Bhujanga meter

Anand Hudli anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Jun 28 15:38:03 CDT 2000

On Tue, 27 Jun 2000 23:58:16 EDT, S. V. Subrahmanian
<svs_shankara at HOTMAIL.COM> wrote:

>I am trying to read Subrahmanya Bhujangam of Shri ShankarAcharya.  I have
>rough translation with me.  In the foreword it is mentioned that the
>Bhujanga at the end of the name of the Stotra is a reference to the meter
> in
>which it was composed.
>Can anyone explain what a Bhujanga meter is ?
>While it is nice to read the stotra with devotion, we can also appreciate
>Shankara's poetic skills in that as well.

The BhujangaprayAta meter has four "ya" gaNas in a pAda or quarter
of each verse. A "ya" gaNas is a short syllable followed by two
long syllables in that order. The bhujangaprayAta is a samavR^itta,
which means all quarters are similar in structure.


You can see that the pattern is:


 where s = short syllable and l= long syllable

 Each s-l-l pattern is a "ya" gaNa.

 Any syllable that is at the end of a quarter is counted as short
 or long in accordance with the requirment of the meter, regardless
 of whether the syllable itself is short or long.

 Another example of a verse in the bhujangaprayAta is mentioned
 by Apte in his dictionary. This probably comes from a poet who
 is expressing his bitterness more than giving out practical advice:

 dhanairnishhkulInAH kulInA bhavanti
 dhanairApadaM mAnavA nistaranti |
 dhanebhyaH paro bAndhavo nAsti loke
 dhanAnyarjayadhvaM dhanAnyarjayadhvam.h ||

 With money, those who are not from a good family, come (to be
 considered from) a good family. With money people completely
 overcome any calamity. There is no relative closer than money.
 Earn money! Earn money!


bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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