collection of hauma hamiddha's scattered posts

Vastu and Harappans

1) There is no strong reason to believe that the in coming Aryans were
incapable or unaware of house construction, town construction etc and
learnt these only from the Harrapans. The Aryans during their long
sojourn in Central Asia came in contact with the oasis civilizations
even if they were not direct participants of this civilization.
Further the fortified settlements of the Sintashta culture are
possible sign of the Aryans already having such capabilities well
before they entered the horizon of the Indus. The Aryan rite of the
gR^ihapravesha is performed even today by many Indians and freely
mixes with the concepts of vAstu

2)The earliest reliable mentions of the vAstushAstra to my knowledge
are datable to the puranas. It is embedded in the midst of other
paurAnic material that is clearly a product of the ‘grand-daughter’
culture of the late Indian vedic period. A concise summary of the
early thoughts on vAstu can be obtained in the garuDa purANa 1.46
entitled vAstu pUjA. The pUjA is recommended to be followed for
constructing houses and a list of deities are given: These include:
Isha, parjanya, jayanta, indra, sUrya, AkAsha, vAyu, pUShA, vitatha,
kshetrapati, yama, gandharva, pitaraH, dvArika, asura, soma, diti,
aditi, ahirbudhnya and some constellations and planets. The total
comes up to *33*- All these deities and the number 33 are particularly
Indo-Aryan, some going back to the I-Ir or PIE period and have clearly
been drawn from the vedic vishvedeva lists. These deities are
typically worshipped outside in the plot, but inside the house itself
another list is given: it includes: Apa, savitA, jaya, rudra, brahmA
and his attendents, mitra, aryamA,viShNu etc. An idol of bR^ihaspati
is installed in front of the house. Again chiefly vedic deities. In
fact aspects vAstu pUja for houses is closer to the late vedic rites
like the kushmANDa rites of the dharma texts than to the paurAnic
pUjAs to the sectarian deities. Hence the vAstu texts may be late but
its earliest attested form in the purANa is firmly placeable with the
late vedic tradition.

3) The house as mentioned in this summary from the garuDa purANa is
said to contain: 1) A kitchen in the south-east with a ventilator
enough for a monkey to pass through; 2) in the East a room with
altars; 3) A room for storing scent in the northeast; 4) a storeroom
in the north; 5) a cowshed in the northwest, 6) a bathroom with
windows in the west; 7) a room to store weapons, *sacrificial fuel*
and barhis in the southwest; 8)guest room in the south and a sacred
grove for viShNu is grown outside the house. Thus we are talking of
fairly sumptuous houses quite compatible with the Indus Civilization
but the ritual is entirely Aryan. A possible explanation is that the
Aryans started displacing the Indus people right during the height of
IVC itself and thus adopted some local architectural schemes but
retained their older rites that gradual metamorphosed to vAstu durign
India’s second urbanization.

> What is the va_stu evidence in sintashta? What is the evidence
> for ‘fortifications’? What were they called in IE?

Well I did not say there was a vAstu text in the sintashta period-
after all pots do not speak- so much for the value of archaeology.
What it does show however is that they were capable of construction
hence the concepts of the later vAstu rites could be purely of Aryan
origin. Also see the other evidence I provide in this regard. As for
fortifications works on Sintashta, especially by russian authors gives
quite a bit about this.

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