Kashyapa Shilpa-shastra (study)

by K. Vidyuta | 2019 | 33,520 words

This page relates ‘Dwellings outside the Prakaras’ of the study on the Kashyapa Shilpa-shastra (in English) with special reference to the characteristics of Prakara (temple-components), Mandapa (pavilions) and Gopura (gate-house). The Silpa-Sastras refers to the ancient Indian science of arts and crafts, such as sculpture, architecture and iconography. This study demonstrates the correlatation between ancient Indian monuments (such as temples and sculptures) and the variety of Sanskrit scriptures dealing with their construction.

9. Dwellings outside the Prākāras

Just outside the prākāras the dwellings are constructed in a row or successive manner. The dwellings of the Śiva bhaktas must be designed on the eastern side; those of the deśikas (Viṣṇu bhaktas) must be in the east or the northern side.

In the southern side the houses of daivajñas (astrologers), ambaṣṭhās (barbers), bhiṣajas (doctors) and the vādakas (musicians) should be built[1] (XLIII. 79-80):

tadbāhye tadgṛha śreṇīḥ[2] mānena vidhinā kuru |
śaivānāṃ paricārāṇāṃ prācyamāvāsamucyate ||
|prācyāṃ vā saumyadeśe
[3] deśikā vāsamucyate |
daivajñāmbaṣṭha bhiṣajāṃ vādakānāṃ ca yāmyake ||

The people who work for fixed wages are to be made to reside in the western direction and all the bhaktas are to live on the sides of the northern part.

In the south-east for the mahāvrata; in the south the Pāśupatas; the Kālāmukhas must dwell in the south-west and in the place of Varuṇa (west) the Buddhists and their temples are to be constructed (XLIII. 81-2):

nibandhābhārajīvīnāṃ paścime vāsamucyate |
sarveṣāmapi bhaktānāṃ vāsamuttarapārśvataḥ ||
agnau mahāvratasthanaṃ yāmye pāśupatālayam |
kālāmukhaṃ tu nairṛtye bauddhālayaṃ tu vāruṇe ||

In the Vāyu pada (north-west) the Arhatas (Jainas) must be housed; in the north the residence of Brāhmiṃs; if an education centre is to be built then north-east is the best direction (XLIII. 83):

vāyau tu ārhatasthane saumye bhūsurasadmakam |
jñānābhyāsālayaṃ kuryādaiśānyāṃ tu viśeṣataḥ ||

In the outer row and in the direction of Indra (east) one must dig a place for water and in between south and south-east a structure to distribute the water must be constructed. Amidst the south and south-west the cow-shed must be established and in between west and south-west sūtikā (maternity centre) must be built.

Also in between west and north-west an asylum for the sick (for medical treatment) is to be constructed (XLIII. 84-5):

bāhye tvindrasya digbhāge khātayettu jalāśayam |
yāmyapāvakayormadhye jaladānaprapāṃ kuru ||
[4]
yāmyanairṛtayormadhye gośālāṃ saṃprakalpayet ||[5]
vāruṇanairṛtayormadhye sūtikāvāsamucyate |
vāruṇānilayormadhye rogārtānāṃ nivāsakam ||

The maṇḍapa for educating children is to be built in between north and north-western direction and in between north and north-east the granary must be erected (XLIII. 86):

saumyavāyavyayormadhye bālaśikṣārthamaṇḍapam |
somaśāṃkarayormadhye dhānyāgāraṃ prakalpayet ||
4 0

The next outer layer should contain all around dwellings for maids, courtesans, dancers and singers; retailers, merchants, potters, florists and their families; those who live off selling fish and meat and weavers; barbers, cowherds, carpenters or craftsmen, the armoury, a dwelling for guardsmen of these settlements–a wise man would construct the above mentioned dwellings around the prākāras (XLIII. 87-90ab):

tadbāhye balite vipra! dāsīnāṃ gaṇikādinām |
nṛtyageyābhyavāsānāṃ krayavikraya jīvinām ||
cakriṇāṃ puṣpajīvīnāṃ kulālānāṃ tathaiva ca |
matsyamāṃsopajīvīnāṃ tantukāraṃ tu koṣṭha kam ||
nāpitaśmaśrukārāṇāṃ gopālānāṃ tu kāruṇām |
rakṣakānāṃ gṛhaśreṇī cāpasthanakam gṛham ||
[6]
paritaḥ kalpayeddhīmān pūrvādīnāṃ vasānakam |

Outside these settlements either in the north-east or north-west the crematorium must be set up or in the south or the northern direction the tanner must reside.

Beyond these the house of the washer men must be devised (XLIII. 90cd-91):

tadbāhye tvīśadigbhāge vāyavyāṃ vā śmaśānakam ||
dakṣiṇe cottare bāhye carmakārādi vāsakam |
tāsāṃ vāsāttu kartavyaṃ rajakānāṃ nivāsanam ||

To the exterior of all the above dwellings and settlements and within earshot must be built the colony of the Caṇḍālas (XLIII. 92ab):

tadbāhye krośamātre tu caṇḍālaśreṇirucyate |

Conclusion:

Kāśyapa Śilpaśāstra has explained in detail the pañcaprākāras, the various measurements involved in their construction, their types, the various component structures that form a part of the prākāras like the śālās and maṇḍapas. The dwellings that are to be constructed outside these walls are also enumerated.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

The Muktabodha edition (42. 87Á) adds that the musicians also must construct their houses in the South.

[2]:

The Maharishi Institute version of the Kāśyapa Śilpaśāstra reads: ‘... tadbāhye tu trayaḥ śreṇī |’ and this has been emended as given to suit the context.

[3]:

The Muktabodha edition (42. 87ab), suggests the east or south side for the dwelling of the deśikas.

[4]:

This line of verse is from the Muktabodha edition (42. 91cd).

[5]:

Aṃśumatkāśyapāgama, the Muktabodha edition, 42. 92ab. But the Maharishi edition (XLIII. 34cd) gives the position of the Gośāla to be between south-east and south.

[6]:

ibid., Tanjore edition, p. 469.

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