Ramayana First Sloka and How Emotion of Compassion Created Great Epic
The first sloka of the Ramayana is:
मा निषाद प्रतिष्ठां त्वमगमः शाश्वतीः समाः ।यत्क्रौञ्चमिथुनादेकमवधीः काममोहितम् ॥(mā niṣāda pratiṣṭhāṁ tvam agamaḥ śāśvatīḥ samāḥ |yatkrauñcamithunādekam avadhīḥ kāmamohitam ||)
This can be translated as:O hunter, may you never attain eternal peace, For you have killed one of a pair of cranes in love.
This sloka is significant because it is the first verse that Valmiki uttered spontaneously after witnessing the hunter kill the male crane.
The first sloka of the Ramayana is also notable for its meter and rhythm.
It is written in the Anustup meter, which is one of the most common meters in Sanskrit poetry.
What are the 7 meters in Sanskrit?
The seven major meters in Sanskrit are:
Gāyatrī (8 syllables)
Uṣṇih (8 syllables)
Anuṣṭubh (8 syllables)
Bṛhatī (11 syllables)
Paṅkti (11 syllables)
Triṣṭubh (11 syllables)
Jagatī (12 syllables)
These meters are based on the number of syllables in each line of a verse, as well as the pattern of long and short syllables. The seven meters are also associated with different types of poetry and different deities.
For example, the Gāyatrī meter is the most sacred meter in Sanskrit and is associated with the sun god Surya. It is used in the Vedas, the oldest Hindu scriptures. The Anuṣṭubh meter is the most common meter in Sanskrit poetry and is used in a wide variety of genres, including epic poetry, lyric poetry, and drama.
Here is an example of a verse in the Gāyatrī meter:
तत्सवितुर्वरेण्यं भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि। धियो यो नः प्रचोदयात्।
(Tat savitur vareṇyaṃ bhargo devasya dhīmahi. Dhiyo yo naḥ pracodayāt.)
This verse is from the Rig Veda and is a prayer to the sun god Surya.
The seven meters of Sanskrit poetry are a complex and sophisticated system that has been used by poets for centuries to create beautiful and meaningful works of art.
The Anustup meter is characterized by four lines with eight syllables each and a specific pattern of long and short syllables.
The first sloka of the Ramayana is a powerful and moving verse that has resonated with people for centuries.
It is a reminder of the importance of compassion and the consequences of our actions.