As an Architect practising in Bangalore, India, (visit my website: Ravi and Minu, Architects), I have often been instructed by my clients to apply Vastu Shastra rules to the design of their houses. In the early days of my pratice, I was skeptical and even irritated when I got this request, because application of Vastu Shastra statutes in tight, small sites or in apartment projects made the whole designing process challenging and constrained.
I would try to reason with my clients, that Vastu principles applied blindly without trying to understand the reasoning behind them was Superstition and that the so-called Vastu experts were just trying to exploit the people’s fears to make some money. But they were adamant and would tell me that I should consider at least ‘basic Vastu’ in the design of their buildings.
So I became intrigued with this subject. As we are not taught Vastu Shastra in our Bachelor of Architecture course, I decided to learn the subject by myself, from several insightful books. Surprisingly, I found it an easy subject to learn, since Vastu Shastra guidelines are wholly based on scientific principles and very similar to the basic design rules that we are taught in Architecture school.
HOW DID I REALISE THAT VASTU SHASTRA IS A SCIENCE AND NOT A SUPERSTITION?
Vastu Shastra as the name suggests is a ‘Shastra’ or a rational Science based on observations, facts, laws of nature and governed by a set of principles. It was formulated by our ancestors nearly 4000 years ago and has evolved over centuries and generations. The very fact that it has survived the test of time and has shown itself to be practicable, indicates that it is a Science and not a Superstition.
The ancient Rishis who formulated Vastu Shastra, in all their wisdom knew that unless they enforced the principles of planning very strictly, people would build according to their whims and create ugly, unaesthetic and badly lit and badly ventilated structures. Perhaps to prevent such a situation, the principles of Vastu Shastra were made strict rules. It was said that if one followed the Vastu principles strictly, one would be happy, content and prosperous whereas if not, the inhabitants would be sick, unhappy, quarrel with each other and even die early. As a result, this ‘Science’ became a ‘Superstition’. An example is depicted in the image below.
HOW DID I REALISE THAT VASTU IS SIMILAR TO ARCHITECTURE THAT I WAS TRAINED IN?
Architecture: As Architects, when we design, our aim is to create comfortable spaces, which are bright, well-ventilated and airy. Common sense tells us that a properly designed house is one which is aesthetic, hygienic, comfortable, easy to move around. Obviously the inhabitants will be happy and content in such a house, whereas, a poorly designed house will be unaesthetic and not comfortable to live in and can create irritation in the minds of the inhabitants.
The guidelines that we follow in designing are the sub-conscious outcome of all that we learn in 5 years of architectural education, in subjects like climatology, structural design, architectural design, building materials, history of architecture etc.
Vastu Shastra: is an ancient Indian Vedic Building Science which lays down guidelines on the construction of buildings, so that they vibrate in harmony with the natural environment by managing the flow of cosmic energy (prana) through and around them. The proper flow of cosmic energy through a building is believed to have a positive effect on the inhabitants, resulting in their well-being, peace and prosperity.
To achieve this, Vastu Shastra takes advantage of and manipulates the natural resources like the Sun, Earth’s magnetic field, cardinal directions, Earth’s energy fields, elements of Nature, wind, the topography of the site, the surrounding roads, trees, water sources, structures etc. to design balanced, living buildings that breathe and are in tune with their surroundings.
HAS APPLICATION OF VASTU SHASTRA IN THE DESIGN OF MY BUILDINGS MADE A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE?
I am not a Vastu Specialist but in my experience as an Architect, I have applied the principles of Vastu logically in the buildings that I have designed, as well as in my own house and I can say with certainty that they do make a positive difference to the state of mind of the inhabitants. (You can visit my website: Ravi and Minu, Architects). These Vastu principles are based on common sense and when applied correctly, create a well-designed, well-ventilated, hygienic, beautiful building that stands apart and is noticed by others. Naturally the inhabitants are happy to be in this building and are proud of it as it adds value to them.
My aim is to explain Vastu Shastra scientifically with whatever knowledge I have, so as to make you realise that it is a ‘Science’ which can bring positive effects to your lives by its correct application. I hope that you will stop fearing Vastu Shastra, but instead look at it as something useful which you can benefit from. I have explained it in a simple language, addressed the Vastu guidelines individually and given ‘my interpretation’ of the scientific explanation for each one of them.
Note: In August 2017, India’s oldest IIT introduced the principles of vastu to first- and second-year students of architecture; research scholars and those pursuing post-graduation. I think this is a bold but necessary move, even though the decision to introduce Vastu Shastra as a part of the architecture curriculum has polarised architects in the country. Read the full article.
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