Chandas, Chandash: 27 definitions


Chandas means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, the history of ancient India. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

Alternative spellings of this word include Chhandas.

In Hinduism

Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

Chandas (छन्दस्) refers to “rhythm-types”, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 15. The chandas are made of four quarter-verses, also known as pādas (‘foots’).There are twenty-six classes of chandas, each containing a different amount of syllables in a pāda (‘foot’). Out of these chandas arise the different kinds of syllabic meters (vṛtta) which are repeated sequences of alternating light and heavy syllables.

The twenty-six classes of chandas are:

  1. Uktā (one syllable),
  2. Atyuktā (two syllables),
  3. Madhyā (three syllables),
  4. Pratiṣṭhā (four syllables),
  5. Supratiṣṭhā (five syllables),
  6. Gāyatrī (six syllables),
  7. Uṣṇik (seven syllables),
  8. Anuṣṭup (eight syllables),
  9. Bṛhatī (nine syllables),
  10. Paṅkti (ten syllables),
  11. Triṣṭup (eleven syllables),
  12. Jagatī (twelve syllables),
  13. Atijagatī (thirteen syllables),
  14. Śakkarī (twelve syllables),
  15. Atiśakkarī (fifteen syllables),
  16. Aṣṭi (sixteen syllables),
  17. Atyaṣṭi (seventeen syllables),
  18. Dhṛti (eighteen syllables),
  19. Atidhṛti (nineteen syllables),
  20. Kṛti (twenty syllables),
  21. Prakṛti (twenty-one syllables),
  22. Ākṛtī (twenty-two syllables),
  23. Vikṛti (twenty-three syllables),
  24. Saṃkṛti (twenty-four syllables),
  25. Atikṛti (twenty-five syllables),
  26. Utkṛti (twenty-six syllables).
Source: Shodhganga: Mankhaka a sanskrit literary genius (natya)

Chandas (छन्दस्).—The metre i.e. chandas is mandatory for versified poetry. It is said that which is set in metres is called padya. The word chandas has been derived from several roots and therefore, it bears so many meanings in general. However, almost all the scholars have unanimously agreed with two roots—i) chand (to cover) and ii) chad (to please) as responsible for formation of the word chandas. In Vedic literature also, the word chandas is found to have used in various senses. The chandas is said to be the feet of the Vedapuruṣa. Even, the grammarian like Pāṇini employed this word as a synonym to the Vedas.

There are seven Vedic metres viz. Gāyatrῑ, Uṣṇik, Anuṣṭubh, Vṛhatῑ, Paṅkti, Triṣṭubh and Jagatῑ. The metre Gāyatrῑ consists of twenty four syllables and the other six metres starting from Uṣṇik to Jagatῑ have an increase of four syllables respectively.

Natyashastra book cover
context information

Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (shastra) of performing arts, (natya—theatrics, drama, dance, music), as well as the name of a Sanskrit work dealing with these subjects. It also teaches the rules for composing Dramatic plays (nataka), construction and performance of Theater, and Poetic works (kavya).

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Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar)

Source: Wikisource: A dictionary of Sanskrit grammar

1) Chandas (छन्दस्).—Vedic Literature in general as found in the rule बहुलं छन्दसि (bahulaṃ chandasi) which has occurred several times in the Sutras of Panini, cf. छन्दो-वत्सूत्राणि भवन्ति (chando-vatsūtrāṇi bhavanti) M. Bh. on I.1.1, and I.4.3; cf. also V. Pr. I. 1, 4;

2) Chandas.—Vedic Samhita texts as contrasted with the Brahmana texts; cf.छन्दो-ब्राह्मणानि च तद्विषयाणि (chando-brāhmaṇāni ca tadviṣayāṇi) P, IV.2.66; () metre, metrical portion of the Veda.

Vyakarana book cover
context information

Vyakarana (व्याकरण, vyākaraṇa) refers to Sanskrit grammar and represents one of the six additional sciences (vedanga) to be studied along with the Vedas. Vyakarana concerns itself with the rules of Sanskrit grammar and linguistic analysis in order to establish the correct context of words and sentences.

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Chandas (prosody, study of Sanskrit metres)

Source: Shodhganga: a concise history of Sanskrit Chanda literature

Chandas (छन्दस्), the most ancient literature of the world is also called as chandas, because the Vedic mantras (compositions) are all metrical compositions (chandobaddha). All the four Saṃhitās (with a few exceptions in Yajurveda and Atharvaveda) are of this nature. Hence they are called chandas. The great Sanskrit grammarian Pāṇini frequently used chandas in the sense of Veda onwards the ancillary literatures and subsequently the classical literatures are also composed with metres.

Lakṣmīnātha Bhaṭṭa, commentator of Prākṛtapiṅgala gives an account of the origin of Chanda in his commentary on the first verse of the work, which also hinted by the author of Prākṛtapiṅgala. Another legend also found regarding the origin of Chanda in relation with Śeṣa and Piṅgala. Yādavaprakāśa, commentator on Chandaśśāstra of Piṅgala mentions the whole history of Sanskrit Prosody in one verse at the end of his commentary.

Source: Knowledge Traditions & Practices of India: Language and Grammar (chandas)

Chandas (छन्दस्, “prosody”) refers to the “science of prosody” and represents one of the six vedāṅgas: disciplines developed in order to articulate and interpret sacred texts (such as the Ṛgveda).—The Vedas are also India’s first literary compositions and the Vedic seers are the first poets. A major portion of the Vedic compositions is metrical. So the science of prosody also developed in India in very early times. In oral traditions, prosody also helps to maintain the text as it is. A change occurring in a versified text in course of time can be easily traced as it disturbs the rhythm (flow) of the text.

Chandas book cover
context information

Chandas (छन्दस्) refers to Sanskrit prosody and represents one of the six Vedangas (auxiliary disciplines belonging to the study of the Vedas). The science of prosody (chandas-shastra) focusses on the study of the poetic meters such as the commonly known twenty-six metres mentioned by Pingalas.

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Jyotisha (astronomy and astrology)

Source: Wikibooks (hi): Sanskrit Technical Terms

Chandas (छन्दस्).—Prosody or poetic metrics. One of the six Vedāṅgas. Note: Chandas is a Sanskrit technical term used in ancient Indian sciences such as Astronomy, Mathematics and Geometry.

Jyotisha book cover
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Jyotisha (ज्योतिष, jyotiṣa or jyotish) refers to ‘astronomy’ or “Vedic astrology” and represents the fifth of the six Vedangas (additional sciences to be studied along with the Vedas). Jyotisha concerns itself with the study and prediction of the movements of celestial bodies, in order to calculate the auspicious time for rituals and ceremonies.

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Dharmashastra (religious law)

Source: Knowledge Traditions & Practices of India: Education: Systems & Practices

Chandas (छन्दस्, “metrics”) refers to one of the six divisions of the Vedāṅga texts, a type of Śāstra categorised as Apaurūṣeya; all part of the ancient Indian education system, which aimed at both the inner and the outer dimension of a person.

Dharmashastra book cover
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Dharmashastra (धर्मशास्त्र, dharmaśāstra) contains the instructions (shastra) regarding religious conduct of livelihood (dharma), ceremonies, jurisprudence (study of law) and more. It is categorized as smriti, an important and authoritative selection of books dealing with the Hindu lifestyle.

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Kavyashastra (science of poetry)

Source: Shodhganga: Bhismacaritam a critical study

Chandas (छन्दस्) refers to the “metres” employed in a nahākāvya (‘epic poem’).—The metrics has been one of the most neglected subjects in the hands of the traditional scholars. My observation says that the art of the use of proper metres in a nahākāvya is the main criterion of the quality of the poem. In this regard R. K. Panda rightly observes in his book ‘Suvṛttatilaka of Kṣemendra’ that metres are ornaments to poetry.

Kṣemendra, the author of Suvṛttatilaka, has also talked about the propriety in the use of metres (chandas) in the poem. In this regard he says that the choice of metres in Mahākāvya is greatly determined by the subject-matter and sentiments (cf. Suvṛttatilaka, III.7).—It means that one who knows the difference in various metres (chandas) should make use of all the metres according to the sentiment or the theme of description. As pointed out by Velankar, a skillful poet makes a sharp distinction between the poetical and dry portion of the narrative and, while he dwells at full length on the poetical portion, pays little attention to the latter. Here even the choice of metres becomes important, and the poet knowingly employs elaborate metres to describe the beauties of nature and the throbbings of the human heart.

Kavyashastra book cover
context information

Kavyashastra (काव्यशास्त्र, kāvyaśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian tradition of poetry (kavya). Canonical literature (shastra) of the includes encyclopedic manuals dealing with prosody, rhetoric and various other guidelines serving to teach the poet how to compose literature.

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Ganitashastra (Mathematics and Algebra)

Source: Hindu Mathematics

Chandas (छन्दस्) represents the number 7 (seven) in the “word-numeral system” (bhūtasaṃkhyā), which was used in Sanskrit texts dealing with astronomy, mathematics, metrics, as well as in the dates of inscriptions and manuscripts in ancient Indian literature.—A system of expressing numbers by means of words arranged as in the place-value notation was developed and perfected in India in the early centuries of the Christian era. In this system the numerals [e.g., 7—chandas] are expressed by names of things, beings or concepts, which, naturally or in accordance with the teaching of the Śāstras, connote numbers.

Ganitashastra book cover
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Ganitashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, gaṇitaśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science of mathematics, algebra, number theory, arithmetic, etc. Closely allied with astronomy, both were commonly taught and studied in universities, even since the 1st millennium BCE. Ganita-shastra also includes ritualistic math-books such as the Shulba-sutras.

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Kama-shastra (the science of Love-making)

Source: Shodhganga: Elements of Art and Architecture in the Trtiyakhanda of the Visnudharmottarapurana (kama)

Chandas (छन्दस्) or Chandojñāna refers to “prosody and rhetoric” and represents one of the “sixty four kinds of Art”, according to the Kāmasūtra of Vātsyāyaṇa.—Indian tradition, basically includes sixty four Art forms are acknowledged. The references of sixty four kinds of kalā are found in the Bhāgavatapurāṇa, Śaiva-Tantras, Kāmasūtra of Vātsyāyaṇa etc.

Kamashastra book cover
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Kamashastra (कामशास्त्र, kāmaśāstra) deals with ancient Indian science of love-making, passion, emotions and other related topics dealing with the pleasures of the senses.

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Yoga (school of philosophy)

[«previous next»] — Chandas in Yoga glossary
Source: ORA: Amanaska (king of all yogas): A Critical Edition and Annotated Translation by Jason Birch

Chandas (छन्दस्) refers to “metres”, according to the the Amanaska Yoga treatise dealing with meditation, absorption, yogic powers and liberation.—Accordingly, as Īśvara says to Vāmadeva: “[...] Not by studying the doctrines of scriptural exegesis, logic, planets and mathematics, nor by the Vedas, Upaniṣads, Dharmaśāstras [and the like]; not even by lexicons nor metre (chandas), grammar, poetry nor rhetoric; the sage's attainment of the highest reality is gained only from the oral teachings of his own guru.[...]”.

Yoga book cover
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Yoga is originally considered a branch of Hindu philosophy (astika), but both ancient and modern Yoga combine the physical, mental and spiritual. Yoga teaches various physical techniques also known as āsanas (postures), used for various purposes (eg., meditation, contemplation, relaxation).

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Mantrashastra (the science of Mantras)

Source: Shodhganga: Kasyapa Samhita—Text on Visha Chikitsa (mantra)

Chandas (छन्दस्) refers to the “metrical form of a mantra”.—Mantras refers to “that which is chanted by people to obtain their spiritual aspirations”. Every mantra invariably has to come under 26 kinds of chandas or metrical form. These stand for the 26 modes or ways in which different sounds can be arranged, taken one at a time, two at a time and so on. The art of discovering or decoding the mantra is called Mantroddhāra.

context information

Mantrashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, mantraśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science of mantras—chants, incantations, spells, magical hymns, etc. Mantra Sastra literature includes many ancient books dealing with the methods reciting mantras, identifying and purifying its defects and the science behind uttering or chanting syllables.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: Vedic index of Names and Subjects

1) Chandas (छन्दस्) in the Rigveda usually denotes a song of praise ’ or hymn.’ The original sense of the word, as derived from the verb chand, to please,’ was probably attractive spell,’magic hymn,' which prevailed on the gods. In a very late hymn of the Rigveda, as well as in one of the Atharvaveda, the word is mentioned in the plural (chandāmsi), beside Ṛc (ṛcah), Sāman (sāmāni), and Yajus, and seems to retain its original meaning, not improbably with reference to the magical subject-matter of the Atharvaveda. From denoting a (metrical) hymn it comes to mean metre ’ in a very late verse of the Rigveda, in which the Gāyatrī, the Tristubh, and all (sarvā) the metres (chandāmsi) are mentioned. In the later Samhitās three or seven metres are enumerated, and in the śatapatha Brāhmana eight. By the time of the Rigveda Prātiśākhya the metres were subjected to a detailed examination, though much earlier references are found to the number of syllables in the several metres. Later the word definitely denotes a Vedic text generally, as in the śatapatha Brāhmana.

2. Chandas occurs in one passage of the Atharvaveda in the adjectival compound bṛhac-chandas, which is used of a house, and must mean ‘having a large roof.’ Bloomfield accepts the reading as correct, but Whitney considers emendation to Chadis necessary.

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

chandas; One of the six disciplines of Vedanga, treating meter (poetry).

Versification in Classical Sanskrit poetry is of three kinds.

  1. Syllabic verse (akṣaravṛtta): meters depend on the number of syllables in a verse, with relative freedom in the distribution of light and heavy syllables.
  2. Syllabo-quantitative verse (varṇavṛtta): meters depend on syllable count, but the light-heavy patterns are fixed.
  3. Quantitative verse (mātrāvṛtta): meters depend on duration, where each verse-line has a fixed number of morae, usually grouped in sets of four.
Source: Shodhganga: a concise history of Sanskrit Chanda literature (h)

Chandas (छन्दस्)—The Aitareya-āraṇyaka says that the chanda is called as chanda, as it protects the person and stops him to commit any sin.  Taittirīya-saṃhitā says that Prajāpati is wrapped by chanda to protect himself and the gods from fire. The Chāndogya-upaniṣad says that the gods are wrapped by chanda, because of the fear of death. The Śatapathabrāhmaṇa enumerates the chanda as rasa and reflects the experience of poetic excellence. In Kauśītakibrāhmaṇa, the chanda is also called as prāṇa. Probably the Vedic sages observed that the chanda is the soul of kāvya.

In Buddhism

General definition (in Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

Chandas (छन्दस्, “desire”) refers to one of the fourty “conditions” (saṃskāra) that are “associated with mind” (citta-samprayukta) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 30). The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (e.g., chandas). The work is attributed to Nagarjuna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

India history and geography

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary

Chandas.—(IE 7-1-2), ‘seven’. Note: chandas is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

India history book cover
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The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as mythology, zoology, royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Chandas (छन्दस्).—n. [chandayati asun]

1) Wish, desire, fancy, will, pleasure; (gṛhṇīyāt) मूर्खं छन्दोऽनुवृत्तेन याथातथ्येन पण्डितम् (mūrkhaṃ chando'nuvṛttena yāthātathyena paṇḍitam) Chāṇ.33.

2) Free will, free or wilful conduct.

3) Meaning, intention.

4) Fraud, trick, deceit.

5) The Vedas, the sacred text of the Vedic hymns; स च कुल- पतिराद्यश्छन्दसां यः प्रयोक्ता (sa ca kula- patirādyaśchandasāṃ yaḥ prayoktā) Uttararāmacarita 3.48; बहुलं छन्दसि (bahulaṃ chandasi) frequently used by Pāṇini; प्रणवश्छन्दसामिव (praṇavaśchandasāmiva) R.1.11; Y.1.143; Manusmṛti 4.95.

6) A metre; ऋक्छन्दसा आशास्ते (ṛkchandasā āśāste) Ś.4; गायत्री छन्दसामहम् (gāyatrī chandasāmaham) Bhagavadgītā (Bombay) 1.35;13.4.

7) Metrical science, prosody; (regarded as one of the six Vedāṅgas or auxiliaries to the Vedas, the other five being śikṣā, kalpa, vyākaraṇa, nirukta and jyotiṣa).

8) A metrical composition. ... मया काव्यानि तन्वता छन्दो विनिर्मितं तस्मिन् कृतः सर्वस्य संग्रहः (mayā kāvyāni tanvatā chando vinirmitaṃ tasmin kṛtaḥ sarvasya saṃgrahaḥ) Parṇāl.1.23.

9) A festival; वेदे वाक्ये वृत्तभेदे उत्सवेऽपि नपुंसकम् (vede vākye vṛttabhede utsave'pi napuṃsakam) | Nm.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Chandas (छन्दस्).—n.

(-ndaḥ) 1. Poetical metre of every kind, bnt it is also applicable particularly to the metre of the Vedas. 2. Meaning, purport, object, intention. 3. Wish, desire. 4. the Vedas or scripture. 5. Wilfulness, independence, uncontrolled or unrestrained conduct. E. chadi to gladden, &c. and asun Unadi affix, ca is changed to cha; also in some senses with a final vowel chanda q. v.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Chandas (छन्दस्).—[chand + as], n. 1. Pleasure, Mahābhārata 12, 7376. 2. A holy hymn, Mahābhārata 5, 1224. 3. The Vedas, Mahābhārata 12, 12933. 4. Poetical metre, [Bhagavadgītā, (ed. Schlegel.)] 10, 35. 5. Metrics, [Pañcatantra] ii. [distich] 34.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Chandas (छन्दस्).—[neuter] delight, pleasure, wish, desire; fancy, ideal; incantation, holy song, sacred text or Veda; metre, also = [preceding]

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Aufrecht Catalogus Catalogorum

1) Chandas (छन्दस्) as mentioned in Aufrecht’s Catalogus Catalogorum:—one of the Vedanga, attributed to Pingala. Io. 1347. 1378. 1743 B. 2106. W. p. 98-100. Oxf. 386^a. Khn. 8. B. 3, 60. Ben. 2. Pheh. 5. [Oudh 1876-1877], 2. Iii, 8. Brl. 80. Bh. 6. Bhk. 89. Proceed. Asb. 1869, 143. Oppert. 1006. 3167. 6607. Ii, 5497. 8268. Rice. 26. Peters. 2, 171. 3, 394. 395 (and—[commentary]). Pingala is quoted in Sāmagānāṃ chandas. Oxf. 383^b.
—[commentary] by Bhāskararāya. K. 94.
—[commentary] Bhāṣyarāja by Vedāṅgarāja. Io. 110. 2322.
—[commentary] Mṛtasaṃjīvanī (q. v.) by Halāyudha.
—Sv. Peters. 2, 180.
—Av. Peters. 2, 182.

2) Chandas (छन्दस्):—add Haug. 30. read Brl. 8. Bhk. 8.
—[commentary] Bhāṣyarāja. read by Bhāskararāya.
—Sv. add Oudh. Xiii. 28. See Sāmagānāṃ chandas.

3) Chandas (छन्दस्):—one of the Vedāṅga. Gb. 19. Peters. 4, 4. Stein 39.

4) Chandas (छन्दस्):—by Piṅgala. Ulwar 155. 158.
—[commentary] by Yādavaprakāśa. Hz. 299. 563 (Piṅgalachandovicitibhāṣya). Extr. 70. 85.

5) Chandas (छन्दस्):—vedāṅga. Ak 67. As p. 65. Hpr. 2, 67. L.. 131. C. Bhāṣyarāja by Bhāskararāya. As p. 133. C. Piṅgalaprakāśa by Viśvanātha Pañcānana. As p. 65. C. Mṛtasaṃjīvinī by Halāyudha. Ak 716. 719. As p. 65.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Chandas (छन्दस्):—[from chad] 1. chandas n. ‘roof’ See bṛhac-

2) [v.s. ...] deceit, [Uṇādi-sūtra]

3) Chandaś (छन्दश्):—[from chad] = das.

4) Chandas (छन्दस्):—[from chad] 2. chandas n. desire, longing for, will, [Mahābhārata xii, 7376; Pāṇini 4-4, 93; Kāśikā-vṛtti]

5) [v.s. ...] intention, purport, [Horace H. Wilson]

6) [v.s. ...] a sacred hymn (of, [Atharva-veda]; as distinguished from those of [Ṛg-veda; Sāma-veda] and, [Yajur-veda]), incantation-hymn, [Ṛg-veda x; Atharva-veda; Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa viii; Mahābhārata v, 1224; Raghuvaṃśa i, 11]

7) [v.s. ...] the sacred text of the Vedic hymns, [Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa xi, 5, 7, 3; Āśvalāyana-gṛhya-sūtra; Kauśika-sūtra; Gobhila-śrāddha-kalpa; Vājasaneyi-saṃhitā-prātiśākhya; Pāṇini; Manu-smṛti] etc.

8) [v.s. ...] metre (in general, supposed to consist of 3 or 7 typical forms [Atharva-veda; Vājasaneyi-saṃhitā] etc. to which Virāj is added as the 8th [Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa viii, 3, 3, 6]; chandas opposed to gāyatri and triṣṭubh, [Ṛg-veda x, 14, 16])

9) [v.s. ...] metrical science, [Muṇḍaka-upaniṣad i, 1, 5; Mahābhārata i, 2887; Pañcatantra; Śrutabodha]

10) [v.s. ...] = do-grantha, [Nyāyamālā-vistara ix, 2, 6 [Scholiast or Commentator]];

11) [v.s. ...] cf. [Latin] scando, ‘to step, scan.’

12) [from chanda] a etc. See, [ib.]

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Yates Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Chandas (छन्दस्):—(ndāḥ) 5. n. Poetical metre; meaning, intention; wish; the vedas; wilfulness, independence.

Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary (S)

Chandas (छन्दस्) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit word: Chaṃda.

[Sanskrit to German]

Chandas in German

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Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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