Vastu Sastra calls for a harmonious living of human being with the Nature by knowing all its cosmological considerations. It is closely twined with the Vedantic concepts of the existences in micro and macro levels… Says Sree Pathe
Like Astronomy and Mathematics, Vastu Sastra also is a great contribution of Vedic India to the whole world. In the Indian concepts, life is considered to be much larger than death and is not merely the absence of death. Likewise, home is also considered as a divine place (temple) and not simply a place to eat and rest. So to live a life in a home constructed in the universe which is abided by the unquestionable Cosmic Laws, it has to be balanced with the elements of Nature. Thus evolved the Science of Vastu Sastra, as a simple manifestation of the subtle and tenuous Vedantic facts, to bridge the Man with the Nature so as to lend him a life of peace and happiness.
Parallel to the thoughts of Tatwamasi ( That Thou Art), identifying the Consciousness inside the body with that of the all-pervading Universe, Chandogya Upanishad equates Prana(Life) with Aditya (Sun) in the sky of heart and the in the sky of space. This explains the metaphysics with which Vastu Sastra is made upon as establishing an identity between the very existences at the micro and macro levels.
Vastu in the Vedas
“Vasanti praaninah yatra..”, meaning, the place where the living beings live and interact in communion with the Nature is termed as ‘Vastu’. According to the Puranic scribble ‘Mayamata’, ‘vastu’ connotes the dwelling place or homestead of a being, living or dead. But in ‘Rigveda’ it implies the meaning of a construction or a construction site.
In the Indian philosophical background which sprouted in the harems of the enlightened seers, the base of Vastu Sastra is glued to the principle of ‘Aham Brahmasmi” (The highest philosophical thought that teaches one to see one’s Self in all and all in the Self and thus bringing in the harmony and balance with the Nature). The particular site where the construction has to be built up is being measured and defined as the miniature of the whole universe with its all cosmological considerations. The specified place is being brought into the exact geographical centre of the octagonal Brahmanda (the Universe) and befit into the square shaped symbolical figure of ‘vastu’. Vastu Purusha, the Cosmic Man is seen occupied the whole square as the presiding deity of the site, where the mathematical and geometrical diagrammatic representation is considered as integrates with the cosmic bodies in direct proportion.
The Vedic principle of Prakriti-Purusha cult is also incorporated here. Prakruti represents the ‘woman’ of the Nature and the ‘Purusha’ connotes the construction. According to Vedic principles, human body is the culmination of the five basic elements (Water, Earth, Space, Air and Fire) of the Universe and it is visible as well as corpulent. But the soul, the immortal being inside the body is finite, subtle and invisible. As per this thought the Vastu Purusha, the Cosmic Man resembles with the invisible soul and the proposed site, with the material body which is liable to change under circumstances.
So, as we preserve and protect our body with the pre-determined routines in food, exercise and like things, the rhythms and expressions and of course the images of the construction are also to be keep up with the pace of the Nature. It takes the systematic steps of prayer, meditation, chanting and life-disciplines prescribed by the Seers for the common man to find solace, to find god. Likewise, by properly designing the buildings by understanding the effectiveness of the basic elements of the Universe taking into consideration the cited measurements in Vastu Sastra, make the structure harmonious to the Nature. Eventually, both reach the Ultimate Reality as to every search unto oneself.
“Kshetrakshetrajneyorevamantharam jnaana chakshusa
But it needs a lot of strategic and systematic disciplinary re-scheduling in life. Controlling the natural instincts is the prime fact in it and this controlling extends to the purification of one’s body through several time-bound customs and rituals. As the Vastu Purusha ideology directly proportionate with the finite and infinite lives , such prescribed measurements inside the customary practices have to be experienced in order to purify the construction site, so as to bring in maximum positivity to the inhabitants. In fact, by implementing the vastu measurements into the site, we take advantage of the benefits bestowed by the five basic elements of the Universe to create a congenial living ambiance. What we are attributed to do is to bring in a harmony between the construction and the environment around it through a systematic procedure that tells all about Vastu Sastra.
Influence of planets
“Annad bhavanti bhootani parjanyadanna sombhavah
Yajnad bhavathi parjanyo yajnah karma samudbhavah”.. Bhagavat Gita (3-14)(Every living being depends on food which is a product of rain and the Rain comes from the clouds which are born out of worship.)
“Aadityajaayathe vrishty vrishterana samudhbhaveah”..Manu Smriti (Sun is the cause of Rain which gives birth to living things)
Modern Science also narrates the same concept of Sun as the energy-mine of the world and Water where the first life happened. Water is nothing but the output of Sun in the process of steaming. In brief, Sun is the basic of all Creations and Existence. As per the Adharva Veda, the most influential cosmic body on man is the Sun. In the Astrology, we see the 21 types of Solar and Lunar impacts which affect all the living things in the Universe. Similar impacts are obvious in Vastu Sastra also.
Vastumandala, the frame work of Vastu measurements of the site is diagrammatically represented with the help of geometrical figures inside a square field. Vastu Purusha is seen embedded in it by the force of 45 Devatas in the form of a human being. Vastu Purusha has been illustrated as having 6 bones, one heart and 4 vital spots. ‘Mayamata’ interprets Vastu Purusha as having 4 corner-to-corner contours representing the nervous and vascular systems of the human body.
The five basic elements (Pancha mahaabhoota) are incorporated inside this geometrical figure precisely at definite points. For Water, North-East has been prescribed while South-East direction has been attributed to Fire. Earth takes the South-West direction, Air, North-West and the most significant ‘Brahmasthana’ is ascribed to the Space.
The step-by-step development of the construction of a structure symbolically resembles the birth and developmental stages of an embryo inside the mother’s womb. If we believe cosmic bodies have any impact or influence in the life of a baby in its growth, we can assume the part played by the same cosmic elements in the developmental stages of a building structure being constructed, rather created in the Vastumandala, the miniature universe bound by the Cosmic Laws and magnetic fields. Like the formation of an embryo and its entry into the world as a human being, construction also has two well-defined stages as the ‘laying of the foundation stone’ and the ‘first entry into the structure’. In both these auspicious occasions people go for the astrologer to get the ‘exactly propitious moments’ that is the zodiac constellations at that time, in the belief of the influence of cosmic bodies upon it.
When turn back
Fossil studies in the Indus Valleys tell us that even before the Vedic Age there had been the practice of the Vastu Satra. In Rig as well as Adharva Vedas there are a lot of mentioning about it. There we come across with ViswaKarma as the Architect of Gods and Mayan as the Architect of the Demons. Buddhist scribbles, epics, and the Artha Sastra by Koutilya also bear the tints of Vastu Sastra. ‘Matsya Purana’ encoded in the 4th Century and Brihat Samhita in the 6th Century also has the episodes of this Science of Architrecture.
‘Mayamata’, “Manasara Silpa Sastra’ etc are some of the authentic on-paper works regarding this science. Both of these are assumed to be written in the time span of A.D. 400-1500. Most of the modern works on Vastu Sastra are based on the principles cited in these books. Vastu has also made inroads in Western esotericism where architecture and environmental metaphysics have traditionally been dominated by Chinese Feng Chui.
But as an easily misunderstood and misinterpreted science by the common people, Vastu Sastra has constructed an unbreakable structure across the world with its much -complicated makeup and vastness of dimensions.