gIrvANAmRtabindu: garbhakavitva - Metre within a metre. 

Poetry is of four kinds: Ashu, ba.ndha, garbha, and, citra.  
Ashukavitva is of extemporaneous variety, the usual ones that 
we find in Sanskrit texts.  ba.ndhakavitva is one wherein the 
poem is set to certain patterns, viz., nAgaba.ndha (cobra pattern), 
churikAba.ndha (pattern of sword), cakraba.ndha (wheel pattern), 
aSTadalakamalaba.ndha (eight-petalled lotus pattern), etc.  I will 
give examples for these at a later date.  In fact, these patterns 
would be nice to view on graphics.  (If I send the pattern, can 
anybody there in cyber-space put it on graphics?  Sorry for the 
trouble!)  A poem is said to be of the type garbhakavitva if it 
is set two different metres at the same time.  citrakavitva is that 
when the poem has certain tonal or syllabic peculiarities such as 
the use of certain letters or syllables .  Today is a holiday and I 
have a little more time at my disposal.  Sorry, you have to read a 
longer posting.  Let me dwell on garbhakavitva.  This is the first 
time I am using ITRANS.  Pardon me if there are mistakes.  

I am taking an example from `pArijAtapaharaNa' by na.ndi timmana.  
na.ndi timmana lived in the sixteenth century in the court 
of shrI kRshhNadevrAya of vijayanagara (ha.mpi) empire.  The emperor, 
known as mUrurAyaraga.NDa, encouraged literature in the three 
languages: telugu, kannaDa and tamilzh.  The poet is also known by 
the name mukku (nose) timmana as he described the nose of satyabhAma 
in a very beautiful manner!  Even though he wrote in telugu, the poem 
I am quoting is in Sanskrit.  So it is appropriate for this column. 

We learnt the other day that toTaka has four sa gaNAs in each line. 
sragviNi (garlanded woman?) has four ra (212) gaNAs in each line.  
bhuj.ngaprayAta (movement of the snake) has four ya (122) gaNAs in 
each line.  For both, the yati is at the seventh syllable.  

	sragviNi: 
	"vAsudevA ghanassvacchakA.ntI ramA 
	 vAsa vaMshasvaravyaktavedakramA 
	 rAsalAsyaprakArapravINodyamA 
	 vAsavAdistutavyaktanAmA namaH" 

Meanings for some words: ghana = cloud; svaccha = pure; 
kA.nti = glow; ramAvAsa = the abode of rama (lakshhmi); 
vaMsha = flute (literally bamboo); svara = sound; 
vyakta = made known; vedakrama = vedAs; rAsalAsya = rAsa dance; 
prakAra = mode; pravINa = expert; udyama = effort; vAsava = indra; 
stuta = praised; nAma = name. 

	Syllabic pattern for the fourth line: 

	 2  1  2  2   1  2   2   1  2  2  1   2
	vA sa vA di stu ta vya kta nA mA na maH 
	-------- --------- ---------- ---------
	   ra        ra        ra        ra

	Let us rewrite the same poem in a slightly different form: 

	"namaH vAsudevA ghanassvacchakA.ntI 
	 ramAvAsa vaMshasvaravyaktaveda
	 kramA rAsalAsyaprakArapravINo 
	 dyamA vAsavAdistutavyaktanAmA"  

	Abracadabra! 
Now it becomes bhuja.ngaprayAta as it has four ya gaNas in each line! 
	
	Syllabic pattern for the first line: 

	 1   2  2  1  2  2   1  2    2    1  2    2
	na maH vA su de vA gha na ssva ccha kA .ntI 
	--------- -------- ----------- ------------
	    ya       ya        ya           ya

Note that in telugu, additional constraints have to be observed. 
prAsa (rhyming scheme for the second syllable of each line:  
sa for sragviNi and ma for bhuja.ngaprayAta) also has to be obeyed 
for both the metres.  Observe also the yatIs.  In the sragviNi 
metre, the yatis for the four lines are as follows: 
vA in vAsu with sva in svaccha; vA in vAsa with vya in vyakta; 
rA in rAsa with ra in prakAra; vA in vAsavA with vya in vyakta.  
In the bhuja.ngaprayAta metre, the yatIs in the four lines are: 
na in namaH with gha in ghana; ra in ramA with sva in svara; 
kra in kramA with pra in prakAra; dya in dyamA with stu in stuta. 
If you observe carefully, there is a syllabic relationship in the 
yati; the first letter and the yati letter are the same or they 
belong to the same family or varga, etc.  This strict relationship 
is present only in telugu.  In Sanskrit, yati is only a pause.  
The voice rests on the previous syllable and we have a break thus 
enabling easy understanding of the poem.  No rhyme or syllabic 
relationship exists for yati, nor there is prAsa.  

"O Krishna! glowing like a clear cloud, you are the abode of Lakshmi; 
 The notes emanating from your flute are like the poetry of vedAs; 
 You are extremely skillful in the dance of rAsa; 
 Your name is chanted by gods like Indra; my salutations to you!" 

Now let us have some fun.  I rewrote the poem in a circular form 
(to be read in a clockwise fashion).  For sragviNi, the lines 
start at letters marked with 1, 2, 3, and, 4.  For bhuj.ngaprayAta, 
they start at 5, 6, 7, and, 8.  I have rearranged the poem in 
this way to emphasise that a frame shift by two syllables changes 
the metrical pattern.  Biologists who are familiar with DNA will 
immediately see the relationship between this and the frameshifts 
encountered in protein coding.  In fact, in the case of DNA and RNA, 
we have four unique bases (A, C, G, T or U) and there are sixty-four 
unique ways of combing them taking three at a time.  These are called 
codons.  Syllables are of two types only: long (dIrgha or guru) 
and short (hrasva or laghu).  So we have eight and only eight ways 
of forming three-syllable gaNAs.  Suppose we give two more 
characteristics, say, simple or compound form of the letters in 
the syllable.  In that case, we too will have sixty-four gaNAs!  
Of course, this is only hypothetical.  
na ma@h vA su dE vA gha na ssva ccha kAM tI
nA mA ra mA
vya kta vA sa
stu ta vaM Sa
vA di sva ra
vA sa vya kta
dya mA vE dA
NO vI pra ra kA pra sya lA sa rA mA kra
The above has to be read in the clockwise direction (only the bottom line
syllables have to be read right to left). The sragviNi lines begin
with the blue words and the bhujaMga prayAta lines begin with red words. 



                                 na   ssva 
                       vA   gha            ccha kA.n  
             su   de                                 tI   ra 6  
      1 vA                                                     mA  
        maH                                        	       vA 2
      5 na                                                     sa 
     mA                                                           vaM 
     nA                                                           sha
   kta                                                              sva
   vya       1,2,3,4 sragviNi                                       ra
   ta                           5,6,7,8 bhujangaprayAta             vya
   stu                                                              kta
     di                                                           ve
     vA                                                           da
        sa                                                     kra 7
      4 vA                                                     mA 
        mA                                                     rA 3
           8 dya  No                                 lA   sa   
                       vI   pra            pra  sya 
                                 ra   kA   

                  The above version has to be read clockwise. 

Thus this posting has been an ambitious one on my part.  I tried 
to achieve four goals: (1,2) to decribe the characteristics of two 
metres, viz., sragviNi and bhujangaprayAta; (3) to explain the 
features of garbha kavitva (kangaroo poetry or metre within a metre); 
(4) to bring out some parallels between this and the DNA coding.  

I hope I was at least partly successful in conveying my excitement 
about the mathematical relationships in poetry to you all.  

Om shAntiH.  Peace!  -  J. K.  Mohana  Rao

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