Vaasthu Shastra can be described as an ancient Indian architectural science which is somewhat (though not entirely) similar to the Chinese principles of Feng Shui. The principles of the Vaasthu Shastra are found in the Stapatya Veda – an ancient text which describes the effect of the earth and planets on construction and design. These principles are applied to the construction of temples which are built according to the strict ‘rules’ of Vaasthu. Many people also consult Vaasthu experts before building a house or other buildings like offices to make sure they follow the principles and as a result bring harmony, health, prosperity and happiness!
According to Vaasthu, everything in the universe is made up of the five basic elements – or the pancha boothams: Space, Earth, Water, Fire and Air. It is believed that all living beings are made up of these five elements which also support life and nature. According to the Vaasthu Shastra, the delicate interplay between these elements and the precise positioning of each room can influence the positive and/or negative energy of a dwelling or building and as a result affect the health and prosperity of the inhabitants.
For example, according to Vaasthu principles, the kitchen should be located in the south-east corner of a house (to catch the early-morning rays of the sun and avoid the winds coming from the south-west), bedrooms are best placed in the east or south, and the dining room in the west (to promote good digestion). Toilets should be placed in the north-west or south-east. Money is best kept in a north-facing room and the puja (prayer) room should be in the north-east (also to catch the early rays of the morning sun when prayer time is considered to be most auspicious). A courtyard in the middle of the house ensures good ventilation.
A column in Saturday’s The Hindu paper featured readers’ queries related to Vaasthu answered by Niranjan Babu, a Vaasthu consultant. Here are some of the questions and their responses:
Q: I have placed 100 bonsai, about 10 species of crotons, and about 25 varieties of thorny cactus on the terrace of my residence. My wife says that both bonsai and cactus are bad for Vaasthu. Her Reiki guru told her that all these transport only negative energy… Due to family problems, I had to sell a two-acre plot. Please tell me whether the plants had created a negative atmosphere and led to family quarrels. Should I get rid of all the greenery for having a peaceful life?
A: Vaasthu, while speaking of the importance of the primary elements, tells us that if we go with nature, nature takes care of us. There is no need to get rid of your bonsai and cactus plants. However, proper placement of plants, in their compatible zones, can contribute to happiness and health. Herbal plants in the northeast sector, thorny (cactus included) plants in the southeast sector, heavy and leafy plants in the southwest sector and flower plants and lawn in the northwest sector are normally recommended.
Q: My open kitchen has a north entrance and has a platform and stove in the south. There is only a window in the east which lets in good breeze. My friends told me that having the fire element in the south and placing of the microwave in the same direction are wrong. Where should the sink, cooking platform and the window be? Do mixer and microwave also have specific areas of placement? Please give me a detailed answer as all of us at home have acidity problems.
A: Place your microwave and do your cooking on the eastern platform of your kitchen, more to the south side. You can have the water element activated by having your aquaguard fixed to the north wall of your kitchen, more to the east side. Colours can also contribute to better digestion and minimise acidity problems. Have orange curtains on the windows and doors of your dining area and an orange top for your dining table. This apart, avoid spicy food and take proper medication from your family doctor.
Q: …My first daughter has a hormone problem from birth. She is normal enough to go to work and look after herself… I lost my husband to a kidney problem. I donated a kidney but things didn’t work out for him. My house is peculiarly constructed. We have a south-west facing gate (more leaning towards west) with the whole site shaped like a trapezium… kind of irregular. On the west corner we have a septic tank, and next to that is the Corporation water sump. The main door is facing the south, kitchen is in the north-east, with the same north-east corner being a clothes and vessel wash area. Almost all the intersecting meridians have bathroom/toilets i.e., north-west, south-east and north-east… Please advise me with regard to the toilet and bathroom placements.
A: Vaasthu texts generally recommend properly-shaped sites and orientation to the cardinal directions. Bathrooms and toilets in the north-west and south-east sectors are in order. North-east, referred to as Eashanya or God’s territory and ruled by Jupiter, contributes positively or otherwise to one’s health and one’s general happiness. I suggest you have this area pollution free. Right habitation can also contribute to better health. I suggest you move your elder daughter to an east or north-east room that has enough morning sunlight into it.