What is this “Vaastu Shastra” all about?
Vaastu Shastra is 5000 years old but since the middle 1990s, there has been a sudden interest in the subject of the Vaastu Shastras. People seem to have rediscovered a long lost panacea for their ills. All they need to do is to make a few changes to their home or office layout and overnight, they have the health, wealth and happiness which they lacked for so long! Try buying a home in any city in India without the builder spouting virtues of “Vaastu Shastra” and how his project and flats fulfil Vaastu conditions. It is impossible. Over the last decade, Vaastu has gained enormes popularity. Vaastu has found takers even among the high and mighty of the land. Corporate chieftains and politicians in power are constantly relocating and redesigning their offices according to Vaastu Shastra to see if it will improve their financial and political scorecards.
What is this Vaastu Shastra all about?
Believers in Vaastu have a modern name for it – ‘Ancient Wisdom of Architectonics’. There are three levels in which Vaastu is applied.
First, in a basic sense, it means designing architecture of residential, commercial and government buildings and components of a building like rooms, gates, etc on the basis of architectural wisdom contained in ancient Indian lore. The idea is to add to the well being of the occupants.
Secondly, at a slightly higher level, Vaastu covers a lot of architecture related areas in public sphere-town planning, laying out gardens, market places, ports, roads, bridges, gateways, wells, drains, enclosure walls, embankments, just about everything that is built by man.
Thirdly, at the micro-level of an individual citizen’s daily life, it deals with furniture, tables, beds, wardrobes, mats, lamps, footwear and the like. This list is expanding by the day. For example, Vaastu experts now tell you about the right design of the computer table and the ideal location of PC in your home office.
Architects who think Vaastu has no scientific basis-their number is dwindling by the day – have two complaints against the Shastra and its modern interpretations. First, they think that by claiming solutions in architecture and interior design for every evil that befalls a human being, Vaastu has made architects responsible for things, which lie beyond their control. A brilliant architect of a corporate headquarters may be blamed for the financial misfortune of the company, for which reasons may lie elsewhere. Secondly, the non-believers argue that Vaastu leads to creating structures that are out of sync with environment.
You should have a perspective on Vaastu before you decide whether to believe in it or not. For that, you need to know a bit about how architectural ideas have evolved in India. Be patient and control your yawns.
Indian history has three distinct architectural epochs in succession the Vedic (or the Hindu) period, the Islamic period and the colonial period. These three epochs are characterized by their respective myths and cultures. In each epoch, structures were constructed that reflected the society at the time. For instance, the Vedic times were typically characterized by the world of the non-manifest: buildings were generated from magic diagrams called the ‘Vaastu-Purusha-Maddalas’, the root of Vaastu Shastra. The advent of Islam about a thousand years ago caused a fundamental shift-from the meta-physical to the sensual and hedonistic-characterized, for example, by the garden as an earthly image of paradise. The arrival and consolidation of power of Europeans in India and the construction of buildings and public spaces on European style coincided with the Age of scientific progress and rationality. This influenced a radical change in paradigms.
Consider this. Intricately designed and complex temple structures, concerned with the mysterious and the metaphysical, are typical creations of the Hindu mind of the ancient times. In contrast, simple rhythms and expansive blank walls and the dominance of white color were attributes of Islamic culture and buildings. The grandeur of power was reflected in the European architecture. Modern architecture in India has imbibed qualities of all these three epochs.
All right. So where do we place Vaastu in this?
The first, the ancient Indian category, of course. Vaastu is based on the effect of the non-manifest on the architecture and your well-being. In ancient India, a lot of people thought that the manifest world was only a part of their existence; there was also the world of the non-manifest that influenced their lives. If you think that views holds good even now, then Vaastu is for you. The science of Vaastu Shastra is indeed one of the oldest and most powerful of our cultural inheritances. All our great rulers for the prosperity and perpetuity of their kingdoms abundantly used Vaastu in the earlier periods. It was also used in town planning and the construction of temples. Simply stated, Vaastu helps us to align the energies of our house with that of the environment. It helps us to live in consonance with nature. Most people consult Vaastu only when they are in trouble or things are not going right. This attitude is incorrect as Vaastu affects the health, wealth and prosperity of the house and it’s inhabitants.
Vaastu in your Kitchen:
The kitchen is an extremely important part of your house and must be given due care and respect. Most of us treat the kitchen only as a place where food is cooked and food stocks are stored. However the ancient percepts of Vaastu accord very high significance to the kitchen and it’s placement. It is considered a sacred place.
Vaastu percepts relating to the Kitchen are as follows:
1) The best location for the Kitchen is the Southeast.
2) Kitchen located in the North or the East does tend to cause financial troubles.
3) The women folk should be facing the East while doing their cooking. This is good for health.
4) There should be abundant use of green in the kitchen. For example green granite for flooring or green pictures. This helps improve the appetite of the family members and also promotes peace and harmony in the house.
5) If possible, the cooking gas and the washing sink should not be kept very close to each other. The logic being fire and water are not comfortable close to each other.
6) The cooking stove should not be visible to the naked eyes from the outside. Hence always shield the kitchen from the outsiders.
7) There should be no leaking taps in the kitchen. This affects the money flow.
8) Wall Clocks should not be placed on the South and Southwest walls.
9) Kitchen is the best place to have your daily meals; but never face South while having your meals it creates stomach disorders, indigestion and other related problems.
Vaastu in your Bedroom:
After a whole busy day you expect a complete rest for your body & mind. And bedroom is the place where you get the relief from your stress, workout and other tension. So it becomes very necessary to take utmost care while placing the interiors for your bedroom according to the Vaastu percepts.
Some general Vaastu principles relating to the Bedroom are as follows:
1) The master bedroom is the place where the head of the family gets peace and privacy. Thus it is preferred in the Southwest or South since it is considered to be cool place.
2) Avoid constructing the master bedroom in the Northeast direction. Southeast is also not recommended for this room.
3) While placing mirror in your bedroom see to it that no part of your body is directly visible in the mirror while sleeping. Because that part of your body might face health problems e.g. if your head is visible in the mirror while sleeping it may cause migraine or if your legs are visible then you may face problem such as joints pain, etc.
4) Always keep your feet away from the main door, while sleeping it should not face the main door.
5) Place the bed in the Southwest of the room but it should not obstruct the door of the room.
6) Do not sleep keeping your head towards the north.
7) Avoid having bedroom near the drawing room.
8) Always keep room well-maintained, along with some scenery. Keep it well-lit and pleasant looking.
9) Always sleep with your head towards south.
10) See that the bed never touches the wall.