Ancient Indian Science – Where Temples Should Be Located /Constructed According to Vedic Way
There are Millions of temples all over India (and also across the world considering Hindu Temples in Bangladesh and other parts too) in Various Locations, Shapes, Sizes and of Different Gods with different customs and worships. But All those Temples are Not constructed in Vedic Way Following Our Ancient Indian Hindu Temple Principles ( Following scientific reasons). In a modern world like ours in these days, we can’t find a Most Suitable free location(without any constructions) in cities and In some cases it takes too much time for people in some locations to travel to Temples Constructed in Vedic ways(Like in Metro Cities). But out of the respect ,love and belief we started constructing temples in our neighborhood (smaller & Bigger) depending on the Area available So that We can visit Temples Frequently and Worship God.
Where a Temple Should Be Constructed/Located ?
A Temple should be Constructed/Located in a Place Where the Earth’s Magnetic Wave Path Passes Through Densely. These Places can be anywhere. Like in the Outskirts of a City/Town/Village Or in The middle of most populated/Residential locations or on a hill top/in a cave or on a small island in the middle of a river. There is Science involved in Every Part of Our Life even in selecting the location for the construction of temple which now a days we’re neglecting for various reasons though.
The Temples are(Should be) constructed in a Place Where The Positive Energy Is abundantly available from The Magnetic and Electric Wave Distributions of North/South Pole Thrust. The Main Idol Of God is Placed In the center of this location (obviously where we construct the) Core Center of Temple Known as “Garbha Gudi”/”Garbhagriha”/”Moolasthanam”. The Thing Most of Us Don’t Know is the Temple Structure is Build After the Idol Location is Confirmed and Placed. The Core Center of Temple is the Place where the Magnetic waves are found to be maxium. We all Know that Copper Plates inscribed with Vedic Scripts(Shlokas) will be buried Beneath The main IDOL. They absorbs the Earth’s Magnetic Waves and Radiates It to the surroundings. Thus a Person Who Regularly Visits Temples and Walking clockwise around the Main Idol (around Garbhagruha) receives the Beamed Magnetic Waves and Her/His Body absorbs it. This is a very Slow Process. Visit the Temple Frequently will let us absorb more of this positive energy. Scientifically It is the Postive Energy we all Need to Have a Health Life..
This shows how much science is involved in our everyday life in Hindu Culture. There’s a lot of science and technology involved in ancient temples construction which not only effects on our life style but also proves how superior our ancestors are in terms of knowledge.
Hindu temple architecture
Steps in Temple Construction
The procedure for building a temple is extensively discussed, and it could be expressed in short as “Karshanadi Pratisthantam”, meaning beginning with “Karshana” and ending with “Pratistha”. The details of steps involved vary from one Agama to another, but broadly these are the steps in temple construction:
- Bhu pariksha: Examining and choosing location and soil for temple and town. The land should be fertile and soil suitable.
- Sila pariksha: Examining and choosing material for image
- Karshana: Corn or some other crop is grown in the place first and is fed to cows. Then the location is fit for town/temple construction.
- Vastu puja: Ritual to propitiate vastu devata.
- Salyodhara: Undesired things like bones are dug out.
- Adyestaka: Laying down the first stone
- Nirmana: Then foundation is laid and land is purified by sprinkling water. A pit is dug, water mixed with navaratnas, navadhanyas, navakhanijas is then put in and pit is filled. Then the temple is constructed.
- Murdhestaka sthapana: Placing the top stone over the prakara, gopura etc. This again involves creating cavities filled with gems minerals seeds etc. and then the pinnacles are placed.
- Garbhanyasa: A pot made of five metals (pancaloha kalasa sthapana) is installed at the place of main deity.
- Sthapana: Then the main deity is installed.
- Pratistha: The main deity is then charged with life/god-ness.
Before the temple is opened for daily worship, there are some preparatory rituals to be done, like:
- Anujna: the priest takes permission from devotees and lord Ganesha to begin rituals
- Mrit samgrahana: Collecting mud
- Ankurarpana: Sowing seeds in pots of mud collected and waiting till they germinate
- Rakshabandhana: The priest binds a holy thread on his hand to take up the assignment.
- Punyahavacana: Purifying ritual for the place and invoking good omens
- Grama santi: Worship for the good of village and to remove subtle undesired elements
- Pravesa bali: Propitiation of various gods at different places in the temple, rakshoghna puja (to destroy asuric elements) and of specific gods like Kshetra palaka (devata ruling the town)
- Vastu Santi: Pacifying puja for vastu (this happens twice and this is the second time)
- Yagasala: Building the stage for homas, along with vedika.
- Kalasasthapana: Installing kalasam
- Samskara: Purifying the yaga sala
- Kalasa puja, yagarambha: Woshipping the kalasa as god and propitiating deities through fire
- Nayanonmeelana, Pratimadhivasa: Opening eyes of the god-image, installing it and giving it life.
Then specific worship is done to deity, as prescribed. For instance in the case of Siva, this is followed by astabandhana and kumbhabhisheka.
From the proportions of the inner sanctum to the motifs carved into the pillars, the traditional temple takes its first form on the master sthapati’s drawing board. The architect initially determines the fundamental unit of measurement using a formula called ayadhi. This formula, which comes from Jyotisha, or Vedic astrology, uses the nakshatra (birth star) of the founder, the nakshatra of the village in which the temple is being erected matching the first syllable of the name of the village with the seed sounds mystically associated with each nakshatra and the nakshatra of the main Deity of the temple. This measurement, called danda, is the dimension of the inside of the sanctum and the distance between the pillars. The whole space of the temple is defined in multiples and fractions of this basic unit.
The Shastras are strict about the use of metals, such as iron in the temple structure because iron is mystically the crudest, most impure of metals. The presence of iron, sthapatis explain, could attract lower, impure forces. Only gold, silver, and copper are used in the structure, so that only the most sublime forces are invoked during the pujas. At especially significant stages in the temple construction (such as ground-breaking and placement of the sanctum door frame), pieces of gold, silver and copper, as well as precious gems, are ceremoniously embedded in small interstices between the stones, adding to the temple’s inner-world magnetism. These elements are said to glow in the inner worlds and, like holy ash, are prominently visible to the Gods and Devas.
The ground plan is described as a symbolic, miniature representation of the cosmos. It is based on a strict grid made up of squares and equilateral triangles which are imbued with deep religious significance. To the priest-architect the square was an absolute and mystical form. The grid, usually of 64 or 81 squares, is in fact a mandala, a model of the cosmos, with each square belonging to a deity. The position of the squares is in accordance with the importance attached to each of the deities, with the square in the center representing the temple deity; the outer squares cover the gods of lower rank. Agamas say that the temple architecture is similar to a man sitting – and the idol in garbagriha is exactly the heart-plexus, gopuram as the crown etc.
The construction of the temple follows in three dimensional form exactly the pattern laid out by the mandala. The relationship between the underlying symbolic order and the actual physical appearance of the temple can best be understood by seeing it from above which was of course impossible for humans until quite recently.
Another important aspect of the design of the ground plan is that it is intended to lead from the temporal world to the eternal. The principal shrine should face the rising sun and so should have its entrance to the east. Movement towards the sanctuary, along the east-west axis and through a series of increasingly sacred spaces is of great importance and is reflected in the architecture. A typical temple consists of the following major elements
- an entrance, often with a porch
- one or more attached or detached mandapas or halls
- the inner sanctum called the garbagriha, literally ‘womb chamber’
- the tower build directly above the garbagriha.
Significance of the number eight in temple design
Vastu Shastra describes the inner sanctum and main tower as a human form, structurally conceived in human proportions based on the mystical number eight. According to Dr. V. Ganapati Sthapati, Senior Architect at the Vastu Government College of Architecture, the vibration of the space-consciousness, which is called time, is the creative element, since it is this vibratory force that causes the energetic space to turn into spatial forms. Therefore, time is said to be the primordial element for the creation of the entire universe and all its material forms. When these vibrations occur rhythmically, the resultant product will be an orderly spatial form. This rhythm of the time unit is traditionally called talam or layam.
Since every unit of time vibration produces a corresponding unit of space measure, vastu science derives that time is equal to space. This rhythm of time and space vibrations is quantified as eight and multiples of eight, the fundamental and universal unit of measure in the vastu silpa tradition. This theory carries over to the fundamental adi talam (eight beats) of classical Indianmusic and dance. Applying this in the creation of a human form, it is found that a human form is also composed of rhythmic spatial units. According to the Vastu Shastras, at the subtle level the human form is a structure of eight spatial units devoid of the minor parts like the hair, neck, kneecap and feet, each of which measures one-quarter of the basic measure of the body and, when added on to the body’s eight units, increases the height of the total form to nine units. Traditionally these nine units are applied in making sculptures of Gods.
Since the subtle space within our body is part of universal space, it is logical to say that the talam of our inner space should be the same as that of the universe. But in reality, it is very rare to find this consonance between an individual’s and the universal rhythm. When this consonance occurs, the person is in harmony with the Universal Being and enjoys spiritual strength, peace and bliss. Therefore, when designing a building according to vastu, the architect aims at creating a space that will elevate the vibration of the individual to resonate with the vibration of the built space, which in turn is in tune with universal space. Vastu architecture transmutes the individual rhythm of the indweller to the rhythm of the Universal Being.
The goal of a temple’s design is to bring about the descent or manifestation of the unmanifest and unseen. The architect orsthapati begins by drafting a square. The square is considered to be a fundamental form. It presupposes the circle and results from it. Expanding energy shapes the circle from the center; it is established in the shape of the square. The circle and curve belong to life in its growth and movement. The square is the mark of order, the finality to the expanding life, life’s form and the perfection beyond life and death. From the square all requisite forms can be derived: the triangle, hexagon, octagon, circle etc. The architect calls this square the vastu-purusha-mandala–vastu, the manifest, purusha, the Cosmic Being, and mandala.
The vastu-purusha-mandala represents the manifest form of the Cosmic Being; upon which the temple is built and in whom the temple rests. The temple is situated in Him, comes from Him, and is a manifestation of Him. The vastu-purusha-mandala is both the body of the Cosmic Being and a bodily device by which those who have the requisite knowledge attain the best results in temple building.
In order to establish the vastu-purusha-mandala on a construction site, it is first drafted on planning sheets and later drawn upon the earth at the actual building site. The drawing of the mandala upon the earth at the commencement of construction is a sacred rite. The rites and execution of the vastu-purusha-mandala sustain the temple in a manner similar to how the physical foundation supports the weight of the building.
Based on astrological calculations the border of the vastu-purusha-mandala is subdivided into thirty-two smaller squares called nakshatras. The number thirty-two geometrically results from a repeated division of the border of the single square. It denotes four times the eight positions in space: north, east, south, west, and their intermediate points. The closed polygon of thirty-two squares symbolizes the recurrent cycles of time as calculated by the movements of the moon. Each of the nakshatras is ruled over by a Deva, which extends its influence to the mandala. Outside the mandala lie the four directions, symbolic of the meeting of heaven and earth and also represent the ecliptic of the sun-east to west and its rotation to the northern and southern hemispheres.
The center of the mandala is called the station of Brahma, the creator of the universe. Surrounding Brahma are the places of twelve other entities known as the sons of Aditi, who assist in the affairs of universal management. The remaining empty squares represent akasha or pure space. The vastu-purusha-mandala forms a diagram of astrological influences that constitute the order of the universe and the destinies of human lives. When placed on the building site, along with astrological calculations, can the auspicious time to begin temple construction be determined.
The ground breaking ceremony
From the diagram of the vastu-purusha-mandala the architect proceeds to develop the vertical and horizontal dimensions of the temple.
The plotting graphs of the temple are divided into two main sections-the ground plan and the vertical alignment. The square, the rectangle, the octagon and the pentagon are fundamental patterns in the horizontal or ground plan. In the vertical alignment the pyramid, the circle and the curve are most prominent. The subdivisions of the ground plan include the brahmasthana (the main shrine and smaller chapels) and the mandapam (balconies, assembly halls and auditoriums). The vertical plan consists of drawings for the gopuram, entrance ways, the vimana, the structure above the main shrine, and the prakara, walls.
The brahmasthana is the principal location in a temple and is where the seat of the presiding Diety will be placed. At the base of the foundation of the brahmasthana, located at the station of Brahma on the vastu-purusha-mandala, a ritual called thegarbhadhana is performed called. The ritual invites the soul of the temple to enter within the buildings confines. During this ritual, a golden box is placed in the earth as part of the ground-breaking ceremony. The interior of the box is divided into smaller units exactly resembling the vastu-purusha-mandala. All the units of the gold box are first partially filled with dirt. In the thirty-two units representing the nakshatras, the units of Brahma, and the twelve sons of Aditi, the priest places an appropriate mantra in written form to invoke the presence of the corresponding Devata.
The sanskrit mantras chanted by the priest are as important as the actual mandala. The mantra infuses the mandala with spiritual powers. The mantras are the subtle form of the mandala and therefore the two are inseparable.
In the unit of Brahma, Ananta, a golden serpent with many raised hoods is placed. It is then surrounded with nine precious jewels or navaratna. Ananta represents the energy of God in which the universe rests in space. The nine jewels invoke the astrological influence of the nine planets and are composed of a diamond, emerald, ruby, pearl, yellow sapphire, blue sapphire, red coral, cats-eye and jade.
A gold lid with the seven continents of the earth engraved on it is placed on top of the box following which the agni-hotra, or sanctification ceremony. During the agni-hotra the priest offers clarified butter, the symbol of religious principles, into the fire, which represents the mouth of the Cosmic Being. Along with the offering of clarified butter five types of grains-rice, wheat, barley, rye and dhal, are also offered with the chanting of mantras.
ra held by the idol and the mantra used for the consecration of the temple, determined the fundamental parameters in the design.
Based upon a deep understanding of the inner energies of the human system, these elements were built in order to create a powerful space for inner transformation. For example, it is held even today in some parts of Indian culture that when one visits a temple one should sit silently for a little while. Offering worship or prayers are not considered paramount but, if one were to leave the temple without sitting down for some time, the entire visit is considered fruitless.
This is so, because temples were built as public charging sites, where people could charge themselves with an inner energy. People visited temples daily before they started their day, so that they could go about their lives with an enhanced sense of balance and depth.
Over time, the underlying understanding of temples and the science behind their construction and usage gave way to rituals and traditions, making temples more a place for prayer and worship.
Dhyanalinga Yogic Temple is unique in that it is designed and consecrated by Sadhguru with the same kind of deep understanding and mastery over the inner energies, through the inner sciences of yoga.