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What is Vaastu Sashtra

Vaastu originates from the word ‘Vas’ which means to reside and Vaastu means the basic architecture of the building and the position where it is located. Shastra is translated as a science or knowledge. So, Vaastu Shastra is the science of architecture.


The unique science of Vaastu encompasses the study of art, astronomy and astrology. It is also called the ancient mystic science for designing and building. The first mention of this science is found in Yajur Veda, which is supposed to be over 4000 years old.

According to the great sage, Vishwakarama who authored the book Vaastu Shastra about 3000 years ago

“Shastre nanena sarvasya, lokasya paramam sukham, Chaturvarga phalaprapti, salokascha bhavedruvam, Shilpashastra parignanam, marathayapi suratan varajet, Paramanandajanakam devanam idameeritham”

It means: This science is complete in itself and contains everything. It has the capability to bring happiness to the whole world. This science is capable of bestowing the four essentials of life, namely Dharma (living according to edicts), Artha (material possession), Kama (pleasures) and Moksha (liberation from worldly attachment). With the knowledge of this science, man becomes divine. This science is capable of giving divine bliss.

Vaastu for Peace and Happiness

Everything in the world is made up of the five basic elements called the ‘Panchmahabhootas’. They are earth, water, fire, air and ether. Nature has given proper place to these elements and Vaastu Shastra provides the guidance about the ways we can maintain this equilibrium to channelize positive energy and enjoy lasting peace and happiness.

“The house is our means of encountering the cosmos. The task of architecture is to open vision into other dimensions of our consciousness.” Juhani Pallasmaa, Finnish architect

Importance of Directions in Vaastu

Apart from harmonizing the Panchmahabhootas, the position of rooms, doors, windows and furniture inside a building and even the manner of conducting one’s activities plays an important role in the activation of positive vibrations.

Demarcation of a plot in Vaastu is done according to the sacred Vaastu Purush Mandala, the energy grid of a plot. Purush refers to the energy and power of a cosmic man and Mandala is the concentric diagram having spiritual and ritual significance.

Birth of Vaastu Purush and His importance in architecture

As per the ancient texts Vaastu Purusha is present in each and every plot of land whether big or small. His head remains hanging down and his body occupies the entire length and breadth of the ground.

An interesting story in Matsya Purana narrates the birth of Vaastu Purusha. Once, while fighting the demons, Shiva was sweating profusely. A strange man was born out of the drops of Shiva’s sweat. He was hungry and was able to appease Lord Shiva to grant him a boon to eat away all the three worlds.

The man got possession of all the three worlds and started devouring them. The deities got terrified and prayed to Shiva for protection. Lord Shiva pressed the man under his foot. The man surrendered to Lord Shiva and pleaded for forgiveness. Shiva named him Vaastu Purush and asked him to go to earth and bestow peace and happiness to the inhabitants.

The deities then caught the Vaastu Purush and threw him on earth facing downwards.

Parts of the body of the Vastu Purush were named after the Deities who touched them. E.g. Lord Bramha touched the navel of the Vastu Purush so it was given the name of Bramha. So the centre of the house where Vastu Purusha’s navel comes is called as “Bramhasthan”.

Vaastu Shastra identifies eight cardinal directions, along with center, which are the access ways of specific energy needed for the improvement in specific area of one’s life. Vaastu Purush is the presiding deity and the eight directions have their own guardians. The activities assigned to each direction are to please the respective guardian and incur their blessings.

Direction Deity Planet Activities
East Indra Sun Direction for growth. Entrance of the house, study, place of worship should face the east. Lockers and treasure boxes in the house should open towards the east.
West Varun Saturn Entrance in this direction should be avoided or else it leads to losses. It is good to have staircase, garage or overhead tank in west.
North Kubera Mercury Direction for wealth and career. There should be big openings in north to welcome the flow of positive energies. A slope in the north is good for financial gains. Students should study facing north.
South Yama Mars Big openings in south should be avoided. It should be kept heavy and loaded. It is said that heavy walls on the south will keep the occupants safe from Yama.
Northeast Shiva Jupiter It is a direction for purity and divinity. The direction is best for worshiping and meditation. Toilets, bedrooms and store rooms should be avoided.
Northwest Vayu Moon It is a direction for movement. Tall structures in this direction should be avoided as it will cut the flow of air. Extension in the northwest is considered inauspicious.
Southeast Agni Venus It is good to have kitchen in the southeast. An underground tank or well in this direction leads to loss of wealth.
Southwest Niriti Rahu It is an inauspicious direction ruled by the king of the demons. It is good to have master bedroom in this direction. The direction promotes leadership attributes and bestows decision making qualities, so it is advisable for the head of the family to stay in southwest direction.

Relevance of Vaastu

Vaastu Shastra is the art and science of utilizing the different energies in the nature in a way that supports optimum benefits for humans. The ancient rishis have studied the psychological effect of these rays on a person’s mood and in his ability to conduct the affairs of the day and laid down the guidelines which if properly understood and practiced will ensure peace and prosperity for the occupants.

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