Vastushastra, Vāstuśāstra, Vastu-shastra: 5 definitions


Vastushastra 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 Vāstuśāstra can be transliterated into English as Vastusastra or Vastushastra, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

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In Hinduism

Vastushastra (architecture)

[«previous (V) next»] — Vastushastra in Vastushastra glossary
Source: The India Center: Architecture (Vastu Shastra)

Vastu-shastra (also Vastu-veda and Vastu-vidya), “science of construction”, “architecture” is an ancient Hindu system of architecture which consists of principles born out of a traditional view on how the laws of nature affect human dwellings. The doctrine of Vastu Shastra is concerned primarily with architecture—building houses, temples, apartments and other buildings.

The Sanskrit word Vastu means a dwelling or house. The vastu, takes the meaning of “the site or foundation of a house, site, ground, building or dwelling-place, habitation, homestead, house”. The underlying root is Vas "to dwell, live, stay, abide".

The term Shastra may be translated as “science, doctrine, teaching”. Historians such as James Ferguson, Sir Cunningham, Dr. Havell have suggest that Vastu Shastra developed between the period of 6000 BCE to 3000 BCE, adding that Harappa, Mohenjo-daro stands on the principles of Vastu Shashtra.

Source: Architecture Ideas: Origin and Texts on Vastu Shastra

Vastu Shastra was formulated by our ancestors nearly 4000 years ago, as a vedic science of layout and planning of buildings, and it has evolved over the centuries as a result of man’s efforts to improve his standard of living. Vastu Shastra is a Vedanga, a branch of Sthapatya Veda, which in turn is a part of Yajur Veda.

Source: McGill: The architectural theory of the Mānasāra

Vāstuśāstra (वास्तुशास्त्र).—In the Mānasāra, the “origin” of vāstuśāstra is treated in the following verse (1.3-4): “The science of architecture was uttered by the mouths (taught) of the one who carries Gaṅgā on his head (Śiva), the lotus-born (Brahmā), the lotus-eyed (Viṣṇu), Indra, the one whose speech is like arrow (Bṛhaspati), and of all the great sages; and is indeed also elaborated by the sage Mānasāra on all kinds of abjects (topics)”.

The c1aim that vāstuśāstra precedes its practice by virtue of its divine origin is attested by the simultaneous c1aim that the guild of builders also have a divine origin. The text elaborates the divine genealogy of the guild in detai1.

Vastushastra book cover
context information

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.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

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Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Vāstuśāstra (वास्तुशास्त्र).—Architectural regulations in connection with buildings of palaces and houses: authors of the science, origin and worship of Vāstu detailed: the halls and types of pillars as also types of wood to be used.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa chh. 252-57; 265. 4.
Purana book cover
context information

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.

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