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Designers of new Parliament 'appear to lack' understanding of Hindu Vastu principle

By Narendra Raghunath* 
In my ancestral lineage on my mother's side, my great-grandfather was a traditional Ayurvedic practitioner and astrologer, which was a common combination during his time as a medical professional. He was also highly skilled in mathematics. Recognizing my interest in these subjects, my grandmother passed on to me the majority of his books, which I have used for my studies and preservation. 
Among them were handwritten books on various topics such as Neelakanda Somayaji's Golashastra, a treatise on astronomical calculations and infinite convergent geometric progression series, as well as books on Ayurveda, astrology, and Vastu.
My passion for these subjects began shortly after completing my tenth standard. Over the past forty years, I have collected numerous journals and books on these topics to continue my studies. I won't delve into the debate of whether astrology is a science or superstition here. However, upon studying this subject, one can confidently say that astrological principles revolve around statistical and probability principles. 
I refrain from either defending or rejecting this subject based on my own rationals and conclusions. The same applies to Vastu, which encompasses the architectural principles of Buddhism, Jainism, and Hinduism. Setting aside the Mimamsaka interpretations of Hindu Vastu, Jain architecture, and Buddhist architecture, I have found this subject to be a comprehensive discipline of structural engineering with an aesthetic order. 
I provide this background for those who may question my credentials in discussing the focal subject of this note. While I may not be an authority, it is important to note that I have devoted forty years to these subjects and have developed a clear stance on them.
Now, let's come to the main point. I recently watched a presentation by the respected architect Bimal Patel on the structure of the Central Vista project. In his slides, he discussed the Vastu compliance of the structure. He explained that the entire geometry of the structure was inspired by the Brahmeshwara Temple in Bhuvaneshwar. His reasoning was based on the photographs of the Prime Minister kneeling in front of the Parliament, referring to it as the "temple of democracy." According to his rationale, by incorporating temple architecture, the Central Vista structure becomes a sacred and harmonious place. 
I am uncertain about whether respected architect Dr Bimal Patel has expertise in Vastu Shastra, as he is primarily known for practising modern architecture. The presentation strongly indicated that he was compelled to discuss the structure's Vastu compliance by higher approving authorities. Personally, I found the design of the Parliament structure to be an interesting modern architecture with old communist school structuralist aesthetics. 
Regardless of the circumstances, since the entire architecture is being discussed from the perspective of Vastu compliance, I will commence my discussion from the pure perspective of Hindu architectural principles, specifically Vastu.The design team claims to have derived the geometry for the Central Vista project based on their interpretation of the Brahmeshwara Temple, specifically the Khakhara Deula style. Within the Kalinga tradition of temple architecture, three main styles are prominent: Rekha Deula, Pidha Deula, and Khakhara Deula. 
The first two are associated with the worship of Vishnu, Surya, and Shiva, while the Khakhara style is linked to Chamunda worship, a tantric practice. Emphasizing the tantric roots of their architectural selection, the design team further highlighted the significance of the triangular structure in the Sri Chakra, a tantric yantra that incorporates downward and upward triangles to form a mystical geometric pattern. Interestingly, the presentation explained how the Khakhara Deula structure is defined by the tantric yantra, which they adopted as the architectural structure for the parliament building.
While the design team perceives the Parliament structure as a sacred temple infused with mystic powers, it is concerning to disregard the reasons behind selecting a tantric architectural form for a democratic building in the 21st century. Moreover, these designers seem to lack a fundamental understanding of the philosophical principles of the Hindu Vastu principle while adopting it, and according to Vastu, their compromise on Vastu principles may lead to disastrous consequences. 
Without delving into all the violations, let me highlight a few basic ones they have ignored. The fundamental unit of Vastu architecture is the square, derived from the Vedic fire altar or homa kunta. Therefore, the only yantra considered in Vastu architecture is the Vastu Purusha Mandala, a square form that is divided into progressively larger squares (1, 4, 9, 16, 25, 36, 49, 64, 81, up to 1024) depending on the size of the structure. There is no place for triangular forms or the tantric Sri Chakra in Vastu principles, as they violate two essential principles: 
The violation of the Vastu Purusha-Prakriti principles can have severe consequences, as outlined in Vastu teachings. If these principles are disregarded, the structure in question will not endure for more than a Jupiter cycle (approximately 12 years), and the owner of the house will face immediate death along with ongoing disasters for their family. In the case of a temple, the installation of the deity will be impossible, and the head of the town or village will meet their demise, leading to the destruction of the entire community through natural calamities. 
I am uncertain about whether Bimal Patel has expertise in Vastu Shastra, as he is primarily known for practising modern architecture
According to Manasara and Manushyalaya Lakshana, one of the primary tenets of Vastu is the rejection of triangular dimensions for any built space or location. Vastu strictly prohibits the use of triangular spaces, not only for dwellings but also for forts or temples. These treaties explicitly state that the inclusion of triangular spaces brings about immediate death and disaster for the owner and their family. 
Therefore, both the Vastu Purusha-Prakriti principle and the rejection of triangular dimensions hold significant importance in Vastu teachings. Disregarding these principles can lead to dire consequences, not only in terms of the longevity of the structure but also in terms of the well-being and safety of the individuals associated with it. 
The Vedic tradition of Vastu, represented by the Vastu Purusha square template, and the Tantric Agamic forms, symbolized by the Sri Chakra of Triangle, are fundamentally incompatible in terms of their forms, principles, and philosophies. In Hindu tradition, symbols and forms hold great significance in relation to sanctity and belief systems within both the Vedic and Tantric traditions. 
However, the superimposition of these two traditions, as seen in contemporary fraudulent Vastu practitioners who suggest square buildings in triangular spaces, has never been discussed in any authentic Vastu treaties. Consequently, there are no clear consequences prescribed for such violations other than the violation of the Vastu Purusha Mandala. 
The most significant violation of all is the adoption of the temple Vastu Mandala for a human dwelling. According to Vastu principles, the temple Vastu Mandala designates every space as sacred and the abode of various divine forces, which require daily tantric rituals to appease these forces. If one fails to adhere to these principle rituals, as per Vastu principles, the owner and the community are bound to be destroyed by these very forces. Keeping this factor in hindsight, the Vastu treaty doesn’t permit to design of human dwellings in the form of a temple. 
The author
From the presentation itself, numerous Vastu violations can be identified, casting doubts on the overall structure's adherence to Vastu principles. These observations are intended for those who believe in these principles, and it appears that the present governing authority strongly adheres to them. 

Mimamsaka Vastu?

Meanwhile, some individuals are known to have celebrated the Mimamsaka Vastu predictions, which suggest negative consequences for the current government.  I want to clarify that I don't subscribe to the Mimamsaka belief system regarding Vastu, which asserts the powers of curses and penance associated with buildings. 
If these buildings truly possessed such powers, we wouldn't have numerous headless and limb-broken sculptures of deities in our museums or archaeological ruins of temples and forts across the country. The ruins of Hampi stand as a prime example against the alleged powers of Mimamsaka Vastu.
Setting aside the beliefs of those who adhere to curses and penance, I suggest that people explore the structural engineering divisions, geometry, ecological considerations, environmental factors, the study of soil, topography mapping, and climate-related aspects associated with Vastu. 
These areas hold immense potential value in our current Anthropocene age. However, it is crucial to subject them to rigorous critical study and evaluation in order to separate them from fraudulent practices that occur in India regarding this subject.
It's worth noting that Vastu is a complex architectural treaty encompassing various aspects, such as philosophy, religion, rituals, ecology, environment, climate, structural engineering, geometry, design tools, techniques, methods, planning, aesthetics and the concept of templating (part being whole and whole being part)  in design. 
Like any other subject, Vastu also has flaws that require thorough examination for critical evaluation and potential applications. However, it would be beneficial to understand this subject to gain insights into the craft, masonry practices, and belief systems prevalent in India.
If you ever wonder why your toilet floor tiles don't fit perfectly as a rectangle on the floor or why your room isn't a perfect square or rectangle, it may be worth investigating the belief system of masons in our country. According to their belief system derived from the Mimamsaka interpretation of Vastu, a perfectly square or rectangular house structure or washroom would bring disaster upon Mason's family. 
This serves as just one example among many others.
---
*Artist, art educator. Source: Author's Facebook timeline 

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