Bharathiya Shilpa Vyavastha : Part 3

General Introduction to Shilpa Vyavastha

6. Agni Purana covers Murthy Vidhya (iconography). Like the encyclopaedic nature of any Purana, the Agni Purana too contains many topics apart from the main storyline which have been documented.

7. Brahmanda Purana covers mostly architecture, some sections on arts and certain crafts too. Like the encyclopaedic nature of any Purana the Brahmanda Purana too contains many topics apart from the main storyline which have been documented in detail.    

8. Vastu Vidya: Basically, deals with Vaastu for Houses. This is one of those treatises that contains what is today practised as Directional Vaastu. 

9. Pratima Lakshana Vignanam: This treatise covers the designing of Prathima (sculpture), Murthy (Idols), Vigraha (Icons). It also covers how they are made. It also has sections on wood selection for Idols, metal of alloy making as well as stone selection for the Idols. 

10. Gargeyam: Written by Maharishi Garga contains Architecture, Iconography etc. 

11. Manasara other than architecture and civil engineering, it contains many chapters on casting, moulding, carving, polishing and practising of arts and crafts. This treatise has been published as a seven Volume book in English with many drawings illustrated in detail as given in the Sutras. This book was written by Shri Prasanna Kumar Acharya and the first edition was published as far back as 1834 and reprinted later as a text book for Architecture and Civil Engineering students. 

12. Atriyam: This text is attributed to Maharshi Atri. Apart from many aspects of Shilpa like Metal Extraction, Metal Casting, Alloy making and Sculpting (Iconography), it also covers Architecture. 

13. Pratima Mana Lakshanam: Apart from Iconography, it includes chapters on repair of broken idols and art works.

14. Dasatala Nyagrodha Parimandala It contains many chapters on Architecture of temples and iconography and the Prathishtana of idols (consecration of idols). 

15. Sambudhabhasita Pratima Lakshana Vivarana Nama: This treatise contains Prathima Lakshana (sculpture), Murthy (Idols), Vigraha (Icons), Lakshana and Rachana – designs of these and how they are made.

16. Mayamatam: This treatise is written by Mayasura and it contains chapters on construction – architecture of houses, temples, palaces, vehicles, etc. along with Village and Town planning.

17. Brihath Samhita: This treatise is also encyclopaedic in nature as the name suggests Brihath means ‘very huge’ and Samhita means ‘Compilation’. It has several chapters on architecture, growth of crops, manufacture of perfume, gemmology (Identifying the 9 gems and usage) etc. 

18. Shilpa Ratnam: This text has two parts Purvabhaga and Uttarabhaga. Purvabhaga of the book has 46 chapters on arts and construction of houses / towns, Uttarabhaga has 35 chapters on sculpture, icons and related topics of smaller scale. This treatise is one of the exclusive scriptures on Shilpa Shastra. This book is in Malayalam Language.

19. Yukti Kalpataru: This scripture contains Shilpa Kala of various arts including jewellery.

20. Shilpa Kala Darsanam: This treatise contains various chapters on Vasthu and Shilpa. Various aspects of the “Directional Vaastu” have been covered in this treatise. 

21. Samarangana Sutradhara is said to have been written by Raja Bhoja 1000 CE to 1055 CE. It has 83 chapters and it contains chapters on subjects like town planning, house architecture, temple architecture and sculptural arts together with Mudras, painting, and a chapter on the art of making Yantras (machines for ease of functioning) and Yantras (geometrical figures).

22. Vishwakarma Prakasam: This treatise attributed to Vishwakarma (an incarnation of God Brahma the creator) contains chapters on both Vasthu and Shilpa. This is also one of those treatises which deals with Shilpa exclusively. 

23. Matsya purana: This Purana is among the oldest surviving texts on Shilpa and Vasthu with numerous chapters on temple, sculpture and artwork designs. The Purana describes 20 styles of temples, such as Meru, Mandara and Kailasa designs. The text lays out guidelines on Vinyasa (foundation), Garbha Griha (spaces within the core of the temple) Prakara (places where the general public are allowed), and then the Vimana or Shikhara and the Raja Gopura (The two Temple towers). 

24. Garuda purana covers several chapters on temple Architecture, Gemmology and worship of various Deities. Like the encyclopaedic nature of any Purana, the Garuda Purana too covers many subjects like Astronomy, Astrology, Shilpa, Architecture, Gemmology and Iconography.

25. Kashyapa Shilpa Shastra: This treatise is said to have been authored by Rishi Kashyapa of Kashmir. This text discusses the various aspects of Iconography of various deities. It also has a lot of chapters dedicated to Architecture and Construction of temples. It also covers Vaastu of houses built in Kashmir and Ladakh region.  

26. Bhavishya Purana: Like any encyclopaedic nature of Puranas, the Bhavishya Purana too contains chapters giving Prophecies or predictions of the future, Astronomy, Astrology and also architecture and some sections on arts.

27. Alankara Shastra: other than designs of jewellery and accessories, this text discusses about beauty treatments and how to make vessels for making oils, shampoos, face packs etc. It also has some chapters dedicated to make-up for dance performances and drama. 

28. Artha Shastra: Chanakya’s Artha Shastra contains Durga Shilpa (Architecture of Forts), general crafts such as windows and doors, as well as public utilities and travel Infrastructure.

29. Chitra Kalpa: This treatise contains chapters on making ornaments with Swarna (Gold) and Rajata (Silver). It also contains chapters on selection and embedding of the Nava Ratnas – Nine Gems.

30. Chitra Karma Shastra: This scripture contains chapters on making ornaments with Swarna (Gold) and Rajata (Silver). It also contains chapters on selection and embedding of the Nava Ratnas – Nine Gems. This treatise is almost like Chitra Kalpa but contains more details. 

31. Maya Shilpa Shastra: This is a Tamil scripture attributed to the divine architect Maya. It contains Architecture of Houses, Temples, Village and town planning. 

32. Vishwakarma Shilpa: This treatise contains chapters on columns, wood selection, woodworking and carpentry. It is attributed to the divine architect Vishwakarma. 

33. Agastya Shastra: Attributed to have been written by Rishi Agastya, this Shastra has a lot of chapters discussing on wood-based arts and crafts and carpentry. It also discusses how to build houses, boats and ships with wood. This treatise has a detailed description on creating “Waterproof” joints and “Waterproofing” of wood using natural oils and resins. 

34. Mandana Shilpa Shastra: This treatise contains chapters on Diya (lamps) related crafts. This includes metals, alloys as well as clay lamps.  

35. Ratna Shastra: This Shastra discusses pearls, Nine Gems and how to string and embed them and create jewellery. Additionally, it also discusses extraction of gold from ore. 

To be continued…


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