Chanda Hahn Biography & Facts
Sanskrit prosody or Chandas refers to one of the six Vedangas, or limbs of Vedic studies. It is the study of poetic metres and verse in Sanskrit. This field of study was central to the composition of the Vedas, the scriptural canons of Hinduism, so central that some later Hindu and Buddhist texts refer to the Vedas as Chandas.The Chandas, as developed by the Vedic schools, were organized around seven major metres, and each had its own rhythm, movements and aesthetics. Sanskrit metres include those based on a fixed number of syllables per verse, and those based on fixed number of morae per verse.Extant ancient manuals on Chandas include Pingala's Chandah Sutra, while an example of a medieval Sanskrit prosody manual is Kedara Bhatta's Vrittaratnakara. The most exhaustive compilations of Sanskrit prosody describe over 600 metres. This is a substantially larger repertoire than in any other metrical tradition.
The term Chandas (Sanskrit: छन्दः/छन्दस् chandaḥ/chandas (singular), छन्दांसि chandāṃsi (plural)) means "pleasing, alluring, lovely, delightful or charming", and is based on the root chad which means "esteemed to please, to seem good, feel pleasant and/or something that nourishes, gratifies or is celebrated". The term also refers to "any metrical part of the Vedas or other composition".
The hymns of Rigveda include the names of metres, which implies that the discipline of Chandas (Sanskrit prosody) emerged in the 2nd-millennium BCE. The Brahmanas layer of Vedic literature, composed between 900 BCE and 700 BCE, contains a complete expression of the Chandas. Panini's treatise on Sanskrit grammar distinguishes Chandas as the verses that compose the Vedas, from Bhāṣā (Sanskrit: भाषा), the language spoken by people for everyday communication.The Vedic Sanskrit texts employ fifteen metres, of which seven are common, and the most frequent are three (8-, 11- and 12-syllable lines). The post-Vedic texts, such as the epics as well as other classical literature of Hinduism, deploy both linear and non-linear metres, many of which are based on syllables and others based on diligently crafted verses based on repeating numbers of morae (matra per foot). About 150 treatises on Sanskrit prosody from the classical era are known, in which some 850 metres were defined and studied by the ancient and medieval Hindu scholars.The ancient Chandahsutra of Pingala, also called Pingala Sutras, is the oldest Sanskrit prosody text that has survived into the modern age, and it is dated to between 600 and 200 BCE. Like all Sutras, the Pingala text is distilled information in the form of aphorisms, and these were widely commented on through the bhashya tradition of Hinduism. Of the various commentaries, those widely studied are the three 6th century texts - Jayadevacchandas, Janashrayi-Chhandovichiti and Ratnamanjusha, the 10th century commentary by Karnataka prosody scholar Halayudha, who also authored the grammatical Shastrakavya and Kavirahasya (literally, The Poet's Secret). Other important historical commentaries include those by the 11th-century Yadavaprakasha and 12th-century Bhaskaracharya, as well as Jayakriti's Chandonushasana, and Chandomanjari by Gangadasa.
Major encyclopedic and arts-related Hindu texts from the 1st and 2nd millennium CE contain sections on Chandas. For example, the chapters 328 to 335 of the Agni Purana, chapter 15 of the Natya Shastra, chapter 104 of the Brihat Samhita, the Pramodajanaka section of the Manasollasa contain embedded treatises on Chandas.
A syllable (akshara, अक्षर), in Sanskrit prosody, is a vowel following one or more consonants, or a vowel without any. A short syllable is one ending with one of the short (hrasva) vowels, which are a (अ), i (इ), u (उ), ṛ (ऋ) and ḷ (ऌ). The long syllable is defined as one with one of the long (dirgha) vowels, which are ā (आ), ī (ई), ū (ऊ), ṝ (ॠ), e (ए), ai (ऐ), o (ओ) and au (औ), or one with a short vowel followed by two consonants.A stanza (śloka) is defined in Sanskrit prosody as a group of four quarters (pādas). Indian prosody studies recognise two types of stanzas. Vritta stanzas are those that have a precise number of syllables, while jati stanzas are those that are based on syllabic time-lengths (morae, matra) and can contain varying numbers of syllables.The vritta stanzas have three forms: Samavritta, where the four quarters are similar in pattern, Ardhasamavritta, where alternate verses have a similar syllabic structure, and Vishamavritta where all four quarters are different. A regular Vritta is defined as that where the total number of syllables in each line is less than or equal to 26 syllables, while irregulars contain more. When the metre is based on morae (matra), a short syllable is counted as one mora, and a long syllable is counted as two morae.
The metres found in classical Sanskrit poetry are sometimes alternatively classified into three kinds.
Syllabic verse (akṣaravṛtta or aksharavritta): metres depend on the number of syllables in a verse, with relative freedom in the distribution of light and heavy syllables. This style is derived from older Vedic forms, and found in the great epics, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana.
Syllabo-quantitative verse (varṇavṛtta or varnavritta): metres depend on syllable count, but the light-heavy patterns are fixed.
Quantitative verse (mātrāvṛtta or matravritta): metres depend on duration, where each verse-line has a fixed number of morae, usually grouped in sets of four.Light and heavy syllables
Most of Sanskrit poetry is composed in verses of four lines each. Each quarter-verse is called a pāda (literally, "foot"). Meters of the same length are distinguished by the pattern of laghu ("light") and guru ("heavy") syllables in the pāda. The rules distinguishing laghu and guru syllables are the same as those for non-metric prose, and these are specified in Vedic Shiksha texts that study the principles and structure of sound, such as the Pratishakhyas. Some of the significant rules are:
A syllable is laghu only if its vowel is hrasva ("short") and followed by at most one consonant before another vowel is encountered.
A syllable with an anusvara ('ṃ') or a visarga ('ḥ') is always guru.
All other syllables are guru, either because the vowel is dīrgha ("long"), or because the hrasva vowel is followed by a consonant cluster.
The hrasva vowels are the short monophthongs: 'a', 'i', 'u', 'ṛ' and 'ḷ'
All other vowels are dirgha: 'ā', 'ī', 'ū', 'ṝ', 'e', 'ai', 'o' and 'au'. (Note that, morphologically, the last four vowels are actually the diphthongs 'ai', 'āi', 'au' and 'āu', as the rules of sandhi in Sanskrit make clear.)
Gangadasa Pandita states that the last syllable in each pāda may be considered guru, but a guru at the end of a pāda is never counted as laghu.For measurement by mātr.... Discover the Chanda Hahn popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Chanda Hahn books.