[INDOLOGY] Does anyone know of Sanskrit works that use 2nd-syllable rhyming?

naresh keerthi nakeerthi at gmail.com
Wed Jul 29 04:57:20 UTC 2015

Hello all,

The use of second syllable rhyme [that the Kannada grammar kavirAjamarga
calls Adi-prAsa, and anomalously referred to as dvitIyAkSara-prAsa in later
texts ] is indeed a feature particular to South India.

Another compulsory feature of SI poetry [classical poetry in Kannada,
Tamil, Telugu for sure, I don't know enough about Malayalam classical
poetry] is the marking of the yati caesura by a feature called
akSara-maitri, wherein the first letter of the line and the letter after
the caesura are same, or similar.

This feature of poetry seems to have eventually percolated into
recitative/performative forms that were half-way between poems and songs,
as well as into genres that were entirely song like.

However it would be useful if someone can point to a treatise that
prescribes such features for the song-like genres. the kavi-rAja-marga does
set the rules down for verse in Kannada in certain terms. I am inclined to
believe that there must be separate if related rules for the composition of
poetry and song, even if the genres are somewhat related.

The songs of muttuswAmi dIkSita [18th Century] that Indira Peterson
discusses, are coming as part of a long tradition of kIrtana song genres
that have followed the prAsa rule with various degrees of rigour, from the
15th century onwards. dIkSita indeed follows the practise of Adi-prAsa and
yati religiously.

dIkSita's contemporary SwAti tirunAl, a literary-minded ruler of Travancore
put together a manual  with rules for musical compositions titled

The example given from the BhAgavata - the gopika gItam [jayati te'dhikam
etc..] is not really an akSara-vRtta. Neither is Jayadeva's magnum opus.
Nor are the Apabhramsa gItis that Prof Tieken refers to,  or the songs of
muttuswAmi dikSita.

I have been collecting examples of  (Sanskrit) verses that demonstrate such
Southern features as Adi-prAsa and/or aksara-maitri for yati. As was
pointed out in the essay by Shulman and Bronner, such examples abound in
the Sanskrit poetry of South Indian Sanskrit poets; who had significant
exposure to non-Sanskrit classical literature.

Examples can be found in the stotra literature, in Jagannatha PanditarAja,
VenkaTanatha and so on.

Find below one such example from the end of NArAyaNa BhaTTa's MAnameyodaya

kRSNo' vibudhAdhipatir
niSNAto vitaraNeSu vidyAyAH |
muSNAtu hRdaya-timiram
puSNAtu sakalAni ca maGgalAni || abhAva-nirNaya verse #6 ||

Naresh Keerthi,
National Institute of Advanced Studies,

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