--> Skip to main content

Vishwakarma Upanishad – Also Known As Vastu Shilpa Upanishad

Vishwakarma Upanishad, also known as Vastu Shilpa Upanishad, explains the challenges faced by various disciplines of knowledge during the Vedic age. The text analyzes the principle of form and figuration.

An Oriyan architect, Nigama Dindima, first brought out the text in 1976.

Vishwakarma Upanishad consists of Pippalada Kalpa’s discourse to his disciples, Atharvangirasa, Shilpa Kashyapa and Kuvitsa (Koushala). The subject focuses on iconography and temple architecture.

Vastu Shilpa Upanishad

The highlight of the text is the information given about the straight line and the circle. The joining of a spherical head (earth) with the straight post represents karma (action).
Vishwakarma meditates between the sensible and supra-sensible order of things.

The text extols the extraordinary power inherent in the figurative art of communicating the vision of supreme truth. It helps in giving a taste of the infinite beyond the material world.

According to Vastu Shilpa Upanishad, no image intended for public worship should ever be made without tracing its khila panjara (geometrical layout). The fundamental disposition and movements in space which are accountable for the overall character and appearance of the structure are exhaustively dealt with. It encompasses a system of measurement and proportion, called talamana, for building a single image figure in the round, reflecting intricate postures and actions.

The architect is expected to know about the types of stones involved, the compositional diagram, the skills required for carving, the disposition of limbs, and so on.

An architect will find north-south with upward direction as agni rekha (fire line) and east-west with downward horizontal swing as ap rekha (the water line).

The diagonals southwest to northeast or southeast to northwest, which engender the dynamic movement, are treated as maruta rekha (windlines). The lines intersect or converge at a central point.

SourceVastu Shilpa Upanishad – Published by Motilal Banarisdass (1982) – written by Boumer Baltina, Ratha Sarma Sadasiva and Bone, Alice.
The Encyclopedia of Hinduism Volume XI - (IHRF) (page 412 - 413)