Introduction to Vastu Shastra
Vastu Shastra is an ancient Indian system of architecture that considers the law of nature and its effect on human dwellings. Vastu is a Sanskrit word which means “dwelling” in general. The root word “Vas” means to dwell, live, etc. Hence the word Vastu further branches out to consider the site, foundation, land of construction, building, dwelling-place, habitation, house, etc. The Sanskrit word Shastra means science. Hence Vastu Shastra (वास्तुशास्त्र) literally means “architecture” or “science of construction”.
As per Vastu, earth is filled with beneficial energy and one must learn to use it while maintaining a perfect balance between man and material. Vastu Shastra lays out a set of guidelines in order to integrate aspects of nature and cosmos with architecture and their relative effects on the structure of a dwelling. These guidelines are based on the combination of five basic elements also known as the Pancha Maha-Bhoota and Eight Directions.
Earth is the only planet in our solar system where life exists and that is due to the presence of Pancha Bhoota which comprises Space, Water, Fire, Earth and Air. In order to implement or design a dwelling using these five elements one needs to understand them thoroughly. We should know and understand what is the nature and qualities of these Five Elements.
Five Elements of Vastu Shastra
Space which is known as Akash (आकाश) represents expansions and enhancements. This element is related to our sense of hearing. Hence that is how the element space influences human lives and Vastu provides proper guidelines to Space and according to It, the house construction should be in such a way that the light enters the central area of the house. This space must be kept vacant in a house to have peace of mind and peace in life.
Water which is known as Jal (जल) represents spirituality & healing. 80 percent of our body and two-third of the earth’s surface consists of water elements. This ratio directly indicates the influence of the water element on human life. To get maximum benefits, water sources should be kept in the north-east direction of a house which will result in positivity and peace.
Fire which is known as Agni (आग) represents power and fame. The element fire possesses the quality of planet Sun which is a source of natural light and an important source of energy. Vastu provides proper directions for the placement of the fire element, which is south-east direction. Hence places like, electrical gadgets, kitchen fire, electrical room, etc. must be placed in the south-east direction of the structure. This will result in the vitality and strength of the dweller.
Earth which is known as Prithvi (पृथ्वी) represents stability, peace and harmony. Earth’s gravitational and magnetic force directly influence human lives. Hence selection of the site for the construction is very important in Vastu. This includes inspection of the plot’s soil, area and direction of the site. Also making the right use of the south-west direction in the long run will benefit us to stay healthy and provide stability.
Air which is known as Vayu (वायु) represents joy and happiness. The air element is related to our senses to touch and sound. The ideal direction for this element as per Vastu is north-west. Air is an important element for the survival of living beings. Proper use of air elements in the structure will result in creativity, movement, cheerfulness and so on.
The eight directions consist of 4 cardinal directions which are North, South, East and West and 4 intercardinal directions which are Northeast, Southeast, Southwest and Northwest. When we divide the house or workplace into zones, we can precisely take into account the respective directions. Each direction represents certain elements that are suitable for certain activities and vice versa. Hence it is extremely important to allocate the right activities to the right zone while designing the space so the space adds value and provides support to one’s life. So it is important to understand how each direction be used to create an environment of prosperity.
Eight Directions of Vastu Shastra
The direction North is governed by Lord Kuber. He is the god of wealth. Hence north is the zone of wealth and career.
The direction East is governed by Lord Indra. He is the god of pleasure and prosperity. Hence East is the zone of wealth and pleasure of life.
The direction South is governed by Lord Yama. He is the god of death. He is also known to put an end to evil and make place for good. Hence south is the zone of growth and fame.
The direction West is governed by Lord Varun. He is the god of rain. Rain represents peace and prosperity in life and that is what this zone attracts.
5. North East
This direction of North East is also known as “Ishanya”. This is the zone of mental peace. Hence this direction signifies prosperity in terms of knowledge and spirituality.
6. South East
This direction of South East is also known as “Agneya”. This is the zone of fierce energy. Hence this direction signifies health and fame.
7. South West
This direction of South West is also known as “Nairutya”. This is the zone of strength. Hence this direction signifies strength and stability.
8. North West
This direction of North West is also known as “Vayavya”. This is the zone of movement. Hence this direction signifies growth and creativity.
Vastu Shastra aims at creating a harmonic setting in a place to live or work, in the most scientific way possible. Because as per Vastu Shastra when any construction or dwelling is formed in tune with the underlying cosmic principles, that dwelling blends in and becomes part of the basic structure of the universe and vibrates in harmony with it. This results in the inhabitants to live in positive energy enjoying the positive vibe of the dwelling. It is also believed Vastu principles incorporated with architecture help boost health, wealth, energy and prosperity and make the living or working atmosphere serene, helpful, beneficial and enlightened.