Ugra Profile picture
23 Dec, 18 tweets, 4 min read
THREAD on ancient Hindu system of measurement(मानापकरणविधानम्)

The Shilpa shastras give much insight into how dimensions such as length,width,height etc were measured. It is using this system that the smallest of murthis to the biggest of buildings were planned & constructed (1)
Before defining the different units of measurement, the Shilpa shastra makes a brief reference to the prerequisites of those who must be well versed in this subject in order to carry out the task of planning & construction. i.e the Architects. (2)
The Architects are classified into 4 different categories. They are:

1) Sthapati
2) Sutragrahin
3) Vardhaki
4) Takshaka

Each one of the above have a specific role in the process of planning & construction (3)
स्थपतिः सर्वशास्त्रज्ञः सूत्रपाहीति सूत्रधृत्
वर्धकी(किर्) मानकर्मज्ञः तक्षणात्तक्षकः स्मृतः

Shastras say Sthapati must be well versed in all Shastras, Sutragrahin holds the Sutra(measuring rope), Vardhaki is well versed in measuring & Takshaka is well versed in carpentry (4)
In the hierarchy of architects; the Sthapati holds the highest of positions. He is the master builder. He is the guide of the other 3. The Sutragrahin is required to be an expert in architectural drawing, the Vardhaki in the area of painting & Takshaka with wood work (5)
मुनीनां नयनोद्वीक्ष्य(च्य) तत्परमाणुरुदाहृतम्
ताभिरष्टाभिर्गुणितं रथधूलिरिति स्मृतम्

Shastra defines the smallest unit of measurement as a Paramanu (an atom). It is that unit which is perceptible to eyes of the Rishis. 8 Paramanu make what is called a Ratha-dhuli(molecule) (6)
रथधूल्यष्टमिलितं वालाग्र मिति स्मृतम्
वालागैरष्टधायुक्तं लिक्षा परिकीर्तितम्

8 such Ratha-dhuli combined together form a वालाग्र/Valagra (hair end)

8 hair-ends joined together form what is known as a लिक्षा/Liksha (a nit)

Nits are eggs of lice (insect)

लिचे(क्षाभि)श्चाष्टभिरायुक्तं यूकं तमि(दि)ति कथ्यते
यूकैरष्टाभिः(भिश्च) प्रोक्तं यवमेवं विधीयते

8 Likshas (nits) combined together form a यूक/Yuka (one lice insect)

8 Yukas combined together give us a यव/Yava (barleycorn)

Barleycorn is ​1/3rd of an inch (around 8.47 mm)

यवैरष्टसमायुक्तमङ्गलं तत्प्रकीर्तितम्

8 Yavas (barleycorn) combined together give us an Angula (finger breadth). The Angula is the most important usable unit of measurement . It has been used & mentioned in the Rig Veda. Angula forms the basis for other bigger units. (9)
मानमात्रं त्रिधा प्रोक्तं यववृद्धिविशेषतः

To account for different finger breadths, the Angula has been further classified into 3 different types. The small (6 yavas), the intermediate (7 yavas) & the large (8 yavas).

12 Angulas together are called one वितस्ति/Vitasti.

Vitasti is the distance between the tips of the stretched out thumb & ring finger.

2 Vitasti make a किष्कु/Kishku (small cubit)

An Angula added to one Kishku is called प्राजापत्य/Prajapatya(cubit)

(A cubit is the distance between tip of the middle finger to elbow)

25 Angulas together give us 1 Prajapatya Hasta

षड्विंशत्यङ्गुलो हस्तो धनुर्मुष्टिरिति स्मृतम्
A cubit of 26 Angulas is called a धनुर्मुष्टि/Dhanur-mushti (bowlength)

सप्तविंशतिकाङ्गुल्यं हस्तमुक्तं धनुर्ग्रहम[हः]
A cubit of 27 Angulas is called a धनुर्ग्रह/ Dhanur-graha.

चतुर्हस्तं धनुर्दण्डं दण्डाष्टं रज्जुमेव च

4 Dhanur mushtis make a दण्डा/Danda (churning stick)

8 such Dandas make what is known as a रज्जु/Rajju (measuring rope)

Each of the above units of measurement has a specific utility.

The Kishku measurement is recommended for the making of conveyances like chariots. It is also made use for the making of furniture.

Prajapatya measurement is used for planning & construction of mansions. (15)
Dhanurgraha measurement is used in the planning of villages, towns, cities.

There are bigger units of measurements like Gavyuti & Yojanas which are used for measuring geographical distances.

The scope of this thread is limited to measurements used in Architecture. (16)
To summarize how we arrived from the smallest unit of absolute measure (Paramanu) to Rajju (measuring rope)

It is using this system of measurement that all of the most intricate murthis to the biggest of Temples/Palaces/Cities of ancient Bharat were planned & constructed.

The above has to be read in conjunction with the below thread on why there is a dire need to revive Hindu Architectural methods if we are to plan & construct buildings/towns/cities that reflect the true glory of our Hindu civilization going forward.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Ugra

Ugra Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @_ugra_

25 Dec

Vaikunta Ekadasi good wishes to all Hindus who are observing the Vrata today. The significance & benefits of keeping a fast today is explained in the Uttara Khanda of the Padma Purana. Today the mind must be firmly fixated on Narayana only.

Puja at our place today 🕉️ (1) ImageImage
Before narrating the origins of Ekadasi, Shri Krishna explains to Yudhisthira the benefits to be had by keeping a fast on Ekadasi. Krishna says the one who keeps a fast on Ekadasi accrues more punya than performing the Ashvamedha. (2) Image
Krishna says keeping a fast on Ekadasi is 100 times more meritorious than giving Gau-dhana to a Brahmana who has mastered the Vedas. Krishna says those who fast on the Ekadasi day are equal to those in whose bodies live the three deities Brahma, Vishnu & Shiva. (3)
Read 17 tweets
10 Dec
Condition of Hindus from around 1300CE to 1335CE.These 35 odd yrs can be described as perhaps the darkest phases of Indian history. For the 1st time in its existence the entire Indian sub-continent had been overrun by foreign savages.

Year 1336 marked the rise of Vijayanagara(1)
It is during this 35 odd years that some of the worst kind of savagery was unleashed. Especially on Hindus of Dakshina Bharat. Barbarian kafur undertook his temple breaking campaign during this period. Almost every single major temple town in Tamil Nadu was ransacked. (2)
Of all the Kshetras, Madurai in particular faced the worst of the onslaught of the savages. The Maduraittala Varalauru gives an account of the condition of the legendary Meenakashi temple during that period. (3)
Read 6 tweets
10 Dec

Since today is the Bhumipooja for the new parliament building, we'll see what our ancient text on Architecture, the Manasara-Shilpashastra says on the rituals to be performed & the deities to be invoked before the commencement of any construction activity. (1)
The Balikarma-vidhana (sacrificial offerings) are prescribed for various deities. These deities preside over different partitions of the ground plan of what is being built.

This is just an example of the various deities presiding over different partitions of the plan. (2)
Now each one of the 45 presiding deities need to be invoked & offered a "bali" (offerings). The offerings can be anything from milk, curd, butter, rice, sesame, honey, modaka sweet to fish & meat in case of asuric deities. We'll see in detail in the following tweets. (3)
Read 14 tweets
9 Dec
THREAD on Hindu Architecture.

Recently when the 3D renders for the new Parliament building was was made public, it was mostly met with criticism here on twitter. Criticized for failing to incorporate elements of architecture which represent splendour of our Hindu civilization(1)
While many may say it is unfair to criticize a design just based on 3D renders, there is a reason why this criticism holds good in this case. It is the same reason why we haven't been able to construct... (2)
..any noteworthy public building since 1947 reflective of our ancient & classical culture(rare exceptions exist though).

The reason being the complete abandonment a huge vast ocean of literature on Hindu architecture. (3)
Read 30 tweets
4 Dec
Nagabhatta's resistance against the Arabs was not an one off affair. Both him & later his grandson Nagabhatta II were constantly at war with the Arabs. Both managed to chase away the Arabs on multiple occasions as recorded in the Gwalior inscription. (1)
Nagabhatta II's grandson was Mihira Bhoja. He was the greatest emperor of the Pratihara clan. The arabs feared him the most. He was described as unfriendly towards them detested the "muhammadan faith". Yet he did not underestimate the arabs, hence maintained a large army (2)
Narasimha Deva of Eastern Ganga dynasty was probably the greatest Hindu king when it came to offensive tactics against turushkas. He took the battle into the enemy territory & laid them to waste. (3)
Read 5 tweets
3 Dec
Which Sikh repulsed the 1st ever arab invasion into Bharat in 7th century?Nagabhatta "Singh"🙂Which Sikh smashed islamic barbarians out of Kalinga in 12th century?Narasimha Deva "Singh"🙂Which Sikh liberated Southern Bharat from islamic barbarians in 1370's? Bukka Raya "Singh"🙂
Lesson here: Never belittle & suppress your own achievements in order to big up someone else, even if they happen to be a friendly ally.

No need for any exaggeration of historical facts either.

Plain honest truth telling will suffice.
If only a fraction of the credit is given to medieval Rajputs who stood as a bulwark against external aggression for over 400 yrs in the north & the Rayas of Vijayanagara who did the same for over 300 yrs in the South, our country would be in a much better place. Buy hey... 🙂
Read 5 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!