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I. The Vedas: Gayatri

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Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry
Indian Poetry
Vedic Verse

Gayatri (the one who protects the one who sings, Goddess of Past Present and Future) is considered a priestly Vedic meter and one of the most favored chandas or meters of the mantras of Indian verse. The Gayatri is associated with the head or intellect and is said to have originated from the skin of Prajāpati. This is a form that seems to have transitioned to from Veda to Sanskrit during the overlapping period from 700 to 200 B.C. and appears to be synonymous with the Sanskrit sloka.

The elements of the Gayatri are:

  1. stanzaic, written in any number of tercets
  2. syllabic, lines of 8 syllables each which are most often written in simple iambic cadence.

    from the Reg Veda 2000 B.C. Hymns to the Mystic Fire translation changes the syllable count.

    We meditate on the glory of the Creator;
    Who has created the Universe;
    Who is worthy of Worship;

    Who is the embodiment of Knowledge and Light;
    Who is the remover of all Sin and Ignorance;
    May He enlighten our Intellect.

    The Gayatri Mantra, is a well known mantra which is thought to have been recited from the beginning of time through today. It is always proceeded by an invocation of Aum or OM (Ōhmm) which is "Yes to God" entreated with Bhuh (devotion), Bhuvah (action), Svah (knowledge).

    Aum Bhuh Bhuvah Svah
    Tat Savitur Varenyam
    Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi
    Dhiyo Yo nah Prachodayat                                               
    We meditate on the transcendental glory of
    the Deity Supreme,
    who is inside the heart of the earth,
    inside the life of the sky,
    and inside the soul of the heaven.
    May He stimulate and illumine our minds.

    ~ The Reg Veda (10:16:3)"O thou existence Absolute, Creator of the three dimensions, we contemplate upon thy divine light. May He stimulate our intellect and bestow upon us true knowledge." Wahiduddin

                The Haunting by Judi Van Gorder

                The fiery fingers of the song
                climb up my spine to set on fire
                resistance to the music's force.
                Rhythm so vibrates in my veins
                that now I throb with its tambour
                and yield all to the harmony.

                You are the haunting melody
                that rides the flame and brands my soul
                with the sweet tenor of your voice.

Other Vedas

II. Sanskrit Verse

Regional Forms:

III. Bengali, IV. Hindi, V. Kashmiri, VI. Marathi and VII. Teluga

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