Wednesday, April 22, 2015

On Sanskrit Poetry

This article provides an introduction.

Among other fascinating things:

5.3. There are too many Slesha-kavyas where each of its lines gives forth more than one meaning. For instance, the Rama-pala –charita   by the court poet Nandin depicts at once two stories (dwi-sandhana—kavya), one of the Sri Rama and the other of King Rama Plala of Bengal (1104-1130). Another is the ‘Raghava-yadava- Pandavveya’ by Chidambara Sumati (16th century) a court poet of Vijayanagara which narrates simultaneously three stories (Tri-sandhana kavya’) those of Rama, Krishna and Arjuna. Such Slesha-kavyas, by laborious splitting compound words; by repetition of sounds (srutyanusara), of vowels (varna-anusara) and of words (pada –anusara);    and by interpreting the words depending on the context, can yield five or even seven stories.
5.4. There is also a Viloma-kavya where the first half of the verse is repeated backwards (viloma) in the second half; and they together form an entire line (pada). When the method is extended in a certain order the verse becomes all-moving (sarvathobhadra) or half-moving (ardha-bhrama). A 16th century poet Daivajna Suryadasa Kavi from Godavari district in Andhra Pradesh wrote a Chitrakavya in the Viloma (reverse)style narrating the story of Rama and Krishna (Rama-Krishna-Viloma-Kavya) in 38 slokas. Each sloka has four lines, of which the first two lines relate to Rama-story while   the next two lines to Krishna story. The specialty of this Kavya is that the third line is composed by reversing the order of letters in the second line, while the fourth line is a reversal of the order of letters in the first line.
There is also a Viloma kavya by Venkatadvari titled Yadava-raghaveeyam. The Yadava-raghaveeyam a poem with two meanings (anuloma-viloma-kavya ) comprises 30 verses and deals with the story of Rama and Krishna together by adopting the style of anuloma and prathiloma, that is, reading each stanza as such and in reverse order, the former telling the story of Rama while the latter narrating the story of Krishna. Hence this work actually consists of 60 slokas in all.


Here is an amazing sloka of 32 syllables using only one consonant (Ya) and one vowel (Aa):
The Paduka (footwear) which adorn the Lord , which help in attaining all that is good and auspicious, which removes all ills, which gives knowledge, which inspires desire to be in presence of the Lord, by which all places of the world can be reached, these padukas are of the Lord.(This verse is taken from Sri Vedanta Desika’s Padukasahasram).