Vastu and Iconography

One of the most important meanings of the Vastu Philosophy (Indian teaching of architecture) is the Iconography and the creation of effigies of the pantheon with the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the centre by human Stapathis (divine craftsmen).

In a millenium old tradition they have passed on, protected and perfected the knowledge about this special branch of the Vedas. In this day and age one distinguishes the Indo-Asiatic Iconography into two main branches: the northern School (including Nepal and Tibet) and the southern. Their difference lies not only in the usage of the different metals and their final processing into a special Deity in the South Indian or North Indian Style (jewellery, crowns, weapons, ornaments, pedestals etc.).

The South Indian tradition mostly uses an alloy of 5 noble metals (copper, tin, gold, silver and bell metal) while the north prefers a simple copper alloy. The way of manufacture is, with little differences in both schools, the same and is called “lost wax model process”. First the wanted form is modelled in wax with all details. When the desired deity excels the dimensions of the known specifications for a complete casting mold (palm length) in size and mass, it often is manufactured in multiple parts (pedestal and body). When this is done the deity will be covered in clay and is heated in either, like in the South Indian tradition, in an underground oven or, like in the North, in a regular oven.

By the heat the wax gets molten and leaves the clay cast by an exit applied. After some time, when the clay has cooled down and has become hardened the chosen metals are heated again and are poured in through an opening at the upper part of the clay cast especially made for this. Accompanied by vedic mantras on a special time chosen by astrological calculation (also mentioned in the Vastu scriptures) the idol is cast.