Shilpi Guru

Dr, V.G. Sthapati

Dr. V. Ganapati Sthapati - see photo gallery

V. Ganapati Sthapati was a Sthapati head of the "College of Architecture & Sculpture" in the Vastu Shastra tradition ascribed to the mythical sage Mamuni Mayan.

He was born in 1927 to sculptor Sri Vaidyanatha Sthapati and Smt. Velammal at Pillayarpatti a village near Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu, India in a Vishwabrahmin family (a Hindu hereditary caste of artisans and architects). His family tradition claims descent from the architects who created the Brihadeeswara Temple of Tanjore TN, India.

Sthapati attended Dr. Alagappa Chettiar College, Karaikudi and graduated in mathematics. After his graduation he became a Sthapati (Hindu traditional architect) at Palani Murugan Temple, Palani, TN, India. He resigned the same after the demise of his father who served as principal (1957 to 1960) of ‘The School of Architecture and Sculpture’ at Mamallapuram. He succeeded his father as the Principal of the Government College of Architecture and Sculpture, TN, India.

From the 1980s, Sthapati campaigned to restore and elevate the status of traditional Hindu architecture in modern Indian society by affiliating courses to the University of Madras and offering degree courses, bringing about a revival of Vastu Shastra.

After retirement from government service, he established "Vaastu Vedic Trust" and "Vaastu Vedic Research Foundation" aimed at research, development and globalization of Vaastu Shastra. He is also the head of the professional guild named "V. Ganapati Sthapati & Associates".

Sthapati served as architect for several buildings and sculptures, including the following:

  • Sculpture of Tamil poet and saint Thiruvalluvar - Thiruvalluvar Statue at the southern tip of India at Kanyakumari, TN, India (measuring 133’- 40.5 m in elevation).
  • Design and Construction of huge sized University buildings including the Administrative block and library for Tamil University in Tanjore.
  • Design and Construction of Valluvar Kottam in Chennai, TN, India.
  • The Rajagopuram of Sri Ramar Temple and Sri Ganesh Shiva Durga Temple at The Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago complex Lemont, Illinois, USA[
  • Sri Murugan Temple, Nadi-Fiji islands.
  • The San Marga Iraivan Temple, Kauai, Hawaii.
  • Granite sculpture of the Madhavi - heroine of the Tamil epic Silappathikaram, erected in an Art Gallery in Poompuhar, Chennai, TN, India.
  • Projects in India and other countries.

TiruvalluvarAmong these the palatial buildings of library and administrative block for Tamil University of Tanjore and the Muthiah Mandram in Madurai speak of his capacity for designing and executing works of stupendous nature. Of particular interest is his monumental vaastu sculpture of Tamil poet and saint Thiruvalluvar - Thiruvalluvar Statue at the southern tip of India at Kanyakumari, TN, measuring 133 feet (40.5 m) in elevation. This colossal marvel has taken him to the pinnacle of his life’s achievement as a traditional architect and builder and commendations and awards have reached him from around the world for this achievement: a poetic image that will be with us for thousands of years.

He authored a number of books on the science and technology of Vastu Shastra and conducted numerous seminars with professionals in a generous effort to make this knowledge available to the world. He established the International Institute of Mayonic Science and Technology, which conducts workshops and discourses all over the world. Some of the notable books he authored include: Iconometry, Temples of Space Science, The Building Architecture of Sthapatya Veda, and Commentary on Mayan’s Aintiram.

Sthapati earned a number of titles and awards including Padma Bhushan[8], an Honorary Fellowship by the Indian Institute of Architects, the National award for Master Craftsmanship by the President of India, the title of "Shilpi Guru of India" also by the President and a Doctorate Degree conferred by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Vedic University. - source

Dr. Sthapati passed away after an illness on September 6, 2011.

The following passage was written by AUM S&T Chancellor Dr. Jessie Mercay:

At 6 PM September 6, 2011, sunset in Chennai, a great light left us. Dr. V. Ganapati Sthapati, our Shilpi Guru dropped his mortal koil. It was sunrise here in Arizona and I knew the moment he went. It seems very poignant that the sun was setting in Chennai and rising here in the US. It is almost poetic. Sthapati's greatest wish was to spread this knowledge to the western world. We have done this and continue to do it. Let us take time to thank him and pray for his transition.

Sthapati is one of the greatest men in our written history. He is responsible for the awakening of the truth of this knowledge. He cut through the muddy beliefs and superstitions and spoke out about the profound spiritual science that Mayan revealed through his connection with his inner being. Sthapati brought us a direct path to God. This path is uncluttered and uncomplicated - gain direct resonance with the Divine and we become enlightened. Do that through the Vaastu arts. There are no crazy superstitions or odd beliefs we must have. There are no complicated methods, chants, affirmations, postures, or any other things that we must do. We can directly experience this through our own Vaastu houses or temple cottages.

Sthapati built amazing temples, arches, houses, statues, memorials, etc. that live on as his legacy. But, we are his real legacy. The forms he created contain the science but we can speak the science and live the science.

One day Shapati took me to some cupboards in his office. He pointed to them and said this is my wealth â€" I give it all to you. He opened the doors and showed me the Pranava Veda (50,000 verses) and a number of other texts. You and I have inherited his wealth. It is our duty to pass it on to the world.

The sadness is overwhelming, but the knowledge that we have all that we need to go on and that that is what he wants softens the blow.

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.