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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 defining features of the Gayatri are:

  • stanzaic, written in any number of tercets
  • 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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