Vastu, Shastra is an ancient Vedic science predating feng shui; teaching how to increase wealth, boost health and live in harmony with nature.
Vastu is the science of building and arranging a home in harmony with the laws of nature and originated in India. The Sanskrit word Vastu means nature and the surrounding environment.
Origin of Vastu
The written history of the science of Vastu is at least 5,000 years old and predates Feng Shui by 2,000 years.
Vastu is part of the Sthapatya Veda,- which is in the Atharva Veda. Examples of buildings creating using Vastu principles include the 5,500-year-old cities of the Indus-Sarasvati culture called the Harappa civilization. Its first city was discovered close to the village called Harappa. Vastu is still widely practiced in India and was even applied by Western architects such as Marcus Vitruvius.
Five Elements in Vastu
Vastu aids choosing an appropriate plot and positioning a house to bring auspiciousness. There are five elements in Vastu that must be balanced in a property to bring equilibrium to the residents. The elements are also assigned to secondary directions and the Ayurveda discusses ways of using the positive energies of the elements:
- Prithvi (Earth) – southwest. Walking with bare feet on the earth aids absorption of positive earth energies.
- Paani (Water) – northeast. Drinking pure water gains energy from the water element.
- Agni (Fire) – southeast. Bathing in the morning sunlight accesses fire element energy.
- Vayu (Air) – northwest. Inhaling air from plants provides positive energy from the air.
- Akash (Ether) – the center. Watching the sky and stars bring calmness and exposure to the ether element.
Vastu Purusha Mandala
Purusha means “man” in Sanskrit and also relates to energy or divine power. A plan or chart is called a Mandala. Vastu Purusha Mandala is the mathematical diagram used when designing Vastu-aligned building plans. The Vastu Purusha Mandala is represented as a square in grid form.
The legend of the Vastu Purusha points to a being blocking the heaven from the earth and Brahma aided by other demigods trapped him to the ground. This is demonstrated in the Mandala with portions allocated to each deity based on their contributions and positions The predominant demigod, planet and bodily organ of each direction are:
- Northeast – Ishan – Jupiter (Brain/Head)
- East – Indra – Sun (Heart)
- Southeast – Agni – Venus (Liver)
- South – Yamaraja – Mars (Kidneys/Abdomen)
- Southwest – Nairutva – Rahu (Feet/Bones)
- West – Varuna – Saturn (Kidneys/Abdomen)
- Northwest – Vayu – Moon (Stomach/Spleen)
- North – Kuvera – Mercury (Thymus/Throat)
- Centre – Ruled by Brahma the Creator of the Material Universe
Tips and Remedies for Positive Vastu Energy
It is essential to consider the directions when applying Vastu to rooms in the house. The center of the home is called the Brahma-sthan and must be kept open with access to light and air. It is ideal to avoid having a toilet or clutter in this area. Living rooms are best in the north or northeast of the house and walls should be painted in light colors.
The best position for a kitchen is in the southeast and not below bedrooms or toilets. A study is best located in the west as Saturn fosters ambition, curiosity and increased brain activity. A toilet should not be placed in the northeast as that is where the Vastu Purush head lies. Bedrooms are best placed in the south and children’s bedrooms are best in the west.
Vastu is a complex science and to fully comprehend and apply its principles an understanding of the Vedas is essential. Luckily many Vastu defects can be remedied by adjusting the interior with natural images, mirrors, crystals, mantras, and yantras. It is advised to consult a certified Vasati consultant when dealing with Vastu defects.
- Schmieke, Marcus 2002 Vastu, The Origin of Feng Shui