House-building ||53||

1Shall now expound for the delectation of learned astrologers the science of building houses, handed down by the creator through an unbroken succession of sages.
2-3There was, it is said, some Being that obstructed the Earth and the Sky with its body. That was suddenly caught hold of and placed topsy-turvy by the multitude of Gods, who became the presiding deities of the several limbs of the Being that were touched by them. The creator ordained that Being to be the House-God of the nature of Gods.
4The King’s house is one of five kinds. The best of them is 108 cubits in width and the other four are 100, 92, 84, and 76 cubits respectively. Their length is greater than the breadth by a quarter (i.e., 135, 125, 115, 105 and 95).
5The five houses of a, commander-in-chief are in order 64, 58, 52, 46 and 40 cubits in width, and their length exceeds the breadth by a sixth.
6The houses of ministers are 60, 66, 52, 48 and 44 cubits in breadth and their length exceeds their breadth by an eighth. The houses of queens have half the dimensions of the above ones.
7The width of the houses of the Yuvaraja is 80, 74, 68, 62 and 56 cubits respectively and their length exceeds the breadth by a third. The dimensions of the houses of the younger princes are half of those of the Yuvaraja’s.
8The measure for the houses of feudatory chiefs, nobles and king’s officers is equal to the difference between the measurements of King’s houses and those of the ministers. The dimensions of the houses of chamberlains, courtesans and artistes are equal to the difference between the measurements of the houses of the King and the Yuvaraja.
9The houses of all directors and officers (of stables, elephant-yards, dairies, royal kitchens, etc.) should be of the dimensions of treasure-houses and pleasure- houses; the difference between the measurements of the houses of Yuvaraja and minister gives the measure of the houses of heads of industrial workshops and of envoys.
10The five sorts of houses of royal astrologers, preceptors and physicians measure 40, 36, 32, 28, and 24 cubits in breadth and their length exceeds the breadth by a sixth.
11It is auspicious for a house to have the same height as its breadth. The length of houses consisting of single halls should be double their breadth.
12-13The breadth of the houses of Brahmins and other four classes range from 32 cubits to 16, each being diminished by 4; i.e., Brahmins have five houses with the above measurements; Kshatriyas have four with 28, 24, 20 and 16 cubits for their breadth; Vaisyas, three with 21, 20 and 16 and Sudras two with 20 and 16. The lowest class of people (Pariahs, etc.) must have houses with smaller dimensions than these. The length of the houses of the four classes exceeds the breadth by a tenth, eighth, sixth and fourth respectively.
14The treasury and pleasure-house must have the dimensions equal to the difference between those of the King’s and Commander-in-Chief’s houses. The measure for the houses of King’s officers is equal to the difference between those of the houses of Commander chief and one of the four classes. That is, if an officer belongs to the Brahmin class, the difference referred to is one between the measure of the Commander-in-chief’s house and an ordinary Brahmin mentioned in the previous two slokas; if the officer is a Kshatriya we have to subtract the measure for a Kshatriya’s booze; and so forth. [If it is a Kshatriya officer, he will have four houses and the measure should be found out by subtracting from that for the 2nd, etc. of the Commander in Chief. Similarly, in the case of officers belonging to other classes.] 15The houses of persons of mixed classes viz. Parasavas, sons of Brahmins by Sudra women, Bhurja Kantakas, sons of Brahmins by Vaisya women, and Murdhavasiktas, sons of the same by Kshatriya women, have a measure equal to a half of the sum of the measures for a Brahmin’s house and for the other parent’s. It is inauspicious for all to have houses which either exceed or fall short of the given measurements .
16There is no fixed measure for houses of cattle, houses of ascetics, granaries, arsenals, houses of sacred fire, and pleasure-houses; but the writers on this science do not approve of a height of more than 100 cubits.
17Add 70 to the measure for the houses of the Commander-in Chief and the King; keep litis sum in two places and divide one by 14 and the other by 35. The two quotients give the measure, for the hall and verandah respectively of the two.
18-19In the houses of Brahmins, etc., which measure from 32 cubits, the halls should have a breadth of 4 cubits 17 digits, 4 cubits 3 digits. 3 cubits 16 digits, and 3 cubits 13 digits respectively. The verandahs of the above are in order, 3 cubits 19 digits, cubits 8 digits; 2 cubits 20 digits, 2 cubits 18 digits and 2 cubits 3 digits.
20-21Outside the house there should be made a footpath whose breadth is a third of the hall. If the path is in front (to the east) of the house, the latter is termed “Soshneesha,”one with a turban. If it is behind (to the west of) the house, it is called Sayasraya one with western or hind support; if it is on the sides, it is termed Savashtambha one with proper support; and if it is all round the name of the house is Susthita, well fixed. All these types are approved by the authorities da architecture.
22The height of the first storey should be a sixteenth of the width with an addition of four cubits. The height of each of the following upper storeys is to be lessened by one-twelfth of the preceding one .
23The wall of all houses made of burnt bricks should be a sixteenth part of their breadth. There is no restriction regarding the houses made of wood.
24The breadth of the houses of kings, commanders (and others) is to be increased by an eleventh and 70 added. This number will give the height of the doors in digits, and a half of that, their width.
25In the case of Brahmins, etc. the number denoting the breadth in cubits should be taken as that of digits and that increased by 18. To this should be added an eighth part of itself. That will give the width of the door; and thrice this will be its height.
26-27The thickness of the two side-frames of the door is as many digits as the height numbers cubits. One and a half times this gives the thickness of the threshold and the upper block. The breadth of all the four pieces is an eightieth part of seven times the door-height. An eightieth part of nine limes the height (of a storey) gives the width of a pillar at the bottom; and the same lessened by a tenth is its width at the top. A pillar of the ground floor in a King’s house will have a width of about 1 cubit and 5 digits at the bottom and about 1 cubit and 2 digits at the top. Its circumference is thrice the width.
28A pillar that is perfectly square in the middle (leaving off the two ends) is called Ruchaka; one that is octagonal, a Diamond; one with sixteen aisles (or sides), a double Diamond ; one with 32 sides, Praleenaka , and a round one is called a cylinder.
29When the whole pillar is divided into nine equal parts, the first two parts will belong to the bottom and the last two to the top. Designs and artistic figures can be made in these parts. The lowest part is called the Support; the second, the Pot; the eighth, the Lotus and the topmost, the Upper Lip.
30The thickness of the chief beam is equal to that of the pillar; above these are beams and minor beams, and their thickness is lessened by a quarter of the immediately preceding one.
31A house with an unbroken verandah all round is termed Sarvatobhadra (all round good). This kind of house with four doors is auspicious for Kings and Gods.
32A house which has verandahs starting from the wall of the hall and going to its extremity from left to right is termed Nandyavarta, which should have only three entrances leaving of the western one.
33The front verandah of the main building should extend from the left hall to the right hall. Another verandah is made thence from left to right and still another beautiful one from there in the same manner. A building with such -verandahs is known as Vardhamahs, which should not have an entrance in the south.
34In the Swastika i mansion, the western verandah should extend from the left hall to the right one; the otlxer two verandahs (southern and northern) originating from the above should touch the end in the east, and a fourth one (the eastern) is held between them. Such a mansion with an eastern entrance is favourable.
35In the Ruchaka type of building, there are two verandahs touching the ends, in the east and west; and touching these two internally, there are two more. In this a northern entrance is not auspicious; while in the other quarters they are good.
36The Nandyavarta and Vardhamana types of houses are best suited to people of all classes; Swastika and Ruchaka are moderate, and the rest are good for kings, ministers, etc.
37-38A three-hailed building, lacking the northern hall, is known as Hiranyanabha and indicates good luck; similarly, one without the eastern hall known as Sukshetra conduces to prosperity; one with, out the southern hall known as Chulli destroys wealth; and one without the western hall called Pakshaghna causes hatred and the destruction of children.
39-41A house with only a western and a southern hall is termed Siddhartha; one with a western and a northern hall, Yamasurya; one with a northern and an eastern hall, Danda; one with an eastern and a southern hall, Vata; one with an eastern and a western one, Graha-Chulli ; and one with a southern and a northern one, Kacha. The first kind of house leads to the acquisition of wealth; the second, to the death of the house-holder; the third, to punishment and death; the fourth, to grief from quarrel; the fifth, to loss of money; and the sixth, to hatred among kinsmen.
42In order to divide the ground-plan of a house into 81 squares, draw ten lines from east to west and ten others from north to south. Inside the diagram, thirteen deities are situated, and thirty two in the outer compartments. Thus, there are 45 deities in this figure.
43-45The deities situated in the outer compartments beginning with the north-eastern corner and ending with the south-eastern are: —Sikhi, Parjanya, Jayanta, Indra, Surya, Satya, Bhrisa, Antariksha and Anila. Then follow from South-east to South-west, thence to north-west and thence to north-east, Pushan, Vitatha, Brihatkshata, Yama, Gandharva, Bhringaraja, Mriga, Pitru, Dauvarika, Sugriva, Kusumadanta, Varuna, Asura, Sosha, Papayakshma, Roga, Ahi, Mukhya, Bhallata, Soma, Bhujaga, Aditi, and Diti, thus 32 in all.
46-48In the centre, there is Brahman occupying nine divisions; to his east, there is Aryaman (in 3 squares); next and to the right of Arya man at the interval of one compartment, there is Savita in a single square; next to him to the right is Vivaswan; next to him is Indra; then going up, i.e., to the west of Brahman there are Mitra (in 3) and Raja Yakshma; then turning- to the east, there is Prithvi Dhara (in 3) and Apavatsa, Thus these eight are along the circumference around Brahman. In the internal north-eastern corner (behind Parjanya), there is Apah; South-east (between Savitru and Anila) Savitra; South-west, Jaya and north-west, Rudra.
49-50Apah, Apavatsa, Parjanya, Agni and Diti form one group, each occupying one compartment, in the north-eastern corner In the same manner, there are five deities in each of the corners. The remaining Deities, 20 in number, in the other compartments, have each power over two squares. The remaining 4 deities headed by Aryaman have jurisdiction over three squares each in the four quarters .
51-54This House-God has his head turned towards the north-east and face hung down. Agni is situated on his head; Apa, on the face; Aryaman, on the breast; Apavatsa, on the chest; Parjanya, Jayanta, Indra and Surya of outer compartments, on the eye, ear, chest and shoulder respectively; Satya, Bhrisa, Anteriksha, Anila and Pushan, on the arm; Savita and Savitra on the hand ; Vitatha and Brihatkshata, on the side; Vivasvan, on the stomach; Yama, Gandharva, Bhringaraia and Mriga on the thigh, knee, shank and buttock respectively. The above deities are situated in the parts on the right side of the House-God. Similarly, there are deities on the left side, i.e., Prithvidhara, on the left breast; Diti, on the left eye; Aditi, on the left ear ; Bhujaga on the left side of the chest; Soma, on the left shoulder ; Bhallata, Mukhya, Ahi, Roga and Papayakshma, on the left arm; Rudra and Rajayakshma, on the left hand ; Sosha and Asura, on the left side Varuna, on the left thigh; Kusumadanta, on the left knee Sugriva, on the left shank; Dauvarika, on the left buttock; Sakra and Jayanta, on the genital organ; Brahman, on the heart, and Pita, on the foot.
55-56Or, drawing nine lines across and nine vertically and thus getting 64 squares, diagonals should be drawn from corner to corner. Of this area Brahman rules over the central four squares; and the eight deities situated along the diagonals in the corners near him over half a square (viz., Apa, Apavatsa, Savita, Savitra, Vibudhadhipati, Jayanta, Rajayakshma and Rudra); in the outer corners, Sikhi, Antariksha, Anila, Mriga, Pitru. Papayakshma, Roga and Diti, over half a square; those that are on both sides of these, over one and a half squares (Parjanya, Bhrisa, Bhringaraja, Dauvarika, Sosha and Nagadhipathi, i.e., Ahi); and the remaining twenty, over two squares.
57The meeting points of the longer diagonals and the exact middle pints of the squares should be considered as the vulnerable points which a wise man ought not to hurt.
58If the above vulnerable points be hurt by impure materials, nails, pillars, pegs, etc., they would give trouble to the owner of the house in the corresponding limbs of his body.
59If, at the time of a query, the houseowner scratches a limb, there will be some hurt in the corresponding part of the house. Or at the time of fireworship, if there is any evil omen or unnatural behaviour of the fire in any particular aspect of it, the corresponding limb of the House-God will be faulty through a nail or peg.
60-62If the thorn is wooden, the owner will sustain loss of wealth ; if it is made of bone, the will be trouble to his cattle and danger from disease [if it be of metal], there will be danger from weapon and if it be skulls or hair, there will be death. If it be charcoal there is danger from thieves; if it be ashes, there will be constant risk from fire. The dart, unless it be of gold or silver, will prove disastrous on a vulnerable point. A heap of husk or chaff whether found in a vulnerable spot or any other, retards the acquisition of wealth; even an ivory peg situated in a vulnerable part will lead to misery.
63-64The nine points of intersection of the lines connecting Roga and Anila, Pitru and Anila, Sosha and Vitatha, Mukhya and Bhrisa, Jayanta and Bhringa, and Aditi and Sugriva are considered to be the most vulnerable parts. The measure of the vulnerable part is an eighth part of a square.
65A diagonal has in breadth as many digits as each square numbers cubits. The breadth of a line (running east to west and north to south) is one and a half times that of the diagonals.
66A house-owner wishing for happiness should carefully guard Brahman situate in the middle of the house. By hurting him through remnants of food and the like, he will come to grief.
67-68When the House-God is bereft of the right-arm, there will be loss of wealth and misery through women; when of the left arm, loss of money and corn; when of the head, loss of all virtues; when of the feet, misery from women, death of sons and servitude; when the God is endowed with all limbs intact, the inmates of the house will be blessed with happiness mingled with honour and wealth.
69In the same manner are deities situated in the different parts of houses, towns and villages. To Brahmins and others in the above, proper divisions of these should be allotted.
70The dwellings of Brahmins, etc., should be located in the north, etc. The houses are to be constructed in such a way that when we enter the court-yard the houses lie to our right, i.e., if a house faces the east, the entrance to its court-yard must face the north; if the south, the east; if the west, the south; and if the north, the west.
71The following are the effects of the doors at Sikhi, etc., whether in the plan of 81 compartments or of 64.
72If the door is at Agni, Parjanya, etc, to Anila on the east, the effects in order are danger from wind, birth ot daughters, immense wealth, royal favour, hot temper, uttering falsehood, cruelty and theft.
73If the door is at Anila, etc., up to Pitru on the south, the effects in order are few children, slavery, low life, increase of food, drink and children, honour, ingratitude, penury, destruction of sons and power.
74On the west, they are in order, son’s suffering; increase of enemies; no acquisition of wealth or sons; the prosperity of sons and wealth; increase of money; trouble from King; loss of money; and ill health.
75On the north, they are death or captivity, increase of enemies, acquisition of wealth and sons, possession of all virtues, getting sons and wealth, enmity with one’s own son, faults in wife and poverty .
76A door being pierced by a road, tree, corner, well, pillar or water-sluice, is inauspicious, but on its being removed to a distance equal to twice its height, it will not do any harm.
77-78A door hurt by a road augurs the death of the owner; one by a tree, trouble to children; one by mire, grief; one by a runnel, expenses of money; one by a well, epilepsy; by an idol of God, death of the owner; by a pillars frailty of women; and one facing Brahman, leads to the destruction of the family.
79-81A door which opens by itself, produces lunacy; one that closes of its own accord, ruin of the family; a door, which is too big, causes fear from the king; a low one indicates trouble from robbers and misery; one above another and one too narrow are not auspicious; one that is too broad leads to famine; a bent door brings about the annihilation of the family; one that is pressed hard by the upper block causes trouble to the owner; one bent inwards augurs the death of the master; one bent outwards, absence from home; one standing awry in regard to its quarter, trouble from robbers.
82The principal door ought not to be outdone by others through superior structure and design. The former must be embellished with auspicious objects such as water pots, fruits, foliage and images of Siva’s attendants.
83-84In the outer corners beginning with the north east of a house are Charakee, Vidari. Putana and Rakshasee. Those who dwell in the corners of cities, houses or villages come to grief, whereas the outcastes, such as those that eat dog’s meat flourish there.
85The trees Peepul, Banyan, Indian fig and Aswattha are of untoward effects in the four corners beginning with the south in order; while, in the directions beginning with the north, they are favourable.
86-87Thorny trees near the houses cause threat of enemies; milky ones lead to the destruction of wealth; those laden with fruits, to the loss of children; even the timber of these trees should be avoided in the construction of houses. If such trees are not cut down, worshippable ones such as Punnaga, Asoka, Arishta, Bakula, Jack, Samee and Sala are to be planted amidst them.
88A ground that is soft, even, of sweet odour and taste, and abounding in commendable herbs, tree and creepers, and not hollow inside, confers prosperity even on those persons who take rest on it from the fatigue of a journey; how much more then on those who have a permanent home on it?
89-90If a minister’s house is nearby, there will be loss of wealth if a rogue’s (or gambler’s) house, death of a son; if a temple, mental affliction; if a cross-way, ill repute; if a holy tree, danger from planetary influences; if a house is filled with ant hills or holes, calamities ; if a chasm is nearby, thirst; and if the ground is in the shape of a tortoise, loss of money.
91If there is a slope towards the north, the ground is auspicious for Brahmins; one towards the east, for Kshatriyas; one towards the south, for Vaisyas; one towards the west, for Sudras. Others hold that Brahmins may dwell in any direction, and others according to their rank; i.e., Kshatriyas in ground inclined towards the east, south or west; Vaisyas towards south or west; Sudras towards the west alone.
92In the centre of the house-site, dig a pit, one cubit in diameter and depth. If, on falling it with the same earth, the pit is insufficiently filled, it is harmful; if just filled, moderate; and if the earth is more than sufficient, it brings fortune.
93Or, fill the same pit with water and then walking a hundred steps, come back. If the water in the pit has not diminished, it is blest; similarly, when an Adhaka of earth dug out weighs 64 palas.
94Or, place lamps inside unbaked earthen pots in the four quarters (within the pit). That quarter of the site in which the lamp burns longest is auspicious for the particular caste.
95Place flowers of the four colours assigned to the castes in the pit at night and observe them on the next day. That caste whose flower does not fade there, will flourish on the site; so also where one’s mind feels happy.
96-97A soil that is white is good for Brahmins; one red, for Kshatriyas; yellow, for Vaisyas; and black, for Sudras. If it smells like ghee, blood, food and liquor, it is good for the four classes taken in order. Similarly, it is auspicious for these classes in their order if it is covered with holy grass, Sara, Durva and Kasa. Likewise, a sweet, astringent, sour and pungent earth bestows prosperity on these classes.
98-100The owner of lands should go at a time prescribed by an astrologer to a good piece of earth which is ploughed, where sown seeds have grown, and where Brahmins and cows have stayed for a night; worship deities with varieties of eatables, curds, coloured rice and fragrant flowers and incense; and honour Brahmins and the architects. Then touching his head, breast, thighs or feet according as he is a Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaisya or Sudra, he should draw a line at the commencement of the construction of a house.
101-104If he should draw the line with the thumb, middle finger or fore-finger, or with gold, gem, silver, pearl, curds, fruit, flower or coloured rice, it would lead to happiness ; if with a weapon, he would be killed by weapons; if with a metal (or iron), imprisoned with ashes, will have danger from fire; with straw, danger from thieves; with a wooden stick, fear of King. A crooked line drawn by foot gives danger from enemies and misery; so is one that is imperceptible or ugly; one drawn with hide, charcoal, bone or tooth, causes disaster to the owner; one drawn in an anti-clockwise direction, produces hatred; in a clockwise direction, prosperity; harsh words, spitting and sneezing at the commencement are said to be inauspicious.
105-106When entering a finished or half-finished house, the architect should look for the sign such as where (in which part of the house-God) the owner is standing, and which limb he is touching. If a bird heated by the Sun, cries harshly at the time, it may be predicted that on the spot there is a bone of a member corresponding to the limb touched .
107Or, at the time of noting fore-tokens, if other animals such as elephants, horses and dogs being scorched by the Sun, produce a shrieking sound) it may be told that the specified spot contains a bone of such an animal and belonging to the limb corresponding to that touched by the owner.
108The braying of an ass at the time of stretching the measuring string indicates the presence of a bone underneath. Similarly, when the string is crossed by a dog or jackal, the same fault is to be predicted.
109If at that time, a bird sitting in a ‘calm’ direction warbles sweetly, it is to be understood that there is a hidden treasure on the spot or in the limb, of the House-God occupied by the owner.
110-111If the string snaps, the owner will die; if a peg is driven upside down, fell disease will befall him; if the owner or carpenter forget anything, it indicates their death; if the pot of water, while being brought, falls down from the shoulder, the owner will have some cerebral disease; if it is drained away, there will be trouble to his family; if it is broken, the labourers will die: and if it falls from the hand, the owner will die.
112-113In the north-eastern corner a worship should be performed with the necessary materials and first of all, a stone laid there and then others in the other directions in a clockwise manner; similarly, should be erected pillars carefully being decked with umbrellas, wreaths, cloths, incense and ointments. So also are doors to be raised.
114When the pillars, etc., are mounted by birds and the like, when they shake, fall or are wrongly placed, the same effects have to be predicted as for Indra’s Banner.
115-116If the house is elevated in the east or north, there will be loss of wealth and children; if there is stinking smell there, loss of a son; if it is not straight, destruction of kinsmen ; and if it does not face any particular direction, no children will be born- If one wishes for the prosperity of a house, one ought to raise it to the same level on all sides. If at all there should be any fault, it should be either in the east or in the north.
117When the house has an elevation towards the east, the owner will be at loggerheads with his friends; if towards the south, fear of death; if towards the West, loss of wealth; and if towards the north, mental affliction.
118In a four-haled house, the chamber of worship should be situated in the north-east; kitchen in the south-east; the storeroom in the south-west; and the treasure-room and granary in the north-west.
119If there is water to the east, south-east, south, etc., of a house, there will be loss of children, danger from fire, threat of enemy, quarrel among women, frailty of women, penury, increase of wealth and prosperity of sons respectively.
120For constructing a house, one ought to select trees other than those that are inhabited by birds, that are broken, withered, burnt, that are in temples, and burial grounds, milky trees, Dhava, Vibhitaka, Neem and Arani.
121A tree that is worshipped along with offerings the previous night, should be cut at daytime beginning with its north-eastern part. If it falls to the north or east, it is fortunate. One falling otherwise should be abandoned.
122-123If the cutting appears natural, the timber is good for being used for a house; if there is a yellowish circle in the cross section of the tree, it is to be predicted that there is a lizard inside the tree; if a madder-coloured circle, a frog; if a bluish one, a snake if a red one, a blood-sucker; if a green-gram-like one, a stone; and if a tawny one, a rat; and if a sword like one, water.
124One wishing for prosperity ought not to sleep above grains, cows, elders, fire and deities; nor along the diagonals, nor with the head turned towards the north or west, nor naked, nor with wet feet.
125One ought to enter a house which is strewn with an abundance of flowers, decked with arches, embellished with pots filled with water, where the deities are worshipped with incense, perfumes and oblations and which is reverberating with the sound of Brahmins chanting Vedas.