Introduction to Vastu Shastra
Vastu stands for balance and a harmonious environment within a structure. This involves balance in all the ten directions of the universe. These directions provide subtle energies which can be sensed, like gravitational energy, solar magnetic energy, airflow, etc. When we build a structure, the flow and availability of all the energies have to be taken care of. If these energies are not harmonious in the structure, Vastu defects are created and our life becomes difficult. If there is harmony in all energies, we say there is a positive environment and if there is disharmony, we say it has a negative environment.
In simple terms, Vastu can be called the Science of Architecture. Vastu Shastra is an ancient art and science with well-defined principles and practices of constructing buildings which ensures a happy balance between man and nature, thereby bringing all-round happiness, health, wealth and prosperity. The break-up of the word “Vaastu” as “Vaas-tu” has a very clear and distinctive meaning: ”Vaas” means residence and ”Tu” means God, or “the place where God can live”; we can take it one step further, by defining it as ”good land for living”.
There are several ancient scriptures which speak about Vastu, but of these, the most important ones are Raj Vallabh, Somarangam Sutradhar, Aprajita Parichcha, Maya Mattam, Manasara, and Kautilya Shastra. All types of buildings, cities, forts, industries, etc, wherever humans live or work is called Vastu.
Vastu involves the orientation of the house to the direction, the dimensions of the structure, space, rooms, allocated floors, bathrooms, kitchens, dining area, the design of the main gate, building a gate, building elements — depending upon the family, the cost involved, and one’s own lifestyle. The science of Vastu Shastra helps one to enjoy the natural benefits offered by the five basic elements of the universe: Sky (Akash), Earth (Prithvi), Water (Jal), Fire (Agni), and Wind (Vayu). Vastu Shastra can be applied by harnessing and harmonizing these five basic elements of nature.