Metrical poetry in Kannada and Telugu is called Chandas or Chandassu (Kannada: ಛಂದಸ್ಸು) and (Telugu: ఛందస్సు). Prose and poetry follows the rules of Chandassu to design the structural features of 'poetry'. Chandassu is a definable aspect of many definable and indefinable aspects of poetry. Chandassu generates rhythm to the literature when the rules are properly followed. Rhythm is important to literature as a preliminary attraction.
Construction of Chandas
'Chandas' is constructed based on the number of 'aksharaas' (syllables) in each line (also called paadam) of a poem.
As the same lines are repeated (aaVrutta), these are called 'Vruttaas'. If all the lines in a poem follow the same 'types of aksharaas', it is called a 'sama Vrutta'.
There are separate Telugu equivalents for English words 'letter' and 'syllable'. The first one is 'varNamu' (letter). This is the basic 'letter' of the Telugu in the alphabets, and is called 'varNa samaamnaayamu'. There are fifty six 'varNa samaamnaayamu'(s) in Telugu.
The equivalent for 'syllable' in Telugu is 'aksharamu'. 'Syllable' is often defined as the 'unit of pronunciation at a stretch' with a collection of letters (varNaas) in it.
For example, in a word like 'svapnamu', 'sva' is an aksharamu (syllable), but not a varNamu (letter) as it has two 'varNaas' (sa and va) in it.
These 'aksharaas' (syllables) are divided into 'laghuvu' and 'guruvu' based on the time period of pronunciation. These 'aksharaas' or syllables are the fundamental aspects in constructing the 'chandas' in Telugu.
Meters of the same length are distinguished by the pattern of laghuvu ("light") and guruvu ("heavy") syllables in the paadam.
Pattern of laghuvu and guruvu in a sequence of three is called Gaṇam (Group). The word ya-maa-taa-raa-ja-bhaa-na-sa-la-gam is called Gana Suchi (Look up for Ganams). Example:
- ya-maa-taa = ya-ganam
- maa-taa-raa = ma-ganam
- taa-raa-ja = ta-ganam
- raa-ja-bhaa = ra-ganam
- ja-bhaa-na = ja-ganam
- bhaa-na-sa = bha-ganam
- na-sa-ya = na-ganam
- sa-ya-maa = sa-ganam
These Ganam(s) are divided into three major categories:
- Surya Ganam
- Indra Ganam
- Chandra Ganam
Types of Chandas
Based on categories of Ganam(s), Telugu poetry is classified as
- Vruttam or Vrutta
Upajaati only has yati (caesura) but no praasa (rhythm) where as Jaati and Vruttaas contain both yati (caesura) and prasaa (rhythm).
There are 26 types of chandas. Each 'chandas' is recognized by the number of 'aksharaas' or Syllables present in each line of the poem. As an 'akshara' can be either a 'laghuvu' or a 'guruvu', the number of variations possible in each type of 'chandas' follows a 'binary system'. The names /numbers of 'chandas' and the numbers of 'sama Vruttaas' that can be generated in each variety are as follows.
|# of chandas||Name||No. of letters per line||# of sama Vruttam(s) possible|
The total number of sama Vruttaas in 26 chandassus is 134,217,726.
- Telugu language
- Telugu literature
- Telugu people
- Satavahana Dynasty
- Sanskrit grammar
- Sanskrit pronouns and determiners
- Chandam - A Complete Software for Telugu Chandassu.
- lingamagunTa timmakavi. sulakshaNa saaramu.
- Metrical Patterns (chandas), Chapter XVI of the Nāṭyaśāstra