It is recommended in Vastu Shastra, that one must perform certain rituals before and during the Construction of a House. These rituals vary from place to place and according to different customs. I have collated some of the most common rituals followed in India, before the start of the construction. The purpose of doing a pooja is to psychologically give the Owner the confidence that the seemingly huge task of building a house can be accomplished without any problems, since the bare earth of the site (bhoomi) has been blessed and has acquired a divine life.
Being an Architect, I have been asked by my clients whether the Vastu guidelines regarding rituals before and during construction (Bhoomi pooja, griha pravesha etc) have any scientific basis. To that I say, they give you positivism and psychologically make you feel that you have sent away the old spirits dwelling in that space so that you can start a new, fresh life. Here, I have explained the Vastu Guidelines for Rituals to be done before the commencement of the Construction, and the possible scientific reasons and logic on which they were based, so that you an decide what you want to follow and what you don’t:
ACCORDING TO VASTU SHASTRA WHAT ARE THE RITUALS TO BE DONE JUST BEFORE CONSTRUCTION?
Note: Vastu Pooja is performed thrice during the construction as explained here:
At the start: As explained above, just before the start of the Construction.
In the middle: The second time is in the middle, at the time of fixing the Main door.
At the end: The third time is at the end during the Grahapravesham (House Warming Ceremony).
Clearing the Site – Before doing the pooja, the site should be cleared. Dirt, stones, holes in the ground, and trash should be removed. Thorny bushes should also be uprooted and removed.
Balidaana (Offertory ritual): This is the second ritual done before the start of Construction. Offerings are made and spirits and demons are requested to leave. The Reasoning – With this ritual, the Owner will psychologically feel that the site is purified and freed from any old associations and is receptive to a new beginning. It is like starting life from scratch without any stains.
Hala-Karshana (Levelling of site) : This is the third ritual, the leveling of the site wherein the Site is sloped according to Vastu guidelines for Site Slope, so that the Site is at a higher level than the road level and the South-West corner is higher than the North-East corner. Vastu also recommends that the whole site be ploughed to rid it of the past and give the soil a new life. The Reasoning – The leveling is done to create a proper slope from the South-West corner to the North-East corner to facilitate the proper flow of rain water. The reason for having the whole site ploughed is to remove any debris, unwanted stones, rocks etc or expose any pests which may be underground, as normally, the ground is dug only where the trenches for the foundation are marked. So some spots where there are pests may remain undetected and can cause problems after the structure comes up.
Ankuraa-Roopana (Sowing of seed): This is the fourth ritual, the sowing of the seed and a final offering to the memory of those who have left the place and is also the first offering to the new ploughed ground. The Reasoning – The germination of the seed gives a psychological feeling that the new undertaking will be fruitful, that a building will emerge from the ground without any problems.
Shilaanyaasa (Foundation laying): This is the fifth ritual, the foundation laying ceremony. The groundbreaking ceremony for the house should only be done during the Uttarayan period, when the sun is in the northern hemisphere, from December 21 through June 20. The Reasoning – It makes sense to start construction in the Uttarayan period, when the days are longer than the nights as the construction activity can go on at a rapid pace as there are more daylight hours during this period. The stone which is consecrated at the time of the Vastu Pooja, is laid first in the South-West corner of the trenches dug up for the foundation.
This post was about the Rituals to be followed before construction. According to Vastu Shastra, the next stage in Construction is the digging of the well/borewell. Read about it here:
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