- Anuṣṭup (8 × 4)
- Triṣṭup (11 × 4)
- Jagatī (12 × 4)
- Atijagatī (13 × 4)
- Śakvarī (14 × 4)
- Atiśakvarī (15 × 4)
- Aṣṭiḥ (16 × 4)
- Atyaṣṭiḥ (17 × 4)
- Atidhr̥tiḥ (19 × 4)
- Kr̥tiḥ (20 × 4)
- Prakr̥tiḥ (21 × 4)
The mandākrāntā is an atyaṣṭiḥ meter (with 17 syllables per quarter) that was made famous by Kālidāsa in his Cloud Messenger (Mēghadūtaḥ), which is composed entirely in this meter. The mandākrāntā would be associated with message poems forever afterwards.
The syllabic pattern is:
ऽ ऽ ऽ ऽ , । । । । । ऽ , ऽ । ऽ ऽ । ऽ ऽ
Note the obligatory word break after the fourth and tenth syllables.
Piṅgala, Chandaḥsūtram 7.18:
mandākrāntā mbhau tnau tgau g samudrartusvarāḥ
mandākrāntā kr̥tahayē didīd
mandākrāntā sēruśō nīnū
Jayadeva, Chandaḥśāstram 7.17:
mandākrāntā mabhanatatagā gaḥ samudrartulōkaiḥ
Ratnākaraśānti, Chandōratnākaraḥ 2.65:
mandākrāntā mavanasurarā vaḥ samudrartulōkaiḥ
Jayakīrti, Chandōnuśāsanam 2.210:
mandākrāntā gatir̥tuyatir mādbhanau tau ca gau cēt
Kedārabhaṭṭa, Vr̥ttaratnākaraḥ 3.91:
mandākrāntā jaladhiṣaḍagairmbhau natau tād gurū cēt
Hemacandra, Chandōnuśāsanam 2.290:
mō bhnau tau gau mandākrāntā ghacaiḥ
Mēghadūtaḥ 1This example was recited by H. V. Nagaraja Rao and recorded by Gil Ben-Herut in 2006. The translation was done by Blake Wentworth.
A certain yakṣa, negligent in the performance of his duties,
was deprived of his power by his master’s curse,
which was to be endured for one year, hard because of separation from his beloved.
He took residence among the hermitages of Ramagiri,
where the trees give cool shade,
and the waters are purified by the baths of Janaka’s daughter.
Mēghadūtaḥ 117This example was recited by H.V. Nagaraja Rao and recorded by Nathan Levine in Toronto in 2018. The recordings were uploaded to archive.org by Anusha Rao. The translation is my own.
Once you’ve done me this favor
that I have had the audacity to ask of you,
whether out of friendship
or because you’re taking pity on a poor thing like me,
go on to whatever places you might wish,
with the monsoon season filling you with beauty:
and may you never be separated from your loved one,
lightning, the way I have been from mine, for even a moment.
Mēghadūtaḥ 105This example was recited by H.V. Nagaraja Rao and recorded by Nathan Levine in Toronto in 2018. The recordings were uploaded to archive.org by Anusha Rao. The translation is my own.
I have been seeing your body in priyaṅgu plants,
your gaze in the eyes of frightened deer,
the color of your face in the moon,
your hair in the amazing plumage of peacocks,
the play of your eyebrows in the small waves of rivers —
but my god, angry girl, there is nothing
that even comes close to you.
Amaruśatakam 102This example was recited by H.V. Nagaraja Rao and recorded by Nathan Levine in Toronto in 2018. The recordings were uploaded to archive.org by Anusha Rao. The translation is my own.
In the palace she’s there.
In every direction she’s there.
She’s there behind me, there before me,
there on the couch, there on every road,
oppressed as I am by separation from her.
My heart! There is no substance at all apart from her:
it is she, she, she who is there, in this entire world —
what is this non-dualism that has come upon me?