VAASTU-PURUSHA : MYTHOLOGICAL ORIGIN
There is a very interesting myth associated with the origin of VAASTU-Purusha, from which we can understand as to why we should build a house according to guidelines of VAASTU SCIENCE and then perform the appropriate rituals for the VAASTU-Purusha. The VAASTU-Purusha is said to be residing in all the buildings – small or large. He has a peculiar physique and indications. He occupies the entire constructed area in a posture of head drooping forward. The story of the origin of the VAASTU-Purusha is narrated in the Matsya-Purana.
Once upon a time Lord Shiva fought a battle against the monster named Andhak and killed him. Since the battle was long drawn, Lord Shiva got very tired. He was sweating profusely. A drop of sweat fell on the ground and a humanoid figure was born out of that. He had a huge and a terrible body. He was also very hungry and started to drink the blood of the slain monster Andhak. Even after drinking the blood, his hunger was not satiated and he could not tolerate it. Hence he prayed to Lord Shiva to allow him to eat all the three worlds. Lord Shiva was pleased with his penance and granted him his wish.
As soon as Lord Shiva granted him his wish, the demon captured all the three worlds and started to eat the earthlings. This caused panic amongst the gods and goddesses, humans and demons. They approached Lord Brahma for help. He told them to knock the demon down in prone position. Accordingly the 45 major and minor gods felled him down. The 32 gods from outside and 13 gods from inside held him down. The names of 32 gods who held him from outside are as follows – 1) Eesh [Shikhi] 2) Parjanya 3) Jayant 4) Indra 5) Surya 6) Satya 7) Bhrush 8) Aakash 9) Waayu 10) Poosha 11) Vitatha 12) Bruhatkshat 13) Yama 14) Gandharva 15) Bhrungaraj 16) Mruga 17) Pitru 18) Douwarik 19) Sugreeva 20) Pushpadant 21) Varun 22) Asur 23) Shoka 24) Papyakshma 25) Roga 26) Ahi 27) Mukhya 28) Bhallat 29) Soma 30) Sarpa 31) Aditi 32) Diti .
The above mentioned 32 gods are outside the limits of the VAASTU (the building ), whereas the below mentioned 13 gods are within the limits of the VAASTU – 1) Aap 2) Savita 3) Indra(with Jayant) 4) Shesha 5) Marichi 6) Savitri 7) Vivaswan 8) Vishnu 9) Mitra 10) Rudra 11) Pruthvidhar 12) Aapvatsa 13) Brahma.
All these gods attacked that demon and held him down by sitting on various parts of his body. Eesh (Agni – Fire) on the head, Aap on the face, Pruthvidhar and Aryama (Marichi) on the chest, Aapvatsa on the chest, Diti and Indra on the upper arms, Som and Surya on the right hand, Rudra and Rajyakshama(Papyakshma ) on the left hand, Savitri and Savita on the right arm, Vivaswan and Mitra on the stomach, Poosha and Aryama (Marichi) on the wrist, Asur and Shesha on the left flank, Vitatha and Bruhatkshat on the right flank, Yama and Varuna on the thigh, Gandharva and Pushpadant on the knees, Sugreeva and Mruga on the lower legs, Douwarik and Mruga on the feet, Jay and Satya on the hair on legs, and Brahma on the heart.
Sarpa 43 Pruthvidhar 43 Pruthvidhar 45
Vivaswan 12 Bruhat- kshat
Soma 43 Pruthvidhar 43 Pruthvidhar 45
Bhallat 43 Pruthvidhar 43 Pruthvidhar 45
Vivaswan 14 Gandharv
Pap yakshma 23
Varuna 20 Pushpadant 19
Explication of VASTU PURUSH MANDALA
Technicalities of a square Mandala
Although Vastu may have varied shapes to suit specific design situations, the square is the most preferred shape of the Mandala in Vastusastra. Mythologically, square is the shape of Vajra, the weapon given to Indra by Viswakarma. Earth is described as four-cornered (caturbhrsti). The square fire-altar (vedi) is another sanctified form of this shape. The square may be microscopic in size as in the case of minute ornamental patterns or microscopic in magnitude as in city layouts. The detailed analysis of the square vastumandala thus forms the basis of all design processes.
A square may be defined with reference to two axes (vinyasa sutra). One of the axes is the W-E line called Brahmasutra and the other is the S-N line referred to as Yamasutra. The point of intersection of the axes is the focus or origin (brahmanabhi). A square may be marked by lines at equal distances from this centre and parallel to vinyasasutra. The bounding lines of the square are called paryasasutra. The diagonal lines (karnasutra) indicate the corner directions. The circle drawn through the limiting points of the Brahmasutra and Yamasutra of the square is called Nagasutra. The square obtained by joining the same points is the sulasutra (fig 1).
Grid Division of a Vaastu Mandala as per activities or purpose of work
A square mandala may be divided into a grid of many cells. A mandala of a single cell (pada) is the rudimentary shape called sakala. A square of four cells (2x2 grid) is called pechaka. A division of 3x3 grid yield one central cell and eight outer cells. This mandala is called pitha. By continuing this process, 32 types of mandala are derived with the division of sides in a mathematical series from 1 to 32, based on which all works of architecture can be planned and regulated. These mandalas thus correspond to a geometrical method of gnomonic extension of space, each with its special name and specified use indicated in below table.
Division of Mandala into cells
Set Div. On the axes Name of Mandala Configuration No. Of cells Uses
A 1 Sakala 1x1 1 Fire altar
36 Large Seat
121 Mandapas and Prasadas (House, Office etc.)
361 Temple compleses and Villages
1024 Town and Cities
DIFFERENT PADAVINYAS OF MANDALAS
A scrutiny of the different types of Mandalas an interesting pattern of grouping them for different purposes. Truly the focal point, Brahmanbhi of the Mandala, itself can be taken as the minimal field of 0x0 grid, with respect to which all other Mandalas originate. It is the point (bindu) having much significance in Tantra. Originating from the bindu, the fields or Mandalas may be grouped assets of 1,2,3,5,8 and 13 – in a summation series – each set having application. The Sakala Mandala (1x1) is the basic form enclosing space. By attributing a dimension to the side, it can enclose any space from micro to macro level- hence the name Sakala (evertything). The four lines defining the Sakalamandala – Bhanu, Arkin, Varuna and Soma-enclose the space in the E, S, W and N directions. It is used as the Mandala for fire altar (Agnivedi or Yahna vedi).
Pechaka (2x2) and Pitha (3x3) represent two primary forms, one with no central cell, and another with a central cell. The even grid of Pechaka and the odd grid of Pitha are the Mandalas from which all Vaastus are demarcated. Seats are the rudimentary examples of such Mandalas. The three Mandalas of enlarged seats – Mahapitha(4x4), Upapitha (5x5) and Ugrapitha (6x6) form the third set. Starting from Upapitha there are three envelopes of space around the focus.
The five Mandalas in the 4th set are divisions of great importance from architectural considerations. They are used for the planning and design of pavilions (Mandapa), houses (Manusyalaya) and temples (Devalaya). According to Mayamatam, architectural design starts from Sthandila Mandala (7x7 grid). Brahatsamhita prescribes Astavarga (8x8 grid), Navavarga (9x9 grid), and Dasvarga (10x10 grid) for small structures, temple complexes and camping towns respectively. Sthaniya (11x11 grid), as the name denotes, may be used for site divisions as in the case of small settlements.
The eight Mandalas in the 5th set, starting from Desiya (12x12 grid) upto Ganita (19x19 grid) are recommended in planning of villages and towns. Of these the padmagarbha and karnastaka are most important mandalas used for the said purpose. The 13 mandalas of the 6th set are meant for very large settlements such as commercial towns, temple cities and capital cities.