And Other Building Techniques
lays down construction norms similar to the building codes by modern day
municipal and other regulatory authorities. These norms were in terms of
symbols and religious tenets so that a God fearing society may accept them.
Vastu extracts the
finest aspects of art, astronomy, astrology, ayurveda, yogashastra, biology,
chemistry and physics. It understands the minutest influence of the sun, the
moon, the stars, the planets, the geomagnetic fields, the earth's atmosphere,
wind direction, gravitational force, electromagnetic radiation on living
organism and human life and gives feasible solutions on site selection and
establishes a logical sequence of house building activities as excavation, soil
selection, wall thickness, orientation and dimensions of rooms, decoration,etc.
Vastu studied the
effects of the natural and built environment on the human systems through
geomancy or the divination skills. A recent development in this field is the
science of geobiology, which uses simple instruments as biometer to measure
subtle energies being emmitted by the earth, trees, living organism and
The swastik symbol is
also considered important in vastu as it minimises the sources of negative
energy and creates an environment full of positive energy useful for the body
and the mind.
Feng-shui is the
other eastern design method that originated from China. In chinese language the
feng means wind and shui means water. This implies that the feng-hui is a
technique to achieve harmony with the cosmic forces. Feng-shui endows a house
or a structure with Qi, the cosmic breath, which must have a free passage in
the world governed by Ying Yang(the male and female principles) forces.
Much similarity is
found in the vastu and feng-shui techniques. Both support the concept of the
panch maha bhutas and cosmic as well as geomagnetic forces but with different
names. Both insist on the golden ratio for dimensions of the dwelling and
consider the white or yellow soil the best for construction. The direction of
the water body is not mentioned in the feng-shui technique though it's being is
But the difference in
the two techniques are also quite apparent. Where the vastu insists on the
openings on the north side, the feng-shui considers the north as evil
direction. This is because of the yellow dust and sand which flows from north
in the chinese mainland. Though the direction of kitchen, person cooking and
sleeping directions are almost same, little differences are because of the
criteria used while specifying them.
Vastu though shrouded
in mystery and symbolism, follows certain scientific principles acceptable to
the modern world and has universal applications. Techniques like feng-shui,
based more or less on local geography and traditions, may virtually be
ineffective when employed beyond the chinese mainland.