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Vaastu Shastra is a branch of study that deals with the layout, spatial arrangement, and design of buildings. Even now, whenever Indians buy or rent a place, they consult Vaastu experts. In this respect, this ancient science is indomitable. The Sanskrit term ‘Vaastu’ refers to a piece of land, and ‘shastra’ means teaching. Hence, the term could be translated to the ‘s
Science of dwelling’. The practice is built on the belief that every building and structure has a soul, which has been described as the ‘Vaastu Purusha’. Its many valuable teachings have been incorporated into modern Indian architecture, which is a testament to its fluidity.
If we look at the historical aspect of the science, we will find that it has been in existence for more than a thousand years. Its earliest mention could be traced back to Sthapatya Veda, a sub-section of the Atharva Veda. For years, it was passed down orally in the absence of manuscripts. It was heavily applied in the building of temples, some of which have survived. In the Puranic epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata, we find mention of the shastra. It has been noted that the construction of the city of Ayodhya and the famous Ramasetu was based on Vaastu principles.
According to legends, an asura named Vaastu was made a deity after prayer, but his greed threatened the other gods that resided in heaven. Upon the advice of Lord Brahama, the devas waged a war against him and expelled him to the earth. To subdue him, each deva sat on a particular organ of his, and Lord Brahama ultimately killed him by sitting on his chest. The guidelines for the grid diagram in Vaastu are based on the direction in which he faced. It is believed that the body of Vaastu is still in the same position and based on the positions of all the gods, the configuration of the building is decided.
Before building a house, a workplace, or a holy shrine, it is important to take note of the mandala, which is a diagram made up of concentric circles that have a spiritual significance. There are several mandalas, out of which the Manduka or Chandita is of the utmost importance. In this mandala, the head of the Vaastupurusa faces east, while in all the other mandala, its direction is north-east. The site is divided into squares by the Pada Vinasya. For example, a one-squared site is called Eka-pada, and a four-squared site is called Dwi-pada.
The need for one's home to emit positive and welcoming energy transcends time, and so, Vaastu continues to stay relevant and popular among the masses. The objective of consulting the experts of Vaastu is to balance the flow of energy in and around the building. Different areas and rooms, along with inanimate objects are taken into account, and their precise positioning is advocated. The process is a harmonious blend of science and mysticism, which aligns with the Vedic philosophy.
The Main Entrance
According to Vaastu, the main door's construction should be in a way that it faces in the north, the east, or the north-east direction. This is an important step since the main door is the entry point for both positive and negative energy. The strategic position would also ensure a steady supply of sunlight, which is necessary for the good health of homeowners. If due to some reason, the main entrance faces the south, it is important that there is an alternative entrance facing north, even if it is not in use. It is not advisable to choose a black front door or to construct a dimly lit entrance.
Since the living room is a witness to social events, and also to the private time a family enjoys, its importance is twofold. Upon entrance, the first thing that a guest notices are the living room, and thus, it must leave a good impression. The room should face north, east, or in the north-east direction. This positioning makes sure that the room absorbs the positive energy, and expels the negative energy of the guests. Heavy furniture should be kept in the southern or western part of the room, and its walls should be painted a light color to foster a welcoming environment.
It is not auspicious for the washrooms to face in the same direction as the main entrance and the living room. They should face south or south-west, and the windows should be built on the north and east-facing walls to ensure sunlight, which is healthy after taking a bath.
This room radiates positive energy, so it is advised that it should be built near the center of the house, on the ground floor. It should face the north-east direction so that the residents offer prayer while facing in that direction.
In today's world, it could be difficult to follow the strict guidelines dictated by Vaastu Shastra. For small and insignificant doshas, there are certain pocket-friendly solutions that one can apply. For instance, building small pyramids around the house can correct small defects in Vaastu. Remedies like lighting incense sticks in rooms and sprinkling sea slats are also recommended by experts. Mirrors are also excellent at reflecting negative energy out of homes. However, they should be hung in a manner that they don’t face the main entrance or the bed.
The purpose behind the science is to attach meaning to the house so that it could be called a home. This is achieved by ensuring a perfect harmony among the five elements recognized by the Hindu philosophy- fire, water, earth, sky, and air. Once this goal is realized, a person's life becomes more organized and peaceful. Five material and abstract aspects are known to be influenced by Vaastu. They are money, enthusiasm, strength, power, and confidence. These points corroborate the fact that while a Vaastu consultation may not be necessary before building a house, it is essential for leading a healthier and happier life with one’s family.