The Vaastu Way series of articles is an attempt at unfolding the many layers surrounding Vaastu. In the two preceding articles Vaastu and your home and Do directions govern the individual? we dwelt upon the introductory and underlying issues pertaining to Vaastu. In this article, we outline simple but important Vaastu guidelines for your home. As in our first article, we again warn the reader that Vaastu is a subject far too wide and deep to be mastered merely by reading the available books and articles. The fact must be borne in mind that articles like this one can at best be the preliminary awareness necessary towards getting an intimate understanding of Vaastu.
Vaastu is applied knowledge that has been practically and pragmatically gleaned from many generations to the present day. The benefits of Vaastu are available to everyone without any disparity in caste, creed or religion. Vaastu propounds the harmonious blend of not just the visible materials like bricks, wood and mortar but also the combined as well as individualistic energies of the invisible cosmic forces of wind, gravity and magnetism. The Hindu concept of architecture has always been that of a model of the cosmos . The house is not regarded as isolated phenomena; its plan should be in reasonable consonance with the surroundings and of course, the owner s personal tastes. He should spend his honestly earned income to build his house. Vaastu is becoming increasingly popular today because Vaastu works. It has worked for thousands of people and it can work for you, too.
People think that construction of a house is nothing but brick and mortar to be laid out as per the plan. However, according to Vaastu there are various other aspects to be considered and consulted before and during construction. Vaastu also propounds that even the position of the doors (especially the front door) and windows and the direction in which an entrance to the house is to be fixed, have crucial significance for the well-being of the owner and other residents.
It must be recognized that much of the Vaastu provisions relate to the site (grha-kshetra) on which a house is built, and the planning (pada-vinyasa) that is done prior to construction. The site and its natural lay of land is the principle consideration in Vaastu. The main points considered are the omens observed before entering the site of the building, the nature of the earth, the time of laying the foundation, the direction the house should face as well as the location of the individual living sections. Vaastu texts insist as indispensible the initial and prior pacification of the deities in the site-cells.
Some General Guidelines
A number of rules have been laid down by the ancient texts for constructing a dwelling. The reasons for many of these rules have not been understood entirely but the rules have been found to be sound in practice. Apart from site selection (which will be dealt at length in another article later on in the series) the rules inter-alia pertaintoseveral other factors; the more important ones being:
Location of the Well
The well must be located at the North and East side of the site. There is nothing wrong if another well such as a bore-well is also dug. Wells located in the South-East, South, South-West can be closed without any fear of sin.
From the beginning itself, the site should be secured by a compound wall that should be built on all the four sides. The compound walls may be of bricks, stone or mud. No side should be vacant. The height of the compound wall on the south or west should be higher than that on the north. The construction of the compound wall should begin from the south-west side and end on the north-east side. The compound walls should not have decorative projections.
Commencing work on a site
The building work should be commenced on an auspicious day and time. The following inauspicious days should be avoided:-
- When a member of the family is in mourning due to the death of his kith or kin.
- When a child is born in the family
Multiple buildings on a singular site
If two or more units are to be constructed in a plot, the first one should be in the south.
Disposition of rooms
- The bedroom should be in the South-West
- Kitchen should preferably be in the Southeast corner of the building. The person cooking should face east.
- The Puja room should preferably be in the North-East.
- Servant s quarters should be in the North-West
Verandahs or sit outs
Verandahs or sit outs should preferably be in the north or east with their floor level lower than the floor level of the main building. If the Verandahs or sit outs are in the south or west, they should be higher than the floor level of the main building.
The main entrance to the house can be one or maximum two on the front side. More than two should be avoided.
For woodwork in a new building, only new timber should be used and for renovation of an old building old wood may be used.
Vertical addition to a structure
If any vertical addition is to be made to a structure, it should be on the most southwesterly direction of the structure.
In homes, basements should be avoided.
Letting-out / sharing a house
If any portion of the building is to be let out, it is preferable that the south portion should be occupied by the owner. Also, please note that the ground floor should remain occupied, whilst the first floor may remain unoccupied. Partitioning of the house building is not advisable.
Central Space (Brahmasthana)Even though there are innumerable injunctions to be followed for the construction of perfect buildings, there are some principles which need immediate attention and observation, and which should not be neglected or violated. They are the rules pertaining to the central square or central space (Brahma-sthana).
In the construction of a dwelling, the central square, technically known as the Brahman-sthana, is an important factor for the longevity of the dwelling. It must be the central and unoccupied open space reserved for ritualistic activities. Unfortunately, the rule that no construction should be laid on the Brahman-sthana is not strictly adhered to in modern days.
Architectural constructions are living organisms and they behave like human beings. Like living beings, they vibrate, pulsate and they breathe. For such breathing structures, the central space serves as the lungs. If the lungs were filled with substances other than air, what would happen?
The central space should be set aside or left free for the confluence of cosmic and elemental energies. It should be free of structural elements as it is meant to affect breathing power to the enclosed space. It is considered the spiritual centre and when it is maintained in perfect order and harmony, those dwelling in it will experience well-being and sweetness.
Rituals & Ceremonies
In consultation with the Panchang or Indian Calendar, a right time is chosen to inaugurate the site and to propitiate the energies. The time chosen is when the Vaastu Purusha (energy grid) is awake and is available.
Before taking possession of the site the existing afflictions of the plot are sought to be exorcised. A Maduka padam diagram of the Vaastu Purusha is drawn in the Northern-East part of the property using the prescribed seeds and other substances. The Bhoomi puja is usually carried out in the morning.
This is the final ritual purifying and making the space ready for occupation of the house.
Affecting changes on account of Vaastu
Let us recapitulate from the first article on Vaastu and Your Home in this series:
It is best to implement Vaastu before construction. At this stage, all Vaastu norms can be implemented taking into consideration your requirements. It will not add to your cost. It is a nothing to lose but everything to gain proposition.
But what if you have already built a house without considering Vaastu? You might have committed few mistakes and friends who visit your house will point these out. They may sternly warn you that because of this or that mistake, such and such a thing will happen. Luckily for you, this is not true. A single mistake does not have the strength to turn the whole building negative, unless it is in a very sensitive area. Just because your house is not entirely as per Vaastu rules do not go for corrections. It is not needed.