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Forces, Fields
And Vastu

Cosmic Energy
And Vastu

Architecture Today
A Vastu View

Traditional Vastu




Vastushastra And Modern Architecture

Modern architecture as taught in India borrows from weestern architecture which has it's base total utilitarian view of life, and superficially draws sustenance from concepts from concepts like balance, harmony, rhythm, form, shape,proportion, functional utility, efficiency and beauty. These concepts are valid in vastushastra also but inspiration differs.

The North Mark

Present day practioners use the north pointer for designating the roads and placement of plots. The electromagnetic flux from the north direction is not given importance whereas in the ancient vastushastra, immense importance was given to alignment of the geometric axis of the vastu and the geomagnetic axis. Hence, the north flow and the north marking were paid special attention in planning of a vastu. The energetics of the vastu is influenced by the north flow, as discussed elsewhere in the book.

Windows And Opening

As discussed earlier, the tropical countries are exposed to solar radiations for 8 months of the year. To avoid the malignant effect of solar radiation and to keep the house in the shady, cool zone, openings towards the south direction should be normally avoided. Hence, thickness of walls on the south side and provision of enterance on the north side has been a standard practice.

Water Bodies In North And North-East Zones

Water bodies in the north/north-east zone as found in the ancient buildings have a scientific basis as far as dynamics of human mind are concerned. It is in relation to the energetics of the vastu.

Avoiding Roof Slopes Towards South, South-West And South-East

The roofs sloping towards the south, south-west and south-east project excessive area to solar radiation, leading to a very hot and unhealthy environment inside the dwelling. Hence, now roof slopes in these directions should always be avoided.

East - The Important Direction

Wide openings towards the east direction always channelise the pranik urja throught the dwelling. On the other hand, toilets and staircases in the east block the morning solar bliss. It is a medically proven fact that sunlight is essential for life. Hence, ventilators in the east directionensure that the entire household is exposed to the beneficial morning sunrays for a maximum possible duration.

Avoiding Large Openings To The South

In tropical countries, the direction of the wind is generally aligned to the west, north-east and south-west directions. The Indian vastu concepts dismiss the wind as a carrier of dust and believe in the creating shadow regions for the cooler homes that do not need wind for ventilation. By providing thick walls in the south direction and openings in the north direction, the houses are made thermal radiation proof. The western concept of providing ample ventilation from the west zone if applied to Indian houses can only lead to spread of air-borne diseases through dust and pollutants.

Symmetry and Discipline In Forms

Least perimeter exposure to the sun and modular planning are the keys to vastu concept. In Indian context, the form of the building should be such that the exposure to the sun is minimized. This is done by a form of building with shorter north and south walls and larger east and west walls. Vastushastra principles expound that the length of north - south axis of a vastu should be greater than the east - west axis.

Use Of Local Materials In Construction

Houses built from locally available materials, endows happiness through organic harmony and interrelationship between matter and energy spectrums. It rhythmically showers on the dwellers, a bliss of oneness with the surrounding nature.

Vastu And Architecture

Architecture defines spaces and creates spatial forms in order to allot living spaces and utilitarian spaces amongst the occupants of a dwelling. Modern architecture emphasises more on economy and lifestyle and pays less attention to the pyschological needs like peace and tranquillity of a individual residing in the house.

Vastushastra deals with four kind of spaces - space within human form, contructed space, terrestrial space, and cosmic space. A vastu shastri tries to achieve harmony between all these spaces and in this process creates microcosm in the built up space that replicates the qualities of the macocosm. Vastushastra aims at building houses that are beneficial to the body and mind of the dweller.

In vastu as well as in the modern architecture, the shapes like square and rectangle indicate safety, completeness and stability. But the aesthetic shapes like triangle and rounded shapes representing grace and progress, which are popular in modern architecture, are avoided in vastushastra. Vastushastra considers that the energetic space within a square or rectangular form create vibrations appropriate for peaceful and tranquil pattern of life.

Modern architecture, though outwardly elegant, has not yet acieved the balance between symmetry and asymmetry in designing structures as the vastu has done. The modern architects are now borrowing concepts from other sciences as climatology, environmental engineering and cosmic energy flow principles to design dwellings that are in harmony with nature and closer to vastushastra logic.


Vastushastra And Other Building Techniques

Vastu 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.

Vastushastra And Geomancy

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 inanimate objects.

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.

Vastushastra And Feng-Shui

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 insisted.

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.


Next - Traditional Vastu (Part 1)

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