Vaastu rests on the assumption that the Earth is a living organism out of which other living creatures and organic forms emerge, and so every particle on Earth possesses ‘live energy’. The life on Earth is possible because of the five basic and essential elements known as the ‘Panchabhutaas’.They are Aakaasha (Space), Vaayu (Air), Agni (Fire), Jala (Water) and Bhoomi (Earth). All creatures on the Earth including buildings are physically made up of these elements.
Space (Aakaasha) – is the unending region beyond Earth in which not only our Solar System but the entire Galaxy exists. It provides shelter to the other four elements. The effective forces of Space are light, heat, gravity, magnetic field and waves.
Air (Vaayu) – the atmosphere above the Earth consists of Oxygen (21%), Nitrogen (78%) Carbon Dioxide, water vapour, Dust etc which are all essential for living things and even fire to flourish. Human physical comfort values are directly and sensitively dependent on correct humidity, air flow, temperature of air, air pressure, air composition and its content.
Fire (Agni) – It represents light and heat without which life will be extinct. It also represents days and nights, seasons, energy, lightning, volcanic heat and all other aspects of the Sun and the solar system. The enthusiasm, passion, vigour in living things are because of light and heat only.
Water (Jala) – Represented by rain, river, sea and is in the form of liquid (water), solid (ice) and gas (steam, cloud). It is a combination of Hydrogen and Oxygen in the ratio of 2:1 and is perfectly neutral. Every plant and animal is composed of water in different proportions.
Earth (Bhumi) – Earth, the third planet in order from the Sun, is a big magnet with North and South poles as centers of attractions. Its magnetic field and gravitational force has considerable effect on everything on the Earth, living and non-living. The Earth rotates about its axis from West to East, resulting in day and night. It revolves round the Sun once every year (365.25 days) and is tilted at an angle of 23.5 degrees, because of which seasons are formed. Because of the Earth’s tilt, a year is divided into 2 periods – Uttaraayana from Jan 14 – July 15, when the Northern Hemisphere (India) is tilted towards the Sun and Dakshinaayana from July 16 – Jan 14, when the Southern Hemisphere (Australia) is tilted towards the Sun. In Uttarayaana, the days are longer than the nights and vice-versa during Dakshinaayana.
All these ‘five elements’ sustain life on the planet and are neutral, unbiased and impartial to us – yet we cannot control them. There is an invisible and constant interaction between these elements. In an open field these elements operate freely and are in equilibrium. However, when a structure is placed in this field, the equilibrium is affected because these elements act for or against each other to create either harmony or disharmony. If there is disharmony, then the equilibrium needs to be restored so that the cosmic energy flows harmoniously.
Compass termites – For example, the Compass Termites of Western Australia, maintain the temperature inside their nests to within 1 degree of 31 Celcius, day and night, summer and winter, while the external temperature varies between 3 C to 42 C. This is achieved by building a wedge shaped tower mound of 3 Metres height which always points North. As the tower heats up, air inside rises drawing fresh cool air from below. Also the wind blowing across the top of the mound helps to suck in fresh air through the nest. And the termites regulate the flow of air through their nests, by blocking and unblocking the channels.
Vaastu Shastra guides us to use the five elements scientifically, to create a comfortable and harmonious place to live or work in, which will ensure enhanced health and happiness. It lays down principles on the location, direction and disposition of the building, so that you can absorb the positive effects of the five elements throughout the day.These guidelines are explained under ‘VASTU SHASTRA GUIDELINES | DESIGNING’.
This post is about the “Panchabhutaas- Five Elements of nature” and their effects on Man. Read about another Vastu Shastra Factor that affects us and the design of our buildings, namely:
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