What is the essence of Vastu Shastra?
Lord Vishwakarma on Vastu Shashtra
According to Lord Vishwakarma, Vastu Shastra is a holistic science which brings happiness to all the beings living on this earth. It is a science that imparts one with everything namely joy, fulfillment of desires, wealth, rightful living and a healthy body which is free of all ailments. The modern age is full of sufferings and one of the main reasons for this is that we have drifted away from nature.
Vastu - connection between man and nature
Vastu helps to establish a connection between man and nature. Interestingly, the power of nature and its healing effect on man was recognized by our ancient rishis long ago. Whatever was enunciated by the ancient rishis is completely secular, scientific, holistic and universally applicable. However, the words and teachings of these saints need to be modified to suit the present scenario.
Vastu Shashtra is universal
Vastu Shastra is universal and can be applied anywhere irrespective of the birthplace; Vastu only changes with geography and climatic conditions. For example, as per Vastu the best direction for China is east of south while for India, it is east of north. It is because of the climate and geography that northeastern direction is best suited for the location of the kitchen in Kerala while the south west is deemed suitable for the kitchen setting in Uttar Pradesh. However, geography is not only the main criteria on which Vastu principles are based upon.
Besides the modern architecture, an architect should have the knowledge of the ancient treatise of Samrangan Sutradhar, Mayamatam, Sthapatya Veda, Manasara etc. One of the basic differences between Vastu and architecture is that Vastu takes into account the effects of both the cosmic energy (zenith direction) and geo energy (Nadir direction).
Five elements of the universe
The universe is made up of five elements namely earth, sky, air, water and fire. There are five natural forces- magnetic field (earth element), gravitational attraction (water element), solar radiation (fire element), wind energy (air element) and cosmic energy (sky element) which correspond to these five elements and affect man and his surroundings.
By making a suitable adjustment of the properties of these basic elements, we can balance the natural forces. For instance, if the earth element is insufficient in a building, it can be enhanced by using variety aromatic oil related to the south-west direction which in turn is associated with the earth element. Let us consider one element, fire element that is the solar radiation.
The spectrum of the sun is extremely large and includes gamma rays, x rays, ultra violet rays, VIBGYOR, infra red rays, long waves etc. The ultra violet rays are dangerous for us as they burn the skin and cause genetic diseases. On the other hand, infra red rays are good for us as they provide warmth and improve our health. Thus, a building should be oriented in such a manner that it allows the maximum infra red rays and blocks the ultra violet rays.
The infra red rays emerge from the north eastern direction while ultra violet rays reach the earth in the afternoon from the south western direction. Therefore, a building should have maximum openings in the north east and minimum openings in the south western direction. Vastu allows a building to breathe and this is the essence of Vastu Shastra.