Over the past few weeks I have been working on my Ancient Buddhist Texts website at getting more texts read in in their original languages and updating their presentation.
I have now moved on to a reading of my new edition of the Dhammapada, which is of interest as it is still one of the best-loved of Buddhist books.
It also features verses written in the main metres found in the Canon: Siloka, Tuṭṭhubha, Jagatī, Vetālīya and Opacchandasaka, and so provides examples of all the main metres from that period.
As I am trying to cover a broad range of material with these readings I then decided to illustrate the main metres found in the Medieval period, and read in Examples of Classical Metres from Mahāvaṁsa.
This illustrates eighteen different metres in a total of sixty-eight verses. Some of the metres here are up to twenty-one syllables long and quite elaborate, and was quite a strain at times, as I am suffering from damaged lungs and cannot breathe in very deeply.
I then managed to update the way the audio files are presented on the pages by embedding the Yahoo! Media Player. The thing I like about this player, is that it can be made very unobtrusive, a simple play button being all that is needed on most pages. It is also comparatively light to load.
On the other hand when necessary it can collect all the playlists on a page and present them all for playing in one place. This in turn enabled me to cut down the spawling Audio page on the website, where I now have 272 audio files available, and make it that much easier to access the material.
Unlike with the English section, where all the texts have been read in, I do not intend to read in all the Pāḷi and Sanskrit texts, only a selection to act as illustrations of the various languages and especially the metres that were in use.
I hope that students in particular will find this work useful in understanding the various metres and their parametres in the different periods in which they were in use.