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ON THE ARCHITECTURE OF THE HINDUS. 3
words “and others;” but which of these works it was that he consulted on the point of discussion, the author does not inform us : there is reason, however, to believe that many of them had been lost long prior to the period at which he wrote. Some shattered remains of the treatises entitled Mánasára, Máyámata, Cásyapa, Vaughānasa, Sacaládhicára, Viswacarmiya, Sanatcumára, Sáraswatyam, Páncharatram, and others included in both the lists, are still occasionally, though rarely, to be met with in Southern India; and notwithstanding that I have been able to procure considerable portions of the four works first named, and a few detached chapters or sections of each of the rest, it was with considerable difficulty; and unfortunately, the manuscripts which I have collected, are not of a very useful description. Mutilated as they invariably are in many important parts, almost every line of them is not only disfigured by gross errors, perpetuated by a succession of ignorant transcribers, but the technical terms and memorial verses with which the whole abounds, are so little understood either by the artists or the pundits of the present day, that it requires no ordinary exertion to comprehend and explain the exact import of even a single section. The first work, entitled Mámasára, is the most perfect I have seen, and perhaps the most perfect on the subject that now exists. It is stated to be the production of a sage named Mánasára, and is of great celebrity in the south of India, as affording copious information on every branch of the art on which he treats, but particularly on that of building sacred edifices; and it is often consulted by the artists as the highest authority for the solution of contested points in architecture. This work appears, according to an enumeration of the contents given in the preface, to consist of fifty
eight adhyāyas or chapters,” each of which is devoted to a particular topic; but the portion I have in my possession contains no more than forty-one
* In order that a more accurate idea may be formed of the subjects contained in this work, a particular description is given of the contents of each adhyāya as taken from the preface. B 2 The
chapters, in which are described the measures used in architecture, sculp
The first chapter treats of the measures used in architecture, sculpture, carpentry, &c.; the second describes the qualification of a Silpi, and gives a brief account of the origin of the five different classes of artists, said to have been descended from Viswacarma, and to have followed respectively the occupations of sculptors, joiners, braziers, jewellers, and blacksmiths. The third, fourth, and fifth chapters explain the nature and qualities of the soil on which buildings should be erected—such as temples, palaces, and private dwelling-houses for the several classes of people. The sixth contains rules and directions for constructing a gnomon, for the purpose of determining the several points of the compass. The seventh treats of the parts into which the ground-plan of the cities, towns, temples, palaces and houses should be divided. The eighth chapter gives a minute description of sacrifices and other devotional rites, to be performed on various occasions in the building of temples, houses, &c. The ninth chapter treats of villages and towns, and prescribes rules for the formation of streets, and the allotment of fit places for the erection of temples, and for the residence of the different classes of people. The tenth contains a description of the different sorts of cities; the eleventh treats of the dimensions of the several sorts of edifices; the twelfth of the Garbhavinyása, or laying the foundation-stone in the centre of the intended building; the thirteenth of Upapít'has or pedestals; the fourteenth of Adhistdna or basement; the fifteenth of the several species of pillars, with their respective dimensions; the sixteenth of Prastaras or entablature; the seventeenth of the junction of the several parts of timber work, with reference to their points; the eighteenth of Vimanas, temples, or palaces in general. Twelve successive chapters, from the nineteenth to the twenty-eighth, contain descriptions of temples surmounted by pyramidal domes, consisting of from one to twelve stories, with their respective dimensions. The twenty-ninth chapter treats of Prácāras or outer courts of temples; the thirtieth of the attendant deities, and the parts respectively assigned to each within the walls of the temple; the thirty-first of Gópuras or pyramidal buildings, or turrets raised over the gateways leading into the temples; the thirty-second of Mantapás or porticoes, or resting-places for the deity; the thirty-third of Sálas or halls; the thirtyfourth of cities; the thirty-fifth of private dwelling-houses; the thirty-sixth and thirty-seventh of gates and doorways, with their dimensions; the thirty-eighth and thirty-ninth of the palaces and their appendages; the fortieth of princes with their titles; the forty-first of the building of cars and other vehicles of the gods; the forty-second of couches, cushions, and the like; the forty-third of the thrones for the gods and for princes; the forty-fourth of ornamental arches; the forty-fifth of the Calpataru or the all-productive tree, which is supposed
ON THE ARCHITECTURE OF THE HINDUS. 5
ture, &c.; the different sites to be selected for buiding temples and houses; the mode of determining the different points of the compass; the several sorts of villages, towns, and cities, with directions for building them; the different parts of an edifice, its ornaments, pedestals, bases, pillars, entablatures, &c.; the various sorts of temples, consisting of from one to twelve stories high; the construction of mantapas or porticoes, gates, and doorways, palaces, &c. &c. The remainder of the work appears to contain ample information respecting the whole process in the construction of images, and of cars and other vehicles in which the gods are carried in procession; but these subjects are more immediately connected with sculpture and carpentry than with architecture. It may be proper to notice, however, that a considerable portion of the whole is occupied with a minute description of the mysteries, rites, and sacrifices to be performed on various occasions, in the building of temples, houses, villages, towns, and cities; the ceremonies attending the consecration of images; the mode of determining the propitious moment for commencing to lay the foundation of an edifice, as well as rules for predicting the future prosperity of him who causes the edifice to be raised, by the aspect of the stars, the situation of the building with respect to the cardinal points,
and other astrological devices.
to be planted in Indra's heaven, and to supply all the wants of those who have the happiness of taking shelter under it. The forty-sixth chapter treats of Abhishecas or ablutionary rites, by which images are sanctified; the forty-seventh of jewels and ornaments worn by the gods and mortals; the forty-eighth of statues of Brahma and other deities; the forty-ninth of the Lingam the emblem of Siva; the fiftieth of seats and forms raised for the reception of images; the fifty-first of the form of Sacti the goddess of nature; the fifty-second and fifty-third of the images worshipped by the Bauddhas and Jainas; the fifty-fourth describes the statues of Yecshas, Vidyādharas, and other choristers; the fifty-fifth those of the saints or holy men; the fifty-sixth and fifty-seventh those of the Devas or gods, with their respective vehicles; and the fifty-eighth concludes with rules for chiselling the eyes of the statue, and the ceremonies to be
performed on the occasion.
The second work, entitled Máyámata, is ascribed to Máya,” probably the author or compiler of the Stiryasiddhánta, a work on astronomy of the greatest repute, and who is stated in the Rámáyana of Válmác to have prepared the altar for the sacrifice performed by Dasāratha the King of Ayodhya (Oude), and father of Ráma. It differs little from the Mānasara in the main arrangement of the subjects. It opens with the mystical rites performed in honour of the Vástu, or the spirit presiding over the ground on which buildings are erected, and proceeds to give rules for the examination of the soil, the preparation of it for buildings in general, the construction of a gnomon for the purpose of determining the cardinal points, the division of the ground-plan into several parts for religious as well as domestic purposes, and the performance of sacrifices previous to the commencement of the work; after which it describes the several sorts of villages, cities, and fortresses, upapithas or pedestals, the adhisthānas or bases, the pādas or pillars, the prastaras or entablatures, the ornaments used in cavettos under the cupola, the seats raised for the reception of idols, the sicharas or the domes of temples, the ceremonies observed in laying the first and the last stone of an edifice, the several sorts of temples, the courts by which they are surrounded, the pyramidal gateways, the mantapas or porticoes, the altars to be raised in the front of temples, and concludes with instructions for the carving of images, &c.
The third work, entitled Cásyapa, is attributed to the sage whose name it bears, a personage celebrated in sacred writings of great antiquity. He is considered as one of the progenitors of mankind, and ranked the first
amongst the seven holy men who were preserved from the universal deluge,
* Māya is also stated in the Mahābhārata to have erected a splendid palace for the residence of the five sons of Pāndū, a poetical description of which occupies a whole book of that celebrated work. He is supposed to be one and the same person with him who erected the altar for Dasāratha, and the seeming inconsistency of his being contemporary with Ráma and Chrishna, in two such remote periods as the Creta and Dwapara Yugas, mythological
writers reconcile by assigning a supernatural term to the life of the personage in question.
ON THE ARCHITECTURE OF THE HINDUS. 7
and who peopled the earth soon after that great event. This treatise, though more succinct than the two former, contains sufficient information on the subject of sacred architecture and sculpture; the whole is composed in a dramatic form, and is stated in the preface to have been revealed to the author personally by Siva; and in consequence, the former is frequently addressed throughout the book by the appellation of Dwijóttama, “ the best of the twice-born,” and the like. The subjects contained in this work are nearly the same as those contained in the Mánasára, but the arrangement is somewhat different. It commences with the description of the several sorts of soil which are considered proper for buildings, and proceeds to the preparatory rites and sacrifices to be performed in honour of the Västupurusha, or the spirit presiding over the ground appropriate for the erecting of temples and houses; thence to the mode of constructing a sanc'hu or gnomon for the purpose of ascertaining the points of the compass, and thence to the laying of the foundation-stone, and the ceremonies to be observed on this occasion. It afterwards describes the pedestals, the bases, the gates of the temples, and doorways of houses, pillars, capitals, and other ornaments; the seats raised on the pavements of temples, and niches for the reception of images; aqueducts or watercourses; the several sorts of vimánás or shrines with the pyramidal towers, consisting of from one to sixteen stories; the táranas or ornamental arches erected over gateways and pillars; doors and their dimensions; statues of the gods, saints, and holy men, &c.
The fourth treatise, called Vayghanasa, is the work of a sage so named, and who was the founder of a sect of Vaishnava priests. It is written in a sort of metrical prose, and is rather ritual than architectural; and as the author in the latter part of the work frequently cites the authority of Cásyapa, and as the work itself is included among the subordinate treatises enumerated in the list, it appears to be comparatively a modern per
formance. It opens with an encomium on the land of Bhārata,” as being