According to Vastu Shastra, orientation of a Site is one of the most important criteria to be considered when selecting a Site. Vastu Shastra lays down guidelines to aid you in the Selection of a Site with the ideal ‘Orientation’.
Since Vastu is a science, every guideline is based on logic and reasoning. As an Architect, I have attempted to explain these guidelines rationally and scientifically, so that you can decide what you want to follow and what you don’t, instead of blindly following them like a superstition.
Site Orientation means the position of the Site with respect to the Cardinal directions (or the points of the Compass). The Site’s orientation is identified by the direction that the front of the Site faces. When you stand in the Site and face the road, the directon you face is said to be the Site’s orientation. So, a Site with a road in the North, is called a North facing Site.
Vastu Shastra recognises eight Cardinal directions, which are identifiable depending on the position of the Sun in the sky. They are:
East (poorva): It is common knowledge that the Sun rises in the East.
West (Paschima): The Sun sets in the West.
North (Uttara): When one faces the East, the direction to the left is the North.
South (Dakshina):When one faces the East, the direction to the right is called the South.
The corner where two Cardinal directions meet, is also significant since it combines the forces emanating from both the directions.
North-East (Eeshanya): This is where the North and East meet.
North-West (Vaayavya): This is where the North and the West meet.
South-West (Nairuthya): This is where the South and the West meet.
South-East (Aagneya): This is where the South and the East meet.
The Sun is very important to living things as it sustains life, is necessary for the synthesis of Vitamin D in humans and has germicidal properties. For this reason, when planning the layout of a building, the main aim of Vastu Shastra is to ensure that the inmates of a house are inadvertently exposed to the useful rays of sunlight, even if they are inside the house the whole day. But during a day, people perform different activities in different rooms at different times and the Sun’s position keeps changing with respect to the ‘cardinal directions’. So to ensure that the inmates get exposed to sunlight constantly, each room should be positioned in a specific cardinal direction so that it faces the Sun at the time of the day when it is most likely to be used by them.
Vastu Shastra prescribes an ideal plan called the Vastu Purusha Mandala, in which each room (depending on it’s function) is located in a specific cardinal direction. But, depending on the Orientation of the Site, it becomes either easier or more difficult to design the layout of a house in line with the Vastu Mandala. This is why ‘Site Orientation’ is important in the Selection of a Site.
Vastu Shastra lays down guidelines to aid you in the Selection of a Site with the ideal Orientation. These guidelines are based on Common sense, Scientific reasoning and logic, since Vastu is a Science and not a Superstition. According to Vastu Shastra:
All directions are considered good and each has it’s own advantages. The Reasoning- In any city or town, there are roads in all four directions and naturally there have to be houses on both sides of the roads. Also, the city looks more aesthetic if there are houses in all the four directions. Hence, according to Vastu, all plots are considered good. It is the pseudo Vastu pundits who say that South or West facing sites are not good.
East facing Site: is good for scholars, philosophers, priests, professors, teachers etc. The Logic- East (morning sun rays) is considered the source of enlightenment.
North facing Site: is good for those in power, administration and those who work for government.
South facing Site: is good for business class and for those who work in business organisations.
West facing Site: is for those who provide supporting services to the society.
The Reasoning– The reason why Vastu attributes each direction to a different class of people, is because in ancient times, Indian society was divided into four classes of people, based on their occupations. But gradually these classes became castes and there was very little social mixing between the castes and so people of each caste preferred being with their own people. Hence their homes were grouped together.
In a Site that does not squarely face the cardinal directions: then it’s axis is not parallel to the magnetic axis (North-South axis) of the Earth. In such a case, the house should be built on the Site facing the four directions. The Reasoning- In order to benefit from the useful effects of the Sun and other natural elements, it is better if the house is built facing the cardinal directions.
There is a technical procedure by which the cardinal points are ascertained for the orientation of the buildings. It should be done in the centre of the plot which is considered the naval of the Vaastu Purusha. This procedure is called Shankustaapana and you can read about it here:
This post was about the importance of ‘Site Orientation’ in the Selection of a Site. Read about another important Vastu Shastra consideration when Selecting a Site, namely:
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