The Agni Purana

by N. Gangadharan | 1954 | 360,691 words | ISBN-10: 8120803590 | ISBN-13: 9788120803596

This page describes The building of pavilions in front of the temples (sabha-sthapana) which is chapter 65 of the English translation of the Agni Purana, one of the eighteen major puranas dealing with all topics concerning ancient Indian culture, tradition and sciences. Containing roughly 15,000 Sanskrit metrical verses, subjects contained in the Agni-Purana include cosmology, philosophy, architecture, iconography, economics, diplomacy, pilgrimage guides, ancient geography, gemology, ayurveda, etc.

Chapter 65 - The building of pavilions in front of the temples (sabhā-sthāpana)

The Lord said:

1. I shall describe the mode of building pavilions (in front of temples) [i.e., sabhā] and their maintenance. The vāstuyāga (rite performed to please the spirits dwelling in a site) should be performed after having tested the ground (intended for building pavilion).

2. Having constructed pavilion [i.e., sabhā] as per one’s liking, one should install (the images of) gods according to his wish. (Such buildings) should not be constructed at the junction of four roads or at a deserted place in the village.

3. Such a builder being free from sins and raising his ancestors (to heaven), enjoys in heaven. One should build a sevenstoreyed building for Lord Hari (Viṣṇu) in the following way.

4. The same rule holds good in the building of other (temples of gods), as in the case of erecting the mansions of kings. The banner should be placed in the east. The edifice should be built as a quadrilateral without (having any walls on) the diagonal lines.

5-7. The building should have three or two chambers or one chamber. The vyaya[1] should not be much. Excessive vyaya is deemed to be harmful. Excessive āya[1] is also harmful. Hence the two should be made equal. (The priest) well-versed in the science of Garga (vāstuśāstra), should sum up the hand measures of building and multiply it by eight. It should be multiplied by three and the resultant product should be divided by eight and the remainder is known as vyaya.

8. Alternatively, having divided the sum of the hand measures of the building by three and multiplying it by eight the resultant is known as the dhvaja (banner) etc.

9. Banner, camel, lion, dog, bull, donkey, elephant and crow are said to be eight āyas.

10. It is commended if we have three after leaving the north and east in houses having three storeys. Together with the building on the opposite side there will always be two buildings in the south.

11. One-storeyed building may be had in the south or there may be two one-storeyed buildings in the west. The other kinds of buildings cause fear.

12-13. A four-storeyed building devoid of all defects is always commended. One may build a mansion having one-storey or seven-storeys without the door, platform and moulding. The mansions of the images of gods should be consecrated in the prescribed way for the gods.

14-23. The hall should be consecrated with the ceremonies as described (for the installation of an image). The consecrator should bathe in the herbal waters and becoming pure and alert should feed brahmins with sweets. He should then enter the hall decked with pitchers and arches, with his hand placed on the back of a cow, and after having wished prosperity to the brahmins. The householder should then enter the house after having honoured the astrologers. The following mantra of prosperity should be repeated.

“Oṃ, O Mother Earth! related to Vasiṣṭha! you rejoice with the Vasus (semi-divine beings) and people. Glory be to the daughter of Bhārgava[2] (Śukra the preceptor of demons), the giver of success to her offsprings. The accomplished goddess! relative of Aṅgiras! You grant me my heart’s desire. O auspicious one! related to (sage) Kaśyapa! make my intellect good. Endowed with all herbs! Surrounded by all gems and herbs! Shining one Joyous one! related to Vasiṣṭha! May you amuse here! Daughter of Prajāpati (Brahman)! O Goddess! Handsome in all parts! Noble-minded! Beautiful one! The strict observer of disciplines! One who is related to Kaśyapa! May you enjoy in this house! O Adored by the great preceptors! Adorned with perfumes and garlands! Bestower of prosperity! O Goddess! Daughter of Bhārgava! May you amuse in this house! The primordial element! The inexplicable one! Accomplished! O daughter of sage Aṅgiras! O Goddess of bricks! I establish you. You confer on me my desires! One surrounded by the lords of regions, place and the house! You be furtherer of men, wealth, elephant, horse and cow.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

One of the formulae for ascertaining the right proportion of measurement.

[2]:

Denotes Lakṣmī.

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