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Description of Idols
1The smallest particle of dust that comes to sight, when the Sun passes through the interstice of a window, is to be known as an Atom; and this is the smallest unit of all measures.
2An atom, a dust-particle, hairs tip, a unit, a louse, a barleycorn and a digit are in order eight times bigger than the preceding measure. One digit becomes an integer.
3The height of the pedestal (of an idol) is a third of the height of the door of a temple diminished by an eighth part. The idol is twice as high as the pedestal.
4The face of an idol is 12 of its own digits long and broad. Nagnajit, however, states that its length must be 14 digits which is a measure prevalent in the Dravida country.
5The nose, forehead, chin and neck are four digits long; so too are the ears; the jaws and the chin are two digits broad.
6The forehead is 8 digits in. breadth. Two digits further off are the temples, being of four digits. The ears are two digits in extent.
7The tip of the ear is 4 and half digits off the corner of the eye on a level with the brows. The earhole and the raised margin near it He at the same level as the centre of the eye and measure one digit.
8Sage Vasishta observes that the distance between the eye-corner and the ear is four digits. The lower and the upper lip measure respectively one digit and half a digit in breadth.
9The dimple above the lip is half a digit. The mouth must be made four digits in length and digits in thickness. An opened mouth is of three digits in the middle.
10The sides of the nose measure two digits the lip of the nose is two digits in height and breadth. The space between the eyes is four digits.
11The socket of the eye and the eye itself measure two digits. The pupil measures one-third of the above, i.e. i digit; and the innermost circle of the pupil is f digit. The width of the eye is one digit.
12The brows measure ten digits from end to end; the line of the brows half digit in width; the interval between the brows is 2 digits and the length of each brow is 4 digits.
13The line of hair should be made equal (ten digits) to the brows conjoined and half a digit thick. At the end of the eyes must be made the inner corner, one digit in extent.
14The head is 32 digits in circumference, and 14 digits in width. But in a picture, only 12 digits are visible and the remaining 20 are not visible.
15The face and the hair put together, are 16 digits in length according to Nagnajit (i.e. the face 14 digits and hairline, 2 digits). The neck has a width of 10 digits and its circumference is 21 digits.
16The distance between the lower part of the neck and the heart is 12 digits; so also, is that between the heart and the navel. The distance between the centre of the navel and the penis is the same as above.
17The thigs measure 21 digits in length; so, do the shanks. The kneecaps are 4 digits and the feet are also 4 digits in height.
18The feet are 12 digits long and 6 broads; the great toes are 3 digits in length, and 5 digits in circumference; the second toe is 3 digits long.
19The remaining toes should be less by an eighth than the preceding one in order. The elevation of the big toe is half digits; and that of the others less by an eighth than the preceding one in succession.
20The experts have laid down that the nail of the big toe should be 3 fourth digit; that of the other toes at i digit or a little lessened for each succeeding toe.
21The circumference of the end of shank is 14 digits and its breadth 5 digits; but in the middle it is 7 digits in width and 21 in circumference.
22The width of the knee in the middle is 8 digits; its circumference, 24 digits. The thighs are 14 digits broad in the middle and its circumference is 28 digits.
23The loins are 18 digits in breadth, and 44 digits in circumference. The navel is one digit deep and broad.
24The circumference of the waist at the centre of the navel is 42 digits. The interval between the two paps is 16 digits. The armpits are at a height of 6 digits (in an oblique direction) from the paps.
25The extent of the shoulders is 8 digits. The arms as well as the fore-arms measure 12 digits in length, the arms being 6 digits broad and the fore-arms, 4 digits.
26The circumference of the arms at the armpit is 16 digits and at the wrist, 12 digits. The palm should measure 6 and 7 digits in breadth and length respectively.
27The middle finger is 5 digits; the fore-finger is half a joint smaller; the ring-finger is equal to the fore-finger, and the little finger less by one joint.
28The thumb should have two joints, while the remaining fingers must have three each. The nail of each finger should measure a half of its joint.
29An image should be made in such a way that its ornaments, dress, decorations and form conform to the practices prevailing in the country. If it is possessed of the required good features, it will bestow prosperity by its presence.
30Sri Rama, son of Dasaratha, and Bali, son of Virochana should must of 120 digits in height. The heights of the other imago a prior, moderate and inferior are less by 12 digits, i.e., 168, 66 and 84 digits.
31-35Those who wish for prosperity should have the image of Lord Vishnu made in the following manner. The Lord should have either four or only two arms; ins breast should bear the Srivatsa mark; it should be adorned with the Kaustubha gem. He should be made as dark as the Atasi flower. He is clothed in yellow garment, shows a serene face, wears a diadem and earrings, has plump neck, breast, shoulders and arms, and the eight arms, the right four have a sword, mace, arrow and emblem of peace (the fringes raised upward); the left ones, a bow, a buckler, a discus, and a couch. If only four arms are desired, one is the giver of peace or blessings, and the other wears the m ice on the right and couch and discus on the left. If He is made with only two hands, then the right hand bestows peace and the other wears the conch.
36Baladeva should be made having a plough in his hand, with eyes rolling owing to intoxication, and wearing an earring and having his complexion as white as conch, the Moon and the lotus-stalk.
37-39Goddess Ekanamsa should be situated between Baladeva and Sri Krishna, with her left hand placed on the hip and the other hand holding a lotus. If she is to be four-armed, in the left hands she has a book and a lotus, and in the right ones, boon to the suppliants and a rosary. If she is to be eight-armed, in the left hands, she has a water-pot, a bow, a lotus and a book, and in the right ones, boon, an arrow, a mirror, and a rosary.
40Samba should be made with a mace in his hand; Pradyumna, endowed with a charming body, with a bow in his hand. Their wives also should be made holding swords and shields in their hands.
41Brahman should have four faces, a water-pot in his hand and is seated on a lotus. Subrahmanya should be a boy in appearance, hold a javelin in his hand and have a peacock for his ensign.
42Indra has a white four-tusked elephant, the thunderbolt in his hand and another characteristic, viz, a third eye placed horizontally on his forehead.
43On the head of Lord Siva, a digit of the Moon should be placed; his ensign, is a bull; he has a third eye, high on his fore head; he has a trident in one hand and a bow called Pinaka in the other. Or, he may be represented as having Parvati for his left half.
44The Buddha should be represented seated on a lotus and looking as if he were the father of mankind, very forgiving, with hands and feet marked with lotuses, with a serene body and space hair.
45The God of the Jains, viz-, Jina, should be represented naked, young, handsome and serene in appearance, with his arms reaching the knees and his breast marked with the Sri Vatsa figure.
46-48The Sun-God’s nose, forehead, shanks, thighs, cheeks and breast should be elevated; he should be dressed in the northern style, covering the body from breast to foot. He holds two lotuses born of his hands, in his arm; wears a diadem; his face is adorned with car-rings; he has a long pearl-necklace and a girdle round his waist. His face has the lustre of the interior of the lotus; his body is covered with an armour; face, pleasant with a smile and has a halo bright with gems (or circle of bright lustre of gems). Such a Sun is auspicious for the architect.
49-52An idol of the Sun, one-cubit high is beneficial; one that measures two cubits in height bestows wealth; those of 3 and 4 cubits lead to happiness and plenty respectively. When it is of larger limbs, there will be trouble from the king; when of shorter limbs, the sculptor will be afflicted with disease; when of slender belly, impending famine; when of thin limbs, loss of wealth; when it has injuries, the maker will die through the fall of a weapon; when it is bent on the left side, it kills his wife; on the right, it robs him of his life; when its eyes are turned upwards, he will become blind; when bent downwards, he will have worries. Thus, the good and bad effects of all images will have to be assessed as in the case of the Sun-God.
53-54Treat the circumference of (the round part of) the emblem of Siva (made of wood, stone or gem) as the height and divide it into three parts. The part at the bottom should be quadrilateral; that in the middle, octagonal; and the last one, cylindrical. The quadrilateral part must be kept in a pit in the earth, the middle one, in that of the pedestal; and the pedestal around the pit must be equal in extent to the visible height.
55An emblem being too thin and long destroys the country; being devoid of a side, ruins the town; and one with a wound on the head, tends to the ruin of the owner himself.
56The group of mothers should be represented with the characteristics peculiar to the Gods whose name they bear. Revanta (Sun’s son) should be seated on horse -back, with the companions of hunting, sport, etc. .
57The God of death should be mounted on a buffalo with a club in his hand; Varuna, on a swan with a noose in his hand; and Kubera, on a human being, with a potbelly and a crown placed on the left side of the head.
58The Lord of Siva’s hosts bias an elephantine face with a single tusk, a bulging belly, a hatchet in his hand and a turnip of very dark foliage.