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Vaastu Shastra

 


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VAASTU SHASTRA


A guide to improve life at home and work

By Suresh Jaura*

 

The Importance of Panchbhoots: The Five Elements- in Architecture

 

A proper balance of these five elements is essential while working on architectural designs.

[Read More]

 

Previous Columns:

 

Panchbhoots: The Five Elements

The universe comprises of five basic and essential elements (Panchbhoots): Space (Aakash -sky), Air (Vaayu), Fire (Agni- sun), Water (Jal), and Earth (Bhoomi). All the creatures on this earth are physically made up of these elements, and without these there can be no life on our planet. [Read More]

Vaastu Purusha, the Directions and Sun Worship
 

The ancient mythology holds that the Vaastu Purusha was a giant and to conquer him the various deities representing several directions sat on his back making it impossible for him to get up. [Read More]

 

 

VAASTU - What is it ?

According to Vaastu Shastra, one of the important Sanskrit quotations translated into English means: [Read More]

 

An Introduction


Nature, at its worst, brings in its wake floods, droughts, storms, earthquakes etc. It is misconceived to be hostile to man. [Read More]

 

 

The Importance of Panchbhoots: The Five Elements- in Architecture

 

 

A proper balance of these five elements is essential while working on architectural designs.

 

A Sanskrit quotation from Vedas translated into English means:

 

“Our life does not depend merely on the breathing process. The intake of diet is indeed important for health, but health does not rest on food alone,  because everything can be thrown out of order if the mind is upset. A turbulence injected into the mind is enough to disturb the entire balance of personality”.

 

 

WHAT IS THE ORIGIN OF THE WORD ARCHITECTURE?

 

As per the Oxford Dictionary, architecture is derived from the Greek word ‘ARCHITEKTON’.

 

Arch - Chief, also, Arch - consciously playful and Teasing Tekton-Builder. (Technique, Technology).

 

One can develop that the architect is the Chief Builder, consciously evolving playful and pleasing environment. He is the master of art of building.

 

 

WHAT ARE THE QUALITIES OF ARCHITECTURE?

 

Vitruvious, the Greek theoretician, defined three qualities of architecture: Commodity, Stability and Delight.

 

Ruskin, in the 19th century, also called these as: Utility, Stability and Beauty.

 

One may also derive:

 

Archi-Tec-Ture = Playful - Technology - Culture = A culture of building playfully.

 

 

HOW ARE THESE QUALITIES INCORPORATED?

 

Architecture incorporates:

 

COMMODITY - Real Estate, Investments, Comforts of Living, Shelter, Activities and Utility.

 

PROTECTION against weather, undesired elements such as insects, strangers, animals etc., while keep meaningful contact with the Elements of  Nature, Views, Society.

 

STABILITY - Strength, Durability, Maintenance.

 

DELIGHT - Visual, Audio, Smell, Temperature and Taste (perceptions).

 

Moods, Emotions, Intellect, Vitality and Bliss.

 

These are psychological and aesthetical dimensions of Commodity and Stability.

 

Building must be comfortable and strong and must feel so. Must give psychological satisfaction, too.

 

Ruskin called architecture as Mother of all arts.

 

 

HOW MANY DIMENSIONS DOES ARCHITECTURE HAVE?

 

Painting is two-dimensional art and sculpture is three-dimensional art, as viewed from outside.

 

Architecture has fourth dimension: Interior.

 

It is lived in and is experienced from inside as well as outside.

 

Luis I. Kahn, the 20th century Master Architect, said, "Architecture is making thoughtful spaces," within and around buildings.

 

Above all, architecture is also the culture of building playful joyous environments.

 

 

WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF VAASTU?

 

"Vastu is the culture of building internal and external playful joyous environments. Like any culture, it expresses life and grows over long span of time. Design is to be seen, felt, perceived, conceived and experienced. Vastu is extension of man in all its sense manifestations under given human activities," that is how Prof B.B. Puri, an Indian architect, with over 37 years experience, sums up the significance of Vaastu.

 

 

 

Panchbhoots: The Five Elements

 

The universe comprises of five basic and essential elements (Panchbhoots): Space (Aakash -sky), Air (Vaayu), Fire (Agni- sun), Water (Jal), and Earth (Bhoomi). All the creatures on this earth are physically made up of these elements, and without these there can be no life on our planet.

HOW CAN THESE ELEMENTS BE DESCRIBED?

SPACE (Aakash):  It is the unending regions remote from the Earth, in which our entire Solar system and the entire galaxy exist. Its effective forces are light, heat, gravitational force, and waves, the magnetic field and others.

 

Its main characteristic is Sound (Shabd), the instrument of perception is Ears, work organ (outward) is Speech (Communication), and is related to the sense of hearing. Building-wise, it relates to Silence, Acoustics and Vibrations.

 

AIR (Vaayu): Earth’s atmosphere, said to be about 400 kms in depth, consists of oxygen 21% (Praan - Vaayu), nitrogen 78%, carbon dioxide, helium, other kind of gases, dust particles, humidity and vapour in certain proportion. As a life-supporting element, air is very powerful life source.

 

Its main characteristics are Sound (Shabd) and Touch (Sparsh), the instrument of perception is Skin, work organ is Hands (and Fingers). Building systems to handle air for comfort, directly impact on the form and visual qualities of architecture and habitats. Air also represents movement.

 

FIRE (AGNI):  represents light and heat. Sun is also considered a source of mental energy. It is in the temperate zone - where it is not too hot or too cold - that best minds evolve in a natural process. The culture and architecture is also influenced by the seasons

and other aspects of Solar system.

 

Its main characteristics are Sound (Shabd) and Touch (Sparsh) and Sight  (Roop), and the instrument of perception is Eyes, work organs are Feet leading to Mobility.

 

Sun has played an important role in the development of visual qualities of architecture in terms of textures, color, roof forms, and above all, expressions of vitality.

 

WATER (JAL), a combination of hydrogen and oxygen in ratio 2:1, is represented by rain, river, sea, and comes in the form of liquid (water), solid (ice) and the gas (steam, clouds). In every plant and life on the Earth water exists in certain proportion.

 

 Its main characteristics are Sound (Shabd), Touch (Sparsh), Sight (Roop) and Taste (Ras). The instrument of perception is Tongue; work organs act to discard human waste.

 

Water is not only life source, but is fundamental to location and growth of habitats. Three-fourth of the earth surface is water.

 

EARTH (BHOOMI) is the third planet in order from sun. It is like a huge magnet with North and South poles as centers of attraction. Its magnetic field and gravitational force has telling effects on everything on Earth. One-fourth of the earth surface is land.

 

Its main characteristics are Sound (Shabd), Touch (Sparsh), Sight (Roop), Taste (Ras) and Smell (Gandh), the instrument of perception is Nose, work organs act to procreate life.

 

Architecturally, land structure, landform; landscape, flora and fauna are important. It also establishes availability of local construction materials and their workability.

 

 

 

Vaastu Purusha, the Directions and Sun Worship

 

The ancient mythology holds that the Vaastu Purusha was a giant and to conquer him the various deities representing several directions sat on his back making it impossible for him to get up.


 

The giant prayed to God, who appeared in the Northeast corner and blessed the being with a VARA telling him that he will look after the inhabitants who do not hurt him.

 

Ancient sages believed that Vaastu Purusha, the Demi God, resides in each and every lot, house or building, with head on the northeast side of the place. 

 

The image of the Vaastu Purusha is drawn in the likeness of a man with his head in the north-east, legs in the south-west, right hand in the north west and left hand in the south west. So this is a male energy that resides in our homes, it is the life force of our homes, buildings, etc.

 

This is the intellectual foundation of the building represented by a diagram or a mandala of a square. Vaastu stands for a surrounding environment, matter or nature. Purusha for energy, work power, soul of the building; and mandala for the astrological chart which relates the lay out to orientation.

 

It is also thought to be the representation of the body of the Vaastu Purusha.

 

The position of the deities as per the ancient texts are explained as NOFOLLOWs:

   * Northeast - the Lord Himself

   * East - Lord of Knowledge - Indra

   * North - Lord of Wealth - Kubera

   * South - Lord of Death - Yama

   * West - Lord of night - Varuna

   * Southeast - Lord of Fire- Agni

   * Southwest - Lord of Demons - The Anti God - Niruti

 

Besides the four directions, the center is considered to be the Brahmasthana (cosmos).

 

It is a subtle way of indicating where the building, vacant space, garden, water bodies etc. should be present.

 

Northeast should be vacant as the Lord is present there. It is also called God's place.

 

East stands for knowledge and hence there should be sufficient setbacks in this direction for the children to make progress.

 

North is the place of Lord Wealth. Open area kept here enriches the family.

 

South, West and Southwest are occupied by dark forces and to subdue them the structure should come in this portion of the plot.

Placement and construction as per these dictates is deemed to bring cheer to the house site organism.

All corners of the building are not equal in nature.

The northeast corner is the coolest.

The southwest corner is the hottest.

The lighter structure should be towards northeast.

The heavier structures are prepared in Southwest corners or along with the southern or western zones.

 

East and Sun Worship

The practice of Sun worship has been known in various civilizations since times immemorial. Sun illuminates the Universe and sustains life in this world.

 

The eastern direction is of great significance because Sunrays of early morning emit more light and less heat. In the afternoon, Sun moves towards the West, grows hot
and emits infrared rays, which are detrimental to health.

 

As the rays of Sun play such an integral part in our lives, East and West directions are very important. Due to he magnetic properties of the Earth, with the magnetic needle of the compass pointing to the North, North direction is also important.

 

The bedrooms and facilities, like prayer room, kitchen, dining room, study, storage, wash- rooms etc. are to be properly designed to be in a particular direction.

Vaastu Shastra explains that the north- east area of the plot or city or country is very auspicious because Sun rises from the East and gives brightness, and North is the direction of the magnetic pole of the earth. The corner where two directions meet i.e. northeast is believed to be even more relevant, as it combines the forces emanating from both directions.

 

It is laid down that more spaces should be left, more windows and doors fixed, more balconies and courtyards provided towards East and North than towards West and South.

Vaastu Shastra gives clear directions as to how a plot of land should be chosen, be it for residential, industrial, educational, commercial or any other purpose.

 

Designing of a good and happy home depends upon many aspects like the size of the plot, its location vis a vis the road, the level of the plot and the roads surrounding it, the
direction of the entrance to the plot and the location of the gate etc.

 

Vaastu gives useful and practical tips on how to create a healthy and harmonious living and work environment. It offers suggestions for placement of furniture, office, equipment, plant and machinery.

 

 

VAASTU - What is it ?


According to Vaastu Shastra, one of the important Sanskrit quotations translated into English means:

"Properly designed and pleasing house will be an abode of good health, wealth, family, peace and happiness. Negligence of canons of architecutre will result in disrepute, sorrows and disappointments. So Vaastu Shastra is brought into light in favour of, to the satisfaction of, and for the betterment and overall peace and welfare of the universe."

Vaastu Shastra is the science of planning and construction. It provides us with principles of planning and orientation for human habitation. In the modern context, it covers all buildings, including houses, industries, offices etc. It deals with the correct placement of man with respect to the environment in order to achieve harmony with nature.

 

Vaastu is linked to safety and hygiene. Its principles were formulated on the basis of the influence of the sun, its light and heat, the direction of the wind, the position of the moon, the earth's magnetic field; in short the impact of the cosmos on our planet.

In vedic (ancient) times, the sages, well-versed in Vaastu shastra, applied its principles in determining the right locations for their famous structures like the temples, hermitages, palaces, monastries etc, particularly those built in the Himalayan regions. Probably, that is why they remain protected from earthquakes and other natural calamaties.

Energy lines are believed to have been found to emanate from the earth's surface by forming a grid around the globe. This energy is oriented magnetically in the North-South, and in the East-West direction. This Bio-Electro-Magnetic (BEM) field affects human mind and body, since each body cell acts like a radio receiver with its own vibratory levels.

We are affected by these subtle energies in our daily activities, our places of work and also in sleep where the body is stationary for a long time.

The effect of Vaastu is permanent, because the earth has been revolving around the sun, in a geostationary orbit for over billions of year. Due to the magnetic properties of earth, the magnetic needle of a compass always tends towards north. Since Vaastu is based on permanent magnetic property of the earth, with inclination towards north, the effect of the vaastu principles also become permanent.

It is also interesting to note that the genesis of vaastu principles lies in the nexus between the earth and the sun. Since these two planets are of universal nature and beyond any religion, caste and nationality, the principles of vaastu are also universal.

 



An Introduction

 

Nature, at its worst, brings in its wake floods, droughts, storms, earthquakes etc. It is misconceived to be hostile to man. However, all that happens only when ecological balance has been drastically changed by man. In the modern world, there has been an on-going race to build concrete clusters, based on architectural practice to move towards so-called modernization, that have resulted in worldwide pollution, environmental and ecological problems with no peace of mind. If approached in true harmony, 

 

Nature's secrets can be revealed and its energy harnessed for the benefit of the living. Nature, man and material are within evolutionary network guided by performance standards. A proper blend of nature, man and material can help improve life at home and work. In the Vedic period, based on Vaastu Shastra, people built homes, temples and hermitages, with a view to have peaceful living, offering prayers and to live in common harmony. 

 

VAASTU is derived from the Sanskrit (language in vogue thousands of years  ago in India)  word VAAS, meaning place to reside. The word, VAASTU, as  adapted into Hindi   language (the predominant language of India), and  translated into English means ARCHITECTURE. 

 

Vaastu Shastra is drawn from from one of  the four Vedas  (ancient  Indian scriptures), which are 5000 years old, and provide specific  guidance on how  man can conduct himself successfully in various aspects of life. It is a well-known fact that the universe comprises of five essential elements: space (sky),  air,  fire, water and earth. According to Vaastu Shastra, these five  elements are related to  man's five senses of hearing, touch, sight, taste and smell. The principles of Vaastu are mainly dependant on the arrangement and balancing of these five elements in their proper order and proportions so  that humans can have better living conditions at home as well as their place of work. 

 

According to Vaastu Shastra, one of the important  Sanskrit quotations translated into English means: " Properly designed and pleasing house will be an abode of good health, wealth, family,   peace and happiness. Negligence of canons of architecture will result in disrepute, sorrows and disappointments. So Vaastu Shastra  is brought into  light in favour of, to the satisfaction of, and for the betterment and  overall peace and  welfare of the universe." 

 

Vaastu Shastra is the science of planning and construction. It provides us with principles of  planning and orientation for human habitation. In the modern  context, it  covers all buildings,  including houses, industries, offices etc. It deals  with the correct placement of man with respect to the environment in order to achieve harmony with nature. 

 

Vaastu is linked to safety and hygiene. Its principles were formulated on the basis of the  influence of the sun, its light and heat, the direction of the wind, the  position of the moon, the  earth's magnetic field; in short the impact of the cosmos on our planet. In Vedic (ancient) times, the  sages, well-versed in Vaastu shastra, applied its principles in determining the right locations for their famous structures like the  temples, hermitages, palaces, monasteries etc, particularly those built in  the Himalayan regions. Probably, that is why they remain protected from earthquakes and other natural calamities. 

 

Energy lines are believed to have been found to emanate from the earth's surface by forming  a grid around the globe. This energy is oriented magnetically in the  North-South, and  in the East-West direction. This Bio-Electro-Magnetic (BEM) field affects  human mind and  body, since each body cell acts like a radio receiver with its own  vibratory levels. We are affected by these subtle energies in our  daily activities, our places of work and also in sleep  where the body is  stationary for a long time. 

 

The effect of Vaastu is permanent, because the earth has been revolving around the sun, in a geostationary orbit for over billions of year. Due to the magnetic  properties  of earth, the magnetic needle of  a compass always tends towards north.  Since Vaastu is based on permanent magnetic property of the earth, with inclination towards north, the effect of the vaastu principles also become permanent. It is also interesting to note that the genesis of vaastu principles lies  in the nexus between the earth and the sun. Since these two planets are of  universal nature and beyond any religion, caste and nationality, the principles of vaastu  are also universal. (Compiled from various sources)

 

 

*Suresh Jaura is an Associate Real Estate Broker and also provides consultancy by appointment for Vaastu Reading of your home, office, factory. He can be contacted on telephone at 416 315 7253. Or by e-mail: vaastu@vaastu.net

His web site is: www.vaastu.net/vaastu.htm


Suresh Jaura was featured and interviewed in WORKPLACE NEWS - a monthly publication For Human Resources and Employment Professionals - in an article titled `Vaastu Shastra IS YOUR OFFICE COMPLIANT?'

He was also featured and interviewed in THE SUNDAY TORONTO STAR in an article titled THE ANCIENT ART OF VAASTU.

His Columns have appeared regularly in CanIndia Weekly News, India Journal, and  Namaste Canada.

 

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