Sthapatyaveda

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

Sthapatyaveda, also called Shilpa Veda, is the Upa Veda (supplementary branch) of Atharva Veda. Sthapatyaveda deals with planning, designing, and construction of houses, villages, and cities. Vaastu Shastra, the Indian science of Architecture, has its origin in Sthapatyaveda.

Sthapatya means establishing, and Veda means knowledge. Sthapatyaveda means establishing a relationship between the dweller, dwelling and cosmos. This relationship maintains a cosmic order between the dweller, dwelling and cosmos. This is the same knowledge that was used to design temples, houses and cities.

Ancient civilizations around the world were influenced by this architecture, remnants of which still exist.

Origin

Shri Vishvakarma is the source of the knowledge contained in the Sthapatyaveda. The universe is created with the very same principles that he passed to Rishis and Maharishis thousands of years ago to utilize in designing homes, cities and countries. This very universe is in precise order, moving with precise time throughout many billions of years.

Shri Vishvakarma has said in his Sanskrit commentary that even if one can't apply this Sthapatyaveda knowledge fully, it is still more beneficial to apply some of this knowledge to improve our life and growth.

Understanding of Sthapatyaveda

All people are influenced by the building in which they reside, work and worship. According to the design of a structure, one feels either comfort or discomfort. Building designed in accordance with laws of nature will produce a sense of bliss, calmness and fulfillment. In incorrectly designed structures one feels anxious, stressful and despondent. Poorly designed structures produce sickness and depression.

Ayurveda says:

As is the atom, so is the universe
As is the human body, so is the cosmic body
As is the human mind, so is the cosmic mind
As is the microcosm, so is the macrocosm

Sthapatyaveda says:

As is the human body, so is the cosmic body
As is the human body, so is the body (structure) of the building
As is the body of the building, so is the cosmic body
As is the building plan, so is the cosmic plan

Time and space enter the building plan

The order of both manifest and unmanifest creation in the cosmos is reflected in the building plan. The relationship between owner and the cosmos is reflecting in the building plan. Time enters this building plan through the periodic rotation of earth which gives rise to the daily patterns of sunrise and sunset. Space enters the building plan when the building is oriented to the cardinal points, which are north, south, east and west. The naming of directions according to Veda is related to the movement of the sun. The earth is considered to be four cornered in its fixed position according to Sthap-atya Ved. Sunrise and sunset define two of these points-east and west. As the sun is considered to be life-supporting to every organism, it would represent heaven - then at these two points heaven and earth seem to meet. North and south complete the four points. Each building should be constructed in harmony with all four cardinal points.