written by brook mccarthy
vastu shastra (vāstu śāstra) is the Vedic science of architecture and design of temples, houses and buildings. while yoga asanas and pranayama breathing techniques are applied to our inner environment, applying vastu shastra to our physical environments likewise facilitates health, harmony, and balance in our external environment.
Reading: Indian feng shui
Often referred to as “Indian feng shui,” the vastu shastra actually predates Chinese feng shui by about 1,500 years. vastu derives from the root vas, which means “dwell, live, stay, dwell”, while shastra loosely translates as “science, doctrine, teaching”.
vastu shastra was originally restricted to temple architecture, but in recent times it has been applied to any structure, including houses.
five elements: pancha maha bhoota
all ancient cultures refer to the elements that make up the human body and the physical world. in vastu shastra, these are earth (bhumi), water (jala), air (vayu), fire (agni), and space (akasha). according to vastu shastra, the planet earth supports life due to the presence and balance of these five elements.
The five elements are also related to our five senses of taste, smell, hearing, touch and sight.
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earth (bhumi) – the earth is known for its gravitational and magnetic qualities. it is the only element that is connected to the five human senses, so it influences us the most. is associated with the southeast direction.
water (jala) – this is represented by rain, river, ice and gas. it is linked to our sense of taste, touch, sight and hearing. its direction is northeast.
air (vayu): the air on earth is a mixture of several gases such as nitrogen, oxygen, helium and hydrogen, which are essential for humans, so air is essential for our survival. air relates to our sense of hearing and touch and is associated with the direction of northwest.
fire (agni): associated with the sun, fire represents light and heat representing day and night, the seasons, vitality, enthusiasm, passion and strength . the fire element is related to our sense of hearing, touch and sight, and its direction is southeast.
space (akasha) – space is infinite without borders. it is tied to our sense of hearing and related to the central position, known as brahmasthan.
applying vastu in your home
each address is ruled by a planet and each address in between is related to one of the elements. thus, for example, the north is ruled by the planet mercury, while the southeast is associated with the element of fire. so an ideal location for a fireplace or kitchen in a home is the southeast corner.
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The fire element rules good health, sound finances, and family happiness, so the southeast corner of every room should include a spotlight or lantern with the light pointed toward the ceiling. electrical appliances such as television, refrigerator, computer, microwave, etc., can be placed in the southeast corners.
the central part of a house is governed by the space element. Since all directions meet in the center, it is the most sacred and powerful area of the house. Ideally, it should be kept open and clear so light can illuminate the center. Traditionally, houses in India used to have an open courtyard in the center of the house, providing open sky, sunlight and cross ventilation.
air should enter a building from the northeast. There are several guidelines for the placement of doors, windows, fans, balconies, trees and plants, to balance the air element. bodies of water in the north or east are considered good. the flow and drainage of the water must be towards the northeast.
The best sleeping position
The direction your head points while lying in bed is important. our bodies have a positive north pole and a negative south pole. it is best to avoid sleeping with your head facing north because, like a magnet, the two positive poles repel each other. It is also not recommended to sleep with your head facing west.
Sleeping with your head facing south is highly recommended, as it provides sound sleep and increases the wealth and prosperity of the home. Sleeping with your head in the east improves memory, health, and spiritual inclination, which is why it is often recommended for children.
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