Is Vaastu a true science? There are many ‘liberals’ who deride it, though since the mid-1980s it has become a rage. Pundit Sanjay Rath, scion of an established family of astrologers, writes about the ancient science, and his background as an engineer gives his logic some compelling force
By Sanjay Rath
THE word Vaastu refers to a shelter, either for the self or deity. Vaastu Shastra means the science (shastra) of construction of a Vaastu whereas Shilpa refers to the art of making it aesthetic and appealing to the senses of the inhabitants of house/ building.
The science of house building is very ancient in India. The knowledge has come down from creator Brahma through an unbroken succession of sages.
According to Vishwakarma, the celestial architect, Lord Brahma was the first recipient of this knowledge from Lord Shiva as a part of the Vedas, just like He received the knowledge of Jyotish.
Vaastu Shastra as is practised presently is based on the 125 verses contained in Brihat Samhita of Varahamihira, the ancient Indian scientist. This very point indicates the vital link between Jyotish and Vaastu.
Unfortunately, what the standard Vaastu experts are applying today is the use of temple architecture in homes and offices.
There is a need to use the Astakavarga and other charts of Vedic Astrology along with Vaastu principles for every individual home, provided this is to be designed for a particular person to occupy for a long period.
If instead flats and apartments are being designed for the general public, then the standard principles can be used.
The following are some of the Vaastu-logically correct principles of house making and design. Please note that like most of the ancient sciences, some of the knowledge that is contained in these principles may not be any more relevant at present times. However, the very basic of Vaastu principles will always continue to be beneficial to the mankind in one form or the other.
THE BASIC PRINCIPLES OF VAASTU ARE:
1. If you are in the process of buying a plot or site, please remember that plots/sites in South West, South and West directions are
more advantageous than others.
2. According to Vaastu, the most beneficial entrances in the house are those in North East, East or North direction.
3. Living Room or the dining room is best looked in East, North and Northeast directions.
4. The bedroom according to Vaastu should be in southwest/south or west direction.
5. The children’s bedroom should ideally be in Northwest. It could be in Southeast and North as well, but never in southwest or south.
Unfortunately, what the standard Vaastu experts are applying today is the use of temple architecture in homes and offices. There is a need to use the Astakavarga and other charts of VEDIC ASTROLOGY along with VAASTU principles for every individual’s home
6. If you are fortunate enough in present times to have the luxury of having a separate room for the guests, make the guestroom in Northwest or northeast direction.
7. The kitchen of the house is ideally located in Southeast followed by Northwest and East.
8. Bathrooms and toilets should be in Northwest of the house or in West or South direction.
9. While purchasing a plot or a site, it is advisable to go in for a rectangular or square shape. As far as possible, the site should be slopping towards North and East or Northeast.
10. While making the building or the house, it is advisable to have equal open space on all four sides. The levels of open spaces should be higher in South and West side and lower in North and East side. Outlets of rainwater should be in Northeast or North zones.
11. The living room of the central zone (Brahmasthan) should be free from any kind of obstructions. By obstructions, we mean any kind of beam, pillar, fixture, toilet, staircase or even a wall or lift.
12. The direction in which you sleep is also very important. One should never sleep with head in the north. Sleeping with head towards south ensures long life. While on a journey, it is advisable to sleep with head towards west.
13. In your study room, have your seat so as to face east or north. Do not have a toilet in the study room, though you can have a bathroom.
14. Do not use a dark colour in the study room. Use yellow or white or pink. Put the book shelf in east or north.
15. If you construct more than a floor, prepare the first floor on Southwest. The height of first floor shall not exceed that of ground floor. Do not build a storeroom on first floor.
16. It is said that a storeroom in the Northwest corner leads to abundant supply of essential commodities. Keep a holy picture on one eastern wall. Light colours should not be used on the storeroom. Use dark colours or blue or green. Never sleep in the storeroom at night. Also, refrain from taking out grains from the storeroom at night.
17. The bathroom/bathrooms can be either inside or outside the house. In case it is inside, it should be located on the eastern or northern side. (If attached to a bedroom, then to eastern or northern side of the bedroom). When located outside, then it should be in Northeast corner, but away from the main building. The lavatories are forbidden in Northeast, Center, Southwest and West directions of the house.
18. Vaastu Shastra also guides us about what type of plants and trees should be planted around a dwelling unit so as to enjoy their positive properties the most.
19. Vaastu does not prescribe having a Mango, Banana or a Jamun tree very near your house. However, Peepal at some distance from the house in West direction is considered auspicious as is Imli in South West of the house.
20. It is also auspicious to have an Anaar, Ashoka, Chandan, Champa, Chameli, Gulaab, Nariyal and Keshar tree around a house.
21. On the size and shape of the door, Vaastu advises that width of the door should be half of the height of the door. Square doors as also automatic doors should be avoided.
22. The Paintings/statues in the house are also important. One should not have pictures depicting war scenes (even if they belong to the Epic Mahabharata or Ramayan battles) in rooms other than the office.
Similarly, scenes depicting negativities of life like sorrow, struggle, violence (including that of wild beasts), tragedy and of calamities should not be kept.
WARNING: Before you start tearing down your beautiful home, please ensure that you have had a Vaastu reading of your chart and determined what is right for you. One house can bring marriage and children for a couple while the same house can bring death for another. The Vaastu of the house does not change but affects different people differently. Know about this from your chart before venturing into Vaastu homes.
THE direction in which we sleep plays a vital role in automatically charging the body for the next day. Sleep is the natural means to rest and rejuvenate. It heals the mind and the body. In an average, we sleep for a third of our lives and this activity decides how well we are living and enjoying life on this planet.
The Śiva Mahāpurāna has some vital pointers to the results we get when we sleep in the eight directions
TRY IT YOURSELF
Use a compass to determine the direction of the feet when you sleep on your bed. Sit on the bed and face the direction you normally place your feet. Now read the results from the table above.
1. If the results are negative, and if you are under adverse transits and daśā, the negative will surely manifest.
2. If the results are negative, and if you are under positive transits and daśā, the negative will be suppressed and even if you are feeling weak and depressed, the negative is unlikely to manifest.
3. If the results are positive, and if you are under adverse transits and daśā, then you will have the strength and forbearance to overcome the negative
4. If the results are positive, and if you are under good transits and daśā, the good fortune promised will surely manifest In view of the above, it would be wise to choose a favourable direction of sleep.
It is difficult to understand the results ascribed by Lord Śiva from the jyotiṣa view. If we consider the dig chakra (directions of the graha), we find that longevity is promised when we are awaking in the direction of Sūrya (E). Similarly, good results of prosperity (N) and power (NE) are promised when awaking in the directions of Mercury and Jupiter i.e. feet point these directions when we sleep.
Now, if we consider ‘Lagna’ as the point of rejuvenation, then the three planets that are positive for this are (a) lagna kāraka Sun and (b) planets that get digbala in lagna – Mercury and Jupiter.
It is evident that the results are based on the ‘rising’ or awakening. Awakening or rising is associated with Janma Lagna which is the rising sign.
Future experiments are required to ascertain the effect of lagneśa direction. For example, if a person is born in Cancer Lagna, the lagneśa is Moon and will always work to the benefit of the native. Question is “would the direction of the Moon (NW) be beneficial for sleeping (and awakening)?”
Similarly, planets placed in Lagna are beneficial and maybe their directions would turn out to be positive. All this needs some serious study and experiments.
For the present, we would recommend using the advice of Lord Śiva and stick to the direction of the kāraka and the digbala planets i.e. sun (E), Mercury (N) and Jupiter (NE).
The western direction is quite ambiguous and the word ‘bhāgya’ can also mean durbhāgya i.e. misfortune. It causes a person to float in this world without direction – swayed by the winds of destiny.