Samarangana-sutradhara (Summary)

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

This page describes Rucaka etc. 64 Temples (Rucakadi-prasada) which is chapter 55 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 55 - Rucaka etc. 64 Temples (Rucakādi-prāsāda)

[Note: This chapter corresponds to Chapter 56 of the original Samarāṅgaṇa-Sūtradhāra]

“From now onward, I shall be describing the sixty-four temples, Rucaka etc. having the super-structure of Śikhara, with the details of names and designations in succession. From the five Vimānas formerly described, all the twenty-four Prāsādas took their shapes. The Śikharas of manifold shapes are their principal characteristic features. Another feature is that some are decorated with only one Aṇḍa, some with three and others with five with the slight difference, all these varieties are virtuous and bestowers of all desires. When made in gold or silver and studded with jewels—maṇi, muktā, prabāla etc. and decorated with ornaments, they are the favourite ones to the gods and they are free to move anywhere they like, when they are otherwise good but made of brass, copper, etc. they belong to Piśācas, Nāgas and Rākṣasas. Both these varieties are called ‘Devalokas’. When they are otherwise good but made of stone (obtained from Sphaṭika Śilā), they are appropriate to, denizens of the Pātāla;but when made in burnt brick, wood and stone, they please and bestow happiness both on the architect, the builder and the Yajamāna, the patron—they are the ornaments of the town and bestowers of prosperity, earthly and spiritual and these in their designation and other details are now being described”.

These 64 Prāsādas arc described in detail under the three classifications:—

  1. 25 Lalita Prāsādas,
  2. 9 Miśraka Prāsādas,
  3. 25 Sāndhāra Prāsādas,
  4. 5 Nigūḍha Prāsādas.
    [Total 64]

Note: All these are tabulated with names and shapes and other characteristics in a chart (see Part V).

A special feature of these temples is their Aṇḍaka-vartanā, the employment of spires from one to one hundred one—the latter being bestowed upon the Prāsādaraja [Prāsādarāja?] Meru—so much eulogised in both these chapters (55, 56). Another architectural characteristic is the excessive employment of the Rathikās, the buttresses, in super-structure. Another point to note in connection with the construction of this temple Meru is that the canons of its architect, the Sthapati and the builder, the Yajamāna are assigned castewise. Only a Kṣatriya can be its builder, only a Vaiśya its master architect and if this rule is violated, misfortunes may befall them (see lines 36-43/56). In the end, the Parivāradevatās in these temples and the gods so enumerated have an iconographical interest.

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