Dwarka, the Golden Lanka and Indraprastha — what do these amazing creations have in common? Well they were all created by the same celestial being. Today, on the occasion of Vishwakarma Jayanti, as we venerate the Architect of the Gods, let’s explore some of the uncommon stories surrounding him. It’s also quite fortuitous that we just celebrated Engineers Day in India a couple of days ago!
Vishwakarma descended from the lineage of Brahma, the Creator. His daughter, Sanjna, was married to the Sun God, Vivasvan, and they had the twins Yama and Yami. However with Vivasvan’s blazing appearance and heat, Sanjna found it difficult to be around him and left her shadow self, Chhaya in her stead. Lord Shani was born out of their union.
The Sun eventually realised that she wasn’t his wife, abandoning Chhaya, went in search of Sanjna. He went to his father-in-law Vishwakarma, who chiselled off some of his glory, so that his daughter could once again be around him, helping the couple reunite. This story also helps astrology enthusiasts rationalise the tension between the Sun and his son, Shani or Saturn.
Vishwakarma in particular is worshipped by builders, craftsmen and engineers alike, and on this day, the instruments of the trade are also worshipped along with an image or idol of the divine architect. Construction sites in particular, can see some grand celebrations on this day, as ritual worship gives way to song and dance. This day provides a rare day off to this hard-working community, which creates the beautiful flats in the towering highrises in our cities. It is also a great day to express our gratitude to all the handymen and craftsmen who work selflessly to make our lives more convenient.
This is also an excellent opportunity to examine the architecture of our lives, which we would like to think is centred around happiness, but for the most part has become increasingly dominated by our financial commitments. Life is so fleeting and temporary, that oftentimes we lose sight of our mortality in our quest for material happiness. And there couldn’t be a better time to remind ourselves of this universal truth and spend more time living in the present, than this fortnight dedicated to our ancestors, to whom we owe so much of our existence.