Listen to the sloka and fill up the squares
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.
More posts by this author:
- The knight rides his math assignment
- Constructing the Space of Possibility
- Having to do with Jayanth Kaikini’s Ondu Jilebi
- The famous last Lecture
After R & D and technical management experience of over three decades in petroleum and organic chemical industry, have been devoting the past fifteen years to the study of Tamil and Sanskrit classics, including dharmic works and doing some serious translation work. Have been a significant contributor to the medha journal almost since its inception upto 2013 and expect to continue my association with it.