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Vastu Principle | Maana (Proportions) | An Architect Explains

After the Selection of Site, it is worthwhile to apply the Vastu principles to the design of the building so as to ensure a proportionate, aesthetic and beautiful building with the right measurements. The Vastu principle ‘Maana-Proportions’ prescribes the perfect ratio of height-to-breadth of a building, to make it look proportionate.

eiffel-tower-day
Beautiful proportions in the Eiffel tower
WHAT IS MAANA – PROPORTIONS IN VASTU SHASTRA?

Whether one is creating a building, a craft item or an article of daily use, the aim of the design should be that:

The designed product must be useful and lend itself to easy application.
The designed product must be aesthetically pleasing. This principle covers the exterior of a building as well as the interior.
The designed product must be capable of evoking a feeling of well-being and contentment.

For this, certain ‘proportions’ should be followed when designing an object or a building. ‘Maana’ is the Vaastu Shastra principle of ‘Proportionate Measurement’. According to Vaastu Shastra, adherence to Maana is imperative in all creative activity, be it sculpture or architecture because only then will an object created by man look perfect, proportionate and pleasing to the eye. The ancient Indian Vaastu pundits after trial and error, arrived at the perfect measurements- ratio of height, length and breadth- to create a proportionate three dimensional building. So for centuries afterwards, this became an easy formula for Architects to follow when designing buildings.



WHAT ARE THE MEASUREMENTS ASSOCIATED WITH BUILDINGS?

In Vastu Shastra the standards of measurements were Angula (3/4th. of an inch) and Hasta (18 inches). The measurement is divided into 6 categories:

  1. Measurement of height,
  2. Measurement of breadth,
  3. Measurement of width or circumference,
  4. Measurement along plumb lines,
  5. Measurement of thickness and
  6. Measurement of interspace.

Vaastu Shastra prescribes proportionate ratios of these 6 measurements in order to create buildings with good proportions.

The height to breadth ratio of the Taj Mahal building is 1.
WHAT ACCORDING TO VASTU SHASTRA, IS THE BEST RATIO OF HEIGHT TO BREADTH FOR BUILDINGS?

The following ratios of Height to Breadth are  the best for buildings and each ratio indicates a certain aspect of beauty and proportion. It is best to follow one of these ratios, according to requirement.

  1. Ratio of 1: When the Height is equal to the Breadth, the structure is considered to be aesthetically proportionate.
  2. Ratio of 1.25: When the Height is 1.25 times the Breadth, the structure is considered to have good stability.
  3. Ratio of 1.5: When the Height is 1.5 times the Breadth, the structure is considered to have a pleasant appearance.
  4. Ratio of 1.75: When the Height is 1.75  times the Breadth, the structure is good in every way and will appear to be both strong and beautiful.
  5. Ratio of 2: When the Height is twice the Breadth, the structure will appear gorgeous.

According to Vaastu Shastra, if a house is strictly built according to the proportionate measurements described above, then the house becomes worthy of living in.  The Scientific Explanation – It is obvious that a proportionate building will appear aesthetic, pleasing to the eye and get a lot of attention making it a pleasure to live in. However, most of the buildings that have sprung up in recent times in our cities, with no regard for proportion are actually eye-sores! The only consideration in the design of such structures is about maximising the F.A.R./F.S.I. and no thought is given to the height or proportion.  This is why the science of Vaastu Shastra insists on the strict adherence to proportions, so that the resulting structure is always pleasing to look at, and the overall architecture of the street and the City on a larger scale, is beautiful.

elegant home
A well-proportioned building is pleasing to the eye

Anecdote: I am reminded of an aquaintance who lives in a very shabby-looking house but in a street with several aesthetically appealing houses. When somebody asked her, why she continues to live in this shabby house without any desire to renovate it or improve its appearance, her reply exposed the selfish mindset of most people. Her answer was that, since she spends most of her time inside her house, she gets to see the neighbour’s’ beautiful houses from her window and hardly ever gets to see her own house. So the disadvantage is not hers, but the neighbours’ who live around her.  And she is not ready to spend money to improve the appearance of her own house, just for the neighbour to have a good view.

Since most people think similarly, there has been no effort to follow proportions or aesthetics in our buildings today. This is why a science like Vaastu Shastra should be referred to, when people have doubts about proportions and aesthetics. All the proportions and measurements for creating a beautiful house have been handed down to us on a platter, in the form of formula. So benefit from it!

This post about the ‘Vastu Shastra principle | Maana – Proportions’ explains the right proportions and ratio of height to breadth for buildings. The Proportion is related to the dimensions of the buildings. Read about the formulae used for fixing the dimensions, Length x Breadth x Height of a building  in the post, “Vastu Principle | Aayadi – Dimensions”, here:

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