From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Ayādi-ṣaḍvarga literally means ‘the group of six formulad starting with Āya' and refers to a set of forumulas provided in a text named Mānasāra.

Mānasāra is one of the most authoritative texts dealing with temple architecture and town-planning.

The book serves as a guide for several alternatives and dimensions, as determined by the application of of these six formulas. Ultimately, they help in determining the following :

  1. Length
  2. Breadth
  3. Circumference
  4. Height
  5. Thickness

The names mentioned below represent well-known groups of objects that always follow a certain serial order.

  1. Āya
  2. Vyaya
  3. Ṛkṣa Yoni
  4. Vāra
  5. Tithi
  6. Aiṅśa

For instance, vāra represents the group of seven days of the week. Rkṣa represents the group of twenty-seven naksatras (star-groups).

Each one of these formulas is further documented within the text. The remainder left after the application of the concerned formula determines the suitability of a dimension.

For example, if the height of a proposed new building is to be determined from among the several alternatives suggested by the work, the vāra formula is applied for the height. If the remainder from this formula results in 4, it would indicate to the fourth day of the week, Wednesday. Since Wednesday is considered to be an auspicious day, it would be concluded that the measurement chosen is right.


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore