Anushtub Chandas – Gyan from Neelesh

Any shloka in Anushtup chanda is characterized by a total of 32 letters. There are four lines (we call them पाद) and each पाद has exactly eight letters.  (We don’t count half letters like म्).
In addition, there are rules regarding which letters can be  ह्रस्व, which can be दीर्घ, which can be लघु and which can be गुरू. The given shlok says that –
श्लोके षष्ठं गुरु ज्ञेयं सर्वत्र लघु पञ्चमम्।
द्विचतुष्पादयोर्ह्रस्वं सप्तमं दीर्घमन्ययोः॥
1) In a typical shlok of Anushtup Chanda, the sixth letter of every paad must be GURU.
2) The fifth letter of every paad must be LAGHU
3) The seventh letter of the second and the fourth paad must be HRASVA
4) The seventh letter of the first and third paad must be DEERGHA.
A quick reminder on what these terms mean:
ह्रस्व = अ , इ, उ, ऋ
दीर्घ = आ, ई, ऊ, ऋृ, ए, ऐ, ओ, औ
गुरु = Any letter that is deergha is also a guru. In addition, if a hrasva letter is followed by a
संयुक्ताक्षर ( a letter composed by two or more vyanjan without any swar in between them) then that hrasva letter is also guru. Note that the hrasva letter itself might be a संयुक्ताक्षर, but that doesn’t make it guru. We must look at the NEXT letter and check if it a संयुक्ताक्षर.
लघु = a hrasva letter that doesnot become guru by above rule is laghu.
An example is –
धर्मक्षेत्रे कुरुक्षेत्रे
समवेता युयुत्सव:
मामका: पाण्डवाश्चैव
किमकुर्वत सञ्जय
This shloka follows all these four rules.
But also note that this rule is not 100% followd by all shlokas of anushtup. In geeta itself you can find exceptions. The famous shloka “raam rameti raameti” is also an exception (Think why)

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