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The Shloka ( Sanskrit , m., श्लोक, śloka “call”, “sound”) is the most important stanza form of the ancient Indian epic , especially the Mahabharata and the Ramayana . It consists of two long lines with two terms each with eight syllables, whereby the long line pair forms a syntactic unit. The metric scheme of the long line only partially defined in the quantities is:

ˌ ——  ‖  ˌ -

The parts of the long line are called pāda ("foot"). Probably the meter long line is from the Vedic meter Anushtubh emerged.


  • Paul Horsch: The Vedic Gāthā and Śloka Literature. Francke, Bern 1966.
  • Gero von Wilpert : Subject dictionary of literature. 8th edition Kröner, Stuttgart 2013, ISBN 978-3-520-84601-3 , p. 762.