s · b · r · n · m · y · l · g

।।ऽऽ।।ऽ।ऽ।।।ऽ ऽऽ।ऽऽ।ऽ ।।ऽऽ।।ऽ।ऽ।।।ऽ ऽऽ।ऽऽ।ऽ ।।ऽऽ।।ऽ।ऽ।।।ऽ ऽऽ।ऽऽ।ऽ ।।ऽऽ।।ऽ।ऽ।।।ऽ ऽऽ।ऽऽ।ऽ


The mattēbhavikrīḍitam meter (“play of the rutting elephant”) belongs to the kr̥tiḥ class of 20 syllables per quarter or 80 syllables in total. Its pattern is:

। । ऽ ऽ । । ऽ । ऽ । । । ऽ, ऽ ऽ । ऽ ऽ । ऽ

There is an obligatory word break (yatiḥ) after the thirteenth syllable.

This meter is instantly recognizable as a slight variation on the similarly-named śārdūlavikrīḍitam meter. The difference is simply that the śārdūlavikrīḍitam begins with a heavy syllable, and the mattēbhavikrīḍitam begins with two light syllables. This meter originated in the Kannada-speaking regions of South India, since it appears in Kannada poetry (such as Pampa’s Vikramārjunavijayaṁ), and it appears that the source for all of the definitions in the chandaḥśāstra tradition is Jayakīrti, who lived in the Kannada-speaking regions around 1000 CE.

Note that I have included Kedārabhaṭṭa’s definition below, but it is only the Southern version of the text, represented by Rāmacandra Vibudha’s 16th-century commentary (from Sri Lanka), that includes the definition of this meter.


Jayakīrti, Chandōnuśāsanam 2.233:

sabharānmau yalagās trayōdaśayatir mattēbhavikrīḍitam

Kedārabhaṭṭa, Vr̥ttaratnākaraḥ 3.98:

sabharā nmyā lag iti trayōdaśayatir mattēbhavikrīḍitam

Hemacandra, Chandōnuśāsanam 2.336:

sbhō rnau myau lgō mattēbhavikrīḍitaṁ ḍaiḥ


Vikramārjunavijayaṁ 1.69

Translation by me.
manadoḷ sōltu munindran ākey’ oḍalī durgandhavōpadante yō- janagandhitvam anittu kāṇḍapaṭad’ ant’ irp’ annegaṁ māḍi maṁ- janalampaḻkaṟanīye kūḍuv’ eḍeyoḷ jñānasvarūpaṁ mahā- munipaṁ puṭṭidan antu divyamunigaḷg’ ēgeydoḍaṁ tīradē

The heart of the great sage was overcome,
as a rotten smell spread out from her body,
so he gave her the quality of smelling for miles,
and had mist appear until it veiled the two of them,
and had his way with her, and it was at that time that
the one who was knowledge incarnate, the greatest sage,
was born. Is anything at all impossible for divine sages?