फलानि ग्रहचारेण सूचयन्ति मनीषिण । को वक्ता तारत्म्यस्य तमेकम वेधसं विना ।। -> An astrologically educated person, in a way, can predict future events. Who else, besides God Himself, can predict the future exactly?

Vastu Shastra

July 29, 2020

Everything you need to know about Vastu Shastra

We human beings are always surrounded by vibrations of energy around us. Considering this fact, most of us spend our time in a building, which we refer to as a home, workplace, etc. Hence, these vibrations constantly hover around us at all times. However, these could be both positive as well as negative energies. Here, Vastu comes into the picture, which banishes negative energies and amplifies the positive energies present at a respective place. This is done to bring prosperity, growth and wellbeing to one's life. Then whether it is for a family, person, business, etc.

What is exactly Vastu Shastra?

The word Vastu has been derived from the Sanskrit word Vastu, which means dwelling/to exist, where the god and man reside. A Vastu (with a short "a") is a material reality, a really existing thing, the matter from which other things are created. On the other hand Vastu, (with the long "a"), means a building site/an abode/dwelling place or a home. This means it comprises of inhabits/bhumi, buildings on the earth/harmya, and moveable artifacts present in one’s life/ paryanka, furniture/sayana and transport/yana, which act as the "temporary dwellings'' when it is used by an individual.

It is the science of architecture, which lays down the principles of design, layout, measurement, ground preparation, space arrangement and spatial geometry. This can be done for any built-up structure while incorporating traditional Hindu religious beliefs. The theory of Vastu brings forth ideas and concepts for building a living space harmonious with nature. In simple words, as per Vastu Shastra, a house is a living soul and therefore it aims at balancing the five elements i.e. earth, fire, water, space, and air existent in it. In order to attain the maximum level of positive energy. There are infinite ways to arrange a space, while some specific considerations can make the whole difference. Always remember that "Good" Vastu emerges when we create spaces that foster equilibrium, prosperity and health in our lives, and when we act properly within them. Whereas "Bad" Vastu is a result of spaces and alignments that are obstructed from the circulation of prana, which prevents us from relishing ease in our lives.

Origin and Science behind Vastu Shastra

Vastu Shastra roots back itself from 1000 years ago. Where the scientific principles laid down then, were purely based on the effect of sun rays during different times of the day. The corrections and observations were duly noted and were concluded only after thorough screening. It has been even described in epics viz. Mataysya Purana, Skanda Purana, Garuda Purana, Agni Purana and Vishnu Purana. It follows the science of direction, which combines the five elements i.e. “Panchbhootas” of nature (आकाश, पृथ्वी, जल, वायु और अग्नि) in a holistic manner and balances them with human beings and materials. It is based on certain rules, formulas and patterns, where Vastu calculates rainfall, sunrise and sunset to figure out the ideal way to construct a building/house/structure. It is trusted, that after adopting this science, it brings harmony and focuses on drawing positive cosmic energy into human beings lives.

Vastu, The Yoga of Space

One of the definitions of yoga contained in the Bhagavad-Gita is "skill in action" (yoga karmasu kausalam). The word kausalam implies easy grace, natural proficiency, the attainment of flow with minimal effort; performed by panache, yoga is that which unknots kinked prana and further prana's circulation. We can call Vastu "yoga of space", for it is the study of how to skillfully align ourselves with our surrounding spaces/space in general. Where, most of the varieties of yoga focus on cultivating and channeling prana by focusing attention on the inner spaces of body and mind, while Vastu focuses instead on the eternal spaces that the body-mind occupies. Vastu, Hatha Yoga, Ayurveda and Jyotisa use differing means toward the same end: to align individuals more perfectly with their own prana and the prana of their environment. Vastu, Ayurveda, Jyotisa, Hatha Yoga, and related alignment practices are traditions, which have evolved via the expression of vidyas through human awareness. A vidya is, a subtle all-powerful energetic intelligence, a dynamically active consciousness, which is known in Sanskrit as sakti. When, by dint of persistent veneration, an individual succeeds at developing a personal relationship with a vidya, that impersonal vidya is then transformed into a personalized deity, a goddess who, expresses herself through that devotee, can promote concord.A vidya is, fundamentally, an extension of the natural human talent for feeling the rightness and wrongness of things. The basic principles of Vastu are, like the basic principles of healing or any other vidya, expressions of fundamental powers inherent in our world's configuration. Where there is disease/illness, nature creates a remedy; where space swerves from cooperation into imbalance, an antidote spontaneously arises that, when well applied, guides us instinctively towards harmony. Every human being enjoys an intuitive feel for the balance or imbalance of arrangements in space.

The Vastu Purusha and Three Gunas

There are 4 cardinal directions as per Vastu shastra i.e. tamas (West), sattva (East), rajas (North) and rajas (South). The dynamic tension generated between the issue i.e. tamas and the potential, which is sattva, is known as rajas (North). Where the influence of directionality induces these 3 Gunas to predominate in distinct portions of our mandala. The chart is thus subdivided, our spatial grid becomes a space-time diagram that correlates, within the confines of our stable square, the natural tendencies of the directions with the natural predispositions of time. Energies move within a structure as never-ending as Earth rotates on its axis and circles its sun. The sun's daily influence manifests, with its ascent, in the east. That influence then flows towards the south. Graha and grha, the Sanskrit word for house, are derived from the same root. A house is thus a space that influences your life by gripping you firmly (for better or worse). As we have seen, directionality is one of the most important routes via which a house can grip you. Though 5 chief styles of Jyotisa (Parasari, Jaimini, Nadi, Tantrika, Tajika) offer more than one system correlating to the 9 Grahas with directions, the following is the scheme that Vastu employes most often:

1)South: Presided over by Mars.

2)West: Presided over by Saturn.

3)East: Presided over by the Sun.

4)North: Presided over by Mercury.

5)South-east: Presided over by Venus.

6)North-east: Presided over by Jupiter.

7)North-west: Presided over by the Moon.

8)South-west: Presided over by Rahu and Ketu, the moon's nodes.

Connection with the deities:

1)North (uttara) is presided over by Kubera, god of wealth

2)East (purva) is presided over by Indra, king of the devas.

3)South-east (agneya) is presided over by Agni, Fire personified.

4)North-west (vayavya) is presided over by Vayu, Air personified.

5)South (daksina) is presided over by Yama, lord of dharma and death.

6)West (pashmia) is presided over by Varuna, lord of Truth, Order and Vastness.

7)South-west (nairrtya) is presided over by Nirrti, the power of chaos and dissolution.

8)North-east (isanya) is presided over by Isana (or Isvara, The Great Lord") or Soma ("Nectar Incarnate"), and is associated with the Water Element.

9)Vertically above (urdhva) is the sky, where the planets congregate, ruled by Brahma, the Creator and also Brahman, the Absolute, the source of peace, concord and life itself.

10)Vertically below (adhas) is the realm of Ananta (or Sesa), the 1000 headed serpent who is the source of all natural resources and all worldly pleasures.

Characteristics of Elements:

Earth:-

● Provides consciousness, energy and strength to the body.
● Gives original ideas and solutions for questions.
● Makes the individual grow, become strong and have a let go attitude. Malefic effects that one suffers from (when the earth sign doesn’t suit him/her) viz. cough, eye-related diseases, makes the person lazy, causes diseases related to the anus or genitals, indigestion, etc.

Water :-

●Gives more willpower and makes the person ambitious.
● People with this element are amicable, jolly, affectionate and straight forward. Mostly inclined towards social work/welfare. Malefic effects that one suffers from (when the water sign doesn’t suit him/her) viz. heartache, gastric problems, skin diseases, diseases pertaining to the bladder, ears and kidneys, gastric problems, etc.

Fire :-

● Makes the person modest, mentally strong, courageous, intelligent and bright.
● They cannot be pressurized by anyone.
● They have a forgiving nature. Malefic effects that one suffers from (when the fire sign doesn’t suit him/her) viz. face muscle pain, stress, heart diseases, get provoked easily and feel insulted on small things.

Air :-

● Possess excellent vitality, good health and are energetic.
● They are not good at judging between the truth and false, hence, have a habit to pursue only what they decide and perceive to be correct. Malefic effects that one suffers from (when the air sign doesn’t suit him/her) viz. diseases related to the stomach, nose, lungs, chest, etc. Also, they get provoked very easily and go uncontrollable. They lack good relationships, wealth and decision making abilities in life.

The influence of Climate

North and east (and northeast) are clearly Vastu's preferred directions, particularly for a structure's main entrance. The Vastu Purusa "had his head turned toward the northeast." However, the northerly exposures and entrances are more appropriate for India than for most of the temperature prevailing in the northern hemisphere, and certainly for the subarctic regions, where north is commonly (and rightly) equated with cold, darkness, forced immobility, and death and south is revered as the direction whence arises heat, light, change and life. The ancient Chinese oriented their world along the north-south axis, placing the yellow of earth at the centre and the red phoenix-the bird of sun, summer and youth-in the south. The white tiger of autumn, which represents old age, appears in the west, and the black tortoise, the "warrior" of the north, signifies death. The blue dragon sits in the east, which as in India, represents spring and birth. How you elect to dispose your dwelling in relation to north and south ought thus to depend chiefly on your latitude. In much of India, a southern door is an invitation to death by baking, for the blazing tropical sun will be able to cook you all day long, all summer long, if your door and main windows are subject to its rays.

Tiger and cow

When you do learn some new and useful Vastu principle, always try to understand its source. More often than not, it has developed from some very basic understanding of human nature and interaction. Take, for example, the Tiger-mouthed tracts (vyaghra-mukhi bhumi) and Cow-mouthed tracts (go-mukhi bhumi) that Vimalananda used as the introduction to Vastu. Let us now add to this notion the detail that Tiger-mouthed properties (whose fronts are significantly wider than their backs) are said to benefit commercial endeavours, while cow-mouthed lands (whose backs are significantly wider than their fronts), are supposed to be good for dwellings, are reported to be inauspicious for business.

We cannot be absolutely certain of what the seers who compiled Vastu's texts were thinking when they proposed this principle, but we can certainly postulate at least one reason why they would think of Tiger-mouthed tracts as good for business, in that they lend themselves to being entered. The wider threshold of a tiger-mouthed tract is more likely to encourage people to cross it than the narrower threshold of a cow-mouthed tract. A broader threshold provides a longer storefront, which can be used to attract more people to come in.

Most important changes to be made in a house/structure/place according to Vastu:

1) Cow mouthed tract (Go-mukhi bhumi) and Tiger mouthed tract (Vyaghra-mukhi bhumi):

This is just one factor among many factors that helps in determining whether a particular piece of land will be "beneficial" for you or not. Yet it is a major one. As, how your land and house are configured makes a tremendous difference to the happiness attained in life. And there are ways to compensate for the poor land replacements. Like in this case, one will need to shift the entrance of the property from the long side of the trapezoid to the short side. Then the tiger-mouthed tract will automatically turn into a cow-mouthed tract, and everything will be different then.

2) North-East:

● The north-east corner of the house is called “Ishaan kon”, which is considered best for meditation, prayers, spiritual practise, studies, etc. This corner of the house must always be kept clean, with a pop of bright colours, must have big sized windows so that the sunlight can enter from the east direction, which is regarded to be the best.
● The temple must be placed in the northeast corner of the house. Temple backed by the east wall, one must be facing east while praying.
● Air coming from the north direction is also considered best for upkeeping the health and harmony in the house.
● Water running in the north-east direction is considered best for gaining peace and prosperity in the house.

3) South East:

● The south-east corner is called “agni kon”, where heavy electricals, generators, electronic transformers must be kept, which prevents the risk of fire, harm, etc.

● For the kitchen, the south-east is considered as the best direction. Hence, a person must face the east direction while cooking food. Also, the kitchen counter must be on the east wall of the kitchen room.

● Why windows should be in the south direction: According to my experience, the year is divided in such a way that the initial 6 months the sun is in uttarayan and in the later 6 months the sun is dakshinayan. So, when the sun is in dakshinayan (during the cold days when the sun rises from the south direction). In this scenario, if the windows of your house are in the south direction and when the sun rises from the south i.e. dakshinayan it reflects the sunlight inside the house through the windows. Leading the house to be warm during the winters making one feel less cold. The sun is also present in uttarayan for sure but when people are not able to access proper sunlight during the chilly weather, where days get shorter. During that time when the sun rises from the south direction i.e. dakshinayan, it helps in maintaining and balancing the house temperature making it less cold than the outside weather. Not just this but the sun is also a great source of natural Vitamin D, whose intake is good for the human body. As the sun rays are believed to improve one’s sleep. Owing to the reason that our body creates a hormone called melatonin, which is critical in helping one sleep. Also, it reduces stress, maintains strong bones, strengthens the immune system, fights off depression and gives one a longer life. So, the sunlight coming in through these windows creates a very different and positive impact.

4) For the office, office counter and Galla (Cash Counter):

● For an office, it is a must to have it established in the south-west corner of the house.
● The person sitting on the counter or at the office table is considered best when he/she faces east or north direction.

5) Placement of Lord Ganesha's picture/idol other than a temple:

Deliberately or unintentionally, we started practising what we witnessed. We imitated the temple style of deity placement in our house, which is an extremely disrespectful and wrong practice. Wondering what exactly is the topic heading to? Well, we all see Hindu temples featuring the deity’s picture/idol placed at the main door’s entrance or at the outer side of the temple’s premises. However, from a temple's standpoint, it is done to signify Ganesha as the Pratham Poojya (The one who needs to be worshipped first). The purpose of it is that when anyone enters the sanctum sanctorum for worshipping god and goddess, the first image that you face/see is Lord Ganesha. In this manner, Lord Ganesha feels highly honoured and respected.

● However, having said that, people perceived it to be an ideal way to practice it at their home and residential/workplaces too, without having the slightest idea that Lord Ganesha is not their house guard. Instead, they are humiliating and showing disrespect to Lord Ganesha like this. If one really wishes to have Lord Ganesha’s blessings without disrespecting him then his image/idol should be placed on the inner side of the main door. Where his hands will shower blessings towards the home and will turn his back to the outside world. However, if you still have some restrictions of tradition/any other constraints, which has led you in a dilemma then place Lord Ganesha’s idol/picture facing both on the inner side as well as the outer side of the house.

6) During sleep:

● One must rest his/her head in the east or south direction while sleeping. As resting the head in the east direction is considered ideal. Also, the south direction is good and the west direction is considered okay.

● Do remember that the north is considered the worst direction to rest one’s head and sleep. As it not only increases health complications but also people suffering from nerve-related issues and anxiety or any similar kind of issue will end up suffering even more.

● It is important to understand that there is a magnetic force in the north direction, which is why the magnetic compass always turns the pointer in the north direction. That is the reason that when the person leaves this world (is dead), according to Hinduism/sanatan dharma his head is kept towards the north direction. The logic behind this is owing to the fact that whatever energy is left inside the body/whatever pain sorrows and attachment the person has with his or her body gets pulled away. And the soul feels detached from the body (pind), people connected to the body and slowly move himself/herself towards the door of Moksha/liberation/get into a new life (a new body).

The purpose of this article was to not just to highlight the importance of Vastu Shastra in general, yet also enrich your knowledge in a more profound manner along with the nitty gritties. As I truly believe that sometimes, the smallest things can turn our fortunes around. As Vastu Shastra shows an individual how tweaking one’s space can enhance positive energy and attract prosperity and peace in the longer haul thereby bringing in harmony. In the end, I strongly hope that you’ll make the most of this information and leverage it in your real life too.