Samarangana-sutradhara (Summary)

by D. N. Shukla | 1960 | 15,592 words | ISBN-10: 8121506115 | ISBN-13: 9788121506113

This page describes The Couches and the Cots (Shayana-asana) which is chapter 49 English summary of the Samarangana-Sutradhara by Bhoja. This work in Sanskrit representing a voluminous treatise on Vastu-Shastra (the science of Architecture), encompassing a broad range of subjects, such as Architecture, Shilpa-shastra (Iconography, Arts and Crafts) but also deals with Creation-theory, Geography, Philosophu, etc.

Chapter 49 - The Couches and the Cots (Śayana-āsana)

[Note: This chapter corresponds to Chapter 29 of the original Samarāṅgaṇa-Sūtradhāra]

Whatever is planned, made, measured or constructed is Vāstu. A complete Vāstu-śāstra deals not only with the towns and temples and the residential houses, but also with sculpture, painting, Yantra and furniture etc. Tills chapter, therefore, is an illustration of the very broad scope of Indian Architecture

The contents of this chapter are unique in the respect that nowhere is such a beautiful account with all the details in connection with the construction of the sleeping couches (śayana) to be found. The operations on the sleeping couches should be started in an auspicious moment. The wood employed must be of the good and auspicious variety of trees like Candana, Tiniśa, Arjuna, Tinduka, Śāla, Śāka, Śirīṣa, Āsana, Dhanvana, Haridru, Devadāru, Syandana, Oka, Padmaka, Śrīparṇī, Dadhiparṇī, Śiṃśipā, and other auspicious ones. The inauspicious trees as referred to in the house construction are also prohibited here. The cots which are knotted or interwoven with gold, silver, ivory or brass are deemed more auspicious.

Then follows the dimensions of the cots (āsana) in relation to those who would use them. The superior quality of cots of a king should measure 108 Aṅgulas, the middle 104, the inferior 100, the cots of princes 90, ministers 81, the commander-in-chief 78 and the Purohita 72. Twice the width should be the length of a cot in every variety. The cots of Brāhmaṇas arc 70 Aṅgulas in length and less by 2 Aṅgulas of other castes viz Kṣatriyas 68, Vaiśyas 66 and Śūdras 64.

Then follow the different parts of the cots. They are Utpala, Īśādaṇḍa, Kuṣya and Pādas etc. All these parts should be carved out beautifully in leaves, birds, etc. Particular consideration, need be given to the employment of only one kind of wood material. Two different varieties of wood are not auspicious and the cot constructed in three different varieties of wood leads to instantaneous death of the occupant. After these, details of the construction follow. A cot should be free from knots and holes and should not be loose enough and weak enough to be shaken while occupying it. It should be Suśliṣṭa—well laid, strong and stationary. The knots and holes must be avoided at all costs.

The six varieties of holes are:—

  1. Niṣkuṭa,
  2. Koladṛk,
  3. Kroḍanayana,
  4. Vatsanābhaka,
  5. Kālaka and
  6. Bandhana.

After this the details of Āsana, the seats and their parts are described. The wood is the same, The parts of an Āsana viz. Puṣkara, Sūda-hasta, Phalaka, Bhūlaka etc. are then described. In the end are described certain other articles of household furniture like, Kankata, Darvī and Pādukās.

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