Sthapatya Ved – Vastu Sastra (Ideal Homes, Colony and Town Planning)

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Item Code: IHL060
Author: Dr. Niketan Anand Gaur
Publisher: New Age Books
Edition: 2009
ISBN: 9788178220420
Pages: 90
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 8.5 Inch X 5.5 Inch
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Book Description
Back of the Book

Sthapatya Ved embraces the concept of the holistic origin of the universe. This concept envisages the view that all forms of creativity originate from transcendental consciousness. In originate from transcendental consciousness. In this process it completely unites the mind and body, in the process of creativity.

Sthapatya Ved is a branch of one of the principal Veds, the Atharva Ved. It expounds the principles involved in the areas of Vastu sastra (Architecture and Planning), Silpasastra (Sculpture and Iconography), Chitrakala (Painting in all branches).

It envelops within it, the knowledge of Jyotis, Ayurved and Gandharva Ved etc., as these branches of learning too contribute to the final outcome of an undertaking. It also takes into consideration the tenets of Samudhrika Sastra and other branches of Vedic knowledge.

Niketan Anand Gaur is a Sthapatya Ved – Vastu Sastra expert. He is author of Vedic Vastu Vidya Evam Rogakarak Vastudosh; Sthapatya Ved Vastu Sastra ka Vaigyanik Evam Adhyatmik Vishleshan; Sthapatya Ved Vastu Sastra Vedic Vangmaya se Anth Sambandh.


For civilized people a comfortable residence is as necessary as food and clothes. In fact the standard of civilization seems to be regulated, amongst other things, by durability, scientific plan, aesthetic construction, and successful finish of buildings, religious, residential or military. It is, therefore, not surprising to find references to the art of building in all branches of the literature of a cultured people. For ancient Indian writers, at any rate, architecture seems to have been a very fascinating subject, inasmuch as the Vedic, Buddhist, Epic, Pauranic, Agamic, Historical, Political and Even Astronomical literature bear traces of it. We refer here briefly the representative branches of literature.

I Vedic Literature

It is needless to say that the details of the art of building were systematically embodied for the first time in the avowedly architectural treatises. They are necessarily missing in non – architectural literature, especially that composed before the growth of the Vastu – sastras. But casual references to this art go as far back as the oldest existing literature of the world. The Vedic literature before the Sutra period, however, contains little about the structure of a house. That the people of that time had learnt the art of building and used to reside in constructed houses and not in caves is sufficiently clear, not only from the synonyms for a house but also from the component members of a building, such as doors, pillars, and crossbeams. “The hymns of the Atharva – Veda give some information about the construction of a house, but the details are extremely obscure…According to Zimmer, four pillars (upamit) were set up on a good site, and against them beams were leant at an angle as props (parimit) resting upon them. The roof was formed of ribs of bamboo cane (vamsa), …The walls were filled up with grass in bundles (palada), and the whole structure was held together by ties of various sorts (nahana, pranaha, samdamsa, parishvanjalya). It was composed of several rooms, …and it could be securely shut up.

Atri is stated to have been “thrown into a machine room with a hundred doors, where he was roasted.”? Vasistha desired to have “a three – storeyed dwelling” (tri – dhatu – saranam). Mention is made of a sovereign “who, exercising no oppression, sits down in this substantial and elegant hall built with a thousand pillars,” and of residential houses with such pillars as are said to be “vast, comprehensive, and thousand – doored. Mitra and Varuna are represented as occupying a great place with a thousand pillars and a thousand gates. Muir is quite reasonable when he comments on this by saying that “this is but an exaggerated description of a royal residence such as the poet had seen.

The Sulva – Sutras, which are but the supplementary portions of the kalpa –sutras, treating of the measurement and construction of the deferent Vedis or altars, furnish us with some interesting structural details of the Agnis, the large altars built of bricks. The construction of these altars, which were required for the great Soma sacrifice, seems to have been based on sound scientific principles and was probably the beginning of religious architecture (temple – building) in India.

These altars could be constructed in different shapes, the earliest enumeration of which is found in the Taittiriya – Samhita. Following this enumeration, Baudhayans and Apastamba furnish us with full particulars about the shape of all these different chitis (altars) and the bricks which were employed for their construction. Everyone of these altars was constructed of five layers of bricks, which together came up to the height of the knee; in some cases 10 to 15 layers, and proportionate increase in the height of the altar were prescribed. Every layer in its turn was to consist of two hundred bricks, so that the whole Agni (altar) contained a thousand; the first, third, and fifth layers were divided into two hundred parts in exactly the same manner; a different division was adopted for the second and the fourth, so that one brick was never laid upon another of the same size and form.

“The first altar covered an area of 7 ½ Purusas, which means 7 ½ squares, each side of which was equal to a purusa, i.e., the height of a man with uplifted arms. On each subsequent occasion the area was increased by one square purusa. Thus, at the second layer of the altar one square purusa was added to the 7 ½ constituting the first chiti (altar), and at the third layer two square purusas were added and so on. But the shape of the whole and the relative proportion of each constituent part had to remain unchanged. The areas of every chiti (altar), whatever its shape might be – falcon, wheel tortoise, etc., - had to be equal to 7 ½ square purusas.

Frequent mention is made also of village’s towns and forts, and cities with hundred enclosures or fortifications are referred to. On this Muir remarks that although they are only alluded to as figurative expressions of the means of protection afforded by the gods, they no doubt suggest the idea of forts consisting apparently of a series of concentric walls, as actually existing in the country at that time.

From references like these many scholars are to opinion that the authors of the Vedic literature “were not ignorant of stone forts, walled cities, stone houses, carved stones, and brick edifices.”

II Buddhist Literature

“In the Buddha’s time in that portion of northern India where the Buddhist influence was most early felt – that is to say, in the districts including and adjoining those now called the United Provinces and Behar” – the arrangements of villages were practically similar, “We nowhere hear of isolated houses. The houses were all together, in a group, separated only by narrow lanes. Immediately adjoining was the sacred grove of trees of the primeval forest…Beyond this was the wide expanse of cultivated field, usually rice field.” Villagers are described as “uniting of their own accord to build mote – hills and rest – houses and reservoirs, to mend the roads between their own and adjacent villages, and even to lay out parks.

The exact details of town – planning are not available. But “we are told of lofty walls, ramparts with buttresses and watch – towers and great gates; the whole surrounded by a moat or even a double moat, one of water and one of mud. But we are nowhere told of the length of the fortifications or of the extent of the space they enclosed. It would seem that we have to think not so much of a large walled city as of a fort surrounded by a number of suburbs…Form the frequent mention of he windows of the great houses opening directly on the streets or squares it would appear that it was not the custom to have them surrounded by any private grounds. There were, however, no doubt, enclosed spaces behind the fronts of the houses, which latter abutted on the streets.”

But detached references to individual buildings, as distinct from villages and towns, are found in abundance in the conical texts as well as the Jatakas. At places it appears as if Buddha were delivering discourses on architecture. As a matter of fact, he enjoined upon his devotees the supervision of building construction as one of the duties of the order. It is stated in one of the early texts that the Bhikkhus were told on a certain occasion by the blessed one, after the delivery of a religious discourse, with respect to dwellings, thus: ‘I allow you O Bhikkhus, abodes of five kinds – Vihara, Arddhayoga, Prasada, Harmya, and Guha.

Buildings are thus divided into five classes. But the details of the distinguishing features are not methodically given in the texts, obviously because these are not architectural treatises.


Preface ix
Introduction 1
Chapter 1 Ideal Home Planning17
Chapter 2 Ideal Village Planning 25
Chapter 3 Ideal Town and Capital Planning 41
Chapter 4 Vrksha Ayurveda47
Illustrations of Architectural Plans 55
Index 89
**Contents and Sample Pages**

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