Vastu Shastra literally translated means the ‘Science of Buildings’ since ‘Shastra’ means a ‘Science’ and ‘Vastu’ means ‘all places of dwelling’ and ‘Vaastu’ means the actual physical manifestation of the dwelling. Both terms ‘Vastu’ and ‘Vaastu’ are from the root ‘Vas’ which means ‘to dwell, live, stay, abide’ (cognate with the English past tense was). So Vastu Shastra basically means Architecture (Art & Science of buildings). There are four categories of Vaastu-
BHOOMI – The earth/site, the principal dwelling place on which everything else rests.
PRASADA – Structures on the earth.
YAANA – Movable objects like Vehicles
SAYANA – Furniture
As these categories suggest, the principles of Vaastu Shastra extend from the macro level to the micro level – site selection, site planning and orientation, zoning and disposition of rooms, proportional relationships between the various parts of buildings, the character of buildings and the minute details like furniture.
WHAT IS VASTU SHASTRA?
Vastu Shastra is an ancient Indian Vedic Building Science which lays down guidelines on the construction of buildings, so that they are in harmony with the natural environment by managing the flow of cosmic energy (prana) through and around them, which in turn promotes the well-being, peace and prosperity of the inhabitants.
According to Vastu Shastra, when buildings and forms are in tune with the underlying cosmic principles, they become a part of the basic structure of the universe and vibrate in harmony with it. These positive vibrations are believed to have a positive effect on t by he inhabitants.
Vastu Shastra takes advantage of and manipulates the natural resources like sun, wind, air etc. and the topography of the site, the surrounding roads, trees, water sources, structures etc. to channel positive energy and prevent imbalance in the building and thus bring about harmony between man, nature and his built environment.
ARE VASTU SHASTRA AND FENG SHUI SIMILAR?
IS VASTU SHASTRA A SCIENCE OR SUPERSTITION?
Vastu Shastra as the name suggests is a ‘Shastra’ or a rational Science based on observations, facts, laws of nature and governed by a set of principles. It was formulated by our ancestors nearly 4000 years ago and has evolved over centuries and generations. The very fact that it has survived the test of time and has shown itself to be practicable, indicates that it is a Science and not a Superstition.
Even today most people insist that we, Architects, follow the basic Vastu principles when designing their house, as they fear that there could be adverse effects if not followed. This is because there are people to exploit the common man’s fears and superstitions – the self proclaimed Vastu Consultants. They charge exorbitant fees by exploiting the ignorance and beliefs of the people. Not all, but most of them give solutions by blindly following the standard thumb rules of Vastu Shastra, without realising that the socio-economic conditions have changed in cities today from those of earlier times and without considering the fact that each site is unique by virtue of the surrounding structures, trees, water sources, orientation, topography etc., and hence should be planned accordingly.
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