (if) the even and odd lines are the same as the preceding (two), and are joined together it is Pavattaka.


⏑−⏑⏔¦−⏑−⏑−¦¦−⏑−⏑⏔¦−⏑−⏑× 2x

This metre is made from the odd line of the Udiccavutti, together with the even line of the Paccavutti.



Yug-Aparāntikā || ChŚā 4:41 ||
Asya yugmaracitāparāntikā || VR 41 ||

Assa yā samakatāparantikā. Fry, Kat, Th: sā; MP: samakak-; MR93: sakat- (sic); Vim, Dhm: -parāntikā; [34]

Assa = of the; = that which; sama = even; kata = made; Aparantikā = proper name.

Aparantikā is that which is made of the even (lines of the Pavattaka).


−⏑−⏑⏔¦−⏑−⏑× 4x

Although these last two are derived from Addhasamavutta metres, they are, in fact, now Samavutta, having the same profile in all four lines.

The variations allowed in this metre and the one that follows are very restricted indeed. If the 5th syllable of this metre is resolved (as in the example-rule), it is the same as Rathoddhatā, in the Tuṭṭhubha section (see v. 69 below).



Ayuk-Cāruhāsinī || ChŚā 4:40 ||
Ayugbhavā Cāruhāsini || VR 42 ||

Tad-aññajā Cārubhāsinī. MK, MP: Cārubhāsini; Fry, Vim, Kat, Th: Cāruhāsinī. In ChŚā & VR the metre is also called Cāruhāsinī. [35]

Tad = that; añña = other; = produced; Cārubhāsinī = proper name.

Cārubhāsinī is produced from the other (line in Pavattaka).


⏑−⏑⏔¦−⏑−⏑× 4x


Mattāsamakajātiyo Sid: Atha Mattāsamaka Jātayo; Laṅk: Mattāsamajātayo; MK, MP, MR93, Vim, Dh, Sid, Laṅk: -jātayo
The Mattāsamaka Group

Introduction to the Mattāsamaka Metres

The Mattāsamaka metres are related to the gaṇacchandas metres. They all have the same mattā count (16) in each of the lines, and are organised into four bars. They have fixed patterns of syllables at set points in the line, and it is this which distinguishes the metres individually.

Here is a table of the Mattāsamaka metres:


Pādākulaka is a verse that is made up of a mixture of the above metres



Dvikaguṇitavasulaghu-r-Acaladhti-r-iha || VR 53 ||

Dvikavihatavasulahu-r-Acaladhiti-r-iha. Th: -lahu Acala-. [36]

Dvika = two-fold (not in PED); vihata = multiplied (not in PED in this meaning); Vasu = (a class of deva, of which there are) eight; lahu = light syllable; -r- = euphonic consonant; Acaladhiti = proper name; -r- = euphonic consonant; iha = here.

Here Acaladhiti has eight light syllables multiplied by two.

A peculiarity of the Mattāsamaka group of metres is that they all contain 16 mattā in the line. The first one described is the extreme case where all the syllables are light. This is one of the very few metres which is defined as ending in a light syllable (cf. Samānikā v. 49; Ubbhāsikā, v. 59; Vutta, v.102; Yavamatī, v. 115).

ChŚā does not include this metre among its Mātrāsamaka metres, but has another section not included in VR or Vutt, called Gītyāryā, the basic scheme for which is the same as the metre here. This is another point where VR and Vutt agree with each other, and differ from ChŚā.


⏑⏑⏑⏑¦⏑⏑⏑⏑¦⏑⏑⏑⏑¦⏑⏑⏑⏑ 4x



Gantā dvirvasavo Mātrāsamakaṁ l navamaḥ || ChŚā 4:42 ||
Mātrāsamakaṁ navamolgāntam || VR 54 ||

Mattāsamakaṁ navamolgante. MP, Th: navamolagante; Fry, Kat: -ānte. [37]

Mattāsamakaṁ = proper name; navamo = ninth; lga = light syllable + heavy syllable; ante = at the end (loc.).

Mattāsamaka has a light syllable (as) the ninth (measure) and a heavy syllable at the end.

The distinguishing features for this metre are very minimal: it has a light syllable at the beginning of the 3rd bar, and a long syllable at the end of the line.

It should be noted that these features may occur in some of the other metres also. Vānavāsikā, for instance, described below, by definition also has a short 9th syllable. So that the name Mattāsamaka is applied only when the characteristics of this metre are present but those of the other metres are absent.


⏔⏔¦⏔⏔¦⏑⏒⏓¦⏔× 4x



Viślokaḥ pañcamāṣṭamau || ChŚā 4:44 ||
Jo nlāvathāmbudher-Viślokaḥ || VR 55 ||

Jo nlāthavāṇṇavā Visiloko. MP, MR93: -vannavā; MK: -āṇṇaṁ vā; unusually, this line has a long vowel before a conjunct consonant, which we would normally expect to find contracted. [38]

Jo nlā = jagaṇa + nagaṇa + light syllable; athavā = or; aṇṇavā = (oceans, of which there are) four (abl.); Visiloko = proper name.

Or (if) there is a jagaṇa or a nagaṇa and a light syllable This is an unexpected description because, as stated in v. 6, in the mattacchandas metres nagaṇa is usually equal to four light syllables (⏑⏑⏑⏑) anyway. after four (measures) (it is) Visiloka.

The characteristic of this metre is that it has a jagaṇa (or, with resolution, a nagaṇa and a light syllable) in the 2nd bar.


⏔⏔¦⏑⏔⏑¦⏔⏔¦⏔× 4x



Dvādaśaśca Vānavāsikā || ChŚā 4:43 ||
Tadyugalād-Vānavāsikā syāt || VR 56 ||

Tadvayato Vānavāsikākhyā. MR93: -vāsikākkhyā. [39]

Ta = that; dvayato = twice; Vānavāsikā = proper name; ākhyā = name.

(Or after) twice that, it’s name is Vānavāsikā.

The rule is very elliptic here, but what it means is, if there is a jagaṇa or a nagaṇa and a light syllable after twice x four mattā, (i.e. after eight mattā, which means in the 3rd bar), the metre is called Vānavāsikā.


⏔⏔¦⏔⏔¦⏑⏔⏑¦⏔× 4x



Citrā navamaśca || ChŚā 4:45 ||
Vāṇāṣṭanavasu yadi laś-Citrā || VR 57 ||

Pañcaṭṭhanavasu yadi lo Citrā. [40]

Pañca = five; aṭṭha = eight; navasu = in nine (loc.); yadi = if; lo = light syllable; Citrā = proper name.

If in the fifth, eighth, and ninth (measure) there is a light syllable, it is Citrā.

Citrā is really only a further refinement of Visiloka above, but here having a light syllable at the start of the 3rd bar. When that is done, of course, the 3rd bar can only be a jagaṇa (⏑−⏑) or a nagaṇa (⏑⏑⏑⏑).

The 12-syllablic Samavutta metre Pamitakkharā would appear to be a fixed form of this metre, showing the following profile: ⏑⏑−⏑−⏑⏑⏑−⏑⏑−.


⏔⏔¦⏑⏔⏑¦⏑⏒⏓¦⏔× 4x



Parayutkenopacitrā || ChŚā 4:46 ||
Abdhiyugādbhaśced-Upacitrā||VR 58 ||

Galyāṭṭhahi ce sā-v-Upacitrā. MK: Galyaṭṭhahi; Siddhartha reads: ‘Gallāthahi ce sā Upacitrā’, and translates: ‘If after eight mattās there be one guru and two laghus (i.e. a Bhagaṇa) the metre is called Upacitrā’. This would also fit in with the example, and is agreement with the reading given from VR (but note that there is a lot of confusion in the readings in VR at this point). As the last syllable is heavy by definition (see v. 7 above), the only difference between the two readings amounts to the status of the penultimate syllable, whether fixed as long or free for resolution. [41]

Galyā = garu + lahu + yagaṇa; aṭṭhahi = after eight (abl.) (2nd -ă- is m.c.); ce = if; = that; -v- = euphonic consonant; Upacitrā = proper name.

If there is heavy syllable, a light syllable, and yagaṇa after eight (measures), that is Upacitrā.

The description here defines the whole of the last two bars, and it should be noted that it is similar to an Āpātalikā even line, as described in verse 29 above.

The 11-syllablic Samavutta metre Dodhaka would appear to be a fixed form of this metre, showing the following profile: −⏑⏑−⏑⏑−⏑⏑−−.


⏔⏔¦⏔⏔¦−⏑⏑¦−× 4x



Ebhiḥ Pādākulakam || ChŚā 4:47 ||
Mātrāsamādipādaiḥ kalitam |
Prathitaṁ jagatsu Pādākulakam || VR 59 ||

Yam-atītalakkhaṇavisesayutaṁ (Citrā)
Mattāsamādipādābhihitaṁ (Visiloka)
Aniyatavuttaparimāṇasahitaṁ (Vānavāsikā)
Pathitaṁjanesu Pādākulakaṁ. a) MP: -lakkhana-; MK, MP: -yuttaṁ; Sid: -yuta; Fry: -yutta- (sic); b) MR93: -samādipadābhi-; c) MR93: Aniyatta-; MP: -parimāna-; MR93: -sahita; d) MK: pathitañ-; (Visiloka) [42]

Yam = that which; atīta = before; lakkhaṇa = characteristics; visesa = distinctive; yutaṁ = joined together (this meaning not in PED); Mattāsama(ka) = proper name; ādi = beginning with; pāda = line; abhihitaṁ = indicated (not in PED); aniyata = dissimilar (this meaning not in PED); vutta = metre; parimāṇa + sahitaṁ = comprised of; pathitaṁ = declared (not in PED); janesu = amongst the people (loc.); Pādākulakaṁ = proper name (= having Mixed Lines).

That (verse) which has joined together the distinctive characteristics of the lines beginning with Mattāsamaka indicated before, comprised of dissimilar metres is declared amongst the people to be Pādākulaka (Mixed Lines).

Here we can see that three of the metres described above go to make up this verse, which is then known as Pādākulaka. Siddhartha, in his comment on this verse, states: “, the first line is Mattāsamaka as it contains a Laghu in the ninth place and a Guru at the end; or it may be a Visiloka as it has a jagaṇa after four Mattās; or it may be Citrā as it has a Laghu in the fifth, eight and ninth places...The third line is either Mattāsamaka or Vānavāsika...” However this is incorrect, as when a metre is more extensively defined, it loses its previous name and adopts the latter name. We therefore only name a metre as Mattāsamaka, if it has the characteristics of that metre, but not of the other metres in this section. Similarly, as stated in the Commentary, Citrā is a further refinement of Visiloka, having a short as the 9th mattā, it therefore loses its previous name and adopts the name of Citrā.

As stated in the introduction to this section none of the Mattāsamaka metres appear in Pāḷi literature. Warder, Pali Metre § 82, quotes the following gāthā from the Sanskrit Mohamudgara, which we can use as the example:

Nalinīdalagatajalavattaralaṁ (Citrā)
tad-vajjīvanamatiśayacapalaṁ (Vānavāsikā)
iti saṁsāre sphuṭataradoṣaḥ (Vānavāsikā)
kathamiha mānava tava santoṣaḥ (Mattāsamaka)



Sā g yena na samā lāṁ gla iti || ChŚā 4:53 ||
Vttasya lā vinā varṇairgā varṇā gurubhistathā |
Guravo lairdale nityaṁ pramāṇamiti niścitam || VR 60 ||

Vinā vaṇṇehi mattā gā; vinā vaṇṇā garūhi tu;
Vinā lahūhi garavo dale, Pathyādino matā.
a) MP, MR14: vannehi; b) MP: vannā; MR14: vanna; Vim, Dhm: gurūhi; MK: garuhi (scribal error); c) MK, MP, MR93, Dhm, Sid: lahuni; MR14, MR93, Vim, Dhm, Dīp, Laṅk, Sid: guravo; d) MK: Patthyādino; [43]

Vinā = minus; vaṇṇehi = syllables (abl.); mattā = measures; = (two) heavy syllables; vinā = minus; vaṇṇā = syllables; garūhi = heavy syllables (abl.); tu = but; vinā = minus; lahūhi = light syllables (abl.); garavo = heavy syllables; dale = halved; Pathyā = proper name; ādino = beginning with; matā = considered.

It is considered that beginning with the (Ariyā) Pathyā:
1) The measures minus the syllables (equals) the heavy syllables.
2) But (the measures) minus the heavy syllables (equals) the syllables.
3) (The measures) minus the light syllables halved (equals) the heavy syllables.

This verse gives a way to make various alternative calculations. In illustration if we take the Ariyā Pathyā verse (no. 19) above:

Ariyāsāmaññañ-ce pubboditalakkhaṇaṁ bhave yassā,
ādimamatha pādayugaṁ yassā tyaṁsehi sā Pathyā.

There are: 57 measures, 35 syllables, 22 heavy syllables & 13 light syllables.

1) The measures minus the syllables equals the heavy syllables: 57–35 = 22
2) The measures minus the heavy syllables equals the syllables: 57–22 = 35
3) The measures minus the light syllables halved equals the heavy syllables:
57–13 = 44 / 2 = 22.

In Vttaratnākara there is another section here, which deals with the Dvipāda metres. These are metres that are based on the Āryā group of metres, but having all light syllables in every gaṇa, or all heavy syllables in one pādayuga, and all light in the other. They are not found in Pāḷi literature and not described in Vuttodaya.

Iti Vuttodaye Chandasi Mattāvuttaniddeso Nāma Dutiyo Paricchedo MK, Dhm, Sid: Iti Mattāvuttaniddeso Nāma Dutiyo Paricchedo; MR14: Iti Mattāvuttiniddeso Nāma Dutiyo; MR93: Iti Mattāvuttiniddeso Dutiyo; Vim: Iti Mattāvuttiniddeso Dutiyo Paricchedo; MP: Iti Mattāvuttaniddeso Dutiyo Paricchedo; Fry: Iti Mattāvuttāniddeso Dutiyo; Th: (simply) Dutiyo Paricchedo.
Such is the Second Chapter in the Prosody the Composition of Metre
which is called The Description of the Measure Metres