The science of architecture owes its origin to eighteen great sages. Their names are Bhrigu, Atri, Vashishtha, Vishvakarma, Maya, Narada, Nagnajita, Vishalaksha, Puranadara, Brahma, Kartikeya, Nandishvara, Shounaka, Garga, Vasudeva, Aniruddha, Shukra, and Brihaspati The building of a house should never be begun in the month of Chaitra. A person who does this is sure to contract a disease. The month of Vaishakha is a good time to begin. One who does this is bound to own many cows. The months of Agrahayana, Magha and Falguna are also auspicious. An individual who begins the task in Agrahayana has full granaires, one who begins it in Magha attains all sorts of riches and one who begins it in Falguna obtains gold and sons. Ashada is also a good month to start. Servants and animals are owed by a person who starts the building in Ashada. But the months of Jyaishtha, Shravana, Bhadra, Ashvina and Pousha are inauspicious. If you start in Jyaishta, you will die soon; you will also die if you begin in Shravana; begin in Bhadra and you will suffer from all manner of lesses; your wife will die if you start the task in the month of Ashvina; and all your goods will be stolen if you start in the month of Pousha. It is best to begin the building of a house when the nakshatras Ashvini, Rohini, Mula, Uttarabhadrapada, Uttarashada, Uttarafalguni or Mrigashira are in the sky. Any day is permissible with the exception of Sunday and Tuesday.
The ground on which the house is to be build has to be tested. A pit should be dug and a sapling planted. If the sapling thrives and growns into a big tree, the ground has been well-chosen. But if the tree withers away or does not grow into a strong tree, one ought to move somewhere else. A diagram is then drawn on the ground, in the form of a square with eighty-one smaller squares inside it. That is the larger square will be subdivided into nine squares along very side. Nine multiplied by nine gives the eighty-one smaller squares. In each of these eighty-one smaller squares, a specific god has to be worshipped. There are different types of houses. A house that
has doors on all four sides is known as a sarvatobhadra. Such a configuration is recommended for palaces or temples. A house that does not have a door to the west is known as a nandyavarta; a house that does not have a door to the south is known as a varddhamana; a house that does not have a door to the east is known as a svastika; and a house that does not have a door to the north is known as ruchaka. A palace should be one hundred and eight cubits (hand-lengths) in length. If a prince, and not a king, is to live in the palace, sixty-six cubits are the recommmended length. Other recommended lengths are sixty-four cubits for generals, forty-eight cubits for ministers, twenty-eight cubits for artisans and twelve cubits for messengers and guards. Priests and physicians are entitled to twenty-four cubits. An ordinary householder should build a house that is thirty-two cubits in length. The sole exception is an outcast, he is entitled to only sixteen cubits.
There should not be any trees in the front of the house. But trees have to be planted towards the back. The wood with which the house has to be built must be carefully chosen. One must not cut down a tree that birds have built nests on. Certain trees must never be chosen. These include those that have been gashed by an elephant or struck by lightning. They also include trees that grow near temples or at the of rivers and trees from cremation grounds. Neem trees and mango trees must never be used for building houses. The height of the tree should be multiplied by its circumference. This product should now be divided by eight. If the remainder that is left is one, the timber can be used in building any part of the house. Such timber is known as dhvaja. When the remainder is two the timber is known vrisha and should be used in constructing the western door. When the remainder is three the timber is called simha and should be used for the northern door. The name is vrishabha if the remainder is four and such wood should be used for the eastern door. When the remainder is five the timber is given the name of hasti and should be used for the southern door.