Vastu: An Introduction

Summary: An introduction to the benefits, scope and origins of Vastu (Vedic Architecture, Vastu Vidya, Sthapatya Veda, Yogic Design) – the ancient Vedic system for the design, layout and utilisation of life-enhancing buildings that bring positive benefits to their occupants.

Benefits of Vastu (Yogic design of living spaces)

The benefits of Vastu are said to be: an increased sense of wellbeing; improved health; greater harmony in us, our family and our relationships; a deeper feeling of self-awareness and inner peace; increased wealth and financial stability, increased creativity; better spiritual progress.

Just as the ancient architects and masons considered the orientation and proportions of the great buildings and cathedrals of Europe as being of vital importance to the occupants, so Vastu designers set out to create life enhancing buildings that are in harmony with the environment and natural forces.

Vastu creates ideal living and working spaces by connecting the individual with all the supportive forces of nature. It links the individual’s consciousness with the universal order.

Scope of Vastu

Vastu, through the proper orientation, proportions, design and utilisation of buildings aims to promote peace, health and prosperity in the occupants. It does this by producing buildings that are more ‘in tune’ with the subtle laws of nature. So instead of getting ‘sick building syndrome’, we get ‘well building syndrome’ that gives more positive support for our life and work from buildings with good Vastu.

The principles of Vastu are not limited to domestic dwellings. They can be applied to all buildings from houses, offices, commercial premises, civic buildings, places of worship and even to town and city planning itself.

There are now a growing number of buildings in the West constructed to the Vastu formulae. Anecdotal evidence from occupants is very favourable and there are quantitative, objective research projects being planned to evaluate the benefits for both home owners and businesses too.

Over the past few years the holistic healthcare system known as Ayurveda has become much more main-stream and accepted in the West. Whereas Ayurveda aims to create health in our bodies, Vastu aims to create ‘health’ in our buildings.

We also find Vastu referred to as Vedic architecture, Sthapatya Veda, Vastu Vidya, Yogic Design,  Vastu Shastra and Vaastu. Although there are subtle differences between some of these terms I will use them interchangeably in these introductory articles.


Origins of Vastu

Vastu is one of the sister subjects of Yoga. Together with  Ayurveda (Yogic Healthcare) , Pranyama (science of breath) and Jyotish (Vedic or Yogic Predictive Astrology) it forms part of a powerful synergistic group of ancient ‘traditional technologies’ designed to deliver individual and universal well-being.

Although Vastu has its traceable origins in the ancient Vedic texts of the Indian subcontinent, its rules and formulae are appropriate to all of us wherever we may live. Vastu dates back many thousands of years.  Archaeologists and historians suggest it dates from between 6000 BCE to 3000 BCE, but Vedic proponents suggest even further back – possibly 11,000 or more years.  It is said that it was originally given by the Divine for the benefit of all mankind, to help alleviate suffering and unhappiness amongst the people. Vastu is cognized wisdom – not experimentally, or experientially, derived. Further information on the mechanics of  Vedic Cognition can be found in an article on the origins of another of the Vedic Sciences – Jyotish Astrology

Vastu almost certainly lead to the later development of the Chinese Feng Shui system.


Additional Information

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

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

3. A view from Australia, on the application of Sthapatya Veda

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

5. Further details on the benefits of Vastu in the home

6.  Key Principles of Vastu Design

7. Applying Vastu to town and city planning