Friday, 16 September 2011

Vishwakarma - Lord of Architecture

Vishwakarma is known as the divine engineer of the world. As a mark of reverence he is not only worshipped by the engineering and architectural community but also by all professionals. It is customary for craftsmen to worship their tools in his name.

Like other gods, Vishwakarma is attributed a putative birthday by the Hindu religion. The more philosophical minded argue that it is impossible for the original Creator of everything to be born on a particular day. It is a contradiction in terms since that presupposes another creator for Vishwakarma. The Vishwakarma Puja is celebrated in all parts of India, especially in West Bengal and Rajasthan.

Even among those who believe that there is a birthday there is no agreement as to when it actually occurs. Visvakarma birthday is celebrated on two days under different names:

Rishi Panchami Dinam. "Rishi Panchami Dinam" literally means 'the day of the solidarity of five rishis.' Those who celebrate this day believe that Vishwakarma did not have a birthday like the mortals but only a commemoration day in which his five children (supposedly five rishis) came together to declare their solidarity and pray to their illustrious father. This day follows the rules of the Hindu calendar and changes with every year. The five groups among the Vishwakarma community also celebrate this as an auspicious day in commemoration of their patron god at present.

Visvakarma Jayanthi.
Vishwakarma Jayanthi is celebrated by all industrial houses, artists, craftsmen, and weavers. The festival is observed on the Kanya Sankranti Day (September 17) which follows the Ganesh Puja. It was on this particular day that the forefathers of the present Visvakarma people invented the plough and gifted it to humanity. The plough represents both the artisan trade as well as agriculture and therefore becomes the representative symbol of the ancient Indian civilisation. It changed the course of human history altogether. This was a change from 'local mob culture to universal human culture' and Vishwakarmas of India pioneered it. Coincidentally, this also becomes the birthday of Rsi/Silpi Visvakarma. So Indians in the past celebrated this day of many illustrious conjunctions as an occasion to honor Vishwakarma and his descendants.

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