Vastu Shastra is an ancient doctrine which consists of precepts born out of a traditional view on how the laws of nature affect human dwellings. The designs are based on directional alignments. It used to be applied in Hindu architecture, especially for Hindu temples, and covers other domains, including vehicles, vessels, furniture, sculpture, paintings etc. The foundation of Vastu is traditionally ascribed to the sage Maamuni Mayan in South India and Vishvakarman in North India.
Vastu is the science of direction that combines all the five elements of nature and balances them with man and materials. It is all about the interaction of various forms of best effect on a living person. It aims to create a subtle conducive atmosphere in a structure in which we can bring the best in ourselves, thereby paving the way for enhanced health, wealth, prosperity and happiness in an enlightened environment. Like any other science, Vastu is universal, rational, practical and utilitarian. It is not a religion but a science.
The principle laid down in Vastu Shastra were formulated keeping in view, the cosmic influence of the Sun, its light and heat, solar energy, directions of wind, the moon position, the earth’s magnetic field and the influence of cosmos on our planet. The system is an admixture of science of directions, astronomy and astrology.
The five elements
Out of the nine planets, our planet has life because of the presence of these five elements. The world comprises of five basic elements, also known as the Paanchbhootas. They are Earth, Water, Air, Fire and Space. Earth and Water have limited and localized availability for the human habitat and growth.
According to Vastu Shastra, the world comprises five basic elements known as the pancha maha bhoota. Out of the eight planets, ours has life because of the presence and balance of these five elements. The five elements are as follows.
EARTH (Bhumi) – Earth, the third planet in order from the sun, is a big magnet with North and South poles as centers of attractions. Its magnetic field and gravitational force has considerable effects on everything on the Earth, living and non-living.
WATER (Jala) – This is represented by rain, river, sea and is in the form of liquid, solid (ice) and gas (steam, cloud). It forms part of every plant and animal. Our blood is mostly water.
AIR (Vayu) – As a life supporting element, air is a very powerful life source. Human physical comfort values are directly and sensitively dependent on correct humidity, air flow, temperature of air, air pressure, air composition and its content.
FIRE (Agni) – Represents light and heat which account for day, night, the seasons, energy, enthusiasm, passion and vigour.
SPACE (Akasha) – The akasha provides shelter to all the above elements. It is also considered the primary conductor of all energy sources within the universal context – physical energies such as sound and light, social energies such as psychological and emotional, and cognitive energies such as intellect and intuition.