Vastupurusha, aka: Vāstupuruṣa, Vastu-purusha; 4 Definition(s)
Vastupurusha means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.
The Sanskrit term Vāstupuruṣa can be transliterated into English as Vastupurusa or Vastupurusha, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).
Purana and Itihasa (epic history)
Vāstupuruṣa (वास्तुपुरुष).—In days of yore a ghost of immense size, who was feared by all other ghosts came into existence. This ghost was buried inside the earth by the Devas. This ghost is called Vāstupuruṣa. He is the deity of whatever we build on the earth. The offering made to this Vāstupuruṣa on completion of a house is called "Puravāstubali". (Agni Purāṇa, Chapter 40).Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopaedia
The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.
Vāstupuruṣa is the deity that is believed to be in control of a place un-inhabited by humans, a place, whereupon any structure is to be constructed. The Vāstupuruṣa is also the deity that is believed to protect any structure. He is the same as Vāstoṣpati mentioned in the Ṛgveda. According to Kramrisch (P. 45), Vāstoṣpati is but another name for Vāstupuruṣa, the puruṣa who is vāstu.
Vāstupuruṣa is to be worshipped at the construction of a new dwelling; and his figure is to be placed in the foundation at a suitable place. When the figure is to be placed at a wall, in the foundation etc., it should be shown as down-faced (adharānanaṃ). It is said that Vastupuruṣa came out for the destruction of the gods and men. The gods tried to control him and struck him variously for many years. At last Viṣṇu subdued him and also pacified him; and it was agreed that the deities springing from various parts of his body would be worshipped by people; and if anyone did not worship Vāstu the latter would devour him.Source: Ancient Indian Wisdom: Vāstu-puruṣa-maṇḍala
Vastushastra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vāstuśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science (shastra) of architecture (vastu), dealing with topics such architecture, sculpture, town-building, fort building and various other constructions. Vastu also deals with the philosophy of the architectural relation with the cosmic universe.
General definition (in Hinduism)
The figure of a person (puruṣa) bound diagonally into a square or quadrangle (referred to as a maṇḍala), representing the ground plan for a building, particularly a temple. The Vedic gods, with Brahmā at the centre, are supposed to be pressing the puruṣa into the ground, the whole presenting a divinely appointed template for the ordered construction of the building. The geometry is worked out in considerable detail in Vāstuśāstra.Source: Oxford Reference: A Dictionary of Hinduism
Vāstupuruṣa (वास्तुपुरुष):—The Bṛhatsaṃhitā has described Vāstupuruṣa, the presiding deity of the ground on which the house is to be built. The concept of Vāstoṣpati or Vāstupuruṣa i.e. the presiding deity of Vāstu i.e. land or house is as old as the Ṛgveda. In the Ṛgveda hymns have been addressed to Vāstoṣpati (Ṛgveda VII 54.1-3, VII 55.1).Source: AIKTC: Journal of the Bombay branch of the Royal Asiatic Society - Volume 79
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Search found 3 books and stories containing Vastupurusha, Vāstupuruṣa or Vastu-purusha. You can also click to the full overview containing English textual excerpts. Below are direct links for the most relevant articles:
The Garuda Purana (by Manmatha Nath Dutt)
Manusmriti with the Commentary of Medhatithi (by Ganganatha Jha)
Brihat Samhita (by N. Chidambaram Iyer)