By Swami Harshananda
Stoma literally means ‘praise’.
Stotras are the Ṛgvedic mantras set to the Sāmavedic tunes. A stoma is a group of such verses and has several names depending on the number of repetitions. They are:
These stomas are arranged in two or more different varieties called viṣṭuti. For instance, the ājyastotra consists of three verses which can be called a, b and c. Then in a pañcadaśastoma of 15 verses the arrangement will be as follows:
- 1st paryāya or round a a a b c
- 2nd paryāya or round a b b b c
- 3rd paryāya or round a b c c c
This is called pañcapañcinī-viṣṭuti.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore