verse ［偈］ (, Pali gāthā; ge): A mode of exposition in Buddhist scriptures. Buddhist teachings and praise of the virtues of Buddhas and bodhisattvas expressed in verse form. Some sutras are written entirely in verse, while others are written in prose interposed with sections of verse. The Sanskrit word gāthā means verse, but in the system of the nine divisions or twelve divisions of the teachings, it is used in a narrow sense and contrasted with geya, which is also one of the nine or twelve divisions of the teachings. In this classification, while gāthā refers to a metered section independent of a preceding prose section, or a metered section that is not preceded by a prose section, geya restates in verse form the meaning of a preceding prose section. In Chinese translations of Buddhist scriptures, any phrase of a verse section contains four, five, or seven characters; a number of four-line verses constitute a complete verse section. See also four-line verse.