Clever Sanskrit Poetry

Rsachi
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#1 Clever Sanskrit Poetry

Post by Rsachi » 08 Nov 2012, 16:02

Dear Sanskrit Rasikas, I came across this wonderful document on the Net, which lists several examples of extremely clever Sanskrit poetry. The example I have scanned below takes the cake (or modaka if you like). It quotes a verse from Sri Vedantadeshika's Padukasahasram, which eulogises the padukas of the Lord in two different ways, through a rearrangement that also solves a wonderful mathematical problem of moving the knight across all squares on a chessboard!! How is THAT!!!!????
Image

I cross-checked here

PS: Sri Deshika lived after Sri Ramanuja, in the 13/14th centuries AD. So the scanned article dates him wrongly.
Last edited by Rsachi on 08 Nov 2012, 22:06, edited 1 time in total.
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classicallover
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#2 Re: Let us learn some Sanskrit

Post by classicallover » 08 Nov 2012, 16:30

rsachi,

you should have posted it in a separate thread that it merits and so that there is no digression in this thread as well as searches for your post would be easier. Pls cut it and post a new thread.
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vasanthakokilam
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#3 Re: Wonder Sanskrit is: Clever Sanskrit Poetry

Post by vasanthakokilam » 08 Nov 2012, 21:06

Done.

Rsachi, change the topic title, if necessary.
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Rsachi
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#4 Re: Clever Sanskrit Poetry

Post by Rsachi » 08 Nov 2012, 22:09

Can't help post one more, even more amazing in fact!
Image
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cmlover
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#5 Re: Clever Sanskrit Poetry

Post by cmlover » 09 Nov 2012, 00:27

Swami Desika's PAdukA sahasram is a veritable mine of such citrakavi which is a tribute to the versatility (and the author's imagination too) of the Sanskrit language!
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vasanthakokilam
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#6 Re: Clever Sanskrit Poetry

Post by vasanthakokilam » 09 Nov 2012, 09:45

Wow!

Question: Would most Sanskrit knowledgeable ( assume good expertise ) people know to parse it that way and understand the meaning?
Or this is more in the brain teaser category?
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Rsachi
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#7 Re: Clever Sanskrit Poetry

Post by Rsachi » 09 Nov 2012, 10:51

It is totally a brain teaser.
By the way, I want you to know, VK, that most examples of classical Sanskrit (some exceptions are Sankara's works like Bhajagovindam) have a clever word play which requires analysis and explanation annd then only its beauty dawns on the listener. That is one of the reasons in my opinion that Sanskrit does not get too popular.

Let me give an example:
agajAnanapadmArkaM gajAnanaM aharniSaM |
anEkadantaM bhaktAnAm ekadantaM upAsmahe ||

the first word is 'clever', as it creates beauty of alliteration, but hides the meaning:
aga (mountain) ja (offspring) padma (lotus) arka (sun) which means that just like the sun is to the lotus (makes it smile and bloom in joy), Ganesha brings joy to the face of Parvati.
Similarly. anEkadantam means one who gives (dantaM) plenty (anEka) (of boons) to his devotees (bhaktAnAM).

PS: I sm still figuring out a way to consistently transliterate easily on my iPad, as I don't find a suitable transliteration software app between Devanagari/Kannada to English. Suggestions welcome!
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classicallover
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#8 Re: Clever Sanskrit Poetry

Post by classicallover » 09 Nov 2012, 14:46

RS & Vasko,

anEkadantam's explanation is not correct. Even the split is wrong. The correct way is : " anEkadam tam bhaktaanaam ekadantam upaasmahe | " Sandhi makes it anEkadantam . It means contextually, " among so many of your devotees, I pray to you single-toothed one ! " This is a shabdaalankaaram.

The title of the thread should include the actual category of the poetry i.e., Chitrakaavyam. There are so many types of this style. There was one book I was told by name Chitrakaavyamanjari which gives so many of these.
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classicallover
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#9 Re: Clever Sanskrit Poetry

Post by classicallover » 09 Nov 2012, 15:15

Some of the aspects of the Chitrakavyam have been explained in this article : http://rivr.sulekha.com/chitrakavya-chi ... 41896_blog . References are also given at the end.

One more reference giving the classification & details is :

http://books.google.co.in/books?id=ObFC ... ya&f=false

This article is from the Encyclopaedia of Indian Literature : A-Devo by Amaresh Datta, published by the Sahitya Academy, 1987.

One more category but very simple is the asking & self-answering slokas. For example :

siimantiniishu kaa saantaa ? |
raajaanaam ko guNottamah ? |
atraivoktam na budhyate ||

Some one may try this please.
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Rsachi
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#10 Re: Clever Sanskrit Poetry

Post by Rsachi » 09 Nov 2012, 15:27

I continue to think it is anEkadaM+taM. ..him who gives plenty...
Anyway this exchange itself shows the troubles in understanding Sanskrit. We have at least one 'expert' amongst us so the thread will go on!
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Pratyaksham Bala
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#11 Re: Clever Sanskrit Poetry

Post by Pratyaksham Bala » 09 Nov 2012, 16:22

'agajAnanapadmArkaM... ...'
Check this:-
http://sa.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?tit ... ion=submit
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vasanthakokilam
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#12 Re: Clever Sanskrit Poetry

Post by vasanthakokilam » 09 Nov 2012, 22:32

I am now inclined to think about what people say about sanskrit about context insensitivity of Sanskrit and its un-ambigousness and why it is suitable for computer programming etc. (( most probably those who do not know much about it, including me, the so called 'arai korai' ).

That may still be so, but Sanskrit is looking to me more and more like some computer languages (like Perl, Perl fans do not come after me for this ;) )
where the writer can write a great ( and clever ) program that is correct but it is extremely hard to read and make sense out of it ( these are humorously called write-only languages ).

This yAyAyA poem reminded me of computer languages that people make up just for fun and intellectual curiosity. There is one language which has only 8 characters (whose name I can not post here without the forum software replacing it with 'censored word') which is like this
"++++++++++[>+++++++>++++++++++>+++>+<<<<-]>++.>+.+++++++..+++.>++.<<+++++++++++++++.>.+++.------.--------.>+.>."

This is the source code to print hello word ;)
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cmlover
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#13 Re: Clever Sanskrit Poetry

Post by cmlover » 10 Nov 2012, 00:54

The following chitram maybe useful for all Rasikas
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PUNARVASU
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#14 Re: Clever Sanskrit Poetry

Post by PUNARVASU » 10 Nov 2012, 07:22

CmL, nice chitram.
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Pratyaksham Bala
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#15 Re: Clever Sanskrit Poetry

Post by Pratyaksham Bala » 10 Nov 2012, 07:53

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classicallover
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#16 Re: Clever Sanskrit Poetry

Post by classicallover » 12 Nov 2012, 11:48

I don't claim to be an expert of any kind. If I don't know, I consult then tell. In fact, no one can claim to be an expert in all aspects or facets of Samskritam. If anyone claims to be so, there would be no greater fool or braggart. Even if you start studying Samskritam from childhood, you can master only one aspect and gain a reasonable knowledge in one more, that too when you get to be 45 years old. Veda, Tarka, Nyaaya, Poorva Mimamsa , Uttara Mimamsa, VyaakaraNa, Ayurveda, Upanishad, etc are only some of the aspects of Samskritam. Even in Vedas, there is a gradation in the expertise achieved and people can be at different levels.
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Pratyaksham Bala
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#17 Re: Clever Sanskrit Poetry

Post by Pratyaksham Bala » 12 Nov 2012, 12:04

.
विलोम काव्यं = Palindrome (in Tamil: mAlaimAtru)

रामकृष्ण विलोम काव्यं (rAmakRiShNa viloma kAvyaM) by kavi sUrya is Ramayanam when read normally, and in reverse it is Mahabharatham!

The entire kavyam in Sanskrit is available here:-
http://sanskritdocuments.org/all_pdf/raamakrshhna.pdf

(A reference to this is already posted in a thread under Tamil section, in the course of the discussion on 'mAlaimAtru' poems.)
.
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cmlover
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#18 Re: Clever Sanskrit Poetry

Post by cmlover » 13 Nov 2012, 06:32

classiclover
One more category but very simple is the asking & self-answering slokas. For example :

siimantiniishu kaa saantaa ? |
raajaanaam ko guNottamah ? |
atraivoktam na budhyate ||

Some one may try this please.
Since nobody got it you must explain!
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classicallover
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#19 Re: Clever Sanskrit Poetry

Post by classicallover » 14 Nov 2012, 13:23

viditam atraivoktam na budhyate chet !!!
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vasanthakokilam
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#20 Re: Clever Sanskrit Poetry

Post by vasanthakokilam » 14 Nov 2012, 21:12

Pratyaksham Bala wrote:.

रामकृष्ण विलोम काव्यं (rAmakRiShNa viloma kAvyaM) by kavi sUrya is Ramayanam when read normally, and in reverse it is Mahabharatham!

The entire kavyam in Sanskrit is available here:-
http://sanskritdocuments.org/all_pdf/raamakrshhna.pdf
Can PB or others explain how this viloma kAvyam of Ramayana and Mahabharatha is put together at a high level, without delving too much into Sanskrit itself? ( if that is possible ). There is probably a lot of cleverness involved. Can this be explained to someone who does not know Sanskrit much and why this seems to be possible in Sanskrit and not easy or possible in other languages.

BTW, how much of the two epics are covered in this cleverness? Is it 'bhAvayAmi', 'yEn paLLi KondirayyA' or 'pArkaDal alai mElE' type of 'abstracting through the major events' story telling technique or something totally different?
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cmlover
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#21 Re: Clever Sanskrit Poetry

Post by cmlover » 14 Nov 2012, 21:56

VK
Other than in sanskrit I have not heard of such a composition in any other Indian (or European) languages. There is even a kavyam called Raghava YAdavIyam by one VenkaTAdhvari which eulogizes Rama forwards and Krishna backwards!
To appreciate these treasures one must study Sanskrit properly including first the devnagari :D
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classicallover
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#22 Re: Clever Sanskrit Poetry

Post by classicallover » 15 Nov 2012, 12:33

Vasko & cml,

Palindromic poems have been attempted I am told in small scale in Telugu which borrows many concepts from Samskritam. The hasyakavi Tenali Ramakrishna of Sri Krishnadevaraya's court, is credited with doing this very often. Hence he was given the title, " vikaTakavi " which itself is a palindrome.
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Pratyaksham Bala
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#23 Re: Clever Sanskrit Poetry

Post by Pratyaksham Bala » 16 Nov 2012, 07:59

vasanthakokilam:

Here is a site where translation of a line from the 'Viloma kAvyam of Ramayana/Mahabharatha' is given:-
http://knramesh.blogspot.in/2012/02/ram ... drome.html

Regular:
तं भूसुतामुक्तिमुदारहासमं वन्दे यतो भव्यभवम् दयाश्री:
taM bhUsutAmuktimudArahAsaM vandE yatO bhavyabhavam dayAshrI:
"I pay my homage to Him who rescued Sita, whose laughter is captivating, whose incarnation is grand, and from whom mercy and splendor arise everywhere."

Reverse:
श्रीयादवं भव्यभतोयदेवं संहारदामुक्तिमुतासुभूतम्
shrIyAdavaM bhavyabhatOyadEvaM saMhAradAmuktimutAsubhUtam.
"I bow before that Sri Krishna, the descendent of Yaadava family; who is a divinity of the sun as well as the moon; who destroyed Putana who only gave destruction; and who is the soul of all this universe."
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cmlover
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#24 Re: Clever Sanskrit Poetry

Post by cmlover » 16 Nov 2012, 21:34

Classicallover
Could you verify whether the translation is correct?
I have difficulty resolving the sandhi!
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keerthi
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#25 Re: Clever Sanskrit Poetry

Post by keerthi » 17 Dec 2012, 21:08

cmlover wrote:Other than in sanskrit I have not heard of such a composition in any other Indian (or European) languages.
The palindromic (gata-pratyAgata), as well as other kinds of citrakavita can definitely be found in KannaDa, Telugu and Tamil. Palindrome poems are quite common, and can be found in pre-classical Arabic (even in the Qur'An), Greek and Chinese.

Question: Would most Sanskrit knowledgeable ( assume good expertise ) people know to parse it that way and understand the meaning?
Or this is more in the brain teaser category?
ChitrakAvyam has been denounced by aestheticians (kAvya mImAmsakas) as being adhama-kavya - the least / worst kind of poetry, since most often, it falls very low in terms of poetic or aesthetic content. Any pleasure or wonder it creates in the reader / rasika/ sahRdaya-aesthete's mind is out of wonder / bewilderment at the verbal gymnastics, rather than out of any significant poetic value.

Chitrakavita is used sparingly, and often uses rare connotations of terms (listed in special lexicons called nAnArtha-kOSa-s) and uncommon grammatical constructions. It is a fringe phenomenon, and even amongst sanskritists, all citra-kavitA isn't easily comprehensible. It is known as 'duSkara-kAvya' meaning abstruse kavya.

For instance, the rAmakRSNa-vilOma-kAvya verse given above is fairly simple, and can be understood on inspection. The ekAkSarI verse of vEdAnta desika given above requires a gloss and can't be understood without the commentary [or resorting to the special lexicons].But isn't this true of the mAlai mArrudal poems in the tevAram, which need a gloss to be understood?
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