vedic architecture and buddhist architecture of asia

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vedic and buddhist architecture

Transcript of vedic architecture and buddhist architecture of asia

  • 1. Vedic Architecture V .surya teja

2. Vastupurusa For the basis of Hind architecture often reference is made to Vastupurusa or the spirit of the site. One legend explains this as follows. There was an evil demigod (bhuta) who was born during Sivas fight with the Asur Andhaka. This bhuta possessed a terrifying countenance and an insatiable hunger. The legend goes that having done great penance, the bhuta won a boon from Siva that allowed him to swallow the three worlds that constitute the Hindu cosmos. As this being stretched himself and began to occupy the heavens, he fell flat on the earth. The various gods and demigods seized this opportunity and pinned various parts of his body to the ground, rendering him helpless. This being came to be called Vast (or Vastupurusa) because the gods and demigods managed to lodge themselves on his body. Legends hold that the deities, in pinning him down, occupied different parts of his body and continued to reside there (Figure1). In order to satisfy his hunger, Brahma ordained that he receive offerings from people on building sites before construction. The body of the Vastupurusa is supposed to be sensitive at a number of points called marmas. The well-being of the Vastupurusa assures the well- being of the building and, by implication, its owner. An important criterion for any building, therefore, is to avoid injury to the marmas located on the body of the Vastupurusa. To ensure that this is achieved, texts prohibit any direct construction upon the marmas themselves. The marmas are specifically said to lie at the intersection of major diagonals, seen as the veins (siras or nadis) of the purusa. 3. Vedic architecture or vaasthu shastra To define Vaastu Shastra - Vaastu , which means physical environment and Shastra meaning knowledge or principles, is one of the traditional Hindu canons of town planning and architecture.Its current popularity stems from its focus on a wholesome approach to space and form. A home can be so much more it can be a special space that creates an influence of good health, happiness, family harmony and enlightenment. Vedic architecture reliably gives our homes these influences by using laws of nature that connect individual intellingence with cosmic intelligence. Vastu Shastra in essence unifies many subjects together like science, art, astronomy and astrology. It can also be said as an ancient mystic science that was used for designing and building the ancient palaces . Vastu Shastra according to believers helps one to make lives better by securing the living space and preventing things from going wrong. Vaastu as the science of direction , combines all the five elements of nature and balances them with an individual and the material. The five elements namely Earth, Water, Air, Fire and Space .According to scriptures , ancient sages and seers had known the secrets of using all the five elements of this universe and their special characteristics and influences such as the magnetic field, gravitational effect etc. 4. of Earth, the galaxy in the sky, the directions and velocity of the winds, light and heat of the Sun , including the effects of its Ultra-Violet and Infra-Red rays, the volume and intensity of rainfall etc. This knowledge formed the base for what evolved as Vaastu Shastra. The five elements otherwise also called "Paanchbhootas" of the nature , pave the way for enhanced health, wealth, prosperity and happiness in an enlightened environment. Most importantly Vaastu extracts the positive energies of the five basic elements of nature - the solar energy of sun, lunar energy of moon, wind energy, magnetic effects of earth and heat energy of fire and balances them to bring harmony into the life of a person planning to build or live on a premises. There are four categories of Vaastu 1, The Earth site or Bhoomi, which is the principle dwelling place on which everything rests 2, The structure or the Prasada, which would be the building 3, Moving vehicles or Yaana 4, Furniture or Sayana.. So, the principles of Vaastu Shastra extend from the macro level to the micro level which includes site selection, site planning and orientation. It also deals with zoning and disposition of rooms, proportional relationships between the various parts of buildings and the character of the building. However in today's age & time with growing urbanisation, paucity of space and 5. significantly the rampant sense of faithlessness in anything that modern science fails to explain, it is practically impossible to even dream of a home or office confirming to the laws of "Vaastu". Its current popularity stems from its focus on a wholesome approach to space and form. Some perfect Examples of Ancient Buildings that have been built as per Vaastu :- The TajMahal - Agra , India Prashanti Nilayam - Puttaparthi , India The temple of Lord Sri Venkateshwara - Tirupati, India. Nirmal Hriday Bhawan - Calcutta (Mother Teresa) , India. Vivekananda Rock Memorial - Cape Camorin( Kanyakumari) , India. Vijaynagar Steel Plant - Torangallu , India The Sun Temple in Konarak -Orissa ,India is a perfect example of Vaastu 6. Buddhist architecture 7. history Buddhist religious architecture developed in South Asia in the 3rd century BCE. Three types of structures are associated with the religious architecture of early Buddhism: monasteries (viharas), stupas, and temples (Chaitya grihas). Viharas initially were only temporary shelters used by wandering monks during the rainy season, but later were developed to accommodate the growing and increasingly formalised Buddhist monasticism. An existing example is at Nalanda (Bihar). A distinctive type of fortress architecture found in the former and present Buddhist kingdoms of the Himalayas are dzongs. The initial function of a stupa was the veneration and safe-guarding of the relics of the Buddha. The earliest surviving example of a stupa is in Sanchi (Madhya Pradesh). In accordance with changes in religious practice, stupas were gradually incorporated into chaitya-grihas (temple halls). These reached their high point in the 1st century BC, exemplified by the cave complexes of Ajanta and Ellora (Maharashtra). The Mahabodhi Temple at Bodh Gaya in Bihar is another well known example. The Pagoda is an evolution of the Indian stupa 8. The Buddhist architecture has its root deeply implanted in the Indian soil- the birthplace of the Buddha's teachings. The Buddhist architecture began with the development of various symbols, representing aspects of the Buddha's life (563 BCE - 483 BCE). For the first time, it was the Indian emperor Ashoka, who not only established Buddhism as the state religion of his large Magadh empire, but also opted for the architectural monuments to spread Buddhism in different places. Distinctive Buddhist architectural structures and sculptures such as Stupas, Pagodas, monasteries and Caves, which have been mere spectators of different eras quietly speaks about the phases of the Buddhist stages. "The shape of the stupa represents the Buddha, crowned and sitting in meditation posture on a lion throne. His crown is the top of the spire; his head is the square at the spire's base; his body is the vase shape; his legs are the four steps of the lower terrace; and the base is his throne." 9. THE GREAT SANCHI STUPA The 'Great Stupa' at Sanchi is the oldest stone structure in India and was originally commissioned by the emperor Ashoka the Great in the 3rd century BCE. Its nucleus was a simple hemispherical brick structure built over the relics of the Buddha. It was crowned by the chatra, a parasol-like structure symbolizing high rank, which was intended to honour and shelter the relics. There are four gateways known as TORANAS at the cardinal points to the compass and are slightly staggered from the railing enclosing stupa. The ambulatory or pradakshina path is fenced by railing 3.35m high all around the stupa. Outside the railing there once stood the famous ashoka pillar, the fragments of which are noticed now to the right of southern torana 10. Torana Toranas, the entrance to the ambulatory were accepted as the traditional type of ceremonial potals and excel the array of architectural embellishment. Torana consists of two square uprite columns with capital of lion or elephant heads denoting strength. These columns support three separate horizontal panels between each of which is a row of ornamental balusters. These panels are supported by atlantean figures, a group of dwarfs, lions and elephant. The total height of this erection is somewhat 10.36m with a width of 3m 11. Railing or Balustrade The vedica or railing consists of upright octagonal plan 45cm in diameter spaced at 60 to 90cm from each other and connected by three lens shaped horizontals called suchi or needles 60cm deep being threaded through the holes of the upright. The top horizontal bar is provided with coping to drain out rain water. 12. STAMBHAS OR LATS These pillars are common to all the styles of Indian architecture. With the Buddhist they were employed to bear inscriptions on their shafts, with emblems or animals on their capital. Typical Buddhist column are of two type one is based on persepolitian type and other graeco-roman type. Persepolitian type is a octagonal with bell shaped capital supporting animal sculpture. The shaft is highly polished and has a vase-shaped base. Graeco-roman type is rectangular with shallow flutes. They are tall and slender, the height nearly six to eight times its lower diameter. At the top is a capital usually with a fluted vase motif. 13. CHAITYA HALLS A chaitya is a Buddhist shrine including a stupa. In modern texts on Indian architecture, the term chaitya-griha is often used to denote an assembly or prayer hall that houses a stupa. Chaityas were probably constructed to hold large numbers of devotees and to provide shelter