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. Vastu Shastra advocates five rituals or Poojas to be done before the actual construction begins. 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 don’t instead of looking at Vastu as a superstition:
What is the first ritual to be done before the start of construction?
What is the second ritual to be done before the start of construction?
What is the third ritual to be done before the start of construction?
What is the fourth ritual to be done before the start of construction?
What is the fifth ritual to be done before the start of construction?
ACCORDING TO VASTU SHASTRA WHAT IS THE FIRST RITUAL TO BE DONE BEFORE THE START OF CONSTRUCTION?
Bhoomi (Vastu) Pooja: The first ritual to be done before starting the construction, is a Vastu pooja or Bhoomi Pooja. This is a pooja and should be done at an auspicious time and on an auspicious day, as fixed by your astrologer (normally it is done in the morning). The Reasoning: An auspicious day means the panchanga or the five components (Dina, Nakshatra, Thithi, Yoga, Karan) of that particular date or day is favourable for the person starting the construction of a house. These components are dependent on the position of the moon and the earth. However, a day with a good panchanga does not necessarily mean that particular day is auspicious for every person. The deciding factor is the janma nakshatra (birth star) of that person. If the person’s janma nakshatra is auspiciously compatible with the nakshtra of that particular day, then that day and date is considered auspicious. Duration of an auspicious moment (shubha muhurtha) is usually 3 – 4 minutes. So to decide the auspicious date and time, it is best to consult an astrologer or your family priest.
WHICH DAYS SHOULD BE AVOIDED FOR STARTING THE CONSTRUCTION OF A HOUSE?
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).
ACCORDING TO VASTU SHASTRA WHAT IS THE SECOND RITUAL TO BE DONE BEFORE THE START OF CONSTRUCTION?
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.
ACCORDING TO VASTU SHASTRA WHAT IS THE THIRD RITUAL TO BE DONE BEFORE THE START OF CONSTRUCTION?
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.
ACCORDING TO VASTU SHASTRA WHAT IS THE FOURTH RITUAL TO BE DONE BEFORE THE START OF CONSTRUCTION?
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.
ACCORDING TO VASTU SHASTRA WHAT IS THE FIFTH RITUAL TO BE DONE BEFORE THE START OF CONSTRUCTION?
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.
Digging of the foundation trenches should always begin in the North-East. The scientific reason: This is to ensure that the North-East level is always lower, thus allowing morning and constant light into the whole site.
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. The construction of building should be started at South-West and proceeds towards North-West / South-East and should end at North-East. The scientific reason: This is also to ensure that the North-East level is always lower, thus allowing morning and constant light into the whole site.
This post was about the Rituals to be followed before construction. For a detailed explanation of the Vastu guidelines for conducting the Bhoomi Pooja, go to:
The next step in Construction, after the Rituals is the digging of the well/borewell. Read about it here:
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