Saturday, August 29, 2009

The poem, Shishupala Vadha, is noted for its intricate wordplay, and textual complexity. The 19th canto contains the following stanza which is an example of what has been called "the most complex and exquisite type of palindrome ever invented". It was devised by the Sanskrit aestheticians, who termed it sarvatobhadra, that is, "perfect in every direction" - it yields the same text if read forwards, backwards, down, or up:

रसाहवा वाहसार-

ra-sA-ha-vA vA-ha-sA-ra-
(nA da vA da da vA da nA
ra sA ha vA vA ha sA ra
kA ya sA da da sA ya kA
sa kA ra nA nA ra kA sa)

The stanza translates as:
[That army], which relished battle (rasAhavA) contained allies who brought low the bodes and gaits of their various striving enemies (sakAranAnArakAsakAyasAdadasAyakA), and in it the cries of the best of mounts contended with musical instruments (vAhasAranAdavAdadavAdanA).


I, Me, Myself ! said...

wow! nice one..

Kaushik said...

Thanks, very interesting.

harish said...

Utterly communal. blasphemous that you talk sanskrit :P

CodeNameV said...

It is not a coincidence but a strange design of the infinte creation that days before yesterday's stunning events in AP, you mentioned about Sisupala Vadha. This event should be read as a warning to all those treacherous conmen not to fiddle around with Deeply Held beliefs!! It seems the count of beetle nuts has reached or is reaching zilch! But as they say, when the end is near, one doesnt listen to anyone. It happened to Ravana, it happened to Sisupala. It keeps happening again and again!

Anonymous said...

If you want to see more of this kind of verbal gymnastics check out the references to vEdAnta dEsika here: