Chandas; 14 Definition(s)

Introduction

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)

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: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

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.

Source: Shodhganga: Mankhaka a sanskrit literary genius (natya)
Natyashastra book cover
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Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (śāstra) of performing arts, (nāṭya, e.g., 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) and poetic works (kavya).

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Vyakarana (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.

Source: Wikisource: A dictionary of Sanskrit grammar
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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)

Chandas in Chandas glossary... « previous · [C] · next »

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: Shodhganga: a concise history of Sanskrit Chanda literature

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.

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

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.

Source: Wikibooks (hi): Sanskrit Technical Terms
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)

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.

Source: Knowledge Traditions & Practices of India: Education: Systems & Practices
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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General definition (in Hinduism)

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: archive.org: Vedic index of Names and Subjects

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: WikiPedia: Hinduism

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.

Source: Shodhganga: a concise history of Sanskrit Chanda literature (h)

In Buddhism

General definition (in Buddhism)

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 (eg., chandas). The work is attributed to Nagarjuna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

India history and geogprahy

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.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary
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 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-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) U.3.48; बहुलं छन्दसि (bahulaṃ chandasi) frequently used by Pāṇini; प्रणवश्छन्दसामिव (praṇavaśchandasāmiva) R.1.11; Y.1.143; Ms.4.95.

6) A metre; ऋक्छन्दसा आशास्ते (ṛkchandasā āśāste) Ś.4; गायत्री छन्दसामहम् (gāyatrī chandasāmaham) Bg.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: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
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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. 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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Relevant definitions

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