One of the long forgotten conventions of Vaastu sastra is
the use of Sawstika engraved on stone.
We come to hear of archaeological discovery of swastika in Harappan sites
and it will be worthwhile to probe whether this has any connection to vaastu sastra.
Given that this discovery is in Bharatha,
known for its long tradition of vedic based culture,
it is imperative that we look at all possible clues from Vedic style of living,
to interpret this.
One such interpretation is related to vaastu sastra,
which was the very core of any type of construction.
Since the Harappan sites contain dwelling structures,
it is recommended that an analysis of them is done
on the basis of vaastu sastra to know whether they adhere to vaastu principles.
Vishwakarma is the name associated with vaastu sastra.
He had been associated with building many structures on this earth.
His name is connected to times even before the Himalayas came into existence.
He is said to have constructed the abodes of Shiva in Meru
and later in the Himalayas, and then in Lanka which came to be occupied by Ravana.
His name is also indirectly associated with Sethu, in that
it was built by his son, Nala.
The various rules of construction of various structures are found in a book called,
“Vishwakarma PrakAshika”, a compilation of construction rules
supposed to have been given by Vishwakarma himself.
This is the core book followed in Vaastu sastra.
According to this book,
the first stone / brick to be laid for foundation must be engraved with a swastika
and done shilanyas puja to it.
It must be placed at the center of the proposed house
and upon this only further foundation had to be built.
“TasmAnmadhya pradEshEtu shilaikAm stApayEdbhudah
Grha madhyE nAbhi mAtram kritvAgartam samantatah
ShilA madhyE likhEdyantram swasti kAkhyamsushOnam."
(Vishwakarma PrakAshikA – 12-41)
This practice is a forgotten one today.
The shilanyas puja done to the brick is mostly laid in the North east corner.
But in olden days, as per this sastra,
a stone was used with swastika engraved on it.
The puja was done to it and it was laid at the center of the house.
This swastika is the swastika yantra.
In the case of renovation of the house too, this practice was followed.
This is a must-be-done in the construction of
any housing structure made of stones, including palatial buildings.
In the case of construction of houses made of wood, grass and leaves
and in the construction of Yaaga shaalas,
the wooden pillar was first erected before starting the work.
This also goes to show that the ‘yupa’ or ‘sthampa’ (pillar) associated with yajnas
was part of foundation-puja like shilanyas,
and not for sacrificing animals as many tend to think.