Vishvakarman

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Vishvakarma
God of mechanism
Vishwakarmaji.png
Affiliation Deva
Mount Swan
For the Indian caste, see Vishwakarma (caste).

Viśwákarma (Sanskrit: विश्वकर्मा "all-accomplishing, maker of all," "all doer"; Tamil: (விசுவகர்மன்) Visuvakaruman; Thai: Witsawakam ;Telugu: విశ్వకర్మ ; Kannada: ವಿಶ್ವಕರ್ಮ ) is the personified Omnipotence and the abstract form of the creator God according to the Rigveda. He is the presiding deity of all craftsmen and architects.[1] He is believed to be the "Principal Architect of the Universe ", and the root concept of the later Upanishadic Brahman / Purusha.

In the Vedas[edit]

Vishwakarma is visualized as Ultimate reality (later developed as Brahman) in the Rig Veda,[2] from whose navel all visible things Hiranyagarbha emanate. The same imagery is seen in Yajurveda purusha sukta, in which the divine smith Tvastar emerging from Vishwakarma.[3] In the later puranic period this concept paved the way to the imagery of Padmanabha and Sadasiva.

In the Vedic period the term first appeared as an epithet of Indra, Surya, and Agni. In that time the later developed creator concept of Brahma might have been intertwined with the concept of Vastospati and Bṛhaspati, or Brahmanaspathi[4] In the last phase of vedic period and during the growth of monotheism, this realistic God concept becoming more abstract and one can see Vishwakarma [the invisible creative power] emerged as the supreme god[5] who was perceived as a hotar, the unborn [Aja] creator and name giver of all other gods who have lot of faces, eyes and feet on every side; and who helps Tvashtar,[the visible creative power of viswakarma] in producing all the Heavenly, Earthly and other Celestial realms and preserves them through the exercise of his arms and wings. He sacrificed himself to himself for the evolution of this visible world, thus he is Purusha or Narayana[6] His attributes like Vachaspathy[7] connect him with Brahaspathi (the Guru of Gods). Again, Yajurveda pictured him as the Prajapati[8] and in the Atharva veda he is [9] mentioned as Pashupati. Shwethashwatharopanishad described him as Rudrasiva, the one who is dwelling in all living forms.[10]

Later in the post vedic and brahmanic period, the term Vishwakarma is appeared both as the Rsi and the Silpi. In yajurveda the term is seen as one of names of pancha risis. Though the term is an epithet of suryanarayana, one of the seven rays of Surya is also known as Viswakarma. Bhuvana Vishwakarma (Atharva/Angirasa Gothra) is a vedic Rsi who was the author of Rg 10-81,82 suktha, (Prabasa Vishwakarma) was probably a silpi and the son of Prabhas, the eighth hermit of the legendary Astam vasu and Yogasiddha, sister of Brihaspati. He is said to have revealed the Sthapatya Veda / Vastu Shastra or fourth Upa-veda, and presides over the sixty-four mechanical arts.

Vishvakarma [ God ] created five prajapathies — from his five faces such as Sadyojāta,Vāmadeva, Aghora,Tatpuruṣha,Īsāna.[11] They are Manu, Maya, Twosta, Silpy, Viswajna and their respective Rishis are

  1. Sanaga Brahma Rishi
  2. Sanaathana Brahma Rishi
  3. Abhuvanasa Brahma Rishi
  4. Prathnasa Brahma Rishi
  5. Suparnasa Brahma Rishi

In later puranas he is sometimes identified with vedic Tvastar.[12] Silpi Vishwakarma is the designer of all the flying chariots of the gods, and all their weapons and divine attributes. Vishwakarma/Tvostar is also credited with creating the missiles used in the mythological era, including the Vajra, the sacred weapon of Lord Indra, from the bones of sage Dadhichi. He is regarded as the supreme worker, the very essence of excellence and quality in craftsmanship.[13]

Vishwakarma Puja[edit]

Vishwakarma temple in Mandi, Himachal Pradesh, India.

Since Vishwakarma is the divine engineer of the world. As a mark of reverence, he is not only worshiped by the engineering and architectural community but also by all professionals. It is customary for craftsmen to worship their tools in his name.

Silpy Vishwakarma is attributed a putative birthday by the Hindu religion. The more philosophical minded argue that it is impossible for the original Creator of everything to be born on a particular day. In rig veda he is described as Swayambhu[14] So it is a contradiction in terms since that presupposes another creator for Vishwakarma. The Vishwakarma Puja is celebrated in all parts of India, especially in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Assam, Odisha, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Dehradun and Manipur.

Even among those who believe that there is a birthday there is no agreement as to when it actually occurs. Visvakarma birthday is celebrated on two days under different names:

  • Rishi Panchami Dinam. "Rishi Panchami Dinam" literally means ‘the day of the solidarity of five rishis.’ Those who celebrate this day believe that Vishwakarma did not have a birthday like the mortals but only a commemoration day in which his five children (supposedly five rishis) came together to declare their solidarity and pray to their illustrious father. This day follows the rules of the Hindu calendar and changes with every year. The five groups among the Vishwakarma community also celebrate this as an auspicious day in commemoration of their patron god at present.[15]
  • Visvakarma Jayanthi. Vishwakarma Jayanthi is celebrated by all industrial houses, artists, craftsmen, and weavers. The festival is observed on the Kanya Sankranti Day (September 17) which follows the Ganesh Puja. It was on this particular day that the forefathers of the present Visvakarma people invented the plough and gave it to humanity. The plough represents both the artisan trade as well as agriculture and therefore becomes the representative symbol of the ancient Indian civilisation. It changed the course of human history altogether. This was a change from ‘local mob culture to universal human culture’ and Vishwakarmas of India pioneered it. Coincidentally, this also becomes the birthday of Rsi/Silpi Visvakarma. So Indians in the past celebrated this day of many illustrious conjunctions as an occasion to honor Vishwakarma and his descendants.

Architectural wonders[edit]

Hindu scriptures describe many of Vishwakarma's architectural accomplishments.

Through the four yugas (aeons of Hindu mythology), he had built several towns and palaces for the gods. Among them were, in chronological order, Svarga (Heaven) in the Satya Yuga, Lanka in the Treta Yuga, and Dwarka (Krishna's capital) in the Dwapara Yuga.

Lanka : The City Of Gold[edit]

According to Ramayana, 'Sone ki Lanka' or Golden Lanka was ruled by Ravana during the Treta yuga. This is also the city where Ravana held Sita hostage. It is said that when Lord Shiva married Parvati, he asked Viswakarma to build a beautiful palace for them to reside in. Vishwakarma built a palace made of gold. For the housewarming ceremony, Shiva invited the wise Pulastya rishi (The Grandfather of Kubera and also Ravana) to perform the "Grihapravesh" ritual. After the sacred ceremony when Shiva asked Pulastya rishi to ask anything in return as "Dakshina", Pulastya, overwhelmed with the beauty and grandeur of the palace, asked Shiva for the golden palace itself. Shiva was obliged to accede to Pulastya's wish, and the Golden Lanka became his grandson Kubera's palace. Ravana who was born and brought up in South India banished his half-brother, Kubera. The city of gold is said to have fallen into Ravanas hands when he overthrew his half brother Kuber.

Dwarka[edit]

Viswakarma is also supposed to have built Dwarka overnight.[16] During the time of the Mahabharata, Lord Krishna is said to have lived in Dwarka, and made it his "Karma Bhumi" (center of operation). This land now located in today's Gujarat has become a well known pilgrimage for the Hindus.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ mre/ancient-architecture/cave-architecture.html "Cave Architecture". Retrieved 2007-02-15. 
  2. ^ Thamid garbham pradhamam dhadra apo yatra deva samagachanta visve Aja asya nabha--- (Ṛg Veda, 10.82.5), Aja is an epithet for Upanishadic Brahman, Ondian philosophy and religion by Bibhu/Minakshi Padhi
  3. ^ Abya sambootha prutvi rasacha viswakarmana samavarthatadi tasya tvoshta vidatha roopameti tat purshasya visvam ajanamagre
  4. ^ Sadyayo janayan brahma deva vasthospathim vratapannira takshan Rg veda
  5. ^ Sam bahubhyam dhamathy sampatathrair dyavabhoomy janayanth Deva Eka [Rg 10 81,Indian nireeswaravadam by D.B.Chathopadyaya, p43,Hindu civilisation by Radakumar mukhargy p 89
  6. ^ Viswakarman havisha vrutharra swayam yajaswa-rig 10-81,moreover first part of viswakarma sukta and purusha sukta and narayanasukta are almost same,Vedic cosmology ,Rajendra verma , page 80
  7. ^ Vachaspathim viswakarmana moothaye manojuvam vachae adyahuvema Rig & Yajurveda
  8. ^ Yajur veda 18-43 Prajapathir viswakarma mano gandharvasthasya ....
  9. ^ Ya eshe pashupathy .......viswakarma prajayam samrarana 2-34,2-34 Atharva veda
  10. ^ Yeshadevo viswakarma mahatma....zz 4-17
  11. ^ TS 4.3.2), as per Vasishtha Purana 3.6.11
  12. ^ Monier-Williams (1899) p. 994.
  13. ^ Coomaraswamy (1979), p. 79.
  14. ^ Yo na pita janitha yo vidata , Rig veda
  15. ^ Achary, Subramanian Matathinkal (1995).
  16. ^ Archer, W. G. (2007). The Loves of Krishna in Indian Painting and Poetry. Echo Library. p. 44. ISBN 9781406825404. 

References[edit]

  • VISHWAKARMA SAMAJ [1]
  • Achary, Subramanian Matathinkal (1995): Visvakarmajar Rigvedathil, Sawraj Printing and Publishing Company, Aluva.
  • Coomaraswamy, Ananda K. (1979): Medieval Sinhalese Art, Pantheon Books Inc., New York.
  • Monier-Williams (1899). [2]
  • Pattanaik, Devdutt (2009). 7 Secrets from Hindu Calendar Art. Westland, India. ISBN 978-81-89975-67-8.
  • Indian philosophy and religion by Bibhu/Minakshi Padhi

Further reading[edit]