Vastu Shastra


Vastu shastra means science of architecture and construction and is very commonly found in Indian subcontinent, these survive as manuals on design, layout, measurements, ground preparation, space arrangement, spatial geometry and other aspects of architecture. Vastu sastras incorporate traditional Hindu and in some cases Buddhist beliefs. The designs are based on integrating architecture with nature and ancient Indian beliefs utilizing perfect geometric patterns (yantra there are many principles in Vaastu Shastra. To mention a few which involve certain mathematical calculations, Maana is used for proportional relationships in a building and Aayaadi specifies conditions for maximum well being and benefits for the residents of a building.

In Indian architecture, the dwelling is itself a shrine. A home is called Manushyalaya, literally, "Human Temple". It is not merely a shelter for human beings in which to rest and eat. The concept behind house design is the same as for temple There are many principles in Vaastu Shastra. To mention a few which involve certain mathematical calculations, Maana is used for proportional relationships in a building and Aayaadi specifies conditions for maximum well being and benefits for the residents of a building.

In Indian architecture, the dwelling is itself a shrine. A home is called Manushyalaya, literally, "Human Temple". It is not merely a shelter for human beings in which to rest and eat. The concept behind house design is the same as for temple design, so sacred and spiritual are the two spaces.

Ancient Vastu Sastras discuss design of temples), and include chapters on the principles, design and layout of houses, towns, cities, gardens, roads, water works, shops and other public necessities While most Vastu shastras describe rules of construction and architecture, a few include references on astrology and rituals recommended for buildings. The Sanskrit word vastu means a dwelling or house with a corresponding plot of land. The vrddhi, vāstu, takes the meaning of "the site or foundation of a house, site, ground, building or dwelling-place, habitation, homestead, house". The underlying root is vas "to dwell, live, stay, reside". The term shastra may loosely be translated as "doctrine, teaching".

Vastu-Sastras (literally, science of dwelling) are ancient Sanskrit manuals of architecture. These contain Vastu-Vidya (literally, knowledge of dwelling).Historians such as James Fergusson, Alexander Cunningham and Dr. Havell have suggested that Vastu Shastra developed between 6000 BCE and 3000 BCE, adding that the archaeological sites of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro stand on the principles of Vastu Shashtra.Excavation of number of Indus Valley sites provides the representation of Vastu Sastra.There exist many Vastu-Sastras on the art of building houses, temples, towns and cities. One such Vastu Sastra is by Thakkura Pheru, describing where and how temples should be built. By 6th century AD, Sanskrit manuals for constructing palatial temples were in circulation in India. Vastu-Sastra manuals included chapters on home construction, town planning, and how efficient villages, towns and kingdoms integrated temples, water bodies and gardens within them to achieve harmony with nature. While it is unclear, states Barnett, as to whether these temple and town planning texts were theoretical studies and if or when they were properly implemented in practice, the manuals suggest that town planning and Hindu temples were conceived as ideals of art and integral part of Hindu social and spiritual life.

The Silpa Prakasa of Odisha, authored by Ramacandra Bhattaraka Kaulacara sometime in ninth or tenth century CE, is another Vastu Sastra. Silpa Prakasa describes the geometric principles in every aspect of the temple and symbolism such as 16 emotions of human beings carved as 16 types of female figures. These styles were perfected in Hindu temples prevalent in eastern states of India. Other ancient texts found expand these architectural principles, suggesting that different parts of India developed, invented and added their own interpretations. For example, in Saurastra tradition of temple building found in western states of India, the feminine form, expressions and emotions are depicted in 32 types of Nataka-stri compared to 16 types described in Silpa Prakasa. Silpa Prakasa provides brief introduction to 12 types of Hindu temples. Other texts, such as Pancaratra Prasada Prasadhana compiled by Daniel Smith and Silpa Ratnakara compiled by Narmada Sankara provide a more extensive list of Hindu temple types.

Ancient Sanskrit manuals for temple construction discovered in Rajasthan, in northwestern region of India, include Sutradhara Mandana'sPrasadamandana (literally, manual for planning and building a temple) with chapters on town building. Manasara, a text of South Indian origin, estimated to be in circulation by 7th century AD, is a guidebook on South Indian Vastu design and construction. Isanasivagurudeva paddhati is another Sanskrit text from the 9th century describing the art of building in India in south and central India In north India, Brihat-samhita by Varāhamihira is the widely cited ancient Sanskrit manual from 6th century describing the design and construction of Nagara style of Hindu temples.

These ancient Vastu Sastras, often discuss and describe the principles of Hindu temple design, but do not limit themselves to the design of a Hindu temple. They describe the temple as a holistic part of its community, and lay out various principles and a diversity of alternate designs for home, village and city layout along with the temple, gardens, water bodies and nature.

FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPT OF VASTU SHASTRA-

There are many principles in Vaastu Shastra. To mention a few which involve certain mathematical calculations, Maana is used for proportional relationships in a building and Aayaadi specifies conditions for maximum well being and benefits for the residents of a building. In Indian architecture, the dwelling is itself a shrine. A home is called Manushyalaya, literally, "Human Temple". It is not merely a shelter for human beings in which to rest and eat. The concept behind house design is the same as for temple design, so sacred and spiritual are the two spaces.