Thursday, March 26, 2009
The legend behind Vastu Sastra
Vastu Sastra is nowadays a very common term heard whenever a building is being built. This ancient science has gained more popularity nowadays as learned men have realized the scientific rationale behind it. The ancient Indian text Mayamata, describes Vastu Sastra - the science of ancient Indian architecture. There is an interesting legend behind the origin of this science.
It is said that Siva fought with Andhakasura and during the fight Siva’s sweat drops fell on the ground. From those drops of sweat arose a huge monster called Vastu Purusha. According to some sources, this monster was created by Lord Brahma himself while experimenting with his creations.
This monster devoured everything in his path and his appetite seemed insatiable. The demon was so huge that he cast an eclipse over the earth. Siva and Vishnu prayed to Brahma to do something to save the worlds. Brahma sought the help of Devas. The Devas could not control him. But they managed to push him to the earth. But his strength was too much for the earth that it started rotating at very high speeds. The Ashtadikpalakas who are the guardians of the eight directions, overpowered the monster and held him against the earth. Brahma himself joined this melee and took a position in the middle of the body of the demon. Another forty four Gods joined him and pinned the demon down to earth.
The demon complained to Lord Brahma that it was he who created all the creations. So why is he being punished by the Devas for being what he was created as. Brahma’s heart melted at the plight of the demon and he blessed him with immortality. He gave him the boon he would be worshipped by people who build a structure on earth. Those who don’t do the worship and offering to him will be his food. He was named Vastu Purusha.
The positions taken by the Devas and Brahma can be seen on the classic mandala of the Vastu Grid. The faith that Earth is a living organism called Vastu Purusha, throbbing with life and energy; is the fundamental principle of Vastu Sastra. Vasthu Sastra is about pleasing Vastu Purusha. Vastu Purusha has to be worshipped before the beginning of construction of a building, before starting to live in a new house etc. Vastu Shanti pooja is routinely performed before Grihapravesha by devout Hindus according to vedic tradition.