Vastu Shastra | “Science of Architecture”
Vāstu: a dwelling or house with a corresponding plot of land
Shastra: loosely means doctrine or teaching
Similar to the Chinese practice of “feng shui,” Vastu Shastra are principles of design, layout, measurements, ground preparation, space arrangement, and spatial geometry.
The objective of Vastu Shastra is to instruct us on how to arrange the items in our house to maximize positive energy and bring good luck to the home.
Centered around two things:
1. The 5 elements, known as Panchabhutas:
- Prithvi (earth)
- Agni (fire
- Tej (light)
- Vayu (wind)
- Akash (ether)
2. The Cardinal Geographic Directions
Vastu, crafts and architecture are traditionally attributed to the divine god of craftsmen, Vishwakarma.
Vastu Shastra was founded by Indians around 4,000 years ago. It is a Vedanga, which refers to the 6 disciplines associated with studying the ancient Indian spiritual texts, the Vedas.
It began as a technical subject only known to architects and their heirs, but was slowly popularized with people's desires to improve their overall living conditions.
- Be positioned such that when you step out, you’re facing north, east or in the NE direction
- Be made with stronger materials and bigger than other doors in the house.
- Be well lit.
- Be void of garbage bags, shoes, unwanted things
- Opens inward and not make creaky sounds
- Not have a bathroom near it
- Not be painted black.
- Be adorned with beautiful nameplates and auspicious torans.
- Be void of animal statues or figurines
- Be in the South-west direction. Other directions may cause health issues or quarrels among couples.
- Have the bed placed in the southwest corner of the bedroom, with your head facing west. Never sleep with your head in the north.
- Create an oasis of calm by using neutral or earthy shades of paint, mood lighting and aromatic oils.
- Use solid wooden beds instead of hollow wrought-iron beds.
- Avoid having a mirror or television in front of the bed.
- Have the idols/pictures face either east, west or south. Completely avoid north facing.
- Keep the idols at eye or at heart level.
- When you pray, you should be facing either north or east.
- Keep the mandir on the ground floor (avoid upstairs or basement levels)
- The Diya should be kept or lit in the south-east direction.
- Use a puja mat while praying.
- Be placed in the south-east or north-west direction of your home.
- Have the stovetop and oven placed such that you are facing the east while cooking, because the Lord of Fire, Agni, rules in that direction.
- Keep the sink away from the stove
- Keep the fridge, as well as any grains, at the south-west corner of the kitchen
It’s important to recognize that not all the principles of Vastu can be met in any single property so the “perfect” home or office does not exist.
Decor pieces to avoid:
- Broken or dismembered statues
- Weapon elements
- Violent, gothic or “dark” artwork
- Thorny plants
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