Vaastu, Vedic Wisdom for Health & Harmony
What makes a house a home, a place of renewal and refuge, a place of balance and peace? It is Vaastu, the Indian art of environmental design, a practice that helps you create a home that is in harmony with the natural and spiritual energies surrounding it. Vaastu, like holistic medicine, focuses on addressing underlying issues for the health of the entire system - the people as well as the physical structures and property on which they live.
Vaastu is a Sanskrit word meaning "the science of structures." It is a traditional theory of architecture that guides the design and construction of buildings in harmony with the natural laws of the universe. As Einstein proved, everything in existence - sentient and nonsentient, is ultimately a field of energy. Vastu (with a single a) is the pure, subtle energy that underlies everything, while vaastu (with double a) is the manifestation or expression of that energy as matter. Every structure - whether it is a building or a fence, a statue or a piece of furniture, a piece of music or other art form - has its own subtle energy. Vaastu is the science of working with these fields of energy, guiding us to arrange structures so that their underlying energy fields are beneficially manipulated according to proportion and direction.
Although the term vaastu is often used today as a synonym for "building" or "architecture", vaastu relates not only to the design and construction of the building itself but also to such factors as interior decoration and the surrounding landscape. Vaastu describes desirable window and door locations, color schemes, symbols, artworks and furniture arrangements. It also addresses the optimum type of soil, location of plants and water features and construction of fences and compound walls. The science of vaastu is a meaningful dialogue between mind and nature, enabling us to better understand the energy fields of various objects around us as well as those of invisible cosmic bodies that affect our minds and bodies, influencing our lives directly and indirectly.
Vaastu considers a dwelling to be full of live force. It informs us how to make dwellings that have rhythm and beauty, that vibrate perfectly with nature. A structure built according to vaastu is considered a transformed entity, the life divine. At the same time, vaastu is a science based on vedic mathematics, one of the most advanced forms of knowledge in our universe. Thus the measuring system of vaastu is quite different from that of Feng shui, which is not based on the same depth of calculations. In vaastu, each habitat has to be individualized, taking into consideration several significant factors, including orientation, direction, proportion, the activities performed within and the personalities and vocations of the inhabitants.
Today many people are fortunate to enjoy abundant physical comforts as well as a long life, yet they feel inadequate and unhappy. They suffer from uneasiness in mind and body and do not seem to be in a balanced state of health. Often they are not helped by modern science, which is seriously lacking in its understanding of the connection and complex interaction between the mind and the body. Thus, it seems appropriate to look to the ancient Indian texts, the Vedas, for some of the answers. Veda literally means "science" or "knowledge". The Vedas are storehouses of knowledge concerning the intricate balance of the forces that affect human life and all of existence. This knowledge was revealed to humanity more than seven thousand years ago in the Himalayas. Despite their antiquity, the Vedas contain timeless knowledge of the expression of consciousness that can help us find answers to many of our modern concerns about health and life.
Vaastu is related to two other vedic sciences, jyotish (astrology) and Ayurveda (lifestyle medicine). Jyotish - the science of stars and planets and their forces - teaches us about the subtle principles that affect and govern our physical and mental aspects. Ayurveda - the science of life - teaches us about the physical, physiological and psychological makeup of these forces. It helps us to see that, in one sense, our own physical body is a perfect vaastu structure transformed into a living, vibrating entity. Vaastu - the science of physical structures - teaches us how to place or construct material structures, taking into account the planetary forces and their effects on our lives. When arranged and constructed according to these principles, our homes can be transformed into entities full of life energy. Jyotish, vaastu, and Ayurveda work together to help us live more harmoniously and happily. Thus, this study of vaastu incorporates aspects of the other two sciences as well.
Dr. Talvane Krishna
This article was first published in the March issue of AyurvedaNews, a free fortnightly publication devoted to Ayurveda and holistic health, published by http://chakrapaniayurveda.com & http://AyurvedaHelpline.com.