The Truth about Vastu or Vaastu
There is nothing metaphysical about Vaastu. It is just that the hidden harmony of Nature and the environs around, does not attempt to compare the incomparable or even try to explain it on the basis of magnetic waves, ultra-violet rays, cosmic rays and so forth, as these are but the tips of unknown, unexplored icebergs.
What is Vaastu or Vastu?
Sanskrit word Vastu generally means ‘dwelling’ or a building used for residential purposes. The first mention of Vaastu is found in the Yajurveda, the ancient text of Hindus believed to be over 4000 years old. They cover a wide variety of buildings like places of worship, marriage houses, party houses, palaces and chariots and dwellings. The first book on this subject is believed to have been written about 3000 years back by saint Vishwakarma. Vaastu is a science that is complete in it and can bring happiness to the whole world.
Vastu is a complete understanding of direction, geography, topography, environment and physics. It is a study that dictates the form size and orientation of a building, in relation to the plot, soil, surroundings and the personality of the owner / dweller. There is no room for rituals and superstitions.
Vaastu orientates, places and dictates the proportions of every detail as in building lines, skylines, elongations, levels, slopes, water tanks (underground and overhead), kitchen, bedrooms, toilets, staircase, heights of ceilings and roofs, entrances and loci of doors and windows, compound walls and so on.
Architectural science and equipment have undergone a sea change over the years. However, the principles of Vastu, although modified to suit the modern times, still remain applicable.
Basic Principles of Vaastu or Vastu
The following are some of the Vastu-logically correct principles of house making and design. Please note that like most of the ancient sciences, some of the knowledge that is contained in these principles may not be any more relevant at present times. However, the very basic of Vaastu principles will always continue to be beneficial to the mankind in one form or the other.
The basic principles are:
If you are in the process of buying a plot or site, please remember that plots/sites in South West, South & West directions are more advantageous than others.
According to Vastu, the most beneficial entrances in the house are those in North East, East or North direction.
Living Room or the dining room is best looked in East, North & Northeast directions.
The bedroom according to Vaastu should be in southwest/south or west direction.
The children’s bedroom should ideally be in NorthWest. It could be in Southeast & North as well but never in southwest or south.
If you are fortunate enough in present times to have the luxury of having a separate room for the guests, make the guestroom in Northwest or northeast direction.
The kitchen of the house is ideally located in Southeast followed by NorthWest & East.
Bathrooms & Toilets should be in Northwest of the house or in West or South direction.
While purchasing a plot or a site, it is advisable to go in for a rectangular or square shape. As far as possible, the site should be slopping towards North & East or Northeast.
While making the building or the house, it is advisable to have equal open space on all four sides. The levels of open spaces should be higher in South & West side and lower in North & East side. Outlets of rainwater should be in Northeast or North zones.
The living room of the central zone (Brahma sthan) should be free from any kind of obstructions. By obstructions, we mean any kind of beam, pillar, fixture, toilet, staircase or even a wall or lift.
The direction in which you sleep is also very important. One should never sleep with head in the north. Sleeping with head towards south ensures long life. While on a journey, it is advisable to sleep with head towards west.
In your study room, have your seat so as to face east or north. Do not have a toilet in the study room, though you can have a bathroom.
Do not use a dark colour in the study room. Use yellow or white or pink. Put the book shelf in east or north.
If you construct more than a floor, prepare the first floor on Southwest. The height of first floor shall not exceed that of ground floor. Do not build a storeroom on first floor.
It is said that a storeroom in the Northwest corner leads to abundant supply of essential commodities. Keep a holy picture on one eastern wall. Light colours should not be used on the storeroom. Use dark colours or blue or green. Never sleep in the storeroom at night. Also refrain from taking out grains from the storeroom in night.
The bathroom/bathrooms can be either inside or outside the house. In case it is inside, it should be located on the eastern or northern side. (If attached to a bedroom, then to eastern or northern side of the bedroom). When located outside, then it should be in Northeast corner, but away from the main building. The lavatories are forbidden in Northeast, Center, Southwest and West directions of the house.
Vaastu Shastra also guides us about what type of plants and trees should be planted around a dwelling unit so as to enjoy their positive properties the most.
Vastu does not prescribe having a Mango, Banana or a Jamun tree very near your house. However Peepal at some distance from the house in West direction is considered auspicious as is Imli in South West of the house. It is also auspicious to have an Anaar, Ashoka, Chandan, Champa, Chameli,Gulaab , Nariyal & Keshar tree around a house.
On the size & shape of the door , Vastu advises that width of the door should be half of the height of the door. Square doors as also automatic doors should be avoided.
The Paintings / Statues in the house are also important. One should not have pictures depicting war scenes (even if they belong to the Epic Mahabharata or Ramayan battles). Similiarly scenes depicting negativities of life like sorrow , struggle , violence (including that of wild beasts), tragedy and of calamities.