The Long and Short of Dr. Manjul Bhargava

The Samskriti Corner

The Long and Short of Dr. Manjul Bhargava

A while ago Princeton University Professor and Field Medal winner Dr. Manjul Bhargava gave an enthralling lecture at the Madras Music Academy on the relation between mathematics and music.  This presentation revolved around the rhythms of ancient Indian poetry, music and the math behind them as expounded in various treatises such as the Nātyashāstra and the Sangeetha Ratnakara.  He explained how even fundamental concepts in math could be understood in terms of poetry and rhythm thus demonstrating that the subtle yet vital connection between the poetry, the performing arts and mathematics.

At the start of the lecture, Dr. Bhargava posed the following question:

What are the possible ways you could fill up 8 beats with a combination of short (1 beat) and long syllables (2 beats)? 

Here are some valid possibilities, n being the number of beats:

n= 1:                1


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2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

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This blog was viewed about 42,000 times in 2010.


In 2010, there were 26 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 381 posts. There were 2 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 1mb.

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About March 2006


स्तोत्रसङ्ग्रहः [stotra book] September 2010


जननी जन्मभूमिश्च स्वर्गादपि गरीयसी September 2005


व्यालं बालमृणालतन्तुभिः June 2006


स्तोत्रसङ्ग्रहः June 2009

Announcing StotraSamhita

I am delighted to introduce StotraSamhita (, a wiki of stotrams and namavalis, displayed in many Indian scripts.
Earlier this year, Saketh was suggesting that we come up with a usable wiki for stotras, just like how is a fantastic resource for carnatic sahityam (lyrics). The basic idea was to borrow TransLipi (a versatile tool for transliterating text to different Indian scripts, created by Shri. Srikanth Subramanian), so that the text can be viewed in multiple scripts (Devanagari/Telugu/Kannada/Roman/Malayalam). The StotraSamhita wiki is our first attempt in this direction. We started work on this wiki on Vinayaka Chaturthi day this year :).
The intention of this wiki is to provide easy access to different stotras (in a script of the user’s choice). Currently, there are only a few stotras/namavalis. In the long run, with God’s grace, we hope it develops into an encyclopaedia for stotras, namavalis and puja vidhanams 🙂 — with the significance/translations and brief commentaries. Being a wiki, it also provides a collaborative platform to edit (proof-read and correct) stotras.
I believe that another important aspect of this site is that it makes accessible works such as Tiruppavai to the non-Tamil speaking/reading public. I similarly hope that some special stotrams from other languages can be accessible, transcending language barriers. There are many better resources on the web for sanskrit stotras/texts, such as; I just hope that this site fills in a small gap left by some of the other sites — that of transliterating stotras into different scripts. The site also hosts a couple of nice PDF books of stotras, in devanagari; I hope to add PDFs in other languages shortly.

I look forward to your comments and suggestions on the wiki; the site is still in a very nascent stage — I see a huge scope for improvements (a help page for starters!). It is presently running on my home computer and is accessible from (or alternatively I had hoped to make several more improvements before releasing it widely, but thought it would be nice to release it on Vijayadashami Day! I will think about hosting it, once I get some more feedback! I would really welcome feedback on the content and any other criticisms/suggestions!

Happy Vijayadashami!

p.s. To view the StotraSamhita wiki in different scripts, use the drop-down box in the left navigation panel of the wiki

edit: ( is now online, since 4-Mar-2011.