Vaastu shastra is a very old science on construction dating back to the days of Vedas. Vaastu's main idea is to bring about harmony between the life and the environment around it. What distinguishes Vaastu from other science of construction is its familiarity with metaphysical energies, positive and negative energies. Vaastu prescribes certain procedures so that energy fields are not distorted. Vaastu Shilpa Shastra, deals with harmonious co-existence with nature and also for physical, emotional, spiritual needs of human beings. It deals with the selection of sites and construction of residential as well as commercial buildings and lays down the rinciples of building, designing and planning to ensure happy living. Vaastu principles are such that if followed, they provide happiness, health and prosperity for the occupants of the building.
Till early 1990 there was some awareness among the people regarding Vaastu principles. These days quite a lot of importance is given to the principles laid down in Vaastu shastra. Planners take into consideration the location of the site, roads, slopes, soil, water table etc, before planning the building. Every one of us wants to be healthy and function in the commercial building successfully. Almost all the city dwellers do approach some Vaastu consultants before taking up any construction work or for moving into residential dwelling units or flats. In the present day situation, it is difficult to follow all the principles laid down in Vaastu shastra for various reasons. Reasons could be, lack of suitable land in the cities, inadequate funds, prevailing building bye-laws of the local bodies. Some people even comment that the Vaastu shastra is too rigid about the placing of the doors and windows, which according to them is simply not possible to follow. On the contrary, the Vaastu consultants and the pundits are of the firm view that there are simple ways to alter the living space suitably.
The Vaastu principles which are based on five elements namely earth, space, fire, air and water have to be adopted to the best advantage. It should be remembered that the very existence of the man is totally dependent on these five elements and is controlled by these elements. All possible efforts should be made to harness the effects of the five elements. Who would not like to benefit from knowledge, wisdom, health, wealth, strength and happiness? In view of the fact that the Vaastu shastra regulates the construction of the buildings, whether residential or commercial, it would be wise to remember some of the important regulations or say the basic principles namely - enjoy the sunlight from the eastern side, place the kitchen in the South east comer, place the beds South-north (with head at South) or East-west directions, have the front door or back door made of a frame of four pieces, store water in the North east comer (sump-borewell) of the site. Further try to understand the eight directions and their importance. Remember, not to demolish the existing houseslbuildings but alter them suitably. If the kitchen is not in the specified direction, things like gas stove could be placed in the proper place namely Southeast comer of the existing kitchen. A good house built on Vaastu principles certainly gives peace of mind and ensures harmonious living.
1. Whatever may be the type of construction, the vacant spaces in' East and North should be more than that of West and South.
2. Heavier, hefty structures and fixtures must be in Southwestern, Southern or Western part of the site.
3. The South west part should be comparatively elevated.
4. The main door, and the exit point should be located in strong positions, such as Eastern, Northern Northeast, Southern Southeast or Western Northwest, which are auspicious.
5. Wells, bore wells, sump tanks, depressions, etc., must be in the Eastern or Northern Northeast of the site. Care should be taken to ensure that they are not located in a diagonal line extending from North eastern end of the building to North eastern corner of the site.
6. Avoid pits, depressions in Southern or Western part of the plot.
7. Flow of rain/drainage, sewage water must flow out of the site either from Northern, North eastern or Eastern, North eastern, or Central east or Central north sides. It is worthwhile to note some popular sayings recognized by Vaastu:
b. Closing, covering eastern, Southeast is sacrificing happiness.
c. Do not weaken the North eastit may affect the lineage.
d. Covering the North east IS like a noose around neck.
After consulting astrologer/pundit about the suitable date for commencement of the construction, it is necessary and desirable to perform some rituals with a view to have peace and prosperity of the owner and his family. This applies not only for residential but also for apartment buildings as well as commercial complexes. Before foundation is laid, perform pooja of the foundation stone and then lay the stone. After the stone is laid construction should be started, clockwise commencing from South-east direction, construction of pillars and walls also should be started from South East direction. Another important point to be noted is that the commencement of constructions be done during Shuklapaksha (first half of the lunar month) i.e. between 1st day to Pournima (full moon day). It is not desirable to commence construction in the 2nd half oflunar month.
In case there is a proposal to construct a basement, a few suggestions are desired to be considered. Having a basement in a particular direction, do have some good effects. Vaastu shastra lays down the principles as to how and where a basement should be constructed and its effects. A few suggestions are detailed hereunder.
* A cellar to the South of the buildings is not favourable.
* A person residing in the South west part of the building with a cellar towards South is not desirable.
* A cellar to the West of the building is not in the interest of the owner and should be avoided.
* A basement /cellar to the East or North of the building is always good.
* No shop be provided in a basement on the Southern side of the building.
* Cellar situated at South-east, South-west or North-west be used for parking vehicles or for storing goods.
Main door of the house is most important and therefore its location requires to be considered very carefully. Certain methods are also suggested in Vaastu shastra. One suggestion is measure the length of a house along the direction in which the door is proposed to be fixed, divide the length into 9 equal parts, leave 5 parts to the right and 3 parts to the left and place the door along the remaining length. To be more clear, if the length of the house is 36 feet the 9 parts will be each of 4 feet. After leaving 5 parts from the right side (20 feet) and 3 parts from left (12 feet), the door shall be placed on the remaining part of 4 feet. A simple procedure for recognizing the direction is - consider a person when he makes exit from the main door, the right flank is the one which is to the right of the person and the left flank lies to the left. If a person makes an exit facing East, the South is to the right and North to the left. In short for installation of the main door following suggestions may be considered;
• Leave two sections and place the door in the third section in the case door faces East.
• Leave 5 sections and place the door in 6th section ifit faces South.
• Leave out 3 sections and place the door in 4th section if it faces West or North.
• The door in the 4th section always generates good results. The following are unfavourable situations for placing the main door:
• A tree, well, pillar directly in front of the main door should be avoided. This does not apply when there is a road between the main door and the objects referred.
• Vidhi shula i.e. approach road forming a T-junction with the plot from south.
• Placing of the door in the Northwest or Southwest should be avoided.
It should also be ensured that only a new door is used for a new house. Old doors should be totally avoided. The door, right on top of the door at lower level should be slightly smaller in size. Always the main door to be installed should be separate and superior to the rest ofthe doors. Avoid cracked main door. The number of doors and the windows (counted separately) should always be in even number. The main door of the house should have a four pieces frame i.e. there must be 'Threshold'. The shape of the house site, in its topography and direction it faces are very important to determine the actual direction of placement of main door. So it is always advisable to have physical inspection of the site by an expert in Vaastu.
Main entrance is very significant in Vaastu. Its position has exalted or debilitating effect on the residents; that is favourable or unfavourable. The vertical intersection of the plot at the Eastern lateral side determines the exalted or strong and debilitating or weak positions. The Northern half side is strong and southern half side is weak as per Vaastu. In the similar way, the vertical intersection of southern lateral side decides the strong and weak positions, the eastern half side is exalted, strong and western half is weak. Further another vertical division of western side, where northern half is considered as strong and southern side is treated as weak. In addition, another vertical division of northern lateral side creates strong and weak positions, where eastern half is exalted (strong) and western half is debilitated or weak.
(a) Eastern north east:- This is very strong position, It is associated with intellect. People inhabiting the house having main entrance in eastern north east develop and become intellectuals and knowledgeable. They are respected in society.
(b)Southern south east :- This is a favourable position. Main entrance in southern south east brings good, auspicious results.
(c) Eastern south east:- This is weak, unfavourable position, Having a main door in Eastern south east leads to badlunfavourable results.
(d) Southern south west :- Again, this is an unfavourable/debilitating direction. Main entrance in southern south west may lead to financial troubles and ill health of family members, particularly female members.
(e) Western south west :- This is a weak position. A main entrance in western south west will bring financial troubles. Further health of male head of the family will deteriorate.
(t) Western north west :- This is a favourable strong position. Inhabitants of the house having main entrance in western north west enjoy favourable and good results.
(g)Northern north west:- This is an unfavourable direction. People residing in houses with main entrance in northern north west develop weak mind, become unpredictable.
(h)Northern north east :- This is a favourable position. Having a main entrance in Northern north east is a gateway for windfall of gains.
Placement of furniture
Position offurniture is also very crucial. If the main entrance is on eastern north east, the furniture are generally placed towards opposite, that is the south. This helps in northward movement, which is auspicious. Likewise the main entrance in southern south east, compels to place the furniture in west. This makes way for eastward movement, which brings in favourable results. In case the main entrance is in western north west, the heavy furniture are placed towards south and north becomes light, which yields good results. Ifthe main door is in northern north east, the heavy furniture are placed in west making east comparatively lighter, which again brings favourable results.
South west is most favourable for bedroom/master bedroom. Having a bedroom in east is an open invitation for ill health. Likewise a bedroom in north western, would not bring sound sleep and have mental worries. Bedroom in south brings good health, whereas in north results in financial losses. Bedroom in west is good. However, bedroom in north west is allowed provided that there is a master bedroom in south west. Beds fcots in bedroom have to be placed in such a way, that there is more vacant space towards north and east. While sleeping, the head which is the most important part of the human body should be placed towards south for sound sleep.
In olden days most of the houses were built with roof sloping on one side or the other. However later on the styles changed and the roofs were built without any slopes particularly in the dry areas, where the rains were not heavy. The roofs used to be of tiles or of stone labs/mortar till the advent of cement concrete. Vaastu shastra provides for putting up the roofs in a particular way. Whatever may be the material used the basic requirement is that there should be no seepage or leakage of rain water. Nowadays, houses are designed in different ways to suit the requirements of the owners. Naturally the roofs are designed to get better elevation and aesthetic value. If the roof is not placed in accordance with the Vaastu shastra it can have some adverse effects. If the roof is slopy, such sloping should be equal or even on both sides. Even the roofs are split in different levels. In such cases care should be taken to see that south-west rooflevel and parapet wall are a bit higher than the other sides. The levels of sloping roof be lesser at north-east than at southwest. Here are what the Vaastu principles to say about putting up a rooffor a building.
1. The slopes should be North or East.
2. Avoid sloping towards south or west.
3. Smoke chimney be provided in the south or west of the building. Avoid east, north-east or north.
4. When the water tanks are to be placed on the roof, prefer placing them in south or west side of the roof, avoid north-east, east or north.
5. Flat roof is considered to be quite good and therefore the water tanks should be placed on raised platforms.
6. The slopes required for flat roofs should be towards east or north.
7. Pyramid shaped roofs are considered as neutral.
8. In case it is necessary to provide sky light window it should be provided only in north or east side of the roof.
9. The roof tiles should always be in good condition and the broken tiles should be replaced immediately as and when noticed.
10. The slope should be even on both sides of the site.
It is seen that in some cases a small house is built on the top roof of the multi-storeyed building. It is known as pent house. The pent house is supposed not to be a part of the main building and application of Vaastu principles is given a go by. However it is desirable to refer to Vaastu aspects before taking up construction of pent house. The following points are considered important and may be followed:
1. Avoid construction of pent house on north or east side of the top floor roof.
2. Since the builtup on the southern side or western side has to be taller it is appropriate to put up a pent house on west or south of terrace.
3. Since the pent house is used as a house for residence it is desirable to follow Vaastu principles as in the case of any nonnal house.
4. It is desirable to leave some open space in the east and north.
Some times, construction of out-house becomes necessary to remedy the ill effects of Vaastu. In case of sites, which extends from north to south wherein house is constructed in the northern portion leaving the southern portion vacant. In such cases, it would be important to construct out-house in southwest to avoid evil effects. The floor of such out-houses must be on elevation than that of main house and should not have entrance or exit on the western or Southern portions. In case the site is extending from west to east where the main house is constructed on the eastern part leaving the western portion vacant, then the construction of an out-house in the southwest side is necessary. The floor levels of such an out-house should have elevation and entrance from the southern side is to be avoided. Generally, onstruction of out-houses should be avoided on the eastern or northern part abutting compound, but may be constructed abutting western or southern compound.