Temple Architecture- Devalaya Vastu – Part Four (4 of 9)

08 Sep

Temple Layout


South elevation plan of Kailash temple is Plate LXXX11 from the book “Cave temples of India” by Ferguson, James and James Burgess (Thanks to Dr.JB Ratti)

The Shilpa text Shiva-prakasha in its chapter titled vastu-bhumi-bedha, describes sixteen (Shodasha) types of temple layouts:  the Square (Chandura); Rectangle (Agatra);Trapezium ( with uneven sides – like a cart – shakata); Circle (Vritta); Elliptical (kritta vritta); triangular  (dwaja);  diamond or rhombus (vajra) ; Arrow (shara);umbrella (chatra) ; fish (meena);back of a tortoise (kurma);conch (shanka); crescent (ardha-chandra); pot (kumbha);sword (khadga); and lotus (kamala).


These layouts have specific applications; and are not to be used generally. For instance: the back of a tortoise (kurma), pot (kumbha), conch (shanka) and lotus (kamala) are recommended only for Vishnu and Shiva temples. Similarly the Square (Chandura), Rectangle (Agatra), fish (meena), diamond or rhombus (vajra) and sword (khadga) are recommended for Devi temples. The rest of the lay outs are for other (lesser) deities.

But all texts generally agree that the square or the  rectangular shape of layout are the best and most auspicious. Varaha-samhita calls such layouts as Siddha-bhumi, the best of all. In case the layout is rectangular ,the North South dimension should be greater than East-west dimension. It is also said , it would be better if the elevation on the west or the South is slightly higher.

For the limited purpose of this discussion let us stick to the square or rectangular layout, ignoring the rest.  Else, I fear, it might get too complicated.

The drawing of the court yard of the  Shiva temple at Thiruvālangādu,  by the famous artist Silpi.

thiruvannamalai temple top view

Having determined the suitability of the land for constructing a temple, and having drawn up the Vastu Mandala of the town and identified the temple location ; the next stage is to draw up a construction plan .This specifies the location, the size and the orientation of the  various temples to come up in the proposed complex. This again involves preparation of another Vastu Mandala.


Pada Vinyasa


The land considered suitable for the purpose of constructing the temple (vastu bhumi) and   placed at the center (Brahma Sthana) of the Vastu mandala of the township must be in the shape of a rectangle or a square. The ratio between the breadth and the length of the area may be 4:8; 4:7; 4:6; or 4:5. (The square would be 4:4). Shapes of sites to be avoided are: circular (vritta), triangular (trikona), rod shaped (dandakriti), bow shaped (dhanur akara) and other irregular shapes. And, in case it becomes necessary to construct a temple on a land of such “un approved” shape, the area meant for the temple should be demarcated and rendered a square or a rectangle in shape.

Even the ancient temple of Sri Vishwanatha of Kashi that was later destroyed by Aurangzeb , during 1669 CE, was in form a square , with the sanctum at the heart  of it.

plan_of_the_ancient_temple_of_vishveshvur_by_james_prinsep_1832 (1)

Plan of the Ancient Temple of Vishveshvur, by James Prinsep

Incidentally, the Buddhist and Jain temples too follow the same principles. Even the Sri Harmandir Sahib, the Golden Temple at Amritsar is structured in a square shape; with the Sanctum placed in the Brahma sthana.

Golden Temple, Amritsar, Punjabi Miniature, c 1840

The following is the layout of a Jain temple.

In case of a rectangular site, it must have north – south orientation. The depth of the site (Aaya-profit) should be more than its breadth (vyaya-loss). That is the reason we find our temple walls (prakara) on north-south shorter than the walls on east-west.

The slope of the land surrounding the temple in the east and the north direction should be in the northeast corner.

Fountains or lotus ponds of the temple should be in the northeast direction.


In the open space surrounding the temple, Tulsi ( Basil) plants with raised bed should be in the east; the Jasmine, white Champak, Star Coral plants etc. should be in the northwest corner or the east. Four approach roads are much recommended.

Madurai Temple Graden

The preliminaries for construction of a shrine include preparations of a plan, Vastu Purusha Mandala, a Yantra, with unit cells (pada) of 64, 81 or 256 in number. The entire process is rich in symbolism.

The square shape of the Mandala is symbolic of earth, signifying the four directions which bind and define it; and the Vastu is the extent of existence in its ordered site; Purusha being the source of existence.

The ground plan, again, is symbolic and is the representation of cosmos in miniature. The Vastu Purusha represents terrestrial world with constant movements. The grid made up of squares and equilateral triangles is imbued with religious significance; with each cell belonging to a deity. The position of the deity is in accordance to the importance assigned to him .The central portion of the square (Brahma Sthana) is occupied by the presiding deity of the temple ; while the outer cells house deities of lower order.


Another important aspect of the design of the ground plan is that it is intended to lead from the temporal world to the eternal. The principal shrine should face the rising sun and so should have its entrance to the east. Movement towards the sanctuary, along the east-west axis and through a series of increasingly sacred spaces is of great importance and is reflected in the architecture.

This process of drawing the Mandala , known as Pada-vinyasa or Vastu mandala Vinyasa is essential not only for construction of the main temple but also for deciding upon the location, the orientation and the size of the sanctum; and for placement of retinue-divinities.

Let us look at the following example of an 81 cell parama-saayika layout.

The site-plan is to be regarded as the body of the Vastu-purusha whose height extends from Pitrah (in the bottom left corner) to Agni (top right corner).

The Vastu purusha mandala is in some ways a development of the four pointed or cornered earth mandala having astronomical reference points. The mandala of 81 squares has 32 squares around the border representing the four cardinal points and the lunar constellations. It is the representation of all cyclical time; lunar and solar. Brahma is the God at the centre.

The Manduka Mandala (8×8) the whole square would be divided by the two  axes that go North-south and East-west.

In the case of Parama Saayika Mandala (9×9) , the entire square would be unevenly divided.

Vastu Shastra purusha


The center of the mandala consisting nine cells is dedicated to Brahma, the first of beings and the engineer of universal order. The Three cells to its east are for Aryaman, three cells to its west are for Mitra and three cells to its north are for Prihvidhara. In this site plan 32 spirits reside in the outer ring. There are 8 spirits in four corners. There are four spirits surrounding Brahma. Thus there are in all 45 spirits (including Brahma).

Dikpalas or guardian deities of different quarters, who assist in the affairs of universal management, are an important part of the Vastu. Indra, Agni, Yama, Niritti, Varuna;, Vayu , Kubera and Isana; reside in the East , South-East , South, South-West, West, North-West, North and North-East respectively. All except Kubera are principal Vedic deities. This provides a method that determines the requirements of architecture in relation to its directions.

Establishing Vastu Mandala on the site

hore temple at Mahabalipuram datable to late 7th centurySouthern Temple Style - Dravidian

The vastu-purusha-mandala, forming a sort of map or diagram of astrological influences that constitute the order of the universe, is now complete. When placed on the building site the vastu-purusha-mandala determines the positions and orientations of the temples and the time for commencing the construction. Only by the combination of the vastu-purusha-mandala and the astrological calculations can this factor be ascertained.

From the diagram of the vastu-purusha-mandala the architect next proceeds to develop the vertical and horizontal dimensions of the temple. The square, the rectangle, the octagon and the pentagon are fundamental patterns in the horizontal or ground plan. In the vertical alignment the pyramid, the circle and the curve are more prominent. The subdivisions of the ground plan include thebrahmasthana (the main shrine and smaller chapels) and the mantapa(balconies, assembly halls and auditoriums). The vertical plan consists of drawings for the gopura (entrance ways), the vimana (the structure above the main shrine or chapel) and the prakara (the walls).

The construction of the temple follows in three dimensional forms, in exactly the patterns laid out by the mandala. The relationship between the underlying symbolic order and the actual physical appearance of the temple can best be understood by viewing it from above (top elevation).

In order to establish the vastu-purusha-mandala on the construction site, it is first drafted on planning sheets and later drawn upon the earth at the actual building site. The  ground for civil construction is demarcated by dividing the site into 81 cells, by drawing 10 lines from East to West and 10 lines from North to South in which Vastu Mandala deities are installed. In addition the deities of the Sarvathobhadra-mandala are also established after performing Vastu Homa.

The drawing of the mandala upon the earth at the commencement of construction is a sacred rite in itself. The cells sustain the temple in their own sphere of effectiveness, in the manner that the actual foundation supports its weight.


 Shilanyasa is the ceremony for laying foundation stone. It is the laying of the first stone (square in shape) or a brick signifying the start of construction. It is laid in the north-western corner of the building plan, drawn on the ground. After this, the construction of the foundation is taken up. The foundation is built and the ground filled up, up to the plinth level, except in the middle portion of the garbhagraha area, which is filled up three-fourths.

The sanctum is technically known as Garba-Griha. This part of the temple is usually constructed first. The ceremony related to it is known as Garba-dana or Garba-nasya; and, it involves letting in to the earth a ceremonial copper pot, containing nine types of precious stones, several metals, minerals, herbs and soils symbolizing creation and prosperity. The following is a little more detail about it.

The Brahmasthana , the principal location in a temple where the Garbagraha will eventually come up, is the nucleus of the Vastu Purusha Yantra. At thebrahmasthana, as drawn on the grounda ritual is performed calledgarbhadhana, inviting the soul of the temple (Vastu Purusha) to enter within the buildings confines. In this ritual, a golden box is imbedded in the earth. The interior of the box is divided into smaller units exactly resembling thevastu-purusha-mandala. All the units of the gold box are first partially filled with earth. In the thirty-two units representing the nakshatras (lunar mansions), the units of Brahma and the twelve sons of Aditi, the priest places an appropriate mantra in written form to invoke the presence of the corresponding divinity .An Image of Ananta , the hooded serpent , is also placed in the box. Ananta, meaning eternal or timeless, also represents theenergy that supports the universe. The box also contains nine precious stones – diamonds, emeralds, rubies, pearls, yellow sapphire, and blue sapphire, red coral, cats-eye and jade – to appease the nine planets.

A stone slab (adhara-shila) is thereafter placed over the spot the copper pot is buried.And, over this slab will rise the foundation for installing the Mula-bhera. The copper pot signifies the womb; and icon the life arising out of it. The sanctum constructed around it is the body.

That  pot represents the roots of the “temple-tree”; and the icon its sap.  The four walls around the icon represent the branches spreading around. The structure of the Vimana rises above it in a series of tiers. The roof resting over the walls is called Kapotha, meaning where the doves rest. The imagery suggested is that of a tree with birds perched on its branches. The sanctum is thus a model of a growing tree.

Another set of symbolism is that the foundation of the temple represents the Earth (prithvi); the walls of the sanctum the water (apaha); and the tower over it the fire (tejas). The final tier of the Vimana is air (vayu) and above it is the form-less space (akasha).The sanctum is thus a constellation of five elements that are basic building blocks of all existence.

Once the garbhadhana and agni-hotra ceremonies are complete the actual construction of the temple commences according to the plan. When the foundation is finished the vertical structure is raised. The external features of the temple are brought to life through finely sculpted figures and paintings. The art and sculpture frequently portray the forms of divine entities and the different stages of consciousness in the gradual evolution of life throughout the universe.

It is believed that the Vastu Purusha sleeps during Bhadrapada, Ashviyuja and Karhika months facing east. During Margashira, Pushya and Magha months he sleeps facing south; In phalguna, Chaitra and Vaishaka, he sleeps facing west. And, in Jeysta Ashada and Shravana, he sleeps facing north. The doors facing towards those directions   are fixed in the respective months.


Temple Layout and its symbolism


The Agama Shastras say that the Temple structure is a mini cosmos. The Temple entrance should face east – the direction of the Rising Sun. The ideal Temple should have at least one entrance, an Ardh-Mandapa, a Mandapa or a large hall, a Garba-Griha and a Shikara directly above the Garbha-Griha. The design comprises:


 1. A Towering structure called the Rajagopuram (pyramid in pattern) on the Eastern side at the entrance to the Temple.

2. A Dwajasthamba (pillar) in line with the main shrine immediately after the Rajagopuram.

3. Near the Dwajasthamba is a lotus shaped pedestal for offerings, called the Balipeeta.

4. A large Mandapa or hall for assembly of devotees.

5. The passage through the Mandapa leads to the “Garba-Griha” (womb chamber) where the Main Deity is installed.

6. Ardha Mandapa adjacent to the main Mandapa and before the “Garba-Griha”.

7. The Main Deity faces East word inside and the Garba-Griha is located inside a structure or sanctuary called the “Vimana”.

8. The pyramidal or tapering roof over the Deity is called “Shikara” or “Gopuram” which is a dome.

9. There is a circumnutating passage or “Pradakshira Patha” around the Garba Griha and Mandapa.

The above design applies both to the “Shiva” and “Vaishnava” Temples with small variations. Architecture is otherwise called “Shilpa” and the one who constructs the Temple is called a “Sthapathi”. The “Sthapathi” is an expert in Temple architecture and idol creation. The procedure of worship in the Temple is known as “Agama Vidhi”.

Madura Meenakshi temple.


The Temple is not only a home of God but his representation in the structure of temple which resembles human form. The symbolism of the temple plan and elevation suggests that the garbhagrha represents the head and the gopuram the feet of the deity. Other parts of the building complex are identified with other parts of the body. For instance, the sukhanasi or ardhamantapa (the small enclosure in front of the garbhagrha) is the nose; the antarala (the passage next to the previous one, leading to passage next to the previous one, leading to the main mantapa called nrttamantapa) is the neck; the various mantapas are the body; the prkaras (surrounding walls) are the hands and so on. Vertically, the garbhagrha represents the neck, the sikhara (superstructure over the garbhagrha) the head, the kalasa (finial) the tuft of hair (sikha) and so on.

Another interesting symbolism is that when a devotee enters the temple, he is virtually entering into a mandala and therefore participating in a power-field. His progress through the pavilions to reach the sanctum is also symbolic. It represents the phases of progress in a man’s journey towards divine. In accordance with this scheme, the architectural and sculptural details vary from phase to phase ; gradually leading him to the experience, which awaits him  as he stands in front of the deity in the in the sanctum. This is explained in the following way.

On reaching the main gateway, a worshipper first bends down and touches the threshold before crossing it. This marks the transition from the way of the world to the world of God. Entering the gateway, he is greeted by a host of secular figures on the outer walls; representing the outward and diverse concerns of man.

As he proceeds, the familiar mythological themes, carved on the inner walls attune his attitude. The immediate pavilion and vestibule near the sanctum are restrained in sculptural details and decorations; these simpler motifs and the prevailing semi darkness help the worshipper to put aside distractions and try focusing his attention on the sanctum. Finally the shrine, devoid of any ornamentation, and with its plainly adorned entrance, leads the devotee further to tranquility, to fulfilment and to the presence of God.

The garbhagriha is usually surrounded by a circumambulatory path, around which the devotee walks in a clockwise direction. In Hindu and Buddhist thought, this represents an encircling of the universe itself.

Positions and orientations of the temples

The following plan indicates the position of gods and goddesses in an 81 celled temple-site. This plan relates to construction of a Vishnu temple.

 place for vishnu
Atri Samhita ( 2.38.42) prescribes that the central Brahma bagha must be divided into four  equal parts and the main shrine facing east must be located on the North-western side thereof. The shrine must have five sanctums, to house five forms of Vishnu; and the shrine should have three stories.
The icon of Vishnu , the principal object of worship, may be represented in the shrine  in one of his many forms . It could be single ( eka-murti-vidana) or many ( aneka-murti-vidana).  The aneka forms might be : 5 (pancha murti); 6 ( shan murti); or 9 ( nava murti). 
The opening of the sanctum on the Eastern side is preferred , specially in a shrine dedicated to Vishnu. The shrine must never have a door in the intermediate direction (Vidik)- Atri Samhita (2.32-33)
And, generally, the doorway to the East is the best , most auspicious (utta-mottamam) ;to the West is next best (uttama); to the South is middling (madhyama); and, to the North is not desirable ( adhama) – Vimanarchana kalpa (patala 3)
Vishnu as Vaikuntha-natha
The seventh-eighth century Pallava temple Viz. Sri Vaikunta Perumal temple of Kanchipuram (which follows the Pancharatra Agama) is an excellent illustration of the fulfillment of these requirements. Its architecture is unique, with three sanctums on the three floors one over the other and a concealed staircase leading to the upper floors. The three sanctums enshrine Vishnu in three postures – seated, reclining and standing. The Vimana is represented as a three dimensional Mandala. The central figure in the sanctum of the ground floor is Vasudeva facing west, i.e. the Earth; Sankarshana facing north, the realm of human life; Pradyumna facing east towards heaven; and Aniruddha facing south, the realm of ancestors. The sculptural scheme matches the Pancharatra concept, representing the six `glorious excellences’: omniscient knowledge (jnana), power (bala), sovereignty (aishwarya), action (virya), brilliance (tejas) and potency (sakthi). The sanctum of the third floor represents the realm of space-time, depicting Vasudeva as he appeared in the human form of Krishna (manusha Vasudeva). The temple per se signifies the `body of God.’


Coming back to the issue of placing the sanctum slightly to the North-West; this feature occurs in the temple of Sri Venkateshwara at Tirumala too. The enclosure immediately surrounding the sanctum called Mukkoti Pradkshina is rather skewed.  The width of the enclosure is uneven; and the enclosure is open on only three sides.

The path in the south (on the right side of the deity) is seven feet wide and twenty feet long; while the path on the other side (towards the left of the deity) is seventeen feet wide and ninety-two and half feet long. This skewed position of the sanctum, slightly to the North West; within the Brahma bagha was perhaps to satisfy the requirements of the temple vastu norms.

The Shiva temples too have their own configuration. In a Siva temple, the Shivaliga would be placed at the Brahma sthana, the shrines are dedicated to Parvathi, Ganapati, Subramanya , Veerabhadra  and Candesvara would placed in the surrounding cells of the temples Vastu Purusha Mandala; as illustrated in the following typical layout of the famous Shiva temple at Gangaikondacholapuram(mid 11th century).

Similarly in the Sri Kailasanathaswamy and Nithyakalyani Amman Temple, Ilayathakudi ( near karaikudi), Shiva shrine is at the Brahmastana, opposite to Shiva is lined Nandi, Bali pita and Dwajasthamba. The shrine of Nitya_kalyani Amman is located independently in the North. In the Mantapa adjoining the Sanctum are Ganapathi, Durga and Skanda. The Saptha Mathrikas, the seven female divinities, have their shrine in the Prakara behind the shrine.

Please also see the Floor plan of Ilayathakudi Temple), based on a drawing by Sri  V. Thennappan, Devakottai,

Floor plan of Ilayathakudi Temple.

Please also see the layout of the temple at Tiruvannamalai


The Shakthi temples have their layout with shrines for other manifestations of the Mother Lakshmi , Saraswathi , Durgi , Chamundi  and related goddesses.

Temple Layout Drawing


A. Maps of Madurai and Sri Rangam

By courtesy of Kultur in Indien

B.Other pictures from Internet.

C. Devalaya Vastu By Prof. SKR Rao

D.Kashyapa Shilpa Sastram by Prof.G Gnanananda


Posted by on September 8, 2012 in Temple Architecture


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13 responses to “Temple Architecture- Devalaya Vastu – Part Four (4 of 9)

  1. merchant cash advance

    April 24, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    I visited several blogs however the audio feature for audio songs existing
    at this site is truly marvelous.

    • sreenivasaraos

      July 24, 2013 at 4:44 am

      Dear Merchant Cash Advance, Thanks. Please read the articles too. Regards


    July 24, 2013 at 4:36 am

    Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about
    this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I
    think that you can do with some pics to drive the message
    home a little bit, but other than that, this is great
    blog. A great read. I will certainly be back.

    • sreenivasaraos

      July 24, 2013 at 4:41 am

      Thank you Picowski for the visit and for the appreciation.
      I thought the post carries adequate pictures to support the narration.
      In any case , please do read the other articles too. Regards

  3. lahari

    June 21, 2014 at 2:42 am

    Sir…plss put this into a pdf format

    • sreenivasaraos

      June 21, 2014 at 3:27 am

      Dear Lahiri, Thanks for the visit.
      I do not know how to do that.Sorry.
      And, how would that help to better the article; and its readability.

  4. sreenivasaraos

    March 17, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    i met a sthapati .. it must have been years back. he said the units in the temple for measurements are not the same across. and in one place in the temple the unit is given . much like the defenition of meter or any other unit…is it so?

    i thought that the navagraha are represented in the structural construction .. as also representing the direction.

    i am surprised to find the ancient vedic deities who have disappeared from the human psyche like diti, aryaman etc

    sanakaracharys codified the sanatana dharma into shanmathas. was there no such reclassifiaction doen on the shilpa shastra…seems to br very archaic…..

    shankara charya establshed the dhana chahkra they say in thirumala . what is ths concept . does it come under the defying process which i hope you will cover or is it sanctifying the brahmasthana. is it part of gharbadhana?

    why should construction start from nw ‘i thought isana moola was the best palce to start the construction?

    i am not able to find the logic of placement of th evarous postions in and around the brahamasthana….any logic you can decode….

    the richness of symbolism is mind blowing.
    the laypout from the gopura to the dwajasthamba and the garbagraha compared to the human body in the picture shown is very very absorbing and by iteslf rich with symbolisms…

    can you look at the symbolism and the meanings behind this….

    it was very absorbing


    • sreenivasaraos

      March 17, 2015 at 3:34 pm

      dear shri sampath,

      thank you for the comments and for giving a thought to the post.i shall try to briefly answer your points. i am not sure i have satisfactory explanations for all those points. let me try.

      1. as regards the measurements, i am posting about the measures and other norms generally followed in the last part (part seven).

      let me mention that, there are various measures mentioned in the texts. there is no standardization across the board. but, each school follows its traditional norms.

      for instance, the old sanskrit texts mention these measures:

      anu or paramanu the particle was the smallest measure.
      8 anus= one ratha renu (grain of dust);
      8 ratha renu = one valagrasa (insect);
      8 valagrasa =one grain of yava;
      4 yavas = one angula;
      12 angulas = one vitasta (span)
      2 vitasta = hastha (cubit) = 25 angulas
      27 angulas= dhanurbhagha (handle of a bow).

      the southern texts, particularly a tamil text called silpam ( perhaps a translation of an ancient text) mentions the following tables:

      the standard measures are hasta (cubit) and danda (equal to four hasthas or four cubits).
      one hastha = one cubit= 45 cms; four hasthas = one danda= 96 angulas; one hastha =24 angulas = 45 cms. thus one angula = 1.875 cms.
      but, for very fine and intricate carvings, the measurements are incredibly minute. look at this table:
      eight anus (particles) = one nulu (breadth of a fine cotton fiber),
      eight nulu = one hair (breadth of horse hair),
      eight hairs = one grain of sand,
      eight grains of sand = one mustard seed,
      eight mustard-seeds = one bamboo-seed,
      eight bamboo-seeds = one angula.
      i southern norms, i understand, are still in use.

      2. as regards the codification of the norms and rules, as i mentioned in part one, there was proliferation of texts and mayamata and manasara represent attempts to bring some sort of an order into the system. there cannot of course be one standard text for all india and for all purposes. each school of architecture dravida, vesara, nagara and kalinga nagara has its own tradition, style and norms. there is some standardization within a school of architecture; as each school tries to hold on to its tradition. it is analogous to the gharana system in hindustani music. but, fusion and synthesis of systems do take place as one tries to explore various avenues for expression. the walls do melt away , rather slowly.

      3. some believe, sri shankara installed a dhanakarshana chakra in the shrine of tirumala. there is no evidence of any sort in support of that belief. that chakra had nothing to do with garbadana or sanctification. the tirumala idol predates sri shankara by about 1100-1200 years; that chakra, if there was any, could not have anything to do with garbhadana, a ritual connected with the building activity.
      4. temple construction is thickly involved with astrology. it is a jungle. i deliberately side stepped those aspects. instead, i tried to focus on the theories, symbolisms and illustration to explain the concepts.

      there is also very elaborate lists of omens – good and bad. the silpis do take these seriously. i have tried not to step into those areas.

      5. vedic deities have practically faded out of our daily practices . and , temple vastu is no exception. please see the gods that faded away. please read the series on rig veda.

      6. as regards the placement of deities around the sanctum, i thought i explained it. each persuasion such as, vaishnava- vykhanasa and pancharatra; the shaiva; and shaktha has its own scheme of things and order. the subsidiary shrines and the vimana motifs depend on the doctrine of those persuasions and practices of those schools. i have given the illustrations of sri vaikunta perumal temple (panchratra); tirumala temple (vaikhanasa), shiva and shaktha temples too.
      7. as regards , the symbolism of comparing temple with human form , i thought i explained it, while talking about vastu purusha. the faith that the universal energy, the human and his creations are all one ; and that many is really the manifestation of one, is fundamental to vastu purusha mandala and to sri chakra. both represent the same principle. ultimately, one has to realize his identity with the supreme.

      brahmasthana and the bindu both represent the origin and absorption of existence.
      the same theme came up while talking about sri muthuswami dikshitar, sri yantra and sri vidya.
      the temple like the chakra is the physical manifestation of the divinity; and one has to learn to wade through the sea of symbolisms.

      8. commencing from nw, i am not sure.i have to check up with someone who knows. sorry about that.

      thank you for the comments.


      • sreenivasaraos

        March 17, 2015 at 3:38 pm

        but i am wondering .. you should compile all this in a book form..this is rare ,brilliant well chronicled and wonderfully articualted material.. well researched too.

        frankly i have not come across a blogger with such deep comittment and researching rigour like you.believe me the insight that iam deriving out of your writing is not just informative but spirtual.. you are indeed a rare relic of the ancient wisdom….

        iam now trying to unveil secrets of the symbolism of
        mandalas. may be i will get a dream

        may god give you all that is great ,good and beneficial…
        only very fortunate souls have access to this vidya..
        if you were born a thousand years earlier you would have been hailed as a great rishi….

        i feel like crying whaen i find that there are very few who want to unearth the pearls of wisdom from the seers of the distant past who talked in language of symbols and patterns. my work in groiup therapy is largely based on language of the patterns and symbols….

        please do take your own time in answering..


  5. sreenivasaraos

    March 17, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    dear shri sampath,
    thank you for your generosity.
    i am just a clueless old guy who spends his time at the pc (and that is not his pc too).

    whatever i am writing, say about rig veda, sri sankara, vedanta, sri chakra, the buddha and buddhism, history, sri muthuswami dikshitar , greek drama , charecters in mahabharata and other subjects; is both a means and an end. it is a means, in the sense i am discovering a few things; and also is an expression to many things i came across and learnt. in a way i am a warehouse of useless bits of information. yes, i am a relic.

    sulekha and others, offers a pretext to align the facts, concepts and interpretations cogently in a readable form. else, i lacked either the need or the discipline to write regularly. for that reason i am not overly worried about hits or votes.but , am thankful for the oppertunty.

    but, at times the comments (apart from thumb ups and goody words without explain why) do help you to think; and a few times they nudge you to write on a subject with which you are just familiar but not very well. for instance, i might not perhaps have written on temple architecture but for your comment on another blog. that surely did help.

    i am thinking of writing on the buddha, again; and this time about zen and meditation etc. trying to give a form to a few things i picked up, before it is rather too late.
    as you may have noticed, i am not good at creative fiction; and a noted blogger on sulekha described me as “the guy who writes about dead persons who do not contradict.”well, that might be partly true; because even the dead have their own ways of creating contradictions and history, inconveniently, is full of them.

    as regards writing a book, i am not sure i am up to that. it again will have no readers. after i posted a set of eight articles on sri muthuswami dikshitar, his music and sri vidya; many suggested i should bring it out in a book form. strangely, within in a couple of days i found the entire series posted on the page of a mahila sangham, in service of the ambal. therefore, the publicity and dissemination aspects appear to be taking care of themselves. who needs an author ..!?
    what you said about symbolism in ancient texts is very true . they are very rich and very fascinating. some of those texts are like a pattern of labyrinth. for instance, anu gita , a text of fourth century b.c, interpolated into mahabharata is a rather obscure text. i hardly find any discussing it. but, it is very rich in symbolism and is untraditional too. try reading it. you can start with anu gita , before you launch into the book. but is , narration is tedious and many times the meaning is not clear.
    the other text is astavakra gita , and it is readable

    thanks for pampering.

    have pleasant dreams.


  6. H.Manjunath.Pai

    July 6, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    Now,my visiting the old temple may become meaningful.Great Knowledge. Many youngsters don’t know the meaning. Make it useful/interesting to next giving it some amount of publicity.

    • sreenivasaraos

      July 6, 2015 at 3:02 pm


      Please do also read the responses and comments



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