Chakrada Danda Parsvakone Chowkas.

Listen to the sloka and fill up the squares

Partha Desikan 

In one of my earlier blogs having to do with knight movements in chess, I had pointed out that the late Krishnaraja Wodeyaru III (the proper Kannada way of spelling his name in English), King of Mysore, whose remarkable compendium

Sri Tattva Nidhi consists of precious nuggets of information on music, literature and different art forms borrowed from a number of sources apart from his own compositions both in Kannada and in Sanskrit, was a lover of puzzles as well. Among the innumerable game sequences and puzzles that he fashioned while confined to his palace because of the machinations of theBritish, we have what are known in kannada as

 

Chakrada Danda Parsvakone Chowkas.

 The board for the game is a large square separated by vertical and horizontal lines into 16 smaller squares. In these smaller squares, the player has to listen to the words of a sloka from the reciter and fill up numbers, which include one or more zeros. Each word or syllable of a word is clue to a number and the numbers except for the zeros will have to form a line of continuous integers without a gap, if rearranged.

In the squares, of course, they will not be in sequence. The numbers should not repeat, except in the case of zero. The sloka-karta uses zeroes as fillers so that his metre and imagination do not clash.

For example, this chakra square 

8 1 0 10

 

11 0 4 5

 

 2 7 9 0

 

 0 12 6 3

 

could be filled up by listening to the sloka

ashta-eka-poornam dasa-rudra-poornam chatvaari pancha dvaya sapta ratnam

poornadvayam bhaskara shadgunam cha vedagni sankhyopari sampadevam

ashta is eight. eka is one

poornam is perfection, meaning poojyam or zero

chatvaari is four. pancha is five

dvaya is the duo, therefore two

sapta is seven and ratnam is gem. There are nine ratnas.

Poornadvayam is a pair of zeros. Bhaskara is the sun. There are twelve Adityas in Hindu lore.

Shadgunam is six times, therefore six.

Vedagnis are three in sankhya.

This king knew how to pass his time.

 

 

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