Defining Vastu – An energy efficient Architecture
In this hi-tech age of cellular phones and cyberspace, the seemingly superstitious doctrines of Vastu sound ridiculous. It is easy to disbelieve such rules as: Sleep with your head towards South. A person who vehemently opposes such prescriptions may be going home and wondering, ‘Well if that is going to make me prosper- why not?’ And that is greatest misconception about Vastu. Vastu does not promise prosperity; it only suggests that one should live in tune with nature; so that one can be healthy; think positively; act wisely & ultimately succeed. There is no substitute for hard work!
Most Vastu experts tend to exploit the laymen’s ignorance, demanding a mind boggling consultancy fees and suggest changes in the layout that are often impossible to implement. As a result, most people dread the very idea of bringing a Vastu consultant. What if he says that nothing is as per Vastu? What if he tells us to demolish the total house? What if he says that the family will never prosper in this house?
Here I will try to clear all the misconception about Vastushastra with series of article answering frequently asked questions and telling the facts about Vastushastra.
Can Vastushastra be adapted to contemporary constrains?
If Vastushastra is not followed in totality, can there be compromise?
Would compromise yield an effective results?
In any writing on Vastushastra, one must first ponder the fact that the person who discovered, studied and compiled the tenet of Vastushastra have almost eluded the pages of history. Among several scattered works in Sanskrit literature on Vastushastra, a few treatise give comprehensive information defining Vastu as “anywhere where immortals and mortals live’ and dealing with all facets of god’s and men’s dwellings, from the choice of the site to the iconography of the temple walls; and also village layouts and construction techniques. An outstanding example of a comprehensive text on Vastushastra is the Mayamatam, written sometime between the 11th & 12th century. The content of the Mayamatam are much more tightly structured and systematic than other preceding and encyclopedic texts such as the Manasollasa or the Samaranganasutradhara. Other better known treatises on architecture and iconography are the Mansara and the Kamikagama both of which are particularly akin to the Mayamata.
Vastushastra prescribes energy efficient architecture, in the sense that, for Indian conditions, the northeast is to be kept open as this is the direction of maximum positive energy. The southwest is the direction of the setting sun, when it emits maximum negative energy. Thus the southwest is to be kept heavy, so that it will block the negative energy. The positive and negative directions will be different for the various countries, as these will depend on latitudinal and longitudinal locations, wind direction and sun path.