The book Croaking Frogs is a guide to Sanskrit metrics and figures of speech. It uses contemporary teaching methods to explain traditional Indian Sanskrit prosody and verse forms.
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This guide to Sanskrit metrics and figures of speech can be used as a workbook for learning how to chant verses. It includes fully-worked examples of the most popular types of verse. The book has six sections:
"Poetic elements in Sanskrit literature " explains the extensive use of verse in Indian texts.
"Introduction to Metrics " gives a clear overview of Sanskrit prosody.
"A Treasury of Common Meters" includes fully-worked examples of verses drawn from many sources.
"Figures of Speech" explains similies, metaphors, and other poetic uses of language.
"Figures of Sound" explains techniques that affect sound, such as rhyme and alliteration.
A metrical analysis of the Hathapradipika, the best-known work on Hatha Yoga, is included. An Introduction to the Hathapradipika by Anthony Biduck summarizes key spiritual and philosophical ideas of Hatha Yoga.
Includes a Foreword by Consulting Editor Ram Karan Sharma, References, Bibliography, Glossary, Index, and Appendices.
Ram Karan Sharma audio files
These free downloadable audio files let you hear the sounds of authentic Sanskrit chanting. The information presented in these lectures is just part of the material covered in the Croaking Frogs book.
Structure of vārnika meters (15:29)
There are two types of Sanskrit meter. Vārnika meters are based on syllables, while mātrika meters are based on moras. Dr. Sharma explains the structure of vārnika meters and gives an example of how to parse them. audio only /
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Some meters have both vārnika and mātrika characteristics. An example of this type is vaitālīya (ghostly) meter. In this meter, the first part of each line is based on vārnika principles, with the remaining portion of the line based on mātrika principles.
Anuṣṭubḥ is the name of a class of meters, but the term is often used without clearly identifying which member of the class is actually being used. It is a very common meter, and is also called simply "śloka meter" because of its widespread use. A complete stanza or padya consists of four quarter-verses or pādas of eight syllables each. A pādaḥ ("foot") is the fourth part of something, a quarter line. A complete stanza of four quarters (thirty-two syllables) written in śloka meter is sometimes called a śloka, but in common terms almost any verse is also called a śloka regardless of its actual meter.
Śārdūlavikrīḍitaṁ (शार्दूलविक्रीडितम् 12/7) meter (“Tiger play”) is a member of the Atidhṛti class, all of which have nineteen syllables per quarter. All four pādas follow the same pattern.It is defined as It is defined as: सूर्याश्वैः मः सजौ सततगाः शार्दूलविक्रीडितम् । The pattern is: म स जस् तताः सगुरव । The first pause is after the twelfth syllable, and the second pause is after the nineteenth syllable.
ardhonmīlitalocanaḥ sthiramanā / nāsāgradattekṣaṇaḥ
candrārkāvapi līnatāmupanayan / niṣpandabhāvena yaḥ ।
jyotīrūpam aśeṣabījam akhilaṁ / dedīpyamānaṁ paraṁ
tattvaṁ tatpadam eti vastu paramaṁ / vācyaṁ kim atrā’dhikam ॥ Haṭhapradīpikā 4.41 ॥
Vasantatilakā (वसन्ततिलका) meter (the “Spring ornament”) is a member of the Śakvarī class, all of which have fourteen syllables per quarter. All four pādas follow the same pattern. It is defined as: उक्ता (ज्ञेयं) वसन्ततिलका तभजा जगौ गः । The pattern is: त भ ज ज ग ग । There is no pause mentioned in the definition.
Ram Karan Sharma was recorded beginning in September, 2005 and continuing through 2010. The audio segments were very lightly edited to eliminate background noise, false starts, and interruptions. In cases where more than one audio take was available, the final form may be a composite edited to provide the most clear version.
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