The Puja Room is the room where the family’s deities, idols, religious texts are kept and used exclusively for prayer, worship and meditation. It is a sacred room and the space from which all positive energy radiates to other rooms. That is the reason why, according to Vastu Shastra, it is preferable to have it in the centre of the house. However this is not always possible and so it can be located in certain auspicious directions as explained in this post.
The important thing to consider regarding a Pooja/prayer room, is that it must be protected from “negative energy”. Once you have made a pooja or prayer room in your home, the room automatically starts to radiate positive energy. However, if the pooja room is left unprotected, the positive energy starts to weaken due to influence of negative energies that may be present in your home. Hence, you must make some tweaks so that it emanates positive energy in and around your home.
So, what can be done to make this possible? According to Vastu Shastra, the right placement of the pooja room, the arrangement in the room, lighting and the colours, can ensure that this room is protected from negative energy and radiates positive energy. So to know more about making your Pooja room a vastu compliant space, read on…..
Listed here, are some of the Vastu Guidelines for a Pooja room. Since Vastu is a science, every guideline is based on logic and reasoning. As an Architect, I have attempted to explain each of these guidelines rationally and scientifically under the following headings, so that you have a choice and can decide what you want to follow or not instead of looking at Vastu as a superstition:
- What Is The Best Location For A Pooja Room?
- What Are The Vastu Guidelines For The Interiors of A Pooja Room?
- Where Should The Pooja Things Be Placed In A Pooja Room?
- What Are The Ideal Colours For A Pooja Room?
- What Should Be Avoided In A pooja Room?
WHAT IS THE BEST LOCATION FOR A PUJA ROOM ACCORDING TO VASTU?
- First choice for Pooja Room loaction: North-East Direction or the Centre of the house
- Second choice for Pooja Room location: East or West Directions of the house
In earlier times, a well designed, large space was exclusively reserved for prayer but today with reduced space availability, the Puja Room has become a tiny space, sometimes just a small mandir placed in the Kitchen. Whatever the size, the location of the Pooja room is the most important consideration. Refer to the image below to get an idea of the best positions.
In a big site, the Puja room can be in the Centre of the House: The Scientific Reason- The central part of a large house should be kept open to allow proper flow of air and cross ventilation. It makes sense to have a Puja room right in the middle of this court as it can be seen from all rooms and the space is utilized.
In normal sized homes, the Puja room should be in the North-East. East or West are the second best locations: The Scientific Reason– Early at dawn, the Sun is in the North-Eastern part of the house. These hours are ideal for Yoga, meditation, prayer or study as it is very quiet and peaceful. Also, the early morning Sun’s rays have a very beneficial effect on our health. Therefore, the North-East corner is the best position for the Puja Room/prayer room or meditation room.
If there is no space for a Puja room, the Mandir can be placed in the North-East corner of the Kitchen or any room except bedroom, store room and toilets: The Scientific Reason – In apartments it may not be possible to have a separate Puja room, but since one starts the day by entering the Kitchen, having a Puja here helps one to spend a few quiet moments in meditation.
The Puja Room should be in the Ground Floor and not in the Basement: The Scientific Reason – A basement is a dark and dingy place and one cannot benefit from the morning sunlight here.
The Puja Room should not be on the upper floors: The Scientific Reason – The Puja room is meant for worship or meditation and this activity is recommended for everyone, everyday, especially in the mornings when our minds are fresh and not yet corrupted by many thoughts. If the Puja room is located on an upper floor, then it can put off physically inactive people like the obese, or the elderly or the ailing, from making the trip to the Puja everyday. The climb up the steps can put them off and since it is out of sight from the commonly used rooms on the ground, one may even forget to spend a few minutes everyday, in thought about God or life!
WHAT ARE THE VASTU GUIDELINES FOR THE INTERIORS OF A PUJA ROOM?
The Puja room should have a lower ceiling: One can use false ceiling for the same. The Scientific Reason – A Puja room is generally a small room and so having a low ceiling will make it appear more proportional.
The Puja room can be a pyramid shaped space: The Scientific Reason – It is known scientifically that sitting in a pyramid especially while meditating can create positive effects on the health of the person.
Keep the Puja room clean always: The Logic – By cleaning the Puja room everyday, it ensures that one spends a few moments in prayer. Also it is a way of showing respect to God.
Door to the Puja room should have two shutters: The Logic – When doing puja or meditating, the door is kept open outwards and can come in the way if it is one shutter.
There should be a threshold at the entrance to the Puja room.The Scientific Reason – A threshold prevents ants and insects from entering and this is useful in a Puja room, as foodstuff may be offered in prayer.
For lengthy meditation, sit facing East and avoid facing the idols: If meditation is going to last for more than 15 minutes one should not sit exactly facing the idols. The Logic – When meditating it is best to face East as the morning sun rays are beneficial to one’s health. If one keeps looking at the idols, it can be distracting. Moreover the energy that radiates from them can be very strong.
WHERE SHOULD THE PUJA THINGS BE PLACED IN THE PUJA ROOM ACCORDING TO VASTU?
Idols can be in the North-East, East or West of the Puja: The Scientific Reason – The morning sunlight streaming in from the North-East, East and the evening light from the West will light up the idols enabling you to see them better.
The lamp should always be in front of the idol:The Scientific Reason – The idea of having a lamp is to light it and if it is placed in front of the idols, one can see them better.
Idols should be kept at least an inch away from the wall and make sure they are not broken, cracked or disfigured: The Scientific Reason – Keeping the idols away from the walls, ensures that there is proper movement of air and incense smoke through the room.
The idols must be in perfect condition. They should not be broken, cracked or disfigured: The Scientific Reason – While praying to a disfigured idol, you may feel that there is no well-being because you are not able to replace it with a perfect one. It affects your mind.
The puja things should be stored in the South-East of the Puja room: The Scientific Reason – All the puja stuff should be kept away from the North-East and East, so that there is no obstruction to the morning sunlight.
Food offerings should be placed in front of the idols: The Logic – Whatever is offered to god should be always placed in front of the idol as a mark of respect. Moreover, it is less cumbersome to remove and replace if it is right in front.
A cupboard lower than the idols can be placed against the South or West wall: The Scientific Reason – This way, it will not be an obstruction to the useful morning sunlight.
WHAT ARE THE IDEAL COLOURS FOR A PUJA ROOM ACCORDING TO VASTU SHASTRA?
Colours in the Puja room: Can be white, light yellow or light blue. White or light yellow marblework in the room is preferred. The Scientific Reason – White marble shines and reflects light, thus enhancing the bright and well-lit look of a space. The same is true in case of light colours.
WHAT SHOULD BE AVOIDED IN A PUJA ROOM, ACCORDING TO VASTU SHASTRA?
Avoid having a pooja room under a staircase or in a store room: The Scientific Reason: As one climbs up or down the stairs you may feel you are trampling on the gods.
Avoid Puja mandirs in the Bedrooms. And avoid sleeping in a pooja room: The Scientific Reason – Many people may feel uncomfortable to lie around with their feet pointing towards the religious idols, as they believe it is disrespectful to god. But if there is no other choice, you could consider having a pooja mandir in the NE corner of the bedroom.
Avoid a Toilet near or above the Puja Room: The Scientific Reason – A Toilet causes disturbance when people use it and also the smell can distract while one is meditating.
Avoid idols facing North: Because then the worshiper has to face South which is not advisable. The Scientific Reason – When a worshiper sits facing South, his feet are towards the south and his head is in the North. This causes the magnetic North of the body, namely the Head to repel the Earth’s magnetic North Pole.
Avoid keeping broken idols or torn pictures or old idols brought from temples: The Scientific Reason – Praying to a broken idol or torn image of a deity can be distracting.
Avoid idols facing each other: The Logic – The purpose of having idols in a Puja room is for one to be able to see them and meditate on them.
Avoid a bell in the Puja room: The Logic – A Puja room at home is not made to replicate a temple. It is more of a meditation room and loud sounds should be avoided.
Avoid pictures of animals or photographs of dead people in the Puja room: The Logic – While many people believe in showing respect to the dead, it is better not to have their photos in the Puja room as they may be distracting or bring back painful memories.
Avoid pictures of wars, crimes, turbulence or any negative emotion in the Pooja room: The Reason – It is believed that these pictures unconsciously disturb are minds in a negative way.
Avoid storing or hiding money or valuables in the Puja room: The Scientific Reason – Many people may feel they are being disrespectful to God by hiding things and hiding stuff here.
Do not keep a dustbin in a pooja room: The Scientific Reason: It brings in negative energy
This post was about the Vastu guidelines for the design of a Puja Room. The Puja room is usually adjacent to a Living room or in a Kitchen. Read the Vastu guidelines for the design of these spaces here:
If you want to make the rest of the rooms of your house/apartment also Vastu compliant, then go to:
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- Vatu Shastra
- Vastu Shastra Factors
- Vastu Shastra Principles
- Vastu Guidelines For Selection Of A Site
- Vastu Guidelines For Design Of A House
- Vastu Guidelines For Construction
- Logic Behind Superstitions