Vishwakarma

VishwakarmaAccording to Rig Veda, Vishwakarma is the divine architect of the whole universe. He is the personification of the creative power that welds heaven and earth together. He is the son of Brahma and is the official architect of all the gods’ palaces. He is painted white, has a club in his right hand, wears a crown, a necklace of gold, rings on his wrists and holds tools in his left hand.

All the flying chariots of the gods; all their weapons are his creation. It was Vishwakarma who built the golden city of Lanka, over which King Ravana ruled. He built the city of DWARKA, the capital of Lord Krishna after the latter had left MATHURA, it was again Vishwakarma who made the AGNEYASTRA (the weapons throwing fiery flames) and it was he who revealed the STHAPATYA Veda, or the science of mechanics and architecture. Mahabharata describes him as ‘The Lord of the arts, executor of a thousand handicrafts, the carpenter of the gods, the most eminent of artisans, the fashioner of all ornaments, on whose craft all menu subsist, and whom, a great and immortal god, they continuously worship’.

According to legends his daughter SANJANA was married to SURYA, the sun. As she was not able to endure the heat and light of the sun, Vishwakarma placed Surya upon his lathe and cut away an eighth part of his brightness. The fragments that fell on the earth due to this operation were used by Vishwakarma to form ‘the discuss of Vishnu, the trident of Shiva, the weapon of Kuvera, the god of wealth, the lance of Kartikeya, the god of war and the weapons of all other gods.

Vishwakarma is also reputed to have made the image of Jagannatha and left it incomplete due to an interruption. He is the god whose blessings enabled Nal, the monkey, to build the bridge over sea for Lord Rama right from the coast in the south of India to Lanka of Ravana.

According to Satpath Brahman, Vishwakarma performed a SARVMEDHA YAGYA (a universal sacrifice) in which he offered up all creatures and ultimately himself too. This process of ending the universe also became the process of creating another new universe. In this way every sacrifice is also a repetition of that first creative act. This is a representation of the drama of the cyclic process of destruction and renewal of all cosmic life and matter.

He is the presiding deity of all craftsmen. The architects and also the factory owners perform the worship of Vishwakarma when the sun enters the Bhadrapada constellation; this ceremony is performed in front of the implements of trade or a manufacturing machine. The carpenter worships the chisel, the saw, etc., the weaver prays before the shuttle while the potter worships the wheel and so on. On this day an atmosphere of festivity is blended with the rituals of prayers. As an independent god, Vishwakarma is still worshipped in some parts of Bengal.