Verse with one Consonant -‘Nuunam nunnaani naanena naananenaananaani nah’(Post.11219)


Post No. 11,219

Date uploaded in London – 24 AUGUST 2022         

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Sanskrit Verse with one Consonant -‘Nuunam nunnaani naanena naananenaananaani nah’(Post.11219)

Poet Dandin of seventh century CE discusses Citra bandhas ( ingenious arrangementS of letters) under the section on Sabdaalamkaaras. In this context he refers to three varieties of compositions each having restrictions or limitations with regard to Svara/vowels and Varna/consonants respectively.

Yah svarasthaana varnaanaam niyamo duskaresvasau

Istascatuhpra bhrtyesa darsyate sukarah parah

Kaavyaadarsa 3-83 (KD)

The purport of this verse is as follows:

There may be compositions having only a limited number of vowels or letters, belonging only to a limited number of places of articulation, or only having a limited number of consonants. Such compositions were desirable for the earlier theorists as varieties of what is called Duskara Yamaka. Such compositions become more and more difficult if they have only four Svaras, for instance, or only three or only two or only one Svara.

Dandin proposes to illustrate compositions having four or three or two or one only of either vowel or consonant or place of articulation. Such compositions are difficult. Those having more than four of vowels etc are said to be easier to compose. An example of a verse having only one Svara, as given by Dandin is as follows:

Saamaayaamaa maayaa maasaa

Maaraanaayaa naayaa yaanaa raamaa


Maayaaraamaa maaraayaamaa

KD 3-87

An example of the use of only one consonant, as given by Dandin, is as follows

Nuunam nunnaani naanena naananenaananaani nah

Naanena nanu naanuunenaine naanaanino niniih

KD 3-95

An example of composition containing letters belonging to one place of articulation, as given by Dandin is as follows:

Aga gangaan gakaakaa kagaa hakaa ghakaa kakahaa

Ahaahaanka khagaan kaaga kankaa gakha gakaa kaka


It may be noted here that the whole conception of a composition with a limited number of vowel etc. presupposes a knowledge of grammar in respect of the vowels and consonants and more particularly in respect of the places of articulation ( uccaarana sthaanaani). For instance for composing and also appreciating the beauty of the verse

Agaa gangaa…………. one must have the idea of the dictum

Akuhavisarjaniiyaanaam kanthah

As incorporated into their works by the grammarians from the siksaa works of Panini and other such authorities.

Source: Paninian influence on Sanskrit Poetics, Shrutidhara Chakravarty ,Pratibha Prakashan, 2008


TAGS- Dandin, poetics, citrabandhas, consonant verse, articulation, vowel,

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