Language Is A Virus

Poetry Guide: Tristubh


In Sanskrit songs or a hymns, Tristubh is the name of a Vedic poetic meter of 44 syllables (four couplets of eleven syllables each), or any hymn composed in this meter.

This meter is used in the Bhagavad Gita, for example. Depending on the style (first syllable optionally short or long), the syllables of each couplet are thus:

first, long, short, long, long, short, short, long, short, long, long

The contrast between Gayatri and Tristubh is illustrated in the Bhagavad Gita, beginning at chapter 11, verse 15, when Arjuna begins speaking in Tristubh meter. (This is the section which contains the phrase brighter than a thousand suns.)

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