Vastu-purusha / Vastu Puja ---- by Jaya Tirtha Charan dasa. The term Vastu is loosely given to anything to do with architecture and building. In Manasa Silpa shastra the articles used in building, consecrating, and maintaining a house, temple, or even village are called Vastu (with so may suffixes....!). The Architect of the 'Devas' Vishvakarma is also known in many places as Vastu or Vastupati, and those who follow in his footsteps are also called Vastus. The Vastu how we are discussing and rendering service to, or worshiping here is slightly different, but carries similar Divine connotations. In the Book of Hindu Names (Meneka Gandhi. 1992. page 476.) there are numerous mentions of "Vastu", and "Vastopati" (Meneka Gandhi. 1992. page 475.). In the sanskrit language vastu or vastram generally means covering or clothing, etc. One who is clothed, one who clothes, one who is the proprietor of clothing may have names or titles beginning with vastu or vasto. The Vastu Purusha has a unique position and function. Some say he's a mere Jiva (Vastunara - Meneka Gandhi. 1992. page 476.), some say he's a Bhoot (ghost), some say he's a demon (rakshasa - one of the eight Vasus [Bhagavat Puran] - Meneka Gandhi. 1992. page 476.), while some say he's an empowered Deva, (Vastupala - Meneka Gandhi. 1992. page 476.) some an plenary portion of Vishnu who presides over all that is ever built (Vastupati - Meneka Gandhi. 1992. page 476.). The Vaishnavas tend to judge a tree by it's fruit irrespective of what popular opinions say. Agni Puran leans toward the later that he's a Deva much like Agni and other Devas who have a functionary plenary portion of Vishnu to carry out. The Book of Hindu Names qualifies this also, "Vastupurusha (M) is the deity of all that is built on Earth [A. Puran]"(Meneka Gandhi. 1992. page 476) In the Puranic Encyclopaedia (Vettam Mani. 1964. page 837.) it is said, "In days of yore a ghost of immense size, who was feared by all other ghosts came into existence. This ghost was buried inside the earth by the Devas. This ghost is called Vastupurusha. He is the deity of whatever we build on the earth.(Agni Puran, chapter 40.)" I find this interesting because again it turns us toward the understanding of the nature of Vastupurush in the prayoga of his worship. For when we do the Admestika, Sila-ropana, Griha-rambha rites which incorporate the worship of Vastupurush he first says no I cannot accept this worship independently, first you worship Sri Vishnu and His consort Griha-Laxmi (Dhana-laxmi). Just as with all of us, some recognise the proprietorship of the Lord some do not. There are millions of people who have bodily coverings like you and me - eat sleep, mate and defend like you and me, but do not honour the real creator from whence all that this body is, has come. But we as predominating personality of this body among so many bugs, worms, germs, etc. recognise this fact, and pay homage. The same is there for the universe, Lord Brahma and his associate Devas co-ordinate universal affairs under the sanction of the Lord. In that same way Vastupurusha has his functionary service to the Lord taking care of all that is built upon the Earth. The fact of the matter is also there that even if one doesn't honour the minister of the king, so to speak, he's still the representative of the king and he's still there - and such neglect may be taken as an offence. Yet if one shows him due respect as a loyal servant of the king, or in this case the Lord the Vastupurusha looks after the internal and external affairs of the building and surrounding areas and assists to create an ambience conducive to devotional service to The Supreme Lord. Sri Vastupurusha ki jaya, Sri Sri Dhana-laxmi-Narayana ki jaya.