Scientific Concept Of Vastu
Vastu is considered mainly as a art rather than a science. The reason being not much strong arguments or evidences are available to prove the hypotheses set forth by the Vastu Shastra. But research in this area is bearing fruits. More results are forthcoming in favour of the Vastu Shastra.
As the general perception goes, Vastu Shastra is a science of architecture. But it is a mix of both architecture and science. It constitutes a part of Vedic Philosophy, which has a great historical background in India. Vastu explains relation between one’s surrounding and his physical and psychological state. The word “vastu” comes from Sanskrit and can be translate as dwelling, building.
As living beings, we are continuously exposed to the environment around us. The nature plays an important role in shaping our lives. The five elements that have a direct influence are: Earth (Bhoomi), Fire (Agni), Water (Jal), Air (Vayu) and Space (Akash). Vastu emphasizes on the role of Space in relation with other four elements.
Previously, design engineers or consultants were aptly called as sthapathis. Their creations resulted in temples. Other forms of such creations are the mosques, the churches etc. Each of these are said to have sacred dimensions – Geomancy or Divination. The beauty of these creations lies in the fact that many of these were prior to the discovery of Electromagnetism.
The relation between Magnetism and Vastu Shastra is important. Many ancient structures in Rome or the Pink city – Jaipur are based on this theory.
We know that earth possesses a Magnetic field. We experience these fields implicitly. Today’s biggest pollution causing elements other than air, water and noise is Electromagnetism. While Earth’s magnetism is 0.5mG (milliGuass), human body is exposed to higher magnetism as a result of Cellphones (200mG), computers or even a battery run Quartz watch.
As previously mentioned, Vastu focuses on the role of Space. Electromagnetism can be decreased by more space. For e.g., Electromagnetism pollution from the computer can be reduced by designing the furniture such that computer can be operated from a distance of a feet or two.
Earth is a Magnet; it has a North Pole and a South Pole. The surface of the earth has magnetic grids called Hartman grids. If we can recollect from our trigonometry, the value of Sin q = 1 when q = 90 degrees Sin q = 0 when q = 0 degrees
So the bottom line is that any structure, which is in alignment with, North-South pole of the earth is said to have a maximum advantage over any other structure having a slightest deviation; this is because for any other deviation, Sin q <1, where q is the angle of deviation.
Purely technical, ancient Indian Vaastu was confined to architects (Sthapathis) and handed over by word of mouth or through hand-written monographs. It was treated as the science for the construction of temples and royal palaces. The principles of construction, architecture and sculpture have been incorporated in the science.
According to the science behind this, the basic objective of planning of buildings is to arrange all the units of a building on all floors and at level according to their functional requirements making best use of the space available for a building. The shape of such a plan is governed by several factors such as climatic conditions, site location, accommodation requirements, local bye-laws, surrounding environment, etc.
In spite of the certain principles or factors, which govern the theory of planning, are common to all buildings of all classes intended to be used for residential purposes. These principles, enunciated below, are not rigid but just factors to be considered in planning:
6. Furniture Requirement
12. Practical Considerations
Vastu Shastra explains its guidelines really well for independent plots considered for construction. However the subject becomes quite vague for multi-storied buildings.
A plot is divided logically into a number of grids, approximately 5 ft X 5 ft. The reason being that if earth’s surface is considered to be a plane, then any vibrations which may occur will be along these grid lines. The figure below depicts the forces of five elements.
Earth represents stability of mind and body, which implies health of inhabitants of the plot. Fire represents energy and productivity. Air stands for movement or dynamism. Water stands for purity and Space symbolizes creativity.
A residence to conform to the Vastu guidelines should have Bedroom in South West direction, Living room in North West direction, Dining area in West/East direction, Kitchen in South East direction, Prayer room/Study room in North East direction.
The rising rays of the sun are rich in Vitamin D while the rays of a setting sun contain Ultra-violet radiations, which are not healthy for the human body. Hence Vastu prefers thick walls in South West direction and thin walls or more openings in North East direction.
The most interesting part is the way the doors and open. It has been observed using a Lecher Antenna that a room with doors and windows opening inwards has higher energy by way of resonance patterns, than those, which open outwards. Even today, we find most of our villages have this concept followed since ages.
The layout should be such that the building is more towards South West direction as depicted below:
Here a < b & c < d and there should be a slope towards North East direction. This is ensured by elevating South West corner by about 3”, North West corner by 1” and South East corner by 2” with respect to North East corner.
It has also been observed using Kirlian Photograph – wherein a person’s energy level is gauged by keeping his finger on a photographic plate, that a person may become sick very soon if the dimensions of the room is in the ratio 2:1 or greater. The lesser the ratio, the better it is.
Let us see the movement of sun. Even though, the sunrises in East and sets in West every day, it is not exactly true. To understand this, a concept followed in the Hindu calendar is very useful. In the Hindu calendar, a year is divided into 2 halves with six months each. One half is called Uttarayan and the other Dakshinayan. In the six months of Uttarayan (mid-january to mid-july), the sun travels in the North direction viz., the sunrise point shifts from south-east to north-east. And, yes you are right, in the six months of Dakshinayan (mid-july to mid-january), the sun travels in the south direction viz., the sunrise point shifts from north-east back to south-east.
Now, in the month of December, this is winter in Northern Hemisphere, you want to stay in that part of house which is the warmest. (Unless of course, you are ok for a big electricity bill for air-conditioning). Post afternoon, the sunlight will directly fall only on the South and West walls. In the evening, when you want to retire to bed, you would certainly like to rest in the warmest place, which is evidently the south-west corner. You can refer the figure below for illustration.
Another factor to consider is, during Summer, the Sunrise happens fairly early. The north-east part of the house gets really warm early in the morning. This could really disturb your sleep, especially if you had a long and tiring day. Hence, the coolest place under such situation, is the diagonally opposite south-west corner. Hence, the best place to have the Master Bedroom, where the Master of the house can have maximum comfort, is the south-west corner.
The best location for the window of the Master Bedroom is on the South side wall. By keeping the window here, we can ensure that we get direct sunlight into the room only in the Winter months. If it is located on the West wall, the harsh sunlight during the evening will come into the room even during Summer, thus making the room very hot.
It is common sense, that wherever, the Master of the house stays, he/she would like to keep their valuables there. The nearer it is, the safer it is. And how better to name this place than to name it after KUBERA (the Hindu god of Wealth). Hence, the south-west corner of the house is called KUBERA MOOLA.
Since we have fixed the Master Bedroom for the house, next we will see which is the best place for kitchen. We should consider the following:
- It is a place where food items are stored, hence it could attract insects.
- It should be warm and ample light should be there in the mornings.
Considering the above, the best place is the south-east corner. The sunrises in the east and also during winter mornings, the sunlight falls on the south and east walls of the house. The insects which might be hiding will also come out due to the warmth of the early morning sun and can be chased away.
Hence, the south-east corner of the house where the fire god is invoked for cooking, is called the AGNI MOOLA.
Since we have the Kitchen in the south-east corner, the best place to have the bathroom and toilets are the diagonally opposite place in the north-west corner. This corner is called the VAYU MOOLA. In days, when we did not have room freshners, the cooking aroma will be filled in the house and will ensure that the odour from the toilet does not fill the house.
The north-east is called the ISHANYA MOOLA. Ideally, this place should be left empty. There is a reason for this. Since the south-west is the place where you have all the valuables, the entrance of the house, should be as far away as possible, so it should be in the north-east corner. And usually it is also recommended that this corner should be 1 or 2 feet below the house level. That is because, if there is a day, when there is unusually large amount of rain, which might lead to floods, if the north-east corner of the house gets flooded with water, the master of the house can take all the valuables from the KUBERA MOOLA and abandon the house, before it is too late.