Vastu Sastra is ancient Indian knowledge of architecture. Though the so called ‘Quick Fix’ Vastu Sastra experts have given this ancient science, the look and feel of superstition, Vastu Sastra is based wholly on calculations and science. It is a collection of independent works of many but classified under one branch as Vaastu Sastra.
The word Vaastu is derived from ‘Vastopathi’ which means “Provide protection, happiness and prosperity in life as well as after death”. The reference can be found in Rigveda.
The prayer in Rigveda for Vaastu Purush goes,
“VASTSHPART PRATI JATI HACHASMAN TVAVESHO ATBHIVO BHAVATAH
YAT TVAMEH PRATI NATRO JUSHSVSHAN NO BHAV DVIPAD SHA CHATUSHPADE
Oh God of structures and building, we are your devotees. Listen to our prayer, make us free of disease, give wealth and prosperity, and help the wellbeing of all persons and animals living in the house.
The Birth of Vaastu Purush
Vastu purush depicted as his head hanging down and his body spread all over the length and breadth of the ground. Ancient Indian writers have followed the tradition of hiding scientific facts in stories for the easiness to remember and understand. Matsya Purana describes the birth and purpose of Vaastu Purush.
Vaastu Purush was born from the sweat of Lord Shiva. Soon after his birth Vaastu Purush began to pray Shiva to get a boon from him. Shiva was pleased and appeared before Vaastu Purush. Vaastu Purush requested Shiva to permit him to eat away all the three worlds. Shiva agreed and Vaastu Purush got hold of all the three worlds and was ready to eat terrestrial world first. 45 celestial being caught hold of Vaastu Purush to prevent him from eating their world.
These celestial Beings laid force on the different limbs of the Vaastu Purush and sat on them as shown below:
ISH (AGNI) – head; APA – face; PRITHWI DHARA & ARYAM – Chest; AVANTSA – heart; DITI & INDRA – Shoulders; SURYA & SOMA – Hands; RUDRA & RAJAYAKSHMA – left arm; SAVITRA & SAVITA – right arm; VIVASWAN & MITRA – Stomach; PUSHA & ARYAMA – Wrist; ASUR & SESHA – left side; VITATHA & GRAHAKSHAT – right side; YAMA & VARUNA – Thighs; GANDHARVA & PURAMADAN – on the knees; SUGRIV & BHRISH – shanks; DWARIKA & MRIGA – ankles; JAYA & SHAKRA – on the hairs grown on the feet; BRAHMA – on the heart.
Being bound like that, Vaastu Purush could not move. Since then, he has been lying there surrounded by the celestial Beings and thus he was called “the God of Vastu or VASTU PURUSHA”.
The celestial beings blessed him with the power to tease people who construct building and dig wells and tanks the side towards which Vaastu Purush see and in the direction towards which he hold his feet. Vaastu Purush also can trouble people who don’t worship him before constructing a building.
The celestial beings also allowed Vaastu Purush to change his position once in three months. From Bhadrapada to Karthik, Vaastu Purush lie down putting his head in the eastern direction and feet towards the West. During the months of Margashira , Pushyam and Magha, Vaastu Pusha lie down towards the South looking towards the West and the feet towards the North. During the month of Phalgun, Chaitra and Vaishakh, the head will be towards the West and feet towards the East, Looking towards the North. In the months of Jyeshtha, Ashadha and Sravana, the head will be towards the North and Feet towards the South Looking towards the East.
Vaastu Sastra mainly depend on the arrangement of the five elements, Earth, Water, Fire, Wind and Sky. The five elements should be in the proper order and proportions for a balanced living.
A glimpse on the Principles of Vaastu Sastra
Vaastu Sastra deals with many aspects of the construction of a building. To begin with, it considers the astrological placement of the planets during the construction. It also deals with the shape and type of land used for construction, position of gates and doors and placement of items based on the directions with regard to the Sun.
Selecting the land for construction has importance and Vaastu Sastra describes the do‘s and don’ts in selecting the land. The land should be cultivatable and arable. The land that contains many rocks anthills, worms and human remains are not good for construction. If the centre of the land is humped like the shell of a turtle, that land should be avoided.
The colour of the soil also has importance. White soil is good for Brahmins, Yellow for Vaisyas, red for Kshatriyas and black for Sudras. Black and clayey soil is not good for building.
The natural moisture and aeration of the soil can be tested with a simple procedure. Dig a knee deep hole and then try to refill it with the soil dugged out. After filling the hole if there is left over soil the land is good. If the soil is just enough to cover the hole the land is average. If the soil, not enough to fill the hole, the land is not good.
Do not purchase land that has been used as a cemetery. If you are a city dweller, you can’t go for such considerations as the land is scarce. Also it is not advisable to buy properties that has several un- natural deaths in recent past.
It is better to purchase land that has a level ground. If the land slopes down towards the west, it is not advisable to purchase it. But nothing against in purchasing a land that slopes down toward the north or east. Land sloping north brings riches, sloping east brings good fortune, sloping south brings ruin, and sloping west brings financial loss.
Plots that are square or rectangular, facing squarely on the four cardinal directions are good for construction. It is acceptable to be off square by up to 20 degrees. For a rectangular plot, it is best to have its longer sides run north to south rather than west to east.
It is not good to purchase a piece of land squeezed between two larger pieces of land as such land will bring its owner poverty. A land with corners cut especially if it is on the North East is not good for construction. Plots that are triangular, round, oval or L shaped are not good. If the plot is narrower at the front and wider at the rear it can be purchased for construction.
It is best if the north east and east side of the house are not blocked by buildings as it will block the Sun, The Sun’s rays from South West are not beneficial, so obstructions blocking the rays from West or South will bring health and wealth. For the same reason, more windows and doors should be on the North – East side and less on the South – West side.
The position of Well
Well located on the Southwest side of the building will bring misery for the owner. If the Well is in the North or Northeast corner of the house, it will bring wealth to the owner. If you draw a line from the Northeast corner to the Southeast Corner, the well should be to the left or right of the line and not on the line. It is inauspicious to have the well on the Northwest or Southeast corners. It is inauspicious to have the well in the middle of the house. If there is to be a swimming pool, waterfalls, or fountains, they should be set to the north, east, or northeast.
Building the house
It is auspicious to build the house at the Southwest Section of the land, leaving the open space to the Northeast. Open spaces on the West side of the land is not good for the male members of the family. The doors in the house should not be aligned, means one door should not directly lead to another.
Growing Tulsi plants in the North East Corner of the house is auspicious.
Inside the house
Keep the main door of the house larger than other doors. Main door should have two shutters and should open to the inside of the house. The exit door should have only one shutter and both entry and exit door should not be set in a straight line.
The furniture’s for sitting should be placed in the Southeast, South or West side of the room. It is best for the house owner to sit facing the North or East and the guest sit facing the West or South. The Northeast Corner of each room best be left empty.
It advisable for the students to face North, East or Northeast while studying, so table in the study room should be placed in the South or West of the room. Books better be stored in the Southwest of the room.
Bed should face either West or South. While sleeping head should not be placed at the North. The adage is even a bad head should not be placed in the North. The good directions for placing the head are South, East or West.
Mirrors should be placed on the North or East Walls and should never be placed on the South or West Walls. It is not advisable to keep broken mirrors at home.
Clocks should be placed on the West, North or East Walls.
Do not keep money in a place facing south. Money and valuables are best kept at the North side of the house. The door to this room should be facing the North or East.
When one prays should face either North or East. The prayer room best be located at the Northeast corner of the house. The place of worship is best be in the ground floor. The pictures of the deities should either face East or West and should not face North or South. It is best if the Deities face West and the worshipers face East.
Vastu for Financial Success
The North direction is ruled by the Lord of Wealth Kuber. The North East direction on the other hand is ruled by one of the five elements Water. North East direction of a home indicates the financial success of a person. So remove any blockage in the North direction of the house. If block can’t be removed, it is advisable to keep a water feature at that direction.
Safes, vaults, Jewellery, cash etc should be placed in the Central North room of the house and the position of keeping them is the South West Corner of the room. Safes or Vaults opening towards the South or West are likely to result in expenses.
Leaking taps are an indication of expenses and should be fixed. Stagnated water is an indication of blocked wealth. A water tank in the Northwest direction of the house is an indication of blocked wealth. Flowing water is a good indication of wealth. It is better to have a fountain or aquarium in the North eastern part of the house.
As per Chinese Feng shui an Aquarium with nine Gold fish and one black fish placed in the Northeast corner of the house will bring good results.
Toilet placed next to the main entrance could result in debts for the house owner.