Tag Archives: vastu shastra

Vastu: Key Design Principles

Summary: Several key principles for the design, layout and orientation of life-enhancing buildings constucted to the rules of Vedic Architecture (Vastu or Sthapatya Veda) are discussed

Vedic Architecture considers a number of key principles in the design of a building:

  • The purpose for which the building will be used, e.g. domestic, commercial, civic, etc. and the requirements of the occupants.
  • Proximity of favourable and unfavourable influences from the surrounding environment. For example, living within 1 mile of a prison, hospital or cemetery is considered unfavourable. The effects of nearby lakes, streams, etc. are also considered.
  • The building’s orientation: Considered to be an extremely important factor [1]. The building is aligned with the four cardinal directions. Entrance directions are planned – East facing entrances are considered life enhancing, North facing are fine, but South facing ones detrimental.
  • The ratio and proportions for dividing up the plot and the building floor area into rooms and the geometry of features such as windows, doors, roof, plinth, etc. For example, a square floor plan divided into 9 equal smaller squares (i.e. a simple 3 by 3 grid) is very beneficial, with key rooms each allocated to one smaller square – except the centre one which is left unoccupied. All building’s dimensions, perimeters, etc., are calculated according to the Vastu Formulae. The building may also be customized according to the prospective owners Vedic astrological chart.
  • Placement and allocation of rooms: Considerations as to which rooms such as kitchen, bedrooms, etc. are allocated to the optimum directions and segment of the building appropriate to their specific activity e.g. kitchen in the South-east, master bedroom in South-west, no toilets in North-East.
  • Buildings benefit from a central ‘quiet’ Brahmasthan area where there is no activity. For two or more story buildings, light entering from roof level onto this quiet ground floor area is also beneficial.
  • The size, shape and slope of the building plot and how it is demarcated from its surroundings.  A Vastu designed building is always surrounded by a Vastu fence or ‘compound’ wall of designated proportions – although the materials can vary.
  • The use of local, sustainable building materials for the project and any national or regional architectural styles.
  • Building work is commenced on auspicious days according to the principles of Jyotish (Vedic astrology). Vedic ceremonies are performed at key stages of the build: ground breaking, laying cornerstone and when first moving in.
  • Local planning rules, regulations and ordinances.

Footnotes

[1] The building’s orientation was considered to be an extremely important factor by the enlightened Vedic scholar Maharishi Mahesh Yogi


Additional Information

Frequently asked questions on Vastu FAQs – 1, FAQs – 2, FAQ’s – 3

There is an informative article on the Vastu Shastra (teachings on Vastu) on Wikipedia

A view from Australia, on the application of Sthapatya Veda

An application of Vedic Architecture principles to a garden village in the UK

Vastu FAQs 1

Summary: FAQs  on the topic of Vastu – 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. Vastu is also known as Vedic Architecture, Yogic Design, 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, Yogic Design) come from the same Vedic tradition which is  many thousands of  years old. So Vastu is one of Yoga’s sister subjects. 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 and many are now experiencing trhe benefits of an ayurvedic lifestyle. Whilst the Chinese Feng Shui is better known at the moment than Vastu, the past decade has seen an increase in interest in Vedic Architecture with a number of homes being built on all continents according to this powerful traditional system. Anecdotal reports from their occupants are very positive.

Q. What are the main aims of Vastu?

A. Vastu aims to create harmony between a building, its inhabitants and the environment. Vastu buildings increase the ‘feel-good factor’ of those living and working in them. As a result of good Vastu design people tend to lead healthier and happier lives with less stress. Good Vastu in the workplace is said to lower stress, improve creativity and increase productivity.

We have all heard of ‘sick-building syndrome’ – Vastu produces exactly the opposite, the ultimate in ‘well-building syndrome’

Q. What benefits can we expect from living in a house with a good Vastu?

A. The benefits, attributed by the ancient texts to the occupants of a home with a very good Vastu, are as follows:

An increased sense of wellbeing; improved health; greater harmony in ourselves, our family and our relationships; a deeper feeling of self-awareness,  inner peace and tranquility; increased creativity; increased wealth and financial stability; better spiritual progress

Q. Isn’t Vastu just the same as Feng Shui?

A. No. Although both Vastu and Feng Shui aim to create harmony in the built environment, they are completely different systems from different traditions. Vastu predates Feng Shui, which was almost certainly derived from it as Vastu knowledge spread from India to China

Q. What are the key factors that a Vastu design takes into account?

A. This is an extensive subject, but in brief, a design based on Vastu principles examines :

  • ‘Positive’ and ‘negative’ influences from the surrounding environment
  • The geometry of the building plot itself and the lie of the land
  • The orientation, dimensions and proportions of the building
  • The entrances and their direction
  • The construction of a quiet central area called the ‘Brahmasthan’
  • The allocation and utilization of rooms according to directions

Some Vedic experts also customise a home’s dimensions according to the Vedic astrological birth charts of the owners.

Q. Can I adapt my existing house to be a more life supporting, positive space with better Vastu, or do I need a custom designed and built property to get a good Vastu?

A. You can certainly adapt many existing buildings to improve their Vastu, although this will not be as effective as a purpose designed house in a development and city specifically laid out according to Vedic architectural principles.

However, sometimes very simple changes can make a big difference to how our home ‘feels’. For example, simply changing the orientation of our bed through 90 degrees from a head facing north orientation to a head facing south or east orientation is said to improve our sleep patterns and overall health. Similarly, either blocking up, or simply not using a south facing entrance and instead using an east facing door in our house, is said to create a much better Vastu with positive impacts on health and prosperity.


 Additional Information

  1. Other Frequently Asked Questions on Vastu  FAQs – 2, FAQ’s – 3
  2. Article giving an Introduction to Vastu
  3. More FAQs on Vedic Architecture
  4. Links between Vastu and Feng Shui
  5. Key factors involved in Vastu Design