Wednesday, September 17, 2014

557. Devashilpi Vishwakarma, the Divine Architect.

According to Hindus Devashilpi Vishwakarma is the presiding deity of all craftsmen and architects. He is Devashilpi (Divine Architect) who designed and created this earth plane at the behest of Brahma, the Lord of Creation. He evolved as the son of Prabhasa (one of the Asta Vasu) and Yogasiddha, sister of Brihaspati (Deva Guru). He is depicted as an elderly person with four arms with chisel and hammer in the two and other two holding the working material.

Rig Veda describes Vishwakarma as the god with multi-dimensional vision and supreme strength. He is able to predict well in advance in which direction his creation will move. Dwarka, Indraprasta and Hastinapura are the historic cites constructed by Him, while the magnificent temple to Lord Jagannath at Puri and the captivating enormous forms of Lord Jagannatha, Subadhra and Balarama were sculpted by this Divine Sculptor.

Legend says that the Vajrayudha of Indra was created by Vishwakarma who assembled the vertebra of Sage Dadachi who donated his backbone so that the demon Vritasura could be killed by Indra using it as a weapon. The Sudharshana of Maha Vishnu was also created by Vishwakarma. Vishwakarma give his daughter Sanjana in marriage to Surya, the Sun God. Unable to endure the heat and brilliance of the Sun’s rays Sanjana requested her father to reduce the intensity of the brilliance in the Sun. Vishwakarma is said to have cut away one eighth part of the Sun’s brilliance to make the Sudharshana Chakra from it.  

The island of Sri Lanka was architected by Vishwakarma. When Lord Shiva married Parvathi, she requested the Lord for a palace worthy for them to reside on this earth plane. Lord Shiva asked Vishwakarma to build it and the magnificent golden palace on the island of Lanka took shape. At the house-warming ceremony (Grihapravesha) Ravana who was then a wise devotee of Lord Shiva was the Pandit. As recompense, Shiva asked Ravana to ask for whatever he desired and He would grant it. Overwhelmed by the beauty of Vishwakarma’s architecture Ravana asked for Swarna Lanka itself. Bholenath granted the request of His devotee and since then Lanka was the capital of Ravana and was witness to the events of the Ramayana which was to unfold later.

Today is Vishwakarma Jayanthi, our artisians and craftsmen accept Devashilpi Vishwakarma and call themselves as Vishwakarma tribe. They pray for His blessing and request Him to grant the knowledge required for their work so that they can perform better in their skills. This spiritual association is very apparent in the arts and crafts of our land, a relatively large portion of which are dedicated to the Divine. In the ancient times when the young king won the war the old minister would advice him to build enormous temples to wash off the sin accumulated by the death of many soldiers in the war. The intention though was to keep the artisians and craftsmen of the region engaged in construction work and give them a platform to exhibit their skills. The number of temples dedicated to the various deities in the Hindu pantheon so far outnumbers the palaces and forts of the mortal kings in India. The prevailing principle in India regards that only those crafts and architecture that honor God are worthy of attention and acclaim. The Architecture of Hoysala Temples in Karnataka are the proof. (Those interested can visit the blog posted in regard to the Art and Architecture of world famous Hoysala Temples - May their tribe swell!!!

To this day it is Devashilpi Vishwakarma who has been sharpening my mind so that I can solve any minor problems in the machines at my factory. I take this opportunity to bow to the Divine Engineer of the world.

Om Vishwarupaya Vidmahe Vishwa Karmane Dhimahi 
Tanno Prabrahma Prachodayat

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