Click here to load whole tree
NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Verses > Bhagavatakhila-Vritta-Nirnaya




          The name of this seminar, shri-bhagavatakhila-vrtta-nirnaya, means, "An analytical discussion of all the meters in the Shrimad-Bhagavatam." The by far greatest portion of the Bhagavatam is composed in verses. Only in the Fifth Canto there is a substantial amount of prose texts. In the Fourth Canto there is one single prose text in Chapter twenty-nine. In the Sixth Canto, in Chapter nine, there is the demigod's prayer to Lord Vishnu with eleven prose texts, one of the mantras given by Narada Muni to Maharaja Citraketu in Chapter sixteen and two mantras in Chapter nineteen are also written in prose. Finally, in the Twelfth Canto, there is Shri Yajnavalkya's prayer to the sun god which consists of six prose texts. The whole rest of the Bhagavatam is written in verse form.


          The most prominent type of verse is composed in a meter called anustup. In the first Canto of the Shrimad-Bhagavatam for example there are 628 anustup verses and the total number of verses in this Canto is 808. Sanskrit verses are classified according to the number of syllables per pada . A pada  is a quarter verse as illustrated in the following example:


k*-Z<aaYa vaSaudevaYa devk-INaNdNaaYa c )

NaNdGaaePaku-MaaraYa GaaeivNdaYa NaMaae NaMa" ))21))


krishnaya vasudevaya                   1st  pada     - - R - R - - R

  devaki-nandanaya ca                 2nd pada      - R - - R - R -

nanda-gopa-kumaraya                  3rd pada       - R - R R - - R

  govindaya namo namah             4th pada       - - - R R - R -

(SB 1.8.21)


          The above example shows an anustup verse in devanagari script followed by its transliteration and a symbolic representation of the sequence of long and short syllables in each pada . The single vertical bar in the devanagari marks the end of one half verse and the double bars with the verse number in-between mark the end of the verse. Note that the devanagari only shows two `lines', but the transliteration shows four. The verse in our example has eight syllables in each pada . When you look at the symbolic representation of the long and short syllables, you will see that all four padas are different. They all have eight syllables but the distribution of long and short syllables differs from one pada to  the next. Still, there are some common characteristics. In each pada  the first syllable is long and the fifth syllable is short. The first and third padas end in the same pattern, long, long, short, and the second and fourth padas also end in identical patterns, long, short long. Even though the anustup verses are most prominent in the classical Sanskrit literature and nobody has any difficulties reciting such verses, the rules for their composition are relatively complicated. We will not discuss these rules in this seminar, as they are only interesting for those who want to compose Sanskrit verses themselves. At this point it is enough to say that the meter of those verses in the Bhagavatam which have eight syllables in each pada  is called anustup.


          The science of Sanskrit meters or metrical composition is called chandas. There is a number of learned works in the Sanskrit literature about this topic. This seminar is based on a text named Chando-manjari by Gangadasa Pandita. Gangadasa Pandita was actually Lord Chaitanya's grammar teacher, as confirmed by the following quotes from the Chaitanya-charitamrita and Teachings of Lord Chaitanya,


gangadasa pandita-sthane padena vyakarana

sravana-matre kanthe kaila sutra-vrtti-gana



When the Lord was studying grammar at the place of Gangadasa Pandita, He would immediately learn grammatical rules and definitions by heart simply by hearing them once.



Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura says that the Lord was given lessons by a teacher named Vishnu and another teacher named Sudarsana. Later on, when He was a little grown up, He was under the care of Gangadasa Pandita, who taught Him grammar of a higher standard. Anyone serious about studying the Sanskrit language should first learn grammar. It is said that simply to finish studying Sanskrit grammar takes at least twelve years, but once one learns the grammatical rules and regulations very nicely, all other scriptures or subject matters in Sanskrit are extremely easy to understand, for Sanskrit grammar is the gateway to education. (Adi 15.5)


          In his eighth year, he was admitted into the tola of Gangadasa Pandita in Ganganagara close by the village of Mayapur. In two years he became well read in Sanskrit grammar and rhetoric. His readings after that were of the nature of self-study in his own house, where he had found all-important books belonging to his father, who was a pandita himself. (TLC prologue)


          This paper is not supposed to be the complete text of our seminar. We will only present the most important definitions and give the names of the different classes of meters. It will therefore be essential for the students in this seminar to take notes and to listen very attentively. Here is a quote from the Shrimad-Bhagavatam about the origin of the Vedic meters:


yathornanabhir hrdayad urnam udvamate mukhat

akasad ghosavan prano manasa sparsa-rupina


chando-mayo 'mrta-mayah sahasra-pada vim prabhuh

omkarad vyanjita-sparsa-svarosmantastha-bhusitam


vicitra-bhasa-vitatam chandobhis catur-uttaraih

ananta-param brhatim srjaty aksipate svayam



          Just as a spider brings forth from its heart its web and emits it through its mouth, the Supreme Personality of Godhead manifests Himself as the reverberating primeval vital air, comprising all sacred Vedic meters and full of transcendental pleasure. Thus the Lord, from the ethereal sky of His heart, creates the great and limitless Vedic sound by the agency of His mind, which conceives of variegated sounds such as the sparsas. The Vedic sound branches out in thousands of directions, adorned with the different letters expanded from the syllable om: the consonants, vowels, sibilants and semivowels. The Veda is then elaborated by many verbal varieties, expressed in different meters, each having four more syllables than the previous one. Ultimately the Lord again withdraws His manifestation of Vedic sound within Himself. (SB 11.21.38-40)


gayatry usnig anustup ca brhati panktir eva ca

tristub jagaty aticchando hy atyasty-atijagad-virat



          The Vedic meters are Gayatri, Usnik, Anustup, Brhati, Pankti, Tristup, Jagati, Aticchanda, Atyasti, Atijagati and Ativirat. (SB 11.21.41)






          A meter is called `even', when all the four padas of a verse have the same number of syllables and the arrangement of long and short sounds in sequence is identical in all four padas. The Sanskrit term for even meter is samavrtta. An example for such an even meter is,


iNaGaMak-LPaTaraeGaRil/Ta& f-l&/                    R R R - R R - R R - R -

Xauk-Mau%adMa*Tad]vSa&YauTaMa( )                       R R R - R R - R R - R -

iPabTa >aaGavTa& rSaMaal/Ya&                       R R R - R R - R R - R -

Mauhurhae riSak-a >auiv >aavuk-a" ))3))  R R R - R R - R R - R -


nigama-kalpa-taror galitam phalam

suka-mukhad amrta-drava-samyutam

pibata bhagavatam rasam alayam

muhur aho rasika bhuvi bhavukah

(SB 1.1.3)

          In this verse there are twelve syllables in each pada. The general name for even twelve-syllable meters is jagati. Theoretically there could be as many as two to the power of twelve or 4,096 different jagati meters. However, the Chando-manjari lists only thirty varieties of even twelve-syllable meters. Besides the general name, jagati, the meter also has its individual name because it is not only characterized by the number of syllables but also by its particular sequence of long and short sounds. The verse shown above is composed in a meter called drutavilambita.


          Besides the even meters there is another class of meters known as semi-even or ardha-samavrtta. In a semi-even meter the first pada agrees with the third  and the second pada agrees with the fourth. The following verse from the Shrimad-Bhagavatam is composed in a semi-even meter called puspitagra. Note how the odd padas differ from the even padas in pattern as well as in number of syllables. Here the odd padas have twelve syllables  whereas the even padas have thirteen.


l/il/TaGaiTaivl/aSavLGauhaSa                                      R R R R R R - R - R - -

Pa[<aYaiNarq+a<ak-iLPaTaaerMaaNaa" )                     R R R R - R R - R - R - -

k*-TaMaNauk*-TavTYa oNMadaNDaa"                                   R R R R R R - R - R - -

Pa[k*-iTaMaGaNa( ik-l/ YaSYa GaaePavS" ))40))  R R R R - R R - R - R - -




krta-manu-krta-vatya unmadandhah

prakrtim agan kila yasya gopya-vadhvah

(SB 1.9.40)


          Finally there are the uneven or visama-vrtta meters. In the uneven meter all four padas are dissimilar. The most common type of visama-vrtta is the uneven variety of anustup.  In fact, this is the most common type of verse in the entire classical Sanskrit literature. An example of this meter will be shown later, in the anustup section. It is not at all difficult to chant the anustup verses, whether they be even, semi-even or uneven, but other uneven meters with more than eight syllables per pada are rather complicated and often quite a challange for the reciter. An example of a more exotic variety of the visama-vrtta  type can be found in the Sixth Canto of the Shrimad-Bhagavatam in Chapter Sixteen, which is King Citraketu's prayer to Lord Ananta-Sesa. The fourteen uneven verses of this prayer show not only four dissimilar padas in each sloka, but there are also no two verses that have the same metrical structure.


Na VYai>acriTa Tave+aa                                  - R R R R R R - -                 12

YaYaa hi>aihTaae >aaGavTaae DaMaR"             R - R R R - - R R - - - 18

iSQarcrSatvk-dMbeZv(                                      R R R R - R R - -                 12

APa*QaiGDaYaae YaMauPaaSaTae TvaYaaR" ))43))        R R - R - R R - R - - - 18


na vyabhicarati taveksa

yaya hy abhihito bhagavato dharmah


aprthag-dhiyo yam upasate tv aryah

(SB 6.16.43)


          This verse may also be placed in the category of matra-vrtta. In the matra-vrtta class of verses not the number of syllables matters, but rather the weight of the combined long and short sounds. A long syllable counts two measures and a short syllable counts one measure. Gangadasa Pandita describes a meter in his book which almost fits the above pattern and calls it udgitih, a variety of arya. The rules for this type of matra-vrtta prescribe that there should be 30 matras in each half verse. Our example has satisfies this rule very well, as indicated by the numbers on the right margin. That King Citraketu's Prayer is indeed composed in the arya meter, is further confirmed by Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura's commentary on this verse, wherein he, after explaining the meaning of the word aryah, which happens to be the last word in the verse, says, ".aryakhyam chandas cedam iti darsitam; .and the meter of this verse is also known as arya. Thus it has been revealed."


Gangadasa Pandita has defined long and short vowels in the following concise rule,


sanusvaras ca dirghas ca visargas ca gurur bhavet

varnah samyoga-purvas ca tatah padantago 'pi va


"A vowel followed by an anusvara (m), a long vowel and a vowel followed by a visarga (h) are heavy. Any vowel immediately preceding a combination of two or more consonants is also considered heavy. A vowel at the end of a pada can optionally be considered heavy." The following vowels are long or heavy by nature: a, i, u, r, e, o, ai, au. All other vowels are short or light. The Pandita further explains, gurur eko ga-karo 'stu  la-karo laghur ekakah, "A single long syllable shall be represented by the sound `ga', and a single short syllable shall be represented by the sound `la'."


          A cluster of three syllables is called a gana. The science of chandas defines eight such ganas and assignes a particular sound of the Sanskrit phonological system to each cluster. In the Chando-manjari these eight ganas are defined as follows,

mas tri gurus tri laghus ca na-karo

bhadi guruh punar adi laghu yah

jo guru-madhya-gato rala-madhyah

so 'nta-guruh kathito 'nta-laghus tah


ma     =       three heavy                      =       -   -   -

na      =       three light                         =       R R  R

bha    =       heavy in the beginning        =       -  R  R

ya      =       light in the beginning           =       R  -  -

ja       =       heavy in the middle            =       R  -  R

ra       =       light in the middle               =       -   R  -

sa      =       heavy in the end                =       R  R  -

ta       =       light in the end                  =       -   -  R


The same rule is expressed most concisely in the words of the Agni-Purana:


sarvadi-madhyanta-galau, mnau bhyau jrau stau trika ganah


          The Chando-manjari lists a total of twenty-six general names for meters. These names simply refer to the number of syllables in a quarter verse. The list begins with meters in which there is only one syllable in each pada  and goes up to meters in which there are 26 syllables in each pada. The following table shows these 26 names but not the individual names of the meters which belong to each category. In each category there may be even, semi-even and uneven meters. In the Bhagavatam there are a many verses in which padas of eleven and twelve syllables are combined. These combinations are seldom symmetrical and do not have individual names. In this paper we have not analysed this type of verse.




Name  syllables        in SB   name  syllables        in SB  

Uktha  1        -         sakvari          14      one type      

Atyuktha       2        -         atisakvari       15      one type      

Madhya         3        -         asti     16      -        

Pratistha        4        -         atyasti 17      3 types        

Supratistha    5        -         dhrtih  18      -        

Gayatri          6        -         atidhrtih         19      one type      

Usnik  7        -         krtih    20      -        

Anustup        8        3 types         prakrtih         21      one type      

Brhati  9        -         akrtih  22      -        

Panktih          10      -         vikrtih  23      -        

Tristup 11      7 types         samkrtih        24      -        

Jagati  12      5 types         adhikrtih        25      -        

Atijagati         13      5 types         utkrtih 26      -        



The twenty-six types of meters



(8 syllables)


1.       An example for an even anustup meter can be found in SB 7.8.51 this meter is called pramanika and the pattern is ja-ra-la-ga. Gangadasa says, `pramanika jarau lagau'.


       shri-carana ucuh                                                      

hare tavanghri-pankajam                                  R - R - R - R -

  bhavapavargam ashritah                                         R - R - R - R -

yad esa sadhu-hrc-chayas                                 R - R - R - R -

  tvayasurah samapitah                                             R - R - R - R -

(SB 7.8.51)


2.       An example for a semi-even anustup meter can be found in SB 1.8.25 first and third pada: sa-ra-ga-ga; second and fourth pada: ra-sa-la-ga


vipadah santu tah sasvat                                           R R - - R - - -

  tatra tatra jagad-guro                                             - R - R R - R -

bhavato darsanam yat syad                              R R - - R - - -

  apunar bhava-darsanam                                - R - R R - R -

(SB 1.8.25)


3.       Examples for uneven anustup verses can be found all over the Bhagavatam, like the following famous verse from SB 1.2.11


vadanti tat tattva-vidas                                              R - R - - R R -

  tattvam yaj jnanam advayam                                   - - - - R - R -

brahmeti paramatmeti                                               - - R R R - - -

  bhagavan iti sabdyate                                             R R - R R - R -

(SB 1.2.11)


Note:            Sometimes, in an anustup verse, the first or third pada may have nine syllables. This invariably happens for example if the word upagiyamana is used.






(11 syllables)


1.       The even tristup meter of the name indravajra can be found in SB 3.5.40. Gangadasa says, `syad indravajra yadi tau ja-gau gah'. The ganas are ta-ta-ja-ga-ga.


dhatar yad asmin bhava isa jivas                       - - R - - R R - R - -

  tapa-trayenabhihata na sarma                                  - - R - - R R - R - -

atman labhante bhagavams tavanghri-                - - R - - R R - R - -

  cchayam sa-vidyam ata asrayema                            - - R - - R R - R - -

(SB 3.5.40)


2.       The even tristup meter of the name upendravajra is relatively rare in the Bhagavatam. An example can be found in SB 12.9.12. Gangadasa says, `upendravajra pratame laghau sa'. (This definition is only clear if mentioned right after `syad indravajra yadi tau ja-gau gah.'  The pattern is ja-ta-ja-ga-ga.



tato vyadrsyanta catuh samudrah                      R - R - - R R - R - -

  samantatah ksma-talam agrasantah                          R - R - - R R - R - -

samira-vegormibhir ugra-nakra-                         R - R - - R R - R - -

  maha-bhayavarta-gabhira-ghosah                    R - R - - R R - R - -

(SB 12.9.12)


3.       A meter in which padas of indravajra and upendravajra can be arbitrarily combined is called upajati. The upajati is the by far most often used variety of eleven-syllable-meter in the Shrimad-Bhagavatam. An example can be found in SB 1.19.13,



aho vayam dhanyatama nrpanam                      R - R - - R R - R - -

  mahattamanugrahaniya-silah                                    R - R - - R R - R - -

rajnam kulam brahmana-pada-saucad                 - - R - - R R - R - -

  durad visrstam bata garhya-karma                            - - R - - R R - R - -

(SB 1.19.13)


4.       In the thirty-first Chapter of the Tenth Canto of the Shrimad-Bhagavatam, which is entitled "The Gopis' Songs of Separation", there is a nice variety of tristup named indira. Gangadasa defines, `nararalair guravindira mata' and quotes as an example SB 10.31.1. He also mentions that in the book of the name mandara-maranda-campu this meter is called kanaka-manjari. The ganas are as follows, na-ra-ra-la-ga.


               gopya ucuh

jayati te 'dhikam janmana vrajah                        R R R - R - - R - R -

  srayata indira sasvad atra hi                                     R R R - R - - R - R -

dayita drsyatam diksu tavakas                                    R R R - R - - R - R -

  tvayi dhrtasavas tvam vicinvate                      R R R - R - - R - R -

(SB 10.31.3)


5.       A tristup variety which is not listed in the Chando-manjari is found in SB 4.7.32. The ganas are arranged as follows, sa-bha-ra-la-ga.


                  indra uvaca

idam apy acyuta visva-bhavanam                      R R - - R R - R - R -

  vapur ananda-karam mano-drsam                             R R - - R R - R - R -

sura-vidvit-ksapanair udayudhair                        R R - - R R - R - R -

  bhuja-dandair upapannam astabhih                           R R - - R R - R - R -

(SB 4.7.32)


6.       A meter of the name svagata is used by the Gopis in the Tenth Canto of the Shrimad-Bhagavatam to describe Krishna's flute playing. It is found in SB 10.35.2. Gangadasa says, `svagata ranabhagair guruna ca'. The rhythm is ra-na-bha-ga-ga.


              shri-gopya ucuh

vama-bahu-krta-vama-kapolo                                     - R - R R R - R R - -

  valgita-bhrur adhararpita-venum                      - R - R R R - R R - -

komalangulibhir ashrita-margam                         - R - R R R - R R - -

  gopya irayati yatra mukundah                        - R - R R R - R R - -

(SB 10.35.2)


7.       The meter salini  can be found in SB 10.3.24. Gangadasa Pandita defines it thus, `mattau gau cec chalini veda-lokeh'. The ganas are ma-ta-ta-ga-ga.


            shri-devaky uvaca

rupam yat tat prahur avyaktam adyam               - - - - - R - - R - -

  brahma jyotir nirgunam nirvikaram                            - - - - - R - - R - -

satta-matram nirvisesam niriham                        - - - - - R - - R - -

  sa tvam saksad visnur adhyatma-dipah            - - - - - R - - R - -

(SB 10.3.24)


8.       There are a number of mixed tristup meters in the Shrimad-Bhagavatam. They are relatively rare and are sometimes arranged as semi-even, sometimes as uneven meters. For the sake of completeness I will mention their names and describe their rhythmical patterns. The salini meter is sometimes mixed with a  meter of the name vatormi, - - - - R R - - R - -, `vatormi yam gatita m-bhau ta-gau ga'. Examples for the combination of salini and vatormi can be found in SB 1.13.29 and in SB 4.7.37


evam raja vidurenanujena                                 - - - - R R - - R - -

  prajna-caksur bodhita ajamidhah                     - - - - - R R - R - -

chittva svesu sneha-pasan dradhimno                           - - - - - R - - R - -

  niscakrama bhratr-sandarsitadhva                    - - - - - R - - R - -

(SB 1.13.29)

                    lokapala ucuh

drstah kim no drgbhir asad-grahais tvam             - - - - - R R - R - -

  pratyag-drasta drsyate yena visvam                          - - - - - R - - R - -

maya hy esa bhavadiya hi bhuman                    - - - - R R - - R - -

  yas tvam sasthah pancabhir bhasi bhutaih                  - - - - - R - - R - -     

(SB 4.7.37)

          The following example, SB 10.35.9, is a combination of an unknown twelve syllable meter-(na-bha-ja-ya)-in the odd padas and the tristup variety svagata in the even padas,


vana-latas tarava atmani visnum                        R R R - R R R - R R - -

  vyanjayantya iva puspa-phaladhyah                          - R - R R R - R R - -

pranata-bhara-vitapa madhu-dharah                            R R R - R R R - R R - -

  prema-hrsta-tanavo vavrsuh sma                    - R - R R R - R R - -

(SB 10.35.9)


NOTE: Gangadasa Pandita  himself used an eleven syllable meter in his definition of the eight ganas. It is significant that he chose a meter which is said to be expressive of the sentiment of laughter. After all, the words in his definition are really meaningless in a sense and reciting it certainly causes a rather funny emotion. The meter is called dodhaka and is defined thus, `dodhakam icchati bha-tritayad gau'.It is also noteworthy that all definitions given by Gangadasa are in themselves completely correct examples of the particular meter which is being defined, plus the name of each meter appears in the definition itself. The Chando-manjari is therefore called a laksya-laksana-sastra. This concept makes learning fun and easy. Here is the Pandita's verse once again, this time with the long and short symbols. The ganas are bha-bha-bha-ga-ga.


mas tri gurus tri laghus ca na-karo                      - R R - R R - R R - -

  bhadi guruh punar adi laghu yah                      - R R - R R - R R - -

jo guru-madhya-gato rala-madhyah                    - R R - R R - R R - -

  so 'nta-guruh kathito 'nta-laghus tah                - R R - R R - R R - -




(12 syllables)


1.       The jagati meter is very prominent in the classical Sanskrit literature and there are five varieties to be found in the Shrimad-Bhagavatam.The first twelve syllable meter appears in SB 1.1.3 and is called drutavilambita. Gangadasa Pandita defines, `drutavilambhitam aha na-bhau bha-rau.' The ganas are na-bha-bha-ra.


nigama-kalpa-taror galitam phalam                     R R R - R R - R R - R -

  suka-mukhad amrta-drava-samyutam              R R R - R R - R R - R -

pibata bhagavatam rasam alayam                     R R R - R R - R R - R -

  muhur aho rasika bhuvi bhavukah                             R R R - R R - R R - R -

(SB 1.1.3)


2.       Another very prominent variety of jagati is a meter of the name vamsasthavila. It can be found in SB 1.5.13. Gangadasa says, `vadanti vamsasthavilam jatau jarau'. The pattern is ja-ta-ja-ra.


atho maha-bhaga bhavan amogha-drk                R - R - - R R - R - R -

  suci-sravah satya-rato dhrta-vratah                           R - R - - R R - R - R -

urukramasyakhila-bandha-muktaye                     R - R - - R R - R - R -

  samadhinanusmara tad-vicestitam                             R - R - - R R - R - R -     

(SB 1.5.13)


3.       If, in a vamsasthavila meter the first syllable is made long, it is known as indra-vamsa. This meter also is frequently employed in the Shrimad-Bhagavatam.. Gangadasa says, `tac cendravamsa prathamaksare gurau'. The ganas are arranged as, ta-ta-ja-ra. An example of the indra-vamsa  meter can be found in SB 1.5.11.


tad-vag-visargo janatagha-viplavo                      - - R - - R R - R - R -

  yasmin prati-slokam abaddhavaty api              - - R - - R R - R - R -

namany anantasya yaso 'nkitani yat                             - - R - - R R - R - R -

  srnvanti gayanti grnanti sadhavah                    - - R - - R R - R - R -

(SB 1.5.11)


4.       A meter of the name bhujangaprayata can be seen in SB 7.8.49. Gangadasa however quotes from a different Canto. He gives SB 4.7.35 as an example. He defines, `bhujangaprayata caturbhir ya-karau'. The ganas  are thus, ya-ya-ya-ya.


                      siddha ucuh

ayam tvat-katha-mrsta-piyusa-nadyam               R - - R - - R - - R - -

  mano-varanah klesa-davagni-dagdhah              R - - R - - R - - R - -

trsarto 'vagadho na sasmara davam                             R - - R - - R - - R - -

  na niskramati brahma-sampannavan nah          R - - R - - R - - R - -

(SB 4.7.35)


5.       A variety of jagati, known as sragvini, can be found in SB 4.7.45. Gangadasa explains, `kirttitaisa caturephika sragvini'. The pattern is ra-ra-ra-ra.


                   brahmana ucuh

tvam kratus tvam havis tvam hutasah svayam     - R - - R - - R - - R -

  tvam hi mantrah samid-darbha-patrani ca                   - R - - R - - R - - R -

tvam sadasyartvijo dampati devata                    - R - - R - - R - - R -

  agnihotram svadha soma ajyam pasuh            - R - - R - - R - - R -

(SB 4.7.45)



(13 syllables)


1.       The atijagati is a meter with thirteen syllables in each pada. There are five varieties in the Shrimad-Bhagavatam.. A meter of the name mrgendramukha can be found in the Twelfth Canto of the Shrimad-Bhagavatam.. Gangadasa says, `bhavati mrgendramukham na-jau ja-rau gah'. The ganas are, na-ja-ja-ra-ga.


kali-mala-samhati-kalano 'khileso                       R R R R - R R - R - R - -

  harir itaratra na giyate hy abhiksnam               R R R R - R R - R - R - -

iha tu punar bhagavan asesa-murtih                             R R R R - R R - R - R - -

  paripathito 'nu-padam katha-prasangaih           R R R R - R R - R - R - -

(SB 12.12.66)


2.       A further variety of atijagati is a meter called rucira. The rucira can be found in SB 10.71.15. Gangadasa Pandita defines it as follows, `ja-bhau sa-jau giti rucira catur grahaih'. The ganas are, ja-bha-sa-ja-ga.


nr-vaji-kancana-sibikabhir acyutam                     R - R - R R R R - R - R -

  sahatmajah patim anu su-vrata yayuh              R - R - R R R R - R - R -

varambarabharana-vilepana-srajah                     R - R - R R R R - R - R -

  su-samvrta nrbhir asi-carma-panibhih               R - R - R R R R - R - R -

(SB 10.71.15)


3.       The third variety of atijagati in the Bhagavatam has the name praharsini. It can be found in SB 10.57.42. Gangadasa says, `tryasabhir ma-na-ja-ra-ga praharsiniyam'. The rhythmical pattern is, ma-na-ja-ra-ga.


yas tv etad bhagavata isvarasya visnor               - - - R R R R - R - R - -

  viryadhyam vrjina-haram su-mangalam ca         - - - R R R R - R - R - -

akhyanam pathati srnoty anusmared va              - - - R R R R - R - R - -

  duskirtim duritam apohya yati santim              - - - R R R R - R - R - -

(SB 10.57.42)


4.       A thirteen-syllable meter of the name manjubhasini can be found in the Eighth Chapter of the Seventh Canto of the Shrimad-Bhagavatam. The ganas are sa-ja-sa-ja-ga.


                  shri-manava ucuh

manavo vayam tava nidesa-karino                     R R - R - R R R - R - R -

  ditijena deva paribhuta-setavah                       R R - R - R R R - R - R -

bhavata khalah sa upasamhrtah prabho              R R - R - R R R - R - R -

  karavama te kim anusadi kinkaran                            R R - R - R R R - R - R -

(SB 7.8.48)


5.       The fifth variety of atijagati can be seen in the Fourth Canto of the Shrimad Bhagavatam, where, in the Seventh Chapter, the Gandharvas glorify Lord Vishnu. The meter is known as matta-mayura, "Intoxicated Peacock". The ganas are ma-ta-ya-sa-ga.


                gandharva ucuh

amsamsas te deva maricy-adaya ete                            - - - - - R R - - R R - -

  brahmendradya deva-gana rudra-purogah         - - - - - R R - - R R - -

krida-bhandam visvam idam yasya vibhuman       - - - - - R R - - R R - -

  tasmai nityam natha namas te karavama                   - - - - - R R - - R R - -

(SB 4.7.43)



(14 syllables)


1.       There is only one variety of sakvari in the Bhagavatam and that is the famous vasanta-tilaka. The name means as much as `Springtime Ornament'. There are a number of long passages in the Bhagavatam where this meter is used exclusively. There is the prayer of Lord Brahma in the Ninth Chapter of the Third Canto, the prayer by Prahlada Maharaja in the Ninth Chapter of the Seventh Canto and there are the first forty-nine verses of the Seventh Chapter of the Second Canto. Gangadasa Pandita defines the vasanta-tilaka as follows, `jneyam vasanta-tilakam ta-bha-ja ja-gau gah'. The ganas are, ta-bha-ja-ja-ga-ga. A nice example can be found in SB 1.16.33,


tasyaham abja-kulisankusa-ketu-ketaih               - - R - R R R - R R - R - -

  shrimat-padair bhagavatah samalankrtangi                 - - R - R R R - R R - R - -

trin atyaroca upalabhya tato vibhutim                 - - R - R R R - R R - R - -

  lokan sa mam vyasrjad utsmayatim tad-ante     - - R - R R R - R R - R - -

(SB 1.16.33)




(15 syllables)


1.       There is only one type of atisakvari in the Bhagavatam  and this is a meter of the name malini. Shrimati Radharani's `Song of the Bee' from the Forty-seventh Chapter of the Tenth Canto of the Shrimad-Bhagavatam is composed in the malini meter. Gangadasa Pandita explains, `na-na-ma-ya-ya-yuteyam malini bhogilokaih'. A nice example of this meter can be heard in SB 10.47.21, the ganas are, na-na-ma-ya-ya.


api bata madhu-puryam arya-putro 'dhunaste

smarati sa pitr-gehan saumya bandhums ca gopan

kvacid api sa katha nah kinkarinam grnite

bhujam aguru-sugandham murdhny adhasyat kada nu


R R  R R R R   -      -       -           R    -   -    R  -  -

R R  R R R R   -      -       -           R    -   -    R  -  -

R R  R R R R   -      -       -           R    -   -    R  -  -

R R  R R R R   -      -       -           R    -   -    R  -  -


(SB 10.47.21)


Note: Whenever there appear the words .nato `smi, "I am bowed down", as the last words of a pada in the Shrimad-Bhagavatam, the meter is malini:


tam aham upasrtanam kama-puram nato 'smi               (SB 8.12.47)

tam aham akhila-hetum jihma-minam nato 'smi              (SB 8.24.61)

purusam rsabham adyam krishna-samjnam nato 'smi      (SB 11.29.49)

tam akhila-vrjina-ghnam vyasa-sunum nato 'smi             (SB 12.12.69)


(The only exception to this pattern is found in SB 12.12.67, where the meter is puspitagra: duravasita-stavam acyutam nato 'smi)




(17 syllables)


1.       There are three varieties of atyasti meters in the Shrimad-Bhagavatam.. Most of those can be found in the Tenth Canto and they are very beautiful. Here, however, we will present two examples from the Seventh Chapter of the Fourth Canto because this book is available in the Russian language. There is one atyasti meter of the name mandakranta, which is described by Gangadasa Pandita as follows, `mandakrantambudhi-rasanagair mo bhanau gau ya-yugmam'. The pattern goes, ma-bha-na-ga-ga-ya-ya. Our example comes from SB 4.7.28,


sadasya ucuh

utpatty-adhvany asarana uru-klesa-durge 'ntakogra-

vyalanviste visaya-mrga-trsy atma-gehoru-bharah

dvandva-svabhre khala-mrga-bhaye soka-dave 'jna-sarthah

padaukas te saranada kada yati kamopasrstah

4 x                             -   -    -  -  R R R R  R  -  - R  -   - R  -  -


2.       The next atyasti meter we will present has the name sikharini. Gangadasa says, `rasaih rudrais chinna ya-ma-na-sa-bha-la gah sikharini'. An example of this variety can be found in SB 4.7.42. The rhythmical pattern is, ya-ma-na-sa-bha-la-ga.


deva ucuh

pura kalpapaye sva-krtam udari-krtya vikrtam

tvam evadyas tasmin salila uragendradhisayane

puman sese siddhair hrdi vimrsitadhyatma-padavih

sa evadyaksnor yah pathi carasi bhrtyan avasi nah

4 x                        R -  -    -     -     -    R  R R R R   -   -   R R R -

(SB 4.7.42)


3.       The third variety of atyasti has the name nardatakam. In the Bhagavatam it is exclusively used in the Prayers by the Personified Vedas. Thus our example comes from Chapter Eighty-seven of the Tenth Canto and it is verse fourteen, the first verse of that prayer. Gangadasa Pandita says, `yadi bhavato na-jau bha-ja-ja-la guru nardatakam'. The ganas are as follows, na-ja-bha-ja-ja-la-ga.


shri-srutaya ucuh

jaya jaya jahy ajam ajita dosa-grbhita-gunam

tvam asi yad atmana samavaruddha-samasta-bhagah

aga-jagad-okasam akhila-sakty-avabodhaka te

kvacid ajayatmana ca carato 'nucaren nigamah

4 x                             R R  R R -   R  -  R R R -   R R  -   R R   -

(SB 10.87.14)





(19 syllables)


1.       There is only one variety of atidhrtih in the Bhagavatam and it is exemplified by the famous first verse in the First Canto. The meter is called sardulavikridita and Gangadasa says, `suryyasvair ma-sa-jas tatah sa-guravah sardulavikridita'. The pattern is, ma-sa-ja-sa-ta-ta-ga. Because one of the last verses in the Bhagavatam is composed in the same meter and ends with the exact same words, we have also included it as an example for this meter.


om namo bhagavate vasudevaya

janmady asya yato 'nvayad itaratas carthesv abhijnah svarat

tene brahma hrda ya adi-kavaye muhyanti yat surayah

tejo-vari-mrdam yatha vinimayo yatra tri-sargo 'mrsa

dhamna svena sada nirasta-kuhakam satyam param dhimahi

4 x                   -     -    -  R R -   R - R   R R  -     -   -      R  -        -  R -

(SB 1.1.1)

kasmai yena vibhasito 'yam atulo jnana-pradipah pura

tad-rupena ca naradaya munaye krishnaya tad-rupina

yogindraya tad-atmanatha bhagavad-rataya karunyatas

tac chuddham vimalam visokam amrtam satyam param dhimahi

4 x            -      -       -     R  R -     R -  R   R R  -     -   -     R  -        -  R -

(SB 12.13.19)




(21 syllables)


1.       There is only one variety of the prakrtih type in the Shrimad-Bhagavatam.The meter is called sragdhara and is defined by Gangadasa Pandita as follows, `mrabhnair yanam trayena trimuni yatiyuta sragdhara kirttiteyam'. This meter appears only in two places, in SB 9.10.4 and in SB 10.90.47. The ganas are, ma-ra-bha-na-ya-ya-ya.



tirtham cakre nrponam yad ajani yadusu svah-sarit pada-saucam

vidvit-snigdhah svarupam yayur ajita-para shrir yad-arthe 'nya-yatnah

yan-namamangala-ghnam srutam atha gaditam yat-krto gotra-dharmah

krishnasyaitan na citram ksiti-bhara-haranam kala-cakrayudhasya

4 x             -   -    -  -    R  -  -      RR   R  R  R R  -      - R  -   -  R    -   -

(SB 10.90.47)



SB 6.9.33


om namas te 'stu bhagavan narayana

vasudevadi-purusa maha-purusa mahanubhava

parama-mangala parama-kalyana parama-karunika kevala

jagad-adhara lokaika-natha sarvesvara laksmi-natha




citte 'pavrta atma-loke svayam upalabdha-nija-sukhanubhavo bhavan.



O Supreme Personality of Godhead, O Narayana, O Vasudeva, original person! O most exalted person, supreme experience, welfare personified! O supreme benediction, supremely merciful and changeless! O support of the cosmic manifestation, sole proprietor of all planetary systems, master of everything and husband of the goddess of fortune! Your Lordship is realized by the topmost sannyasis, who wander about the world to preach Krishna consciousness, fully absorbed in samadhi through bhakti-yoga. Because their minds are concentrated upon You, they can receive the conception of Your personality in their fully purified hearts. When the darkness in their hearts is completely eradicated and You are revealed to them, the transcendental bliss they enjoy is the transcendental form of Your Lordship. No one but such persons can realize You. Therefore we simply offer You our respectful obeisances.