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NEW PERSPECTIVE ON VASTUVIDYA FROM VEDIC LITERATURE

Prof. (Dr.) Balagopal T.S. Prabhu


Formerly Professor of Architectural Engineering and Head, Department of Civil Engineering, NIT Calicut

Executive Director, Vastuvidyapratisthanam, Calicut

SCHEME OF THE PAPER


1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. KNOWLEDGE BASE OF VASTUVIDYA GENESIS FROM VEDIC LITERATURE BACK GROUND FOR VEDIC RITUALS THE VEDIC RITES OF A FESTIVAL FROM PRAGMATISM TO CANONIC PRESCRIPTION PRIME POSITION OF SILPINS CONCEPT OF MANDALA AND BRAHMANABHI THE ORIGIN OF DIMENSIONAL SYSTEM SHAPES OF VASTUMANDALA AND THEIR APPLICATIONS THE FORM OF RESIDENCE IN VEDIC LITERATURE PALACES AND PUBLIC BUILDINGS GENESIS OF TEMPLE FORM SPREAD OF VEDIC PRACTICE CHANGE IN THE STATUS OF SILPINS PATH TO RECOVERY FOR SILPINS AND VASTUVIDYA REFERENCES

1. KNOWLEDGE BASE OF VASTUVIDYA


The textual tradition Pan Indian texts Brhatsamhita Mayamata Manasara

Regional texts The heritage of silpins

Kasyapasilpasastra (West) Vastumuktavali (North) Rupamandana (East) Manusyalayacandrika(South)

The archeological relics

Other texts

Arthasastra Natyasastra

All the texts give only prescription. They do not give theory or concept of design

2. GENESIS FROM VEDIC LITERATURE


The fountainhead of Vastuvidya is Sthapatyaveda Sthapatyaveda deals with establishing residences (Vastu) for mortals and immortals

Adharva veda
Sama veda

Rig veda Yajur veda

Vastu

Bhumi

Prasada

Yana

Sayana

3. BACK GROUND FOR VEDIC RITUALS


Yagasala put up from Vedic norms

Fire altar (Syena chithi)

Source : Panjal Athiratram 2011 (K.S. Menon)

4. THE VEDIC RITES OF A FESTIVAL

Temporary sheds put up in Vedic tradition for Kottiyur Temple festival

5. FROM PRAGMATISM TO CANONIC PRESCRIPTION

Prastaram elements given in Tantrasamuchayam

Prastaram elements put up as decorative elements

6. PRIME POSITION OF SILPINS


Vastuvidya is vibrant music Ruins of Hampi, Havelis of Jaisalmir, Temple precincts of Kerala Harmony created from different materials Interplay of light and shade Solidity softened by fine paintings and sculptures Here is the legacy of Silpins Monuments were their Schools, workshops for apprentice ship, hall of examinations and arena for convocation

Persuit of perfection

Acarya Sthapati Sutragrahi Vardhaki Taksaka

7. CONCEPT OF MANDALA AND BRAHMANABHI


Primary shapes

Combination of shapes

Concept of Vastupurusamandala

8. THE ORIGIN OF DIMENSIONAL SYSTEM

Design of vastu is based on human scale (purusapramana). The human scale is based on the length of human span (vyama). Octal division of vyama give the following units.
1 vyama 1 pada 1 angula 1 yava = = = = 8 pada 8 angula 8 yava 8 tila

The stature of a person (kaya) is equal to his vyama (8 pada). The reach (anjali) will be 10 pada in this scale. Space standards for rooms can be worked out based on their measures.

9. SHAPES OF VASTUMANDALA AND THEIR APPLICATIONS

Rajarani Temple in Bhuvaneswar is developed from Sreeyantra

10. THE FORM OF RESIDENCE IN VEDIC LITERATURE

Ekasala - Tribal hut in Wynad

Central courtyard of a Catussala

11. PALACES AND PUBLIC BUILDINGS

Section of Kuthambalam

Plan developed from Vedic Sabha

12. GENESIS OF TEMPLE FORM

Offering on main Altar during festival at Guruvayur Temple

13. SPREAD OF VEDIC PRACTICE

1. 2.

Nagara land extends Himalayas to Vindya.

from

Dravida land denotes the region to the south of Vindhya to Krishna river. Vesara land encompasses the south India from Krishna to Kanyakumari

3.

14.a CHANGE IN THE STATUS OF SILPINS

TRADITION OF PANCAKAMMALAR
FIVE TRADITIONAL CRAFTS
IRON SMITHY METAL WORKING GOLD SMITHY STONE WORKING
I.K OF NATURAL STONES

WOOD WORKING
I.K OF TIMBER TECHNOLOGY

I.K OF FERROUS METALS

I.K OF NON-FERROUS METALS

I.K OF PRECIOUS METALS

14.b CHANGE IN THE STATUS OF SILPINS


Metal Working

I.K COMPONENTS
Alloying Casting Sheet Metal Work Surface finishing Brass, Bronze Brass, Bronze Copper sheet roofing Mirror Polishing

PRODUCTS
Utensils, Lamps, Roof covering, Icons, Fastenings, Ornamental work

14.c CHANGE IN THE STATUS OF SILPINS


Stone Working
INTIGINOUS KNOWLEDGE COMPONENTS
TECHNOLOGICAL PROPERTIES
STRENGTH WORKABILITY DURABILITY

BINDING MATERIALS
LATERITE DUST SURKHI MORTAR TEMPERED MORTARS KATUSARKARAYOGA ASTABANDHA

CONSTRUCTION TECHNIQUES
TRABEATED SYSTEM CORBELLED ARCH KADALIKARANA

PROCESSES
SELECTION OF QUARRY CHOOSING APPROPRIATE STONES
CUTTING, DRESSING AND SHAPING JOINTING FINISHING

14.d CHANGE IN THE STATUS OF SILPINS


Wood Working
PREFABRICATED ON GROUND & ERECTED ON WALLS EASILY DISMANTLED & REASSEMBLED

SAD DARUKAM

wall plate ridge, rafter collar, collar pin eave reaper

Arudham (purlins) Diagonal Bracing

15. PATH TO RECOVERY FOR SILPINS AND VASTUVIDYA

Vastuvidya is viewed today more as an occult science, a belief system with no basis. This view has resulted from its stagnant nature from 16th century. The knowledge base of vastuvidya has to return to the philosophical search of concept and theory of design instead of dogmatic application of prescription. The structures have to return to their simplicity and functionalism, devoid for the excessive decoration. Vastuvidya is to be researched with this new perspective for its roots in Vedic literature.

REFERENCES
1. Acharya P.K., The Hindu Architecture in India and abroad, Manasara series, Oriental Books Reprint Corporation, New Delhi, 1979. 2.a. Ganapati Sastri. T. (Ed.) The Silparatna by Srikumara (samskrt), Part 1, Trivandrum Samskrt Series No. LVI, Govt. Press Trivandrum, 1917. 2.b. Sambasiva Sastri. K., (Ed.) The Silparatna of Srikumara, Part II, Trivandrum Samskrt Series No. XCVIII, Kerala University Oriental Research Institute and Manuscript Library, Trivandrum, 1929. 3. Achyuthan A, Balagopal T.S. Prabhu, An Engineering Commentary on Manusyalayacandrika, Vastuvidyapratisthanam, Calicut, 1998. 4. Alice Boner (Tr.), Vastusutra Upanishad, Motilal Banarsidass, New Delhi, 1989. 5. Parameswaran M. and Narayanan M., Yajnavedikal (Mal.), Panchangam Press, Kunnamkulam, 2006. 6. S. Jayasankar, Temples of Kerala, Census of India Special Studies, Kerala, 1997. 7. Kanippayyur Damodaran Namboodiripad, (Ed.) Tantrasamuccayam, Silpa Bhagam (Mal) Panchangam Pustakasala, Kunnamkulam, 1983. 8. Nageswar Rao. P., Pedapathi, Vedic Verbs in Contribution of Viswakarmas to the Science, Technology & Culture of Indian Origin, Dakshina Publishing House, Chennai, 2000. 9. Jagatheesh Chandrakesh, Vaidic Kareen Roopankar Kalaien (Hindi), Ananya Prakasan, New Delhi, 2003. 10. Krishnan Nambudiri C., Bharathiya Sastrachinda (Mal.), Arshaprakasam, Kozhikodie, 1998. 11. Bruno Dagens (Tr.) Mayamatam, Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts, New Delhi, 1994. 12. Stella Kramrisch, The Hindu Temple Vol.I & II, Motilal Banarsidass, New Delhi, 1986. 13. Balagopal T.S. Prabhu, A. Achyuthan, A Text Book of Vastuvidya, Vastuvidyapratisthanam, Calicut, 1996. 14. Narayana Pishoradi. K.P. (Tr.) Bharatas Natyasastra (Mal) Kerala Sahitya Academy, Trichur, 1987. 15. Ramakrishna Bhat. M., (Ed.) Varahamihras Brhatsamhita, Part I & II Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, 1987. 16. Ganapati Sthapati V., Contribution of Viswakarmas to the Science, Technology & Culture of Indian Origin, Dakshina Publishing House, Chennai, 2000.

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