Lord Vishwakarma-The Architecture in Hinduism
Vishwakarma is the presiding deity of all craftsmen and architects. Son of Brahma, he is the divine craftsman of the whole universe and the official builder of all the gods’ palaces. Vishwakarma is also the designer of all the flying chariots of the gods and all their weapons.
The Mahabharata describes him as “The lord of the arts, executor of a thousand handicrafts, the carpenter of the gods, the most eminent of artisans, the fashioner of all ornaments … and a great and immortal god.” He has four hands, wears a crown, loads of gold jewellery, and holds a water-pot, a book, a noose and craftsman’s tools in his hands.
Hindus widely regard Vishwakarma as the god of architecture and engineering, and September 16 or 17 every year is celebrated as Vishwakarma Puja—a resolution time for workers and craftsmen to increase productivity and gain divine inspiration for creating novel products. This ritual usually takes place within the factory premises or shop floor, and the otherwise mundane workshops come alive with a fiesta. Vishwakarma Puja is also associated with the buoyant custom of flying kites. This occasion in a way also marks the start of the festive season that culminates in Diwali.
VISHWAKARMA’S ARCHITECTURAL WONDERS
Hindu mythology is full of Vishwakarma’s many architectural wonders. Through the four ‘yugas’, he had built several towns and palaces for the gods. In “Satya-yuga”, he built the Swarg Loke, or heaven, the abode of the gods and demigods where Lord Indra rules. Vishwakarma then built the ‘Sone ki Lanka’ in “Treta yuga,” the city of Dwarka in “Dwapar yuga,” and Hastinapur and Indraprastha in the “Kali yuga.”
GOLDEN LANKA OR ‘SONE KI LANKA’
According to Hindu mythology, Golden Lanka or ‘Sone ki Lanka’ was the place where the demon king Ravana dwelled in the “Treta yuga.” As we read in the epic story Ramayana, this was also the place where Ravana kept Sita, Lord Ram’s wife as a hostage.
Among the many mythical towns Viswakarma built is Dwarka, the capital of Lord Krishna. During the time of the Mahabharata, Lord Krishna is said to have lived in Dwarka and made it his “Karma Bhoomi” or center of operation. That is why this place in northern India has become a well-known pilgrimage for the Hindus.
Vishwakarma also built the town of Indraprastha for the Pandavas. The Mahabharatahas it that King Dhritrashtra offered a piece of land called ‘Khaandavprastha’ to the Pandavas for living. Yudhishtir obeyed his uncle’s order and went to live in Khaandavprastha with the Pandava brothers. Later, Lord Krishna invited Vishwakarma to build a capital for the Pandavas on this land, which he renamed ‘Indraprastha’.
Legends tell us about the architectural marvel and beauty of Indraprastha. Floors of the palace were so well done that they had a reflection like that of water, and the pools and ponds inside the palace gave the illusion of a flat surface with no water in them. After the palace was built, the Pandavas invited the Kauravas, and Duryodhan and his brothers went to visit Indraprastha.
In the present “Kali Yuga”, Vishwakarma is said to have built the town of Hastinapur, the capital of Kauravas and Pandavas, the warring families of the Mahabharata. After winning the battle of Kurukshetra, Lord Krishna installed Dharmaraj Yudhisthir as the ruler of Hastinapur.