Sangatya (sAngatya) (ಸಾಂಗತ್ಯ) is a prosodic form, that is indigenous to Kannada. It lends itself well to musical rendering and consequently it is very suitable to the practitioners of the oral tradition. Sangatya belongs to the ‘amshagaNa chandassu’ and it has resisted the pressure to adapt itself to the ‘mAtragaNa chandassu. Sangatya contains four lines in each stanza and they consist of VishnugaNa, BrahmagaNa and very occasionally RudragaNa. The first two lines are identical to the next two lines. In other words this is an ‘ardha sama vrutta’ where the first half and the second half are equal. The pattern is as follows:


Vishnu/Vishnu/ Vishnu/Vishnu


Vishnu/Vishnu/ Vishnu/Vishnu



There is another variant of Sangatya which is usually called ‘sobagina sOneya chandassu’ or ‘sobagina sOneya varNa ’. Here the concluding ‘BrahmagaNa’ in the second and the fourth lines is also replaced by ‘VishnugaNa’.

In both these variations the poet has the option to replace a gaNa of a particular kind by one belonging to the other two kinds. This replacement makes the meter very flexible. The letters in a given unit (gaNa) could be either expanded or contracted depending on the exigencies of the situation. Naturally this enhances the musicality of the meter. The initial rhyme or ‘AdiprAsa’ is adhered to in all the four lines of Sangatya.

Literary works have been composed exclusively in this meter right from the fourteenth century. ‘sobagina sOne’ (1410 A.D.) by Deparaja is deemed to be the first extant literary work in Kannada. It could be surmised that some poems in this meter were composed in folk literature even before this. This poet has used the second variant mentioned above. Works such as ‘Vaikunta VarNane’ (tatvasArada sobagina sOne) by Vadiraja, ‘madana mOhinI kathe’ by Lakshmayya Kavi(1650’paramAnubhava bOdhe’ by Nijaguna Shivayogi (1500 A.D. approximately) are composed in this variant of Sangatya.

The tradition of works composed in the proper version of Sangatya is more imposing. “Bharatesha Vaibhava’ by Ratnakaravarni (16th Century) holds the pride of place in this group. ‘kAmana kathe’ by Kalyanakeerthi, ‘tripuradahana sAngatya’ by Shishumayana, ‘nEmijinEsha sangati’ by Mangarasa, ‘rAmanAtha charite’ by Nanjundakavi, ‘hadibadeya dharma’ by Sanchiya Honnamma, ‘mOhanatangini’ by Kanakadasa and ‘candrahAsana kathe’ by Helavanakatte Giriyamma are some of the important works written in this form. Some poems in Sangatya are set to music in ‘Yakshagaana’s.

Two stanzas composed in this prosodic form are given below as illustrations.


1.       ಕಿಮ್ಮೆನ/ಬಾರದು/ನಗಬಾರ/ದತ್ತಿತ್ತ/

ಕೆಮ್ಮಬಾ/ರದು ಸಭೆ/ಯೊಳಗೆ/|

ಸುಮ್ಮನಿ/ರ್ದುದು ಜನ/ಭರತ ಚ/ಕ್ರೇಶನ

ಸೊಮ್ಮಲ್ಲ/ವೇ ರಾಜ/ಮೋಡಿ/|| (ಭರತೇಶವೈಭವ)


2.       ತಲೆವಿಡಿ/ದೆತ್ತಿದ/ಳೊಡನೆ ಸ/ಕಲಶಕ್ತಿ/


ಇಲಿ ನವಿ/ಲನು ಸಲ/ಹಿದ ಕೈಯಿಂ/

ದೊಲಿದು ಮೈ/ದಡವಿದಳ್/ಕುವರರ/|| (ಸೊಬಗಿನ ಸೋನೆ)

Thus, Sangatya has played a crucial role in the history of Kannada literature and prosody. Even modern Kannada poetry has rare instances of compositions in Sangatya or its variations.


References: 1. ‘Kannada Sangatya prakara: Ondu Sanksipta Sameekshe’ by R.N.Vijayalakshmi, Mysore


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