Vastu-Sastra: Vol. I - Hindu Science of architecture

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This book is Hindu Canons of Engineering and Architecture though first in the series of my research publications in English is seeing the light of the day after the Vastu Sastra Vol II. Hindu Canons of Iconography and Painting had already been presented to the scholarly world more than a year back. Both these Volumes have for their nuclei my Doctoral Theses Ph. D and D. Litt. In this way this Volume may be said to have come out after a long interval.

A study of Bhoja's Samarangana-Sutradhara a treatise on the science of architecture was submitted as my Ph. D thesis some six years back. I was very much encouraged by the glowing tributes to this thesis being acclaimed as a pioneer work vide the reports of the examiners appended at the end of this introduction. I therefore set for myself to extend the study from a single text to at least half a dozen representative texts like Visvakarma-prakasa, Aparajita-prccham and Silparatna. Naturally this very ambitious undertaking needed some more concentrated time the availability of which has been a very distant hope for the last so many years as I have been busy not only with D. Litt. Researches but also with my research publication I Hindi as well, with the then (1954-56) vice-Chancellor of Lucknow University took great fancy in my theses on account of their high merit and higher tributes and recommended their publication to the U. G. C. which sanctioned a grant for Rs. 6000 for the publication of my theses. Prof. Iyer the next Vice-Chancellor also agreed to recommend for some more help towards the completion of work. Hence a further subsidy of Rs. 4000 enabled me to undertake the publication of this volume also. Both these Volumes in a way may be said to complete the grand edifice of Vastu- sastra, which is not only the science of architecture engineering but also that of sculpture and painting. Accordingly all these three broad divisions of Vastu Sastra, namely Vastu, Silpa and Citra have been surveyed in both these Volumes.

The Vastu i.e. architecture being the subject matter of the first Volume and Silpa and Citra that of the second. Further again Vastu I its wider application has at least five principal branches namely Engineering, Town planning, Secular or civil architecture, Palace-architecture and Temple-architecture. It is in accordance with these broad topics of Vastu Sastra that this Volume has been divided into five principal parts namely Introductory, Town-planning, House-architecture and Temple-architecture.

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