Categories: Hindu God and Goddess

Vishwakarma – The Divine Architect

Vishwakarma or Vishwakarman is the presiding deity of all craftsmen and architects. According to Hinduism, he created this whole universe. That is why he is called the divine architect. Just as he created this universe, he also crafted all the flying chariots, weapons and architectures for the gods.

Vishwakarma In Scriptures

Hindu mythological books are full of Vishwakarma’s architectural wonders. His name occurs five times in the tenth book of the Rigveda. In the Mahabharata story he is described as

“The lord of the arts, executor of a thousand handicrafts, the carpenter of the gods, the most eminent of artisans, the fashioner of all ornaments… and a great and immortal god.”

Iconography Of Vishwakarma

Vishwakarma’s iconography varies from one region to another. In most of the places in the Indian sub-continent, he is depicted as an aged and wise man, with four arms. He has white beard and is accompanied by his vahana or mount, hamsa (goose or swan). Theologists believe that these suggest his association with the creator Brahma. Usually, he is seated on a throne and his sons standing near him. This form of Vishwakarma is mainly found in the Western and North-Western parts of India.

In the Eastern parts of India, Vishwakarma is depicted as a young muscular man with black moustache. Here, he is not accompanied by his sons. An elephant is his vahana, suggesting his association with Devraj Indra or God Vrihaspati.

Family Of Vishwakarma

In Hindu scriptures, Vishwakarma is often said to be the son of Brahma, but it is different in many other texts. In the Nirukta and Brahmanas he is stated to be the son of Bhuvana. In the Mahabharata and Harivansha, he is the son of Vasu Prabhasa and Yoga-siddha. In the Puranas, he is the son of Vastu. Vishwakarma is the father of three daughters named Varhishmati, Samjna and Chitrangada. In other texts Vishwakarma is presented as the husband of Gritachi. When identified with Tvastar, Vishwakarma is also described to be the father of a son named Vishvarupa. According to the Vishwakarma community or Vishwabrahmin, Vishwakarma had five children (Manu, Maya, Tvastar, Shilpi and Visvajna). The community comprises five sub-groups (carpenters, blacksmiths, bronze smiths, goldsmiths and stonemasons) who believe that they are descendants of Vishvakarma.

Vishwakarma And Divine Architecture

The name of Vishwakarma is always associated with the divine architectures. He built several towns and sacred places through the four Yugas. He built Swarg Loke (heaven, the abode of gods and goddesses) in Satya Yuga, Swarna (golden) Lanka in the Treta Yuga, Dwarka in Dwapar Yuga and Hastinapur and Indraprastha in the Kali Yuga. Let’s know briefly about some of these architectures.

Swarna Lanka

According to the Valmiki Ramayana, in the Treta Yuga, the capital of King Ravana was Swarna Lanka (Golden Lanka). After the marriage of Mahadeva (Lord Shiva) and Mata Parvati, Vishwakarma was asked to build a beautiful palace for them to reside. Vishwakarma built the Swarna Prasad (Golden Palace) of Mahadeva and Mata Parvati. Then Mahadeva arranged a Grihapravesh (housewarming) ceremony and invited wise Ravana to perform the rituals of the ceremony. After the completion of the sacred ceremony Mahadeva gave Ravana the Swarna Lanka as “Dakshina”. From then on, Swarna Lanka became the capital of Ravana.

Dwarka

In the Dwapar Yuga, the capital of Lord Krishna was Dwarka. And this town was built by Vishwakarma. According to the mythological story, Lord Krishna lived in Dwarka and made it his Leela Bhoomi (a site for divine play). So this place in northern India has become a well-known pilgrimage for the Hindus.

Hastinapur

In the present Kali Yuga, Vishwakarma is said to have built the town of Hastinapur, the capital of Kauravas and Pandavas of the Mahabharata. After winning the battle of Kurukshetra, Lord Krishna crowned Dharmaraj Yudhisthir as the ruler of Hastinapur.

Indraprastha

Vishwakarma also built the town of Indraprastha for the Pandava brothers. According to the Mahabharata story, King Dhritrashtra offered a piece of land called Khaandavprastha to the Pandavas to live on. Yudhishtir went to live in Khaandavprastha with his brothers obeying the order of Dhritrashtra. Later, Lord Krishna invited Vishwakarma to build a capital for the Pandavas on this land, which was renamed as Indraprastha.

Bride Chamber Of Behula-Lakhindar

According to Hindu mythology, Chand Sadagar was a wealthy merchant who refused to offer his obeisance to Manasa Devi (goddess Manasa). Vishahar, a sage and devotee of Manasa killed six sons of Chand on their wedding night with snake bites. When Lakhindar, the seventh son of Chand, had married Behula, Vishwakarma made the bride chamber. He made the bride chamber with concrete so that no insect could enter the chamber let alone snake. Inspite of this security, Kaal Nagin (a poisonous serpent) entered Behula Lakhindar’s bride chamber. Lakhindar was bitten by Kaal Nagin and he died. But his (Lakhindar) devoted wife, Behula did not give up hope. To get back her husband’s life from the gods in the Heaven, Behula sailed with her dead husband in a raft. By the grace of gods She reached Heaven and brought her husband back to life. She promised Manasa that she would make her father-in-law offer obeisance to her (Manasa) and she (Behula) kept her promise.

Vishwakarma Puja

In Hinduism, Vishwakarma is considered as the god of architecture and engineering. Vishwakarma Puja is usually celebrated in the mid September every year and this occasion also marks the start of the festive season that culminates in Diwali. Workers and craftsmen arrange this celebration to increase productivity and gain divine inspiration for creating extraordinary products. Vishwakarma Puja usually takes place within the factory premises or shop thefloor. The celebration is also associated with tradition of flying kites which is also a major part of Makar Sankranti.

By Krishna Das

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Krishna Das is an experienced article writer. He writes about Hinduism in his spare time.

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