Introduction to Vastu Shastra
Vastu Shastra is a traditional Indian system of architecture and design principle originated in India ageing back to sometime between 6000- 3000BC. This can also be defined as the theories involved in designing buildings by making the best possible use of the geography and location of the plot, which also incorporates the influence of the sun, wind, earth's magnetic field, and more.
Vastu Shastra has its origin in Sthapatya Veda which is a part of Atharva Veda.
This ancient Indian Vedic building science points down guidelines on the construction of buildings and Mamuni Mayan was believed to be the first author of this text Vastu Shastra.
The Sanskrit word Vastu means "the dwelling or site of the foundation of a house", whereas Shastra translates to "teaching/doctrine".
Mamuni Mayan was an expert in Vastu constructions of ancient time and he scripted the texts of Vastu Vidhya. Mamuni Mayan is one among the five sons of Vishwakarma and is believed to have constructed the city of Dwaraka. A collection of ideas and concepts, with and without the support of layout diagrams collectively comprises the Vastu Vidhya.
Indian Vedic traditional concept and study of Vastu Shastra are used as major guidelines in the construction of buildings for maintaining harmony with the natural environment by regulating and managing the flow of cosmic energy (prana) through and around them which in turn is expected to promote the peaceful well-being and prosperity of the inhabitants.
Vastu Vidhya portrays that "when buildings and forms are in tune with the underlying cosmic principles, they become a part of the basic structure of the universe and vibrates in harmony". Positive vibrations are noted to have a positive effect on the inhabitants.
Vastu Shastra revolves around five natural elements and they are:
- Earth (Bhoomi)
- Water (Jala)
- Fire (Agni)
- Air (Vaayu)
- Space (Akasha)
This mysterious science unifying the five elements are called 'Panchbhutas and they are believed to pave a way for enlightenment, happiness and prosperity.
As the name suggests Vastu Shastra is considered a rational science based on observations, laws of nature, and certain principles formulated by our ancestors. Below mentioned are the parameters incorporated in the same:
- Site Selection
- Site Orientation
- Building location in the site
- Spaces that need to be left on all sides of the building
- Direction of the front door
- Location of wet areas
- Colour scheme
- Natural factors like:
- Topography of the plot
- Surrounding roads
- Existing and to be planted trees
- Water sources
- Best date for foundation laying
- Best date for Griha Pravesha
The theories of Vastu Shastra of the Indian subcontinent explain the principles of design, layout, measurements, ground preparation, space arrangement, and spatial geometry and the need to follow them. The Vastu Vidhya aims to integrate architecture with nature and is also influenced by traditional Hindu and Buddhist beliefs.
The Vastu Purusha Mandala is regarded as the master grid for design. Mandala in the name represents the grid and Purusha represents the cosmic man who is pressed down on each of its subdivisions by various divinities. This unavoidable part of Vastu Shastra constitutes the mathematical and diagrammatic basis for generating design. It is the metaphysical plan of a building that incorporates the course of the heavenly bodies and supernatural forces. Vastu Purusha Mandala is considered as the complete guide for deciding factors in terms of design and construction in the world of architecture.
The orientation of the structure with respect to the cardinal points are of supreme importance in Vastu Shastra. The theory of Vastu Vidhya states that if a home or any structure is built by following the principles of Vastu Shastra, it facilitates a perfectly balanced combination of the five natural elements, the Panchabhutas which lead to the prosperity and healthy growth of the tenants.
In our upcoming blogs we will be discussing more about the major factors and principles in Vastu Shastra that needs to be taken care while building and designing homes and other particular structures.