Verena Rapp de EstonCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

According to the Mayamata, there are four types of technicians required for any building project: the master carpenter (perum takshaka or sthapati), the sutragrabin or foreman (usually a son or apprentice of the master), another takshaka (ideally a carpenter skilled in woodwork, masonry, tiling, plaster, paint, and carving), and finally the vardhaki, or general labourer. The master would supervise the apprentice as he staked out the site, using the gnomon and twine. With further division of the site into square modules, the vastu purana is revealed. Every site is examined for colour, odor, flavour, form, circulation, and sound. These requirements differed depending on class and caste, but all indicate a proper building, or prasada, whether house, hall, shed, barn, or pavilion.

In the location and orientation of buildings, certain positions and shapes were more auspicious than others. The master builder should be aware of the relationship of the proposed construction to the cardinal directions, the climate, and geology. Each plot contains a vastu purana, or spiritual force. The site is visualized as a crouched male form with the head to the northeast and feet to the southwest. Using this image as a template, the buildings or rooms would correspond to parts of the human anatomy. The centre, or navel, was usually a courtyard and was considered a sacred place or sacrum. In Sanskrit, it is called the nadmuttam, and is usually surrounded by four house blocks, orientated in the cardinal directions. Perhaps the original mandala, the idealized Indian home is a square inclosing a circle which may contain a smaller square, and circle, ad infinitum.