Vastu shastra is an Indic theory of Architecture. The term implies a tradition and body of knowledge which has at various times been ordered, expressed and handed over from generation to generation in a range of texts, with a variety of titles. The Vastu Shastra consist of textual data, oral Knowledge, building practices, community networks, etc.
the life force cointained within the earth is called VASTU. this premise is extended further, and all objects that occupy the earth cointaining this life-force energy are likewise called Vastu. Thus plants, trees, buildings and sculptures are all considered to be alive and part of the whole living subsystem. Vaastu is te individual site or land identified for a village or a neighbourhood. Vaastu is also the building enclosure.
Vaastu Shastra or the ancient Indian Knowledge of architecture is as old as the veda belonging to the period 1500-1000 BC. It’s first textual evidence is in the Rig veda , where Vastospati or the protector of the house is invoked. The rituals associated with architecture are also described in the later Veda, Sutra, Purana, Tantra etc. and its complications till the 15th century are even today a part of the construction process.
Vaastu Shastra comprises of a complete system of design, covering all aspects of architectural process expressed in words. The Veda and Shastra were a descriptive way of creating, defining, formulating, standardizing and implementing methods of construction, planning, utilization of resources and creating processes in harmony with nature keeping the human form centric in all developments.
The architectural team refers to a collaboration of specialists that contribute their skills to realize the translation of a design concept. The Sthapati and the design team had a wide panorama of activities and duties to fulfill as per the Shastra. Beginning with the selection of the site and checking the feasibility to build on it, checking the soil quality and determining the Varna(Caste), drawing the mandala on the site, determining the availability and proximity of raw materials, understanding the user requirements, designing the layout, orientation and placement of various activities of the built form as described in the shastra.
Vaastu Purusha Mandala
Vaastu Purusha Mandala is the body on which every aspect of human activity is carried out.Whether we build a house, factory, school. well. compound wall, tank or playground, we are placing it on the sacred body of the cosmic being that has come to reside with us.
It provides the grid that facilitates the inception of the design. It adopts the shape of the site and is a primary example of inherent flexibility. It adopts the parameter of design requirements of diverse contexts like hot and arid Rajasthan to wet and humid Kerala, as well as the variations of building materials, functional requirements, and the social and political life.
Creation of Vaastu Shastra
In the ancient times, there lived a demon called Vaastu who was fierce and powerful and in the habit of terrorizing the world. As the situation became unbeatable the gods came together to fight him. Yet,his powers were such that his essence continued to permeate the land causing untold misery to the humans and gods alike.
The Vaastu Purusha is considered to be awake when he is oriented towards the cardinal points(N,S,W,E) and is said to be asleep when oriented towards the non-cardinal points(NE,SW,SE,and NW). Vaastu Purusha is awake during the 8 months of the year.
four months of sleep
All the great civilizations have interepreted cosmology of space in fairly similar ways. for example, The south is considered to be the direction of Lord of Death as well as spiritual rebirth in Greek legends also.Following are the directions with their corresponding directions.
- The north-eastern direction, ISANA KONA of the Vaasty Shastra is Shiva and is ruled by the planet Jupiter(GURU).It is the direction of nourishing energies. It’s negative position may bring about blood directions.
- The east direction is Indira and is ruled by the Sun(Surya). It is the direction of life energy.The vital energy of the sun motivates life in the body through its association with the heart and blood circulation. Diseases reletd are fevers due to heat, eye disorders.
- The South-East direction or the Agneya kona is Agni and is ruled by the Venus(Shukra). It rules overs Kidneys, throat and ovaries of women. It imparts general relexation and loss of stimulus.
- The South direction is Yama, the executioner of justice, and is ruled by Mars (Mangal). It is the direction of meaning of life and death. It rules inflammation, nasal, muscular and genital disorder and contagious diseases.
- The South-West direction or Pitr Kona or the corner of ancestors is Nirritti, indicative of misery, and is ruled by Uranus(Rahu)
- The North-West direction or Vavya Kona is Vayu, representing wind, and is ruled by Moon. It is the direction of overall happiness.
- The North direction is Kubera, the god of wealth, and is ruled by Mercury(Budha). It controlls the nervous system, mental faculties, breath, hands and tongue.
Orientation of Activities
In traditional houses, we can clearly observe an energy line which connects the front to rear entrance. The brahmasutram that connects the E-W axiz and the somasutram that connects the N-S axis. When we connect this axis of energy and keep the doors and windows open, air circulates through the house.This air governs the health of the inhabitant.
- ENTRANCE DOOR-The door is traditionally the entrance, treated with great sacredness.
- WINDOWS- There should be fewer windows on the south and west side, and the walls in the south and west should be thicker to reduce the heat, however there should be more windows on the north and east to allow light.
- TERRACES- More balconies, terraces and open spaces are desirable in the east and north sides.
- KITCHEN- The SE is the direction of agni(fire), it is considered to be the preferred location for the kitchen. The alternative direction i.e. the eastern direction is also suggested as the morning sunrays will kill the germs on the kitchen and keep the food from spoiling.
- BEDROOMS- They should be located preferably in the South or South-West corner of the building. The alternative locations are East, North-East can be used by children. Bedroom in the North-West should be avoided. Master bedroom is recommended in the South West direction followed by North-West and South-East. A daughter’s bedroom is recommended in the north-west and son’s in the west and south.
- POSITION OF BODY- The head of the human body is the heaviest and most important part of the body, corresponding to the north pole. if the head is directed towards the Earth’s north pole while sleeping, the two north poles will repel each other causing tension, disturbed sleep and other related health problems. The best sleep is head in the south.
The south being the adobe of Yama, the god of Death. In the funerary rituals, the dead body is always placed with its feet towards South, to be accepted by Yama.
head towards South-ensures dhirgaayush (long life)
head towards East- ensures jnanodayam (enlightenment)
head towards West- causes shookam (unhapiness and sorrow)
head towards North- causes maranam (death)
- TOILETS, STORE ROOMS- The toilets should be located on the west side as they are lesser used, and tend to get hotter and will be uncomfortable to use in the evening and night. they also serve as buffers and prevent the rest of the house from getting heated up, and the heat keeps these rooms dry and free from moisture, germs, fungus etc. making them ideal place for storing food grains etc.
- PRAYER/MEDITATION ROOM- The eastern and northern side of the house would be ideal for the prayer, but any other location is also fine provided the images of the lord face east or north.
- WELLS AND WATER STORAGE- This can be anywhere in the plot which has a natural stream, for specific location NE, North or East of the house is recommended.
- SEWAGE- This should be carefully selected as the point furthest from the water source.
- STAIRCASE-It should be located on the site which has natural breeze coming in. recommended directions are S, SW, W, NW and NE. It should always be in clockwise direction.
- TREES- Tall trees should be planted on the South and West sides, to protect the house from the direct sunlight and also to give pure oxygenated air to the inmates.
Traditionally there were seven colors as derived from the spectrum of diffusion of light in the rainbow (VIBGYOR) Voilet, Indigo, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange and Red. Every color has certain properties and effects on the space and it’s user.
- Crimson or Red- The colour of celebration, joy, aggression and passion.
- Maroon- The color of the earth and of auspiciousness. Brick, Earth symbols, Terracotta products are all this color.
- White- The color of moon. It is the color of purity and peace.
- Blue- The color of infinity. This color is used to indicate vastness and eternity.
- Green- The color of plants, prosperity and fertility.
- Yellow- It is used to indicate birth and growth. They are associatted with spring.
- Black- It is employed to indicate counter-religious symbols such as black magic and workship of the lesser Gods.
The color recommendations for different rooms in a house are as under-
BED ROOMS- Light colors-Blue, White,Yellow,Pink
CHILDREN BEDROOMS- Red, Yellow and Blue.
KITCHEN- Orange, White, Yellow. Avoiding black and brown is recommended in lieu of cleanliness.
LIVING/DINNING- Bright shades of Red, Yellow and Green.
TOILETS- Black and Brown.