Summary: This FAQ list contains additional questions on the topic of Vedic Architecture – a building and planning system to create peace and harmony in the home, the local environment and the community through the correct orientation, proportion and utilization of buildings. Vedic Architecture is also known as Vastu, Vastu Vidya, Vastu Shastra, Vaastu and Sthapatya Veda.
Q. Is there a link between Yoga and Vastu?
A. Yes, both Yoga and Vastu (aka Sthapatya Veda) come from the same Vedic tradition which is many thousands of years old. Since the 1970’s, yoga has become fairly mainstream in the West and its benefits well accepted. Since the 1990’s the Vedic healthcare system Ayurveda has entered the public’s awareness in the developed world. Whilst Feng Shui is better known at the moment than Vastu, the past decade has seen an increasing interest in Vedic Architecture with a number of homes being built on all continents according to this system. Anecdotal reports from their occupants are very positive.
Q. Is Vastu or Vedic Architecture related to Feng Shui?
A. Yes, it is believed Feng Shui was originally derived from Vastu. Most scholars agree that the knowledge of Vastu predates that of Feng Shui. This knowledge almost certainly spread from India to China before recorded history. Over the long period of time the two systems diverged as knowledge was passed from place to place and from generation to generation. Furthermore, Feng Shui fragmented into different ‘schools’ of thought. Many of the principles of Vastu and Feng Shui are now very different. It is best not to mix these systems.
Q. Do I have to believe in Vastu for it to work?
A. Vastu is not a belief system. It produces noticeable effects irrespective of one’s beliefs or culture. Some of the benefits, such as a settled sense of wellbeing, should be noticed immediately upon entering a building with good Vastu. Other benefits, such as those that are health or prosperity related, might take much longer to manifest.
Q. Is it possible to build a house with a perfect Vastu?
A. Even if a house was built using all the rules of Vastu, in isolation it would still not have a perfect Vastu! For a perfect Vastu, not only the house, but also the local community and the entire city need to be laid out according to Vastu formulae. Only then would it be nearing ‘perfection’ (actually a whole country can be laid out according to Sthapatya Veda – so we would then get even better Vastu!). City plans according to Vastu have an inherent symmetry and underlying beauty.
Q. Surely all houses built to the same Vastu formulae will all look the same?
A. Logically you would think that this would be the case. However in practice, houses built according to Vastu can look completely different according to the local materials used in their building and the occupant’s requirements. So Vastu built houses in Australia look very different from those built in the mid-west of the USA, which again look very different from the brick built Vastu homes in an English village. However, they do have clearly identifiable common elements such as a Brahmasthan at the centre, North or East facing main entrances, windows of a certain proportion, etc.
Q. Is Vastu ‘New Age’?
A. Most definitely not. It is very ‘old age’ indeed, having been around for many thousands of years. In the West we tend to value the ‘new’, in the East they tend to value the ‘old’. In the East, if something has withstood the test of time and comes from a respected tradition it is more valued. Vastu or Vedic Architecture comes from such a tradition.