STHAPATI LIFE & WORKS
The Loyal Inheritor of a Royal Tradition
Dr. V. Ganapati Sthapati
Traditional Architect, Builder, Sculptor and Vaastu Researcher
Born into the clan of the Universal Creator – the Viswakarma
As the blessed prodigy of an illustrious Sthapati
And Inheriting the rich tradition of the shilpis of yore
Who had more to contribute to the tradition than his great ancestors
And in whom the tradition of Vaastu found a vivacious custodian
An architect, builder and a sculptor
vested with the zest of a scientist
Who liberated the science from the shackles of religion and region
And took it to soaring heights, even crossing the seas
Whose talks and works enthralled even the western minds
Who had nothing to say but only wonder at these truths, very supreme,
Blessed by the Gods and adored by the man on earth
For he has proved the world the might of his tradition
originated by no less than a Brahmarishi, by name Mayan
which has brought forth the God in the unseen spaces
into visible forms in this earthly space
confined within measures divine
in which forms even the God delights to reside.
Thankful are we the humankind to this Vaastu Vyasa
who is to the tradition of Vaastu Shastra
as Veda Vyasa is to the Vedas.
A BRIEF SKETCH OF THE LIFE AND WORKS OF Vaastu Vijnani Dr. V. GANAPATI STHAPATI
The impressive genealogy
The royal patronage lasted upto the 18th century, after which the family came under the patronage of ‘Marudu Brothers’, Chinna Marudu and Periya Marudu, under whose rule his great grand fathers Periyanayakam Sthapati and Pazhampathi Sthapati, built the magnificent Kalaiyar Koil in Siva Gangai district of Tamil Nadu.
Tutelage and initiation into the tradition
Having finished his schooling he wanted to graduate himself in Mathematics, from the Dr.Alagappa Chettiar College, Karaikudi. Kindled by his burning desire to bring to lime light the underlying supreme science of Vaastu tradition, even from a very young age, Sri. Ganapati started putting down on paper the various facets of the science and technology, which writings were appreciated by his elders and well wishers. Most of those writings found a prominent place in the local dailies and other magazines. After going through one of his writings on the definition of a Sthapati, which appeared in ‘The Hindu’, dated 13th March 1957, his father overwhelmed by pride and joy, wrote to his son “The art of Shilpa Shastra is much blessed by your entry into its fold”. These golden words were more than proved by Sri.Ganapati, who later went on to become the doyen of Indian Vaastu Shastra.
A dream made into a reality
In the year 1957, he started his career as a Sthapati under Religious and Charitable Endowments Board, Tamil Nadu, at Sri Dandayuthapani Swamy Temple, Palani. His desire for bringing in an elevated status to this tradition monopolised his thought process and the first seed for such a move was sown by the then Premier of Madras State, Chakravarthy Rajagopalachari, who after seeing the splendid works of sculpture and architecture done by Sri.Vaidyanatha Sthapati at several temples and memorials, felt the strong need to revive this traditional culture of India and thus a scheme was proposed to open a Training Institute for traditional sculpture and architecture. This was duly supported and encouraged by the Chairman, All India Handicrafts Board, Smt.Kamala Devi Chattopadhyaya, the great visionary who revolutionized the cultural revival of India. Thus in 1957, the Government Sculptural Training Centre was established, headed by Sri.M.Vaidyanatha Sthapati. Even at his young age Sri.Ganapati was proficient enough to draw the syllabus for this Institute.
After his father, in the year 1961, he was selected as the next Head of the Institute and his career of 27 years as the Principal was not only an era of dedicated service but of a ‘tapasya’, during which no other force could deter him from his devoted service to his tradition, which he actualized by imparting a systematic training to the young students of the institution. In the process, which was a slow yet steady uphill task, aided by efficient official support and governmental benevolence, he could elevate the status of the Institution to a full fledged College of Traditional Architecture and Sculpture.
This college has since then produced several graduates in Temple architecture and sculpture, who are proficient enough to carry on this traditional skill.
Countries visited on work schedule
Countries visited on research schedule: