Vishwakarma: The divine architect of
Craftsmen and architects
Sanskrit Transliteration: viśvakarmā
Vishvakarma (Sanskrit: विश्वकर्मा viśvá-karman "all-accomplishing; all-creator", Tamil: Vicuvakaruman, Thai: Wisanu-Phrom) is the Hindu presiding deity of all craftsmen and architects. He is the "Principal Universal Architect", the architect who fabricated and designed the divine architecture of the Universe , the Lord of Creation.
Vishvakarma in the Vedas
PANCHA MUKHA VIRT VISWAKARMA
In Yajurveda, Viswakarma is described as Virad purusha purusha sukta from whose navel [the later puranic concept of padmanabha] the divine smith Tvastar originated. [dwiteeya anuvaka of yajurveda purusha sootktha]. In the Vedic period the term first appeared as an epithet of Indra and surya. In that time the concept of Brahma might have been hidden in concept of Vasthospathy or Brahmanaspathi. Vishwakarma created 5 Brahmas from each of his 5 faces, they are
Sanaga Brahma Rishi
Sanaathana Brahma Rishi
Abhuvanasa Brahma Rishi
Prathnasa Brahma Rishi
Suparnasa Brahma Rishi
However, the office of the "Indian Vulcan" is assigned to Tvastar (Tvastr) as a distinct deity, Vishva-karman being rather identified with Prajapati as the creator of all things and the architect of the Universe; in the hymns RV 10.81 and 10.82 he is represented as the universal Father and Generator, the one all-seeing God, who has on every side eyes, faces, arms, and feet; in the Brahmanas he is called a son of Bhuvana, and Vishva-karman Bhauvana is described as the author of the two hymns mentioned above.
As per the Rig Veda he is the one and, only one beyond the Seven Ṛṣis. In Hindu mythology, Viswakarma is considered as the Divine Architect. He is called 'Devashilpi' or 'The Architect of Gods'. The Rig Veda describes Viswakarma as the god with multi-dimensional vision and supreme strength. He is able to predict well in advance in which direction his creation will move. In later mythology sometimes identified with Tvastr, he is the creator of the whole Universe (RV 10.81.3), and the architect of all the gods' palaces. The term viswakarma appeared as a Rsi as well as Silpi In this form his mother was Yogasiddha, sister of Brihaspati. His father was Prabhas, the eighth hermit of the legendary Astam Basu. Vishwakarma is also the designer of all the flying chariots of the gods, and all their weapons and divine attributes. He is said to have revealed the Sthapatyaveda or fourth Upa-veda, and presides over the sixty-four mechanical arts.
Viswakarma is also credited with creating the missiles used in the mythological era, including the Vajra, the sacred weapon of Lord Indra, from the bones of sage Dadhichi. He is regarded as the supreme worker, the very essence of excellence and quality in craftsmanship.
“Again, let the reader read the Hindu “fables,” as the Orientalists call them, and remember the allegory of Visvakarma, the creative power, the great architect of the world, called in the Veda “the all-seeing god,” who “sacrifices himself to himself” (the Spiritual Egos of mortals are his own essence, one with him, therefore). Remember that he is called Deva Vardhika “the builder of the gods” and that it is he who ties (the Sun) Surya, his son-in-law, on his lathe, in the exoteric allegory; on the Swastika, in esoteric tradition, as on earth he is the Hierophant Initiator, and cuts away a portion of his brightness. Visvakarma, remember again, is the Son of Yoga-Siddha, i.e., the holy power of Yoga, and the fabricator of the “fiery weapon,” the magic Agneyastra. The narrative is given more fully elsewhere. The author of the Kabalistic work so often quoted from, asks: —
“The theoretical use of crucifixion must have been somehow connected with the personification of this symbol (the structure of the garden of Paradise symbolized by a crucified man). But how? And as showing what? The symbol was of the origin of measures, shadowing forth creative law or design. What practically, as regards humanity, could actual crucifixion betoken? Yet, that it was held as the effigy of some mysterious working of the same system, is shown from the very fact of the use. There seems to be deep below deep as to the mysterious workings of these number values — (the symbolization of the connection of 113 : 355, with 20612 : 6561, by a crucified man). Not only are they shown to work in the Kosmos . . . . but by sympathy, they seem to work out conditions relating to an unseen and spiritual world, and the prophets seem to have held knowledge of the connecting link. . . . Reflection becomes more involved when it is considered that the power of expression of the law, exactly, by numbers, clearly defining a system, was not the accident of the language, but was its very essence, and of its primary organic construction; therefore, neither the language, nor the mathematical system attaching to it, could be of man’s invention, unless both were founded upon a prior language, which afterwards became obsolete . . . ” (p. 205).
Virat Viswakarma as appears with five tilakamarked faces sadyojaatha, vaamadeva, aghora, thathpurusha, and eesaana. 10 arms holding a book and writing stylus, a sword, an adze, a citron, a cup, a water-pot, a rosary, a cobra (about his neck), a noose, hands betokening sternness and beneficence (one closed and one open), and a golden sacred thread.
In the Mahabharata and Harivamsa, he is a son of the Vasu Prabhasa and Yoga-siddha. The 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 ... and a great and immortal God..." He has four hands, wears a crown, loads of gold jewellery, and holds a water-pot, a book, a noose, and craftsman's tools in his hands.
In the Puranas a son of Vastu, and the father of Barhishmatî and Samjna. The Ramayana represents him as having built the island of Lanka for the Rakshasas, and as having generated the ape Nala, who made Rama's bridge from the continent to the island; the name Vishva-karman, meaning, doing all acts", appears to be sometimes applicable as an epithet to any great divinity.
"Descendants" of Vishwakarma
Loha Shilpi (Blacksmiths)
Daaru Shilpi / Vadla (Carpenters)
Kaamsya Shilpi (Bronzesmiths)
Raati Shilpi (Architects/sculptors/masons)
Swarna Shilpi (Goldsmiths)
The Vishwakarmas have contributed greatly to Indian civilization and culture as temple and city builders, architects, engineers and artists.
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 Visvakarma is also attributed a putative birthday by the Hindu religion. This becomes conjectural according to many in the community. 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 Visvakarma. But among those who believe that there is a birthday also there is no agreement. It 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 Visvakarma 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 Almanac and changes with every year. Following the practice of their sage forefathers the five groups among the Visvakarma 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, craftsman 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 plough and gifted it to humanity. Plough represents both the artisan trade as well as agriculture and therefore becomes the most 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 Visavkarmas of India pioneered it. Coincidentally, this becomes the birthday of Visvakarma also. So Indians in the past celebrated this day of many illustrious conjunctions as an occasion to honour Visvakarma and his descendents
According to Hindu scriptures Vishwakarma designed the triloka, the tripartite universe consisting of the Heavenly realm and worlds, the Mortal realm and worlds and the Netherworldly realm and worlds. Vishwakarma is also credited for creating the missiles used in the mythological era, including the Vajra the sacred weapon of Lord Indra (a parallel of Zeus's thunderbolts) from the ribs of the sage Dadhichi.
He is regarded as the supreme power according to Rig Veda, the very essence of excellence and quality in creation.
In the state of Bengal it is celebrated much before Dushhera which falls roughly in or around in the month of September.
Hindu scriptures describes many of Vishwakarma's architectural accomplishments.
Through the four yugas (aeons of Hindu mythology), he had built several towns and palaces for the gods. In chronological order, these were Swarglok (Heaven) in Satya Yuga, Lanka in Treta Yuga, Dwarka (Krishna's capital) in the Dwapar Yuga and Hastinapur and Indraprastha in the Kali Yuga. The Jagannath Temple is a sacred Hindu temple in Puri, famous for its enormous statues of Krishna and his siblings Subhadra and Balarama, of which Vishwakarma is considered the sculptor.
Sone Ki(of Gold) Lanka According to Ramayana, 'Sone ki Lanka' or Golden Lanka was the place where the demon king Ravana dwelled in the "Treta yuga." As we read in the epic story Ramayana, this was also the place where Ravana kept Sita, Lord Ram's wife as a hostage. There is also a story behind the construction of Golden Lanka. When Lord Shiva married Parvati, he asked Viswakarma to build a beautiful palace for them to reside. Viswakarma put up a palace made of gold! For the housewarming ceremony, Shiva invited the wise Ravana to perform the "Grihapravesh" ritual. After the sacred ceremony when Shiva asked Ravana to ask anything in return as "Dakshina", Ravana, overwhelmed with the beauty and grandeur of the palace, asked Shiva for the golden palace itself! Shiva was obliged to accede to Ravana's wish, and the Golden Lanka became Ravana's palace. Again, the traditional sources point to Mahamaya as the architect and his daughter Mandodri married Ravana.
Dwarka Among the many mythical towns Viswakarma built is Dwarka, the capital of Lord Krishna. During the time of the Mahabharata, Lord Krishna is said to have lived in Dwarka, and made it his "Karma Bhoomi" or center of operation. That is why this place in western India [Today's Gujarat] has become a well known pilgrimage for the Hindus.
Hastinapur In the present "Kali Yuga", Viswakarma is said to have built the town of Hastinapur, the capital of Kauravas and Pandavas, the warring families of the Mahabharata. After winning the battle of Kurukshetra, Lord Krishna installed Dharmaraj Yudhisthir as the ruler of Hastinapur. This is a local legend not borne out by Mahabharata.
Indraprastha Viswakarma also built the town of Indraprastha for the Pandavas. In Mahabharata, the creator is Maya, the other divine architect. The Mahabharata has it that King Dhritrashtra offered a piece of land called 'Khaandavprastha' to the Pandavas for living. Yudhishtir obeyed his uncle's order and went to live in Khaandavprastha with the Pandava brothers. Later, Lord Krishna invited Viswakarma to build a capital for the Pandavas on this land, which he renamed 'Indraprastha'. Legends tell us about the architectural marvel and beauty of Indraprastha. Floors of the palace were so well done that they had a reflection like that of water, and the pools and ponds inside the palace gave the illusion of a flat surface with no water in them. After the palace was built, the Pandavas invited the Kauravas, and Duryodhan and his brothers went to visit Indraprastha. Not knowing the wonders of the palace, Duryodhan was flummoxed by the floors and the pools, and fell into one of the ponds. The maids of the Pandava wife Draupadi, who witnessed this scene, had a good laugh! This insult from the maids of Draupadi annoyed Duryodhan so much that later on it became a major cause for the great war of Kurukshetra described in the Mahabharata and the Bhagavad Gita.
Great Architect of the Universe
Cave Architecture". http://www.culturalindia.net/indian-architecture/ancient-architecture/cave-architecture.html. Retrieved 2007-02-15.
adbhyassambhoota: prthivyai rasAcca | vishvakarmaNassamavartatAd tasya tvaSHTA vidadhadroopameti | tatpuruSHasya vishvamAjAnamagre ||
TS 4.3.2), as per Vasishtha Purana 3.6.11
Monier-Williams (1899) p.994 
Coomaraswamy, Ananda K (1979): Medieval Sinhalese Art, Pantheon Books INC, New York. page 79
Achary, Subramanian Matathinkal (1995): Visvakarmajar Rigvedathil, Sawraj Printing and Publishing Company, Aluva.
Shlokas from the Rig Veda, praising Lord Vishwakarma
HYMN LXXXI. Visvakarman.
1. HE who sate down as Hotar-priest,
the Ṛṣi, our Father, offering up all things
HYMN LXXXII. Visvakarman.
1. THE Father of the eye,
the Wise in spirit, created both these worlds
submerged in fatness.
Great Architect of the
Universe, by Wikipedia
The Great Architect of the Universe (also Grand Architect of the Universe or Supreme Architect of the Universe) is a conception of God discussed by many Christian theologians and apologists. As a designation it is used within Freemasonry to neutrally represent whatever Supreme Being to which each member individually holds in adherence. It is also a Rosicrucian conception of God, as expressed by Max Heindel. The concept of the Demiurge as a grand architect or a great architect also occurs in gnosticism and other religious and philosophical systems.
The concept of God as the (Great) Architect of the Universe has been employed many times in Christianity. Illustrations of God as the architect of the universe can be found on Bibles from the Middle Ages and regularly employed by Christian apologists and teachers.
Christian theologians such as Thomas Aquinas hold that there is a Grand Architect of the Universe, the First Cause, and that this is God. Commentators on Aquinas such as Stephen A Richards have pointed out that the assertion that the Grand Architect of the Universe is the Christian god "is not evident on the basis of 'natural theology' alone but requires an additional 'leap of faith' based on the revelation of the Bible".
John Calvin, in his Institutes of the Christian Religion (published in 1536), repeatedly calls the Christian god "the Architect of the Universe", also referring to his works as "Architecture of the Universe", and in his commentary on Psalm 19 refers to the Christian God as the "Great Architect" or "Architect of the Universe".
Masonic historians such as William Bissey, Gary Leazer (quoting Coil's Masonic Encyclopaedia), and S. Brent Morris, assert that "the Masonic abbreviation G.A.O.T.U., meaning the Great Architect of the Universe, continues a long tradition of using an allegorical name for the Deity". They trace how the name and the abbreviation entered Masonic tradition from the Book of Constitutions written in 1723 by Reverend James Anderson. They also note that Anderson, a Calvinist minister, probably took the term from Calvin's usage.
Christopher Haffner's own explanation of how the Masonic concept of a Great Architect of the Universe, as a placeholder for the Supreme Being of one's choice, is given in Workman Unashamed:
"Now imagine me standing in lodge with my head bowed in prayer between Brother Mohammed Bokhary and Brother Arjun Melwani. To neither of them is the Great Architect of the Universe perceived as the Holy Trinity. To Brother Bokhary He has been revealed as Allah; to Brother Melwani He is probably perceived as Vishnu. Since I believe that there is only one God, I am confronted with three possibilities:
They are praying to the devil whilst I am praying to God;
They are praying to nothing, as their Gods do not exist;
They are praying to the same God as I, yet their understanding of His nature is partly incomplete (as indeed is mine — 1 Cor 13:12)
It is without hesitation that I accept the third possibility."
Science, and particularly geometry and astronomy, was linked directly to the divine for most medieval scholars. Since God created the universe after geometric and harmonic principles, to seek these principles was therefore to seek and worship God.
The Great Architect may also be a metaphor alluding to the godhead potentiality of every individual. "(God)... That invisible power which all know does exist, but understood by many different names, such as God, Spirit, Supreme Being, Intelligence, Mind, Energy, Nature and so forth."  In the Hermetic Tradition, each and every person has the potential to become God, this idea or concept of God is perceived as internal rather than external. The Great Architect is also an allusion to the observer created universe. We create our own reality; hence we are the architect. Another way would to be to say that the mind is the builder.
In Heindel's exposition, the Great Architect of the Universe is the Supreme Being, who proceeds from The Absolute, at the dawn of manifestation. For a detailed discussion, see The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception.
The concept of the Great Architect of the Universe occurs in Gnosticism. The Devil Demiurge is The Great Architect of the Universe, the God of Old Testament in opposition to Christ and Sophia messengers of Gnosis of the True God. Ebionits like Nasorćanism, for example, the Pira Rabba is the source, origin, and container of all things, which is filled by the Mânâ Rabbâ, the Great Spirit, from which emanates the First Life. The First Life prays for companionship and progeny, whereupon the Second Life, the Ultra Mkayyema or World-constituting Ćon, the Architect of the Universe, comes into being. From this architect come a number of ćons, who erect the universe under the foremanship of the Mandâ d'Hayye or gnôsis zoęs, the Personified Knowledge of Life.
James Hopwood Jeans, in his book The Mysterious Universe, also employs the concept of a Great Architect of the Universe, saying at one point "Lapsing back again into the crudely anthropomorphic language we have already used, we may say that we have already considered with disfavour the possibility of the universe having been planned by a biologist or an engineer; from the intrinsic evidence of his creation, the Great Architect of the Universe now begins to appear as a pure mathematician." To that Jinarajadasa adds his observation that the Great Architect is "also a Grand Geometrician. For in some manner or other, whether obvious or hidden, there seems to be a geometric basis to every object in the universe."
Triangles, Cubes, Circles” and finally “Spheres”
— why or how? Because, says the Commentary, such
is the first law of Nature, and because Nature
geometrizes universally in all her
manifestations: “The Mother is the fiery Fish
of Life. She scatters her spawn and the Breath
heats and quickens it. The grains are soon
attracted to each other and form the curds in
the Ocean. The larger lumps coalesce and receive
new spawn, in fiery dots, triangles and cubes
which ripen, and at the appointed time some of
the lumps detach themselves and assume
spheroidal form. Motion becomes the whirlwind
and sets them into rotation."
The concept of the Demiurge as a benevolent great architect or grand architect of matter occurs in the writings of Plato, including in Timaeus.
The concept of a Great Architect of the Universe also occurs in Martinism. Martinist doctrine is that the Great Architect must not be worshipped. Martinists hold that whilst it is possible to "invoque" Him, it is not to adore Him.
Erik Hřg (2004). "The depth of the heavens: Belief and knowledge during 2500 years" ([dead link] – Scholar search). Europhysics News 35 (3). http://www.europhysicsnews.com/full/27/article3/article3.html.
Stephen A. Richards (2006). "Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274 CE)". Theology. Pelusa Media Group. http://www.faithnet.org.uk/Theology/aquinas.htm.
William K. Bissey (Spring 1997). "G.A.O.T.U.". The Indiana Freemason. http://srjarchives.tripod.com/1997-08/Bissey.htm.
Gary Leazer (2001). "Praying in Lodge". Masonic Research. http://www.hampton70.org/research/leazer/prayer.htm.
S. Brent Morris (2006). The Complete Idiot's Guide to Freemasonry. Alpha/Penguin Books. p. 212. ISBN 1-59257-490-4.
Christopher Haffner (1989). Workman Unashamed: The Testimony of a Christian Freemason. Lewis Masonic. p. 39.
Mary Ann Slipper, The Symbolism of the Eastern Star Pages 35 and 36.
"Nasorćans". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
JOC/EFR (February 2006). "Quotations by James Jeans". http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Quotations/Jeans.html.
"Mathematics and Mysticism". Wisdom's Frame of Reference. Advaita Vedanta. 2005-11-04. http://www.advaitavedanta.co.uk/content/view/230/0/.
Curuppumullage Jinarajadasa (1950-11-17). "Introduction to the third edition". Occult Chemistry. http://www.subtleenergies.com/ORMUS/oc/intro.htm.
Aurifer (2005-09-11). "The Martinist Doctrine". Sovereign Grand Lodge of the Ancient Martinist Order. http://www.ancientmartinistorder.org/Aurifer.htm.
"Martines de Pasqually". Martinism in France: The Pasts Masters. 2005-09-29. http://martinism.blogspot.com/2005/09/martines-de-pasqually.html.