EkakSara and other ingenious forms of Slokas

S Krishna mahadevasiva at hotmail.com
Sat Jun 21 20:35:06 UTC 1997

Dear Members,

I have two questions for you:-

1. I am refering to A.L.Bashams book "The Wonder That Was India"
Page 425 , 1963 version....While discussing Sanskrit poetry, Dr
Basham mentions Maghas "SisupAla vadha" and says that he employed many
ingenious forms in this kAvya and illustrates this with the examples
of a EkakSara sloka i.e. "dadAdo dudda-dud-dAdI
                          dadAdO dida-dI-do-do:|
                          dud-dAdam dadadE duddE
                          dadAdada dado'da da:||"
This uses just the letter "da" for a whole sloka.
(I am sorry for the bad transliteration, the only word that I can 
understand is the word "dadAdO", but then Dr Basham concedes that
this stanza employs rare and elliptical words.). Likewise he gives 
examples of a dvayAkshara Sloka, an example of a gatapratyAgatam
(palindrome) etc and says that after Magha, poems became displays
of verbal ingenuity. My question to you is:
Are there any authors in Skt who have used a similar form?Is there any 
book which explains more about these exotic forms? Other than the 
EkakSara, dvayAksara and gatapratyAgatam forms, are there any other
exotic forms of versification in Skt poetry?

2. This is regarding a Malayalam poem in the context of the story of 
Svathi Thirunal. I've been told the following story:
Svathi Thirunaal was once goiing around in Trivandrum when he met a 
Brahmin who was sitting near a dilapidated structure. Out of curiousity, 
Svathi Thirunaal asked the Brahmin as to what the building was. The 
Brahmin told him that it was his house and  versified his reply in 
Malayalam(The English translation would run as:-
"My house is as old as the PurANam, the difference while it is full of 
"artham"(meaning), this house lacks any "artham"(money)."
This verse puns on the meanings of purANam( can mean old as well as the 
purANam) and the word "artham"(translatable as "meaning" and "money"). 
Svathi Thirunaal was so impressed with the Brahmins quick wit that he 
got the house repaired on the spot. 
My question is: Can anybody give me the original Malayalam poem?


Get Your *Web-Based* Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list