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Vaastu Shastra

and the
Mansara system

Submitted by:
Meenu chauhan 14607 Seerat Sharma 14618

27th February 2017
1. Abstract
2. Introduction
3. Main body of text
4. Conclusion

This report aims to analyse the contribution of the vaastu shastra manuscript
regarding manasara system in town planning.

All the salient points of the document have been covered in this report.

The literal rendering of Vaastu Shastra will
be the science of architecture but a complete Vaastu Shastra deals with
what is more than generally understood by architecture.
In this the term architecture is taken in its
broader sense and implies what is being built or constructed.
In first place it denotes all kinds of
building-religious, residential and military; and there auxiliary
Secondly it covers town planning, laying
out gardens, constructing market places including ports and
harbours, making roads and bridges.
Thirdly it connotes articles or furniture, it also includes making of
dresses and ornaments.
Any artifact or Vaastu is defined primarily by its three characteristics, viz.
size, shape & orientation. Here we explain only size and orientation as a
part of Building Formulae.

Ayadi Shadvarga and the Prime Dimension

Ayadi is a group of six formulae Yoni, Aya and Vyaya, Rksha, Vara and Tithi
that are used to determine the dimensional conformance of a building.
The six formulae are divided in to three sets and each set consists of two
formulae. A specific set of formulae is used to work out the length, breadth
and height of the building or the structure.
Vaastu Shastra clearly emphasizes the importance of orienting the
constructions to the cardinal directional. Therefore, the orientation of the
building should be one of the four cardinal directions (North, East, South
or West).
As far as possible, buildings facing angular directions are to be avoided.
But in rare situations, if the site is oriented in the angular directions, the
orientation (or Yoni) formulae can be worked out in such a way so that the
remainder is 1.
The ancient masters were aware of the power of monsoon winds and other
energies (physical and metaphysical).
These energies were also considered in the orientation and construction of
the buildings.
Yonis are of 8 types based on the 8 prime directions : Starting from the
East, the eight yonis will be Dhwaja (flag), Dhuma (smoke), simha (Lion),
kukkura (monkey), vrsa (bull), khara (dog), gaja (elephant) and vaayasa
(crow) in order.
Of them, the odd ones are for wealth and even ones are for disaster.

As per Vaastusastra the Orientation of the building is made in the formulae

format with reference to a focal point, which in known as nabhi.

Yoni is the connecting link between the two characteristics of Vaastu, viz.
Dimension and Orientation.The prime dimensions in pada unit shall be
divided by 8 (the count of cardinal directions).
The Remainder of shall be denoting the Yoni of the Vaastu. Every Vaastu is
facing the focal point, a prime point which should be considered before
starting the Vaastu designs.
Mansara system

All these matters are systematically treated in the standard work on the subject
known as Mansara, the etymological rendering of the word Mansara is the
essence of measurement sara meaning essence and mana meaning
measurement. In this sense the full title Mansara Vaastushastra would imply a
science of architecture where the essence of measurement is contained, the
standard measurement is followed or the system of proportions embodied.
The system of measurements

From the forefaces of brahma the creator of universe originated in order the
heavenly architect vishvakarman, maya, tvashtar and manu. The foresons are
called respectively sthapati, sutragrehin, vardhaki and takshika, these four
evidently represent the progenetors of four classes of terrestrial artists.
Sthapati is highest in rank. The Sutragrehin is he Guru of vardhaki and Takshika.
Vardhaki is the instructor of Takshika.

The paramanu or atom is the smallest unit of measurements

8 paramanu =1 rathadhuli
8 rathadhuli =1 balagra
8 balagra =1 liksha
8 liksha =1 yuka
8 yuka =1 yava
8 yava =1 angula
12 angula =1 vitasti
2 vitasti =1 kishkuhasta
25 angula =1 prajapatyahasta
25 angula = 1 dhanurmushtihasta
27 angula =1 dhanugrahahasta
4 hasta = 1 dhanus or danda
8 dandas = 1 raju

Directions are given with regard to four different kinds of hasta given above

Classification of Vaastu

Examination of soil and selection of site

The place where men and gods reside is Vaastu, this includes the ground,
building, convenience, couch. Of these the ground is the principle one. The
building includes the prsada, mandapa, sabha, prapa and aranga. The site on
which the town is to develop is to be minutely examined; the soil is examined
with regards to its contour, colour, odour, features, tastes and touch. If the plot
of land is found satisfactory it is selected for the village, town, forts or houses.
But even after this, ground is tested. A square hole of 1 hasta deep should be
dug on the selected site and be filled with water. After 24 hours the chief
architect should mark the condition of water in hole- is all the water has dried up
the earth is bad. But if on the other hand there remains some water the selected
plot is fit for any construction. Another final test is this: a similar hole is dug on
plot and is filled up with earth taken out of it, if this earth earth fills up the whole
exactly the land is fair. After this final selection the ground should be ploughed

The Ground Plan

When a site is selected the ground is divided into different numbers of squares,
32 kinds of such schemes are distinguished by as many different names
according to the number of squares in which the whole area is partitioned out.
The whole scheme has been arranged in such a manner, that in each case the
number of partitions represents the squares of the serial number, each of its
squares is assigned to its presiding deity. Some deities are however lords of
more than one square. The central square is always bharma, charagi, vidarika,
putana and rakshasi are the deities of four corners.

The Village

According to Mansara there is not much difference between a village, a

town and a fort all are fortified places intended for the residence of people.
A town is the extension of a village. A fort in many cases is nothing more
than a fortified town.
Each village is surrounded by a wall made of brick and stone, beyond this
wall is a ditch broadens deep enough to cause serious obstruction.
There are generally four main gates in the middle of four sides, the villages
is divided by streets into four main blocks, which are again subdivided into
many blocks.
Villages are divided according to their shapes into eight classes:

1. Dandaka 5. Swastika

2. Sarvotobhadra 6. Prastara

3. Nandyavarta 7. Karmuka

4. Padmaka 8. Chaturmukha
The two main streets crossing a centre have houses and footpaths on one
side on the street.
The ground floor of these houses on main streets consists of shops.
The street which runs round the villages also houses footpaths only on one
These houses are mainly public buildings.
All other streets have residential building on both sides.
Drains follow the slope of ground.
Tanks and ponds are dug in all inhabited parts and located where they can
conveniently be reached by number of inhabitants.
Temples as well as public commons, garden and parks are similarly
People of the same caste are generally housed in the same quarter.
The partition of the quarters cannot be said to be quite impartial, the best
quarters are generally reserved for Brahmins and architects.
The habitations of chandalas as well as places for cremation are located
outside the village wall in northwest direction in particular.
The temples of fearful deities such as chamundas are also placed outside
the wall.

Towns and forts

Towns based on plans ranging from pechaka (plan of four squares) to

asana (plan of 100 squares).
According to the Mansara the dimensions of the smallest town unit are
100x200 dandas and the largest town unit is 7200x14400 dandas.
A town maybe situated from east to west or from north to south according
to the position it occupies.
There should be one to twelve large streets in town. it should be built near
a river or mountain and should have facilities for trade and commerce.
Like a village it should have walls, ditches, gates, drains, parks, temples,
colleges, etc.
The city provides locale for the pursuit and fulfilment of the four aims of
Dharma - duty, morality
Karma - pleasure
Artha - wealth
Moksha - liberation
Towns are divided into eight classes
Rajdhani, nagra, pura, nagri, kheta, kharwata, kubjaka and pattana.
The distinction between them is slight but the city called pattana is a big
commercial port.
Forts are divided into eight classes called sibira, wahinimukha, sthaniye,
dronaka, samvidha or vardhaka, kolaka, nigama and skandhavra.
There is further division according to their position. These are known as
mountain fort, forest fort, water fort, chariot fort, gods fort, marsh fort and
mixed fort.
The mountain fort is subdivided into three classes according to its building
on top of mountain, in valley or on mountain slope. These forts are at least
12 hasta in height and thickness at the base is at least 6 hasta. It is
provided with watch towers.
Like human beings, Vaastu also has a horoscope. The Ayadi Shadvargas denote
the horoscope of a Vaastu. It is the guiding formulae for the prosperity and well-
being of the inhabitants of the house. Here a master designer can change the
horoscope of the artifact he designs, by giving due attention to the Ayadi
Shadvarga formulae.