Vaastu: The Vedic Principles

The Vedic principles of Vaastu:

There are five fundamental principles on which the Vedic science of architecture stands upon:

  1. The Doctrine of orientation:

In vaastu, east and north direction are given great importance. The suns rays, being a rich source of vitamin D are vital for the sustenance of life on earth; and the rays early in the morning from the east emitting more light and less heat are the best. Doors and windows in the east would allow the suns ultra violet rays to penetrate into the house, bestowing their benefits to the inmates of the house. In the afternoon on the other hand the sun would be coursing to the west emitting infra red rays which are detrimental to the health and hence less number of windows and thick walls in the rooms in west and Southwest.

Like the Sun, the earths magnetic fields also wield significant influence on the well being of the inmates of the house. For example Vaastu recommends the inmates of the house to sleep with their head towards the south. The human body acts as a magnet with the head as the north pole. If the head is directed towards the north, it will repel the earths north pole . As a consequence the blood circulation would be affected, causing tensions and disturbed sleep.

There is a technical procedure by which the cardinal points are ascertained for the orientation of the buildings. It should be done in the location where the naval point of vaastu Prussia lies that is the centre of the plot. Orientation played an important role in the daily life of ancient Indians for to them, Sun was the giver of all life.

  1. Site Planning : Vaastu Purush Mandala

Vaastu means environment, Purush means energy, Mandala means the astrological chart which relates the layout to the orientation. The surface of earth in traditional Indian Cosmology is regarded as demarcated by sunrise and sunset, and also by North and South points, and is represented by a diagram or a mandala of a square.

The science of architecture is a part of science of luminaries. The Vaastu had come to the place of adjustment of solar and lunar cycles. The no. 32 of the divinities residing in the squares of the borders of the vaastumandala is also the sum of 28 and 4, the no. of regents of the four planets who rule the equinoctial and solstitial points referred to the cardinal points and of regents of 28 nakshatras(constellations). Each of the divisions in the mandala is called a pada and has a presiding deity associated with it. Pada Vinyasa is a very convenient method, like a modern graph divided into a uniform square for the purpose of designing according to proportionate measurement.

The image of the Vaastu Purush on the Mandala is drawn in the likeness of man. Forty five Gods are constituents of the body of the Vastu purusha, the extent allotted to each of the deity differs but not their relative position in the plan. The lord of central square is always the Lord of Cosmos, the North is attributed to the Lord of wealth, South to the Lord of death, the east to the Lord of light, the west to the Lord of winds, suggesting that their be a courtyard in the centre of the building.

When these are scrupulously followed proper ventilation and good disposition to the Sun and privacy is insured. The house is compared to the human body and the central courtyard with Brahma, the eternal soul and their relationship is evoked when grahepravesha (house warming) ceremony is performed with traditional prayers and rituals.

3.The Proportionate Measurements: Mana

The adherence of mana is as old as Indian architecture and is imperative to all creative activity, of which angula (3/4th. of an inch) or hasta (18 inches) is the standard of measurements. The measurement is divided into 6 categories:

Measurement of height, breadth, width or circumference, along plumb lines, thickness, and interspace.
Proportional relationships of these categories are laid out for various functional usageÕs.

4.The Six Rules of Vedic Architecture:

There are six main component part of the building : Aadhistaana (Base), Stambha (Column), Prastara (Entablature), Karna (Wings), Shikhara (Roof), and Stuupi (dome).

5.Aesthetics of the building:

Chanda is the structural aspect of building, its rhythmical disposition is like that of poetry. The science of rhythm (Chanda =beauty) extends to the rhythmical disposition of the ground plan of the building and their vertical section (urdhva chanda) . Each brick and each building unit is filled with rhythm, it is a charged and compelling weight and shape in the hands of the builder . Rhythm evokes a reality and measure builds it up . Whatever is thus produced is called is Meya, which is measurable, capable of being known and a quantity.

What ever construction be done on the land, be it a residential house, or industrial organisation, or a public institution, temple etc., in each case it is auspicious and beneficial to keep the following points in mind while purchasing a plot of land or constructing a building.

  1. First of all the direction and shape of the plot has to be considered well. A construction on quadrangular, rectangular or square plot is beneficial and good from all aspects.

  2. Big plot fetches prosperity, but it should not be having cleavage or cracks any where.

  3. Triangular shaped plot should not be selected for constructing a building. It is inauspicious.

  4. A small narrow plot in between two big plots is also not good, because owner of the building on such plot always remains in troubles.

  5. If the length of the plot in east-west direction is more than that in north-south direction, it is better.

  6. If there is more open vacant space in south than in north, it will lead to destruction and downfall whether it is in the house or a industry, or in a temple or a hut.

  7. It is auspicious if there is more open space in the east than in the west; and more open space in the north than in the south.

  8. All the heavy and permanent items should be placed in the south-west corner of the building or plot.

  9. While sleeping head should be kept in the east or south. Never sleep with feet towards south or east.

  10. Water tanks on the roof in the south-west direction are auspicious. These should never be placed in north or north-east (eeshanya) corner.

  11. Pooja room is always best in the north-east corner or near it.

  12. Kitchen is always auspicious and best in the south-east (Agney) corner, or Nort West corner.

  13. Open space should be kept all around the building.

  14. Building should be constructed such that it is higher in the south-west and lower in the north-east. Walls should also be made in this manner.

  15. Underground water tank (for storage of water) well, hand-pump, boring etc. should be built in north-east direction only. Height of these water bodies should never be above the plinth level of the main building.

  16. As far as possible there should be only one main door of the house, which should be adorned with auspicious symbols.

  17. All the doors and windows should be of the same height upper edges being in the same straight line.

  18. There should not be a door above a door. This principle does not apply on multistorey buildings. Height of the door on upper floor should be kept less than that on the lower floor.

  19. Family life will be more and more happy if more heavy items are placed in the rooms on the south-west and south-sides.

  20. The more lighter (weightless) items are there in the north, north-east and north-west directions, the more happier will be the life of the family in the house.

  21. It is better if there are no tall trees in the east. Trees in the west are good.

  22. In the same line, the plot having road on the east-north directions is better to be selected.

  23. ‘Garbh’ means the space or width in between two walls.

  24. The essence of Vaastu Sastra is actually to make the house in total conformity with the utilisation of five basic materials, viz, earth, water, air, fire, space for specific functions in the directions of places determined for the same. For example, south-east corner is best for fire (kitchen etc.) North-West direction for air and the North-East direction for attaining the bliss for divine favour.

  25. Specially, while constructing a house due care is to be taken regarding position of doors, windows, Chulha (fire, burner), well, bath room, bed room, toilet (latrine) and these should be constructed strictly in the places allotted as per Vaastu principles.

  26. If there is a well or any other pit in the south-east, south-west or north-west direction, there will always be quarrels in the family and there will be no peace.

  27. West portion of the land should be raised and there should be slope towards the east, which is auspicious.

  28. Four sided (square) shaped plot of land is considered to be the best as per Vaastu Shastra. All the architects (Vaastu Shastris) have this opinion.

  29. Almirahs, Sofa Set, Table and other heavy items which can be placed permanently at a place, are auspicious if placed in the South-West corner or near it in the west.

  30. A temple can have doors on all the four sides.

31.Divide the length of the wall, on the side in which main door is to kept, in nine equal parts; then leaving 5 parts on the right and 3 parts on the left, door should be constructed in the remaining one part or in the 7th part.

  1. If living in a newly built house is stared without worshipping Vaastu, several troubles and difficulties arise in the family. Therefore Vaastu Poojan is must.

  2. For interior decoration of the house, pictures and scenes of war and battles, idols/statues of demons, pictures of pig (boar), leopard, tiger, jackal, serpent, eagle, owl, pigeon, hawk, crow, crane etc. are not auspicious. These should not be put on the walls in the house for decoration.

  3. Flow of water and its outlet in the directions other than east, north-west, north-east and north is inauspicious and causes troubles.

  4. Toilet (Latrine) is auspicious if constructed in north-west corner. If necessary or in case of lack of space it may be constructed in any direction, but the seat in the toilet should be such that when using the toilet one should face towards south or north only.

  5. Only new wood should be used throughout in the construction of a house, there remains no default relating to Vaastu. At the most two or three types of wood may be used.

  6. If only one kind of wood is used throughout in the construction of a house, there remains no default relating to Vaastu. At the most two or three types of wood may be use.

  7. It is not auspicious to construct any thing towards the south or west of the Vaastu zone. Construction should be done towards north and east of this zone.

  8. If extension is to be made, it should be extended in all the sides. Extension only in one side is not auspicious.

  9. Door of the stair-case should face either east or south. It will be auspicious if the stairs are constructed in the west or south on the right side.

  10. If the earth (soil) on the land site is excavated and removed, and fresh pure earth from elsewhere is filled in it, there remains no defect of Shalya in the land.

  11. Shadow of trees falling on the building in the duration 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. is inauspicious and causes troubles.

43.T.V., Radio or any other such device for entertainment should be placed near the south west corner.

  1. If more than one door are required, doors should be constructed in the positions as suggested in the Vaastu-Shastra, but no two doors be opposite each other.

  2. Guest room or drawing room should be in the north or west direction.

  3. Room for the watchman or guard should be built near the gate in the boundary wall on the left side. His quarter should be on the left side of the gate.

�So do you want your house to be Vaastu-perfect. These basic Vaastu principles will help you design your house the Vaastu way:

The plot Shape of the plot plays a significant part in Vaastu. A quadrangular, rectangular or square plot is considered beneficial and good from all aspects. Triangular plot is inauspicious.

Also, a big plot fetches prosperity, but it should not be having cleavage or cracks anywhere. A narrow plot in between two big plots is also not good

If the length of the plot in east-west direction is more than that in north-south direction, it is a good feature.

The site should be a good square or a rectangle if possible with southwest corner equal to 90 degree. North, east or northeast roads would do more good with two gates, one in the east and the other in the north. Besides the northeast, southwest or northwest blocks are also good. Ground levels should be sloping towards Northeast, and the levels in southwest, should be higher than all other sides.

An open well or a bore well should essentially be dug in northeast, before the construction takes place. While designing the complex, more open space should be left in the east and north compared to west and south. Balconies towards north, east and northeast are advisable and it is better not to keep balconies in south and west in general. Kitchen is advisable in the southeast or northwest and never in northeast. Staircases have to be in south, west or southwest and to be avoided in northeast, because head room of the staircase, higher than southwest is not acceptable.

Main entrance into the flat could be from east, north, south, northeast, west and northwest. No wells or bore wells should be dug in southeast, northwest or southwest. Open area in north south should be used for lawns, bore wells and sumps. This can also be used for on and off parking.

Many examples can be cited to show that Vaastu, if followed in constructing one house, office or business place, can give happy and prosperous consequences. A question arises whether one can achieve every thing in life by simply living in a house built as per Vaastu. The answer is because Vaastu has its own limitations. Just because one has a house as per Vaastu, one can not become a top celebrity. Nevertheless, if the plot is good as per Vaastu and house is built according to the Shastra, one may achieve many of the following:

One may have health and happiness.
Children may come up in life.
One may succeed in getting good promotions, if in service.
One may make good money, if in business.
One may attain position and power, if in politics.
One may get the benefits as enumerated above, as per the degree of perfection in following Vaastu. If one can satisfy 70 to 75 % of Vaastu, he should be very happy. It is interesting to note that some fortunate people have been living in good houses built as per Vaastu, without knowing even elementary principles of the subject.

Construction of a house or a work place following cent percent Vaastu principles is not possible, because of the levels in and around the plot, shape of the plot, number of roads and direction of the roads abutting the plot. Hence one has to work with the available plot and construct the house or office to suit ones requirements under the given circumstances to provide maximum benefit to the interiors of the house. An architect bestowed with the knowledge of Vaastu designs the building, striking a balance between the two depending upon the importance of one or the other as the case may be.

Roads or lanes running right into the plot from different directions cause Veedhi Shoola (spearing road). These Vaastu defects are of eight types. The effect could be in varying degrees depending upon the size and direction of the spearing road. Veedhi shoola is generally considered to be bad. There are, however a few exceptions. Veedhi shoolas in northeast are good whether it is coming from north or east direction. While searching for a plot, if one comes across such a situation, he should take the advice of a Vaastu expert so as to avoid complications at a later date. Veedhi Shoola on to the plot and building from a wrong direction would give more negative results.

This research article is submitted by Guruji Dr. K. Venkatesan, BE, MTech, EdD, PhD, DDiv