Bīrūnī, Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad, Alberuni's India (v. 1)

(London :  Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co.,  1910.)



Jump to page:

Table of Contents

  Page 147  

CHAPTER XIII.                            147

We have given such a lengthy account, though it be
only of scanty use, in order that the reader may see
for himself the example of an accumulation of laghus,
which shows that laghu means a consonant folloioed hy
a short vowel, not a consonant without a vowel. Further,
he will thereby learn the way in which they represent
a metre and the method of their scanning a verse.
Lastly, he will learn that Alkhalil Ibn Ahmad exclu¬
sively drew from his own genius when he invented the
Arabic metrics, though, possibly, he may have heard,
as some people think, that the Hiudus use certain
metres in their poetry. If we here take so much
trouble with Indian metrics, we do it for the purpose
of fixing the laws of the Sloka, since most of their
books are composed in it.

The Sloka belongs to the io'ar-ydda metres. Each Theory of
pdda has eight syllables, which are different in all four *''® ^^°^^-
pddas. The last syllable of each of the four pddas
must be the same, viz. a guru. Further, the fifth
syllable in each j9«rfa must always be laghu, the sixth
syllable guru. P'he seventh syllable must be laghu in
the second and fourth pdda, guru in the first and third
pddas. The other syllables are entirely dependent
upon accident or the writer's fancy.

In order to show in what way the Hindus use Quotation
arithmetic in their metrical system, we give in the magupta.
following a quotation from Brahmagupta: " The first
kind of poetry is gdyatri, a metre consisting of two
pddas. If we now suppose that the number of the
syllables of this metre may be 24, and that the smallest
number of the syllables of one pdda is 4, we describe
the two pddas by 4 + 4, representing their smallest
possible number of syllables. As, however, their largest
possible number is 24, we add the difference between
these 4+4 and 24, i.e. 16, to the right-side number,
and get 4 + 20. If the metre had three pddas, it
would be represented by 4 + 4 + 16,    The right-side
  Page 147