Category Archives: Vastu – Top Tips for Better Homes

Top Tips from Vastu to consider when buying a new house. Plus practical changes to improve the peace and harmony in our existing homes.

Vastu Top Tips – Ideal Room Allocations

Summary: Article showing the ideal room allocations for each direction according to the laws of Vastu to produce a positive and uplifting living space.  Together with an explanation of the underlying principles linking room function with direction in Vedic Architecture.

Modern architecture caters for the gross needs of the occupants. It takes into consideration things such as space, light, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning, security, etc. Vastu caters for our more subtle needs – for example, the need to experience peace, harmony, creativity, etc.

In order to achieve this Vastu allocates the functions of certain rooms, e.g. kitchen, dining room, etc. to certain directions. If we select these specific directions for particular activities we will, according to Vastu, feel more comfortable, be more creative, have better relationships and feel healthier as a result.

The following diagram illustrates the ideal room usage for each of the eight directions. So, from the diagram we see the kitchen is ideally located in the South East of a building, the main entrance and hall is in the East and a good place to locate the home office or study would be in the North.

Vastu - Ideal Room Allocation for each of the major directions according to Vedic Architecture

Vastu – Ideal Room Locations for Each Direction

This diagram is not a floor plan. A Vastu home does not have to be a square built on a 3 x 3 grid, or with equal proportions to every room! So the diagram just represents a ‘model of organisation’ telling us the best directions in which to locate certain rooms. This is useful if we are building a new house, or want to re-allocate rooms in an existing property.

Not all Vastu experts agree 100% on every detail – but the allocations shown in this diagram are widely accepted.

*  The central empty area in the diagram is called the ‘Brahmasthan’ – literally the place where creativity resides or is established. It is not a place for activity. Light should reach this area from above (e.g. from a sky-light in the roof). This also applies to a two storey building where light from the roof should come down to the ground floor. Indoor plants can grow there and a water feature is acceptable too.

Room Placements We Should Definitely Avoid

Certain room placements should definitely be avoided if we want to create a good vastu and therefore a supportive living space. So we should definitely avoid

    • A main entrance in the South of the building
    • A toilet in the North East
    • A kitchen in the North East

Explanation of Room Placements According to Directions

The following section explains some of the reasoning behind Vastu’s allocation of rooms to particular directions. However, it is not necessary to understand any of this stuff in order to benefit from Vastu principles in home design.

We just follow the above diagram and allocate rooms accordingly, so as to create the best possible living environment.

The allocation of rooms to particular directions in Vastu is not a random choice. Neither is it based on superstition. There is, in fact, a deep understanding in the Vedic Tradition of the interconnectedness of all things. This is perhaps best expressed in terms of the ‘Vedic Model of Reality’. In this model all the people, all the plants and animals, the planets and even the stars are part of an integrated and interdependent whole. This was cognised by ancient sages, and is realised by the fully enlightened today. The science of Vastu is underpinned by this model.

The Brahmasthan or ‘Central Quiet Area’

There is an empty space at the centre of the room placement diagram called ‘the Brahmasthan’. No activity is linked to this space. Why then would we go to the cost of making an area of a building that has no apparent function? Well, quiet empty spaces have their value.

In Europe, many old towns were built around a central square. This space was largely empty – apart from maybe a fountain or small garden. Similarly, many ancient dwellings and villas in the Mediterranean were also built around a central, empty space (apart from perhaps a water feature and a few plants). It was as though the ancient architects and masons appreciated the well-being created by a quiet, empty central area and they built this into their designs for homes and for towns. It is also a key feature of a Vastu designed home.

The Brahmasthan in a building mirrors the creative centre within us: that central, deep level of silence from which all our thoughts arise. A Brahmasthan therefore brings a coherent, settled-but-creative atmosphere to a building.

Links between Vastu, The Planets and Directions for Rooms

Vastu - showing links between Planets, Elements, Devatas and Directions

Vastu – links between Planets, Elements, Devatas and Directions

To Westerners it seems very odd to associate a planet with a particular direction, but Vastu does this! So Vastu is linked to another of yoga’s related subjects – Jyotish or Vedic Astrology.

In the West, the idea of associating a planet with a day of the week is so deeply embedded in our culture we rarely even think about it. For example, Saturday is associated with Saturn, Sunday with the Sun, Monday with the Moon. In the French language it is even clearer – Tuesday is associated with Mars (Mardi), Wednesday with Mercury (Mercredi) and Friday with Venus (Vendredi).

Now here is the link. In Vastu, planets are associated with particular directions and in Vedic Astrology they are associated with particular characteristics (e.g. Jupiter is associated with wisdom, Mercury with intellect, etc. – see Planetary Indications article)

    • So it should come as no surprise that Vastu chooses the direction North in which to place a study or home office, as this direction is associated with Mercury – the planet of intellect and communications.
    • Similarly, Vastu locates a room for spiritual purposes such as meditation and yoga in the North East – which is the direction associated with Jupiter (the planet that indicates wisdom, spiritual practices, etc.)
    • The most important of the ‘planets’ (actually ‘Grahas’ or celestial objects) from a Jyotish perspective is the Sun. It represents power, health and general well-being. The Sun rises in the East and is linked with this direction. So, according to Vastu, the main entrance should always be in the East of a building and face the rising Sun.

Links between Vastu, ‘Laws of Nature’ (Devatas) and Directions for Rooms

In the Vedic Tradition, each of the directions is also associated with a particular aspect of ‘Natural Law’ – also known as ‘Force of Nature’ or ‘Devata’.  These forces are collectively known as the ‘Dikpala Devatas’ – or ‘Guardians of the Eight Directions’. There are strong links between these concepts and the Chinese concept of ‘The Four Symbols’ – ancient ‘spirits’ responsible for the four cardinal directions.

If we now examine a few of the links between these ‘forces’ and the Vastu room recommendations.

    • The ‘force of nature’ responsible for wealth is called ‘Kuber’ and this is associated with the North direction. So it comes as no surprise that the North direction is a good place to keep valuables in a home. It is also linked with a place for study and usually, the more we learn the more we earn!
    • Agni is the devata associated with fire and the South East direction. So it seems quite logical to place the kitchen in the South East of a building as cooking requires heat!
    • The devata Indra is said to be the ‘ruler of the other forces of nature’, just as the Sun takes a primary position in the hierarchy of the planets. So both Indra and the Sun are linked to the Eastern direction – the preferred direction for the primary entrance to our homes.

Links between Vastu, the ‘Five Elements’ and Directions for Rooms

In the Vedic tradition the whole world (including us!) is made from combinations of the five primary elements or ‘Pancha Maha Bhootas’. It is overly simplistic to translate these into English as ‘Earth’, ’Water’,  ‘Air’, ‘Fire’, and ‘Space’. Taken together ‘Earth’, ‘Water’ and ‘Air’ actually represent the three key states of matter identified by Physics: Solids, Liquids, and Gasses. ‘Fire’ represents heat energy in all its forms, including radiant heat (and the digestive ‘fire’ within us). ‘Space’ is not just the three dimensions in which stuff exists, rather it is viewed as a field of vibrant ‘energy and intelligence’ (close analogies with the Vacuum State in Quantum Physics here).  Ultimately, it is also associated with Consciousness.

Again, let us examine the rationale for associating these ‘Elements’ with the Vastu ideal room recommendations.

    • Obviously the key place for the kitchen is associated with the ‘Fire’ element – the South East.
    • The ‘Water’ element is associated with the North East – so Vastu recommends the water supply should enter the building from this direction.
    • To get a sound sleep we don’t want to be in a place where the ‘Air’ or ‘Fire’ elements predominate (in Ayurvedic terms these would be linked to ‘Vata’ and ‘Pitta’ – see article on Sound Sleep through Ayurveda). So the South West, which is associated with ‘Earth’, seems a good place for a Master Bedroom.

Although all the above reasons may seem esoteric, they show that Vastu is a carefully thought out system that is integrated within the ‘Vedic Model of Reality’ and which also links to Yoga’s sister sciences of Jyotish and Ayurveda.

Together they form an integrated system that promotes health, happiness, fulfilment of our desires and good spiritual progress.

Additional Information on Vastu

Vastu: Top Tips for Better Homes

Summary:  This article examines the major Vastu (Vedic Architecture, Sthapatya Veda) factors to consider before buying, or building, a brand new house, or before moving into an existing property.

Top Tips for Better Homes through Good Vastu

Good Vastu creates a more healthy, harmonious, prosperous and peaceful home.

By following the rules of Vastu we can help create harmony in our lives by designing our living spaces to be in tune with the laws of nature.

Whether buying a brand new house, or moving into an older property, here are some top tips based on Vedic Architecture’s key principles to help get a better Vastu:

Things to Avoid

Avoid major negative influences from the nearby surrounding environment. So don’t move into a house near to cemeteries or crematoria, prisons, hospitals, heavy industries, power stations, abattoirs, etc. See detailed article on locations to avoid

Reject outright houses with an inherently poor Vastu, such as those with a south facing front door, toilets in the north-east corner, etc.

Things to Modify

Optimise Vastu for the building by re-allocating rooms according to the principles of Vedic Architecture. For example, we could re-designate certain rooms as the living room, master bedroom, kitchen, etc., according to their orientation and location in the building.

We can also modify and optimise entrance orientations, sleeping directions and room utilisation so as to increase the beneficial effects. If we further increase the positivity of the environment by suitable mitigation strategies we should end up with an acceptable Vastu. This will ensure a life-supporting, happy and harmonious home in which to live.

We can modify dwellings to improve Vastu factors. For example, if we can change a main entrance direction from the inauspicious south facing to a much more beneficial east or north facing, we can improve the property’s Vastu considerably. Even changing the direction in which we sleep, so our head points towards the East or South, can improve matters.

Things to Improve Ambience

Mitigate for less than ideal Vastu. For example, it is said we can improve the general ambience and harmony in a building by using appropriate yantras, mantras, certain crystals, homas and pujas, burning incense, Vedic Chanting, playing Gandharva Veda music, etc. Leading a spiritual lifestyle also helps.

We should all accept that a perfect Vastu is, in most cases just not possible. Unless of course we build a purpose designed dwelling conforming to all the rules of Vedic Architecture, in an optimally planned community, laid out according to the Vastu rules of town and city planning.

Although not specifically stated in the Vastu rules, it seems to make sense to buy a house from people who are reasonably happy, healthy and prosperous and who want to move for some reason other than misfortune.

Additional Information on Vastu (Vedic Architecture, Sthapatya Veda)

Vastu: Housing Locations to Avoid

Summary: This article gives Vastu advice for locations to avoid when buying, or building, a new home due to proximity of man-made influences in the surrounding environment.

 Vastu Recommendations on Housing Locations to Avoid

Whilst many of the following factors agree with common sense, others are not so obvious. I have collated the opinions of a number of Vastu experts and authors into the list below. This incorporates both factors mentioned in the ancient texts and the Vastu expert’s application of the principles of Vedic Architecture to our modern world.

Any influences where stress is concentrated, or that upset the ‘laws of nature’ and natural harmony in an environment are to be avoided.

So, don’t buy or build a house located within a one mile radius of any of the following:

Traditional Housing Locations to Avoid

    • A court, prison or other detention centre
    • A hospital or mental asylum
    • A large cemetery or crematorium [1]

Modern Housing Locations to Avoid

    • An abattoir or meat processing plant
    • An airport (some say avoid up to a five mile radius for a major airport)
    • Sources of strong electro-magnetic fields, e.g. high powered radio or radar transmitters, electricity switching centres and sub-stations, very high voltage overhead electricity distribution cables [2]
    • Municipal sewerage plants
    • Municipal waste incinerators and rubbish tips
    • ‘Factory’ farms and research establishments involving testing on animals
    • Heavy industries and power stations
    • Large mineral extraction sites, mines, refineries, etc.

To obtain a life supporting and harmonious living space it is really important to avoid these external influences before even trying to optimise a building’s Vastu.

Some Vastu experts also suggest avoiding very close proximity to churches, temples and public or civic buildings (such as public halls) – but this is in the immediate neighbourhood, for example houses exactly opposite or closely neighbouring the site.

On a completely pragmatic issue regarding air quality, it seems good to avoid houses in cities that are very close to main arterial roads, elevated sections of freeways, etc. as current research links certain particulate emissions from diesel powered vehicles to potential health hazards [3]

Generally, it seems to make more sense from a Vastu perspective to buy houses from people who are reasonably happy, healthy and prosperous and want to move for some reason other than misfortune. The more auspicious and happy a house or area feels [4], the better it probably is.

Some influences remain for a period of time even if the current site usage has changed. For example, in the UK many of the older mental health institutions have been converted into flats, or demolished and new houses built on the sites. The same goes for new buildings constructed on the site of ancient burial grounds in cities which have later expanded. Also to be avoided are houses which were previously used as a brothel or where a serious fire, murder, untimely or accidental death, etc. has occurred. It pays to research the history of an area before buying a property located there.


[1] Smaller cemeteries attached to churches, for example a churchyard in a village may not be so negative – just avoid immediate proximity.

[2] Exactly how far you need to be away from a strong source of electro-magnetic fields is a matter for debate. It probably depends on the transmitter power and antennas directivity. If you have an option, it’s probably best to avoid very close proximity to mobile phone masts too. For point sources of electro-magnetic radiation the intensity falls off as the square of the distance (inverse square law), so simply by trebling the distance away from the transmitter, we are exposed to one ninth the field strength. The whole question of electro-magnetic ‘smog’ from Wi-Fi, data networks, mobile phones etc. and its effect on our well-being needs further research. In the UK we have a very high voltage overhead grid system ranging from 11KV to a massive 400KV – definitely to be avoided. Again, exactly what constitutes a ‘safe’ distance is debateable. If the radiation is non-ionizing (as is the case with radio waves from mobile phone masts) current scientific thinking would say there is no problem, but Vastu would treat all such sites with caution.

There is an interesting, scientifically objective article on the possible links between certain cancers and high levels of electromagnetic fields (EMF’s) due to overhead power lines on the UK’s Cancer Research site.

[3] There are informative articles on the effects of diesel particulate emissions on health by the USA’s Environmental Protection Agency.

The UK’s BBC website says ‘The International Agency for Research on Cancer, a part of the World Health Organization, had previously labelled diesel exhausts as probably carcinogenic to humans. IARC has now labelled exhausts as a definite cause of cancer, although it does not compare how risky different carcinogens are. Diesel exhausts are now in the same group as carcinogens ranging from wood chippings to plutonium and sunlight to alcohol’.

[4] If we practice any form of meditation then go and spend a few minutes with our eyes shut, either in the building or just outside it, and observe how we feel at a deep level about the place. Often our intuition can give us valuable advice – but we need to be in a reasonably settled state for this to happen.

Additional Information on Vastu (Vedic Architecture, Sthapatya Veda)

Vastu: Removing Negativity from Our Homes

Summary:  Practical steps for removing any negative energy from our environment and making our home more positive. Many of the recommendations are very simple, low cost solutions.

In an ideal world we would be able to choose a great Vastu location in which to build our home, select the correct proportions for the building and allocate all our rooms according to Vastu principles.

However, if we live in rented accommodation, or have limited resources in order to change room allocations then there are several other things that we can do to help the overall positive feel of our living space.  Even small changes can sometimes make a big difference to the overall ambience of our house or flat.

None of the following ‘purification tips’ are based on superstition. Rather, they are simply actions which enliven the laws of nature (also known as ‘the field of natural law’ or the ‘universal devas’), thereby increasing the overall positivity in the atmosphere of our home. Ideally we want to turn any dullness, sadness, ‘heaviness’ or inertia (called ‘Tamas’ in Vedic terminology) present in our dwelling into a more positive, uplifting, life-enhancing, joyous energy (called ‘Sattvic Energy’).

Basic Tips for Removing Negativity from our Homes

    • Firstly, we can change the direction in which we sleep, so our head always points towards either the East or the South, but never to the North. People have reported dramatic improvements in both sleep patterns and general well-being by making this simple change
    • If we have a choice of entrances to our home we can predominantly use those facing East or North – never the South. We can simply place a pot plant in a doorway or hall to obstruct a South facing entrance, rather than doing any building work!
    • We can also impose order on the place where we live. The first step is to declutter. The second step is to clean the place ourselves (and not get a paid cleaner to do the work). Somehow cleaning our home ourselves brings a better sense of ‘connectedness’ and ‘ownership’ with our environment
    • We can do some sort of spiritual practice in our home. This could be yoga, meditation, prayer, worship, singing hymns or chanting mantras
    • We can burn incense (in a proper container to minimize fire risk) in each room, or bring in fresh flowers, or put living plants in our homes
    • We can play uplifting music or use YouTube videos of Bhajans, hymns, chanting or Vedic mantras. Singing often helps too. Combining singing with mantras is great fun – so sing and dance along with Krishna Das’ ‘Om Namah Shivaya’. Playing Gandharva Veda music is also particularly beneficial. We need to just make sure we choose the right melodies (ragas) for the particular time of day we are playing them. Just be aware that instrumental Gandharva Veda music (e.g. flute) usually sounds better than the vocal versions to most Western ears!

More Advanced Tips for Removing Negativity from our Homes

If, after doing all of the above, our living space still feels rather dull (i.e. Tamasic) and lacking in positive energy  we could try some of the following ‘more advanced’ purification tips:

    • Ring a small, high pitched bell throughout the house each day
    • Create a sacred space or altar to our chosen form of the divine in a quiet corner of a room (ideally in the north-east corner of our house)
    • Vedic mantras are said to be the language of nature. So you could chant or play some classic Vedic mantras that uplift the atmosphere. The mantras ‘Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya’ and the classic ‘Mrityunjaya Mantra’ are good. This mantra is particularly useful if there has been a death or major misfortune in the house.  But something as simple as ‘Om Namah Shivaya’ is also very powerful at dispelling negativity
    • A great Indian Saint once said that children’s laughter really improves the atmosphere in a place and drives out any negativity – so invite your neighbour’s kids around to play with your own and let them have fun!
    • Burn a ghee lamp continuously for 24 hours in the property. Only do this if you can continuously monitor the flame and remove all potential fire risks (including children and pets)!
    • Turn the heating up to maximum for a few hours, with windows closed then turn it off and fully open all windows to the fresh air
    • Sprinkle water or flower petals that have been offered in Puja or other Vedic ceremonies (or that have been blessed by a living saint) around the house and the immediate surroundings. Sacred ash (Vibhuti) from Vedic fire ceremonies is also said to be very purifying 
    • In extreme cases, we might even consider performing some form of small Vedic fire ceremony (also known as Yagya, Yajna, or Homa) in the property to purify all aspects of our home and its surroundings. The consciousness of the person performing the ceremony is important. We should choose someone we can relate to and feel at ease with, as well as someone who has knowledge of how to perform the ceremony and knowledge of the correct mantras

Additional Information on Vastu (Vedic Architecture, Sthapatya Veda)