In Search of Vishwakarma and His Progeny

Craftspersons/ Artisanal, Op-Ed

In Search of Vishwakarma and His Progeny

Jaitly, Jaya

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Professor Ramaswamy has devoted a lot of time to the study of the Vishwakarma community. You find her studies referring to this community, which is often described as a unified grouping of five subgroups—carpenters, blacksmiths, bell metal workers, goldsmiths, and stone masons- who believe that they are the descendants of Vishwakarma , through his sons. Manu was said to have worked with iron; Maya in wood; Tvashtha in brass, copper, and alloys; Silpi in stone; and Vishvajna was said to be a goldsmith and jeweller. The kammāḷars in south India, who claim to be their descendants, are well versed in the shilpa shastras, the art treatises in Sanskrit laying out all the religious and technical processes to be followed in their work in order to achieve perfect results. Forms and formats are rigid and the process of creating an object is considered a part of a spiritual exercise. Till date, the Vishwakarma community worships various forms of this deity (Vishwakarma) and follows the fiveVedas: Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda, Atharva Veda,  , and Pranava Veda. Vishwakarma is mentioned repeatedly in the Rig Veda<...>
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