Significance of the number eight in temple design

Vastu Shastra describes the inner study and main tower as a human form, structurally conceived in human proportions based on the mystical number eight. According to Dr. V. Ganapati Sthapati, Senior Architect at the Vastu Government College of Architecture, the vibration of time, is the imaginative element, since it is this vibratory force that causes the energetic space to turn into spatial forms. For that reason, time is said to be the prehistoric element for the creation of the entire universe and all its material forms. When all these ambiances occur in a pattern, the resulting product will be an orderly spatial form. This rhythm of the occasion unit is conventionally called talam or layman.

Since each and every unit of time pulsation produces an equivalent unit of space measure, vastu knowledge proves that time is equal to space. This pace of time and space vibrations is quantified as number eight and multiples of eight, the fundamental and universal unit of measure in the vastu silpa tradition. This theory carries over to the fundamental Adi talam (eight beats) of classical Indian music and dance. Applying this in the creation of a human form, it is found that a human form is also composed of rhythmic spatial units. According to the Vastu Science, at the controlled level the human form is a configuration of eight spatial units devoid of the minor body parts like the hair, neck, kneecap and feet, each of which process one-quarter of the basic measure of the body and, when sum up on to the body’s eight units, increases the height of the total form to nine units. Traditionally these nine units are functional and useful in making sculptures of Gods.

Since the subtle space within our body is part of universal space, it is logical to say that the talam of our inner space should be the same as that of the universe. But in reality, it is very rare to find this consonance between an individual’s and the universal rhythm. When this consonance occurs, the person is in harmony with the Universal Being and enjoys spiritual strength, peace, and bliss. Consequently, when crafting a construction according to Vastu science, the architect aims at creating a space that will lift up the vibration of the entity to resonate with the trembling of the built space, which in turn is in tune with universal space. Vastu architecture transmutes the character rhythm of the in inhabitant to the rhythm of the Universal Being.


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