Vastu shastra is an ancient science and architecture and one of the eminent features of Indian heritage. Vastu means the site or foundation of a house. It tells us how to build a house so as to be happy and prosperous. One of the most noteworthy contribution is evolution of the concept of Vastu-Purusa.Vastu-Purusa described as humpback and crooked shape, is said to occupy the planned area in such a manner as to occupy the whole plot, and thus, the presiding deities of different points of the plot become the presiding deities of different limbs of the body of Vastu-Purusa. This concept involves some basic aspects.
  1. Vastu is not considered as inanimate. Vastu encloses a part of space in its volume. Space is vibrant. Therefore, Vastu is vibrant. It is, therefore, alive like any living creature such as trees. The vibrations have a sound. Therefore, Vastu has a sound of its own. Thus, every Vastu has its own frequencies of vibration.
  2. Human body is the most perfect structure created by nature. Every part of it has a purpose. Vastu must be designed like a perfect structure of a human body where every part is placed at an appropriate place and human brain synchronised the activities. Similarly, every Vastu has its vital parts. These must be identified.
  3. Vastu-shastra identified a square for with 9 x 9 = 81 grids. Each square was assigned definite purpose and any perfect Vastu was to be designed in the grids. The names of deities given are connected to the environment.

Many architects of 20th century recognised that human body was a perfect structure.  A woman's body was considered as a more refined structure and compared Vastu with that. In past towns, villages, palaces and temples were also designed and oriented on the concept of Vastu-Purusa.

For durable structures, the concept of shape was derived from shapes created by nature. Natural shapes of animates have a defined life. Men observed the process of birth and death in human beings, creatures, animals and also trees, certain natural shapes attracted attention, particularly those shapes which had long durability. Vastu built out of timber could not last long. The structures built from stone lasted longer. The study of shape and durability continued. Even among stones, some shaped lasted more than others. The minute study of shapes created by nature and those created by men (Vastu) brought out following important principles:
  1. If the shape designed to last for some definite period, has used optimum quantity of materials, it would be an aesthetically beautiful shape. Example is human body where nothing is redundant.
  2. Durability of a structure depends upon the basic construction material, the binding material and overall shape of the structure.
  3. Life of a structure depends upon number of joints in it. Joints are affected by heat, humidity and environments. Lesser the number of joints, more is the life of the structure.
These principles were intelligently adopted in Vastu-Purusa while planning and orienting structures. Thus, the concept of Vastu-Purusa revolutionised the philosophy of durable shapes.

Let's discuss about the typical site plan. One of the principals for the site plan is to divide the plot into 81 square divisions which are called Padas and each of them has a prescribed deity associated with it. In this connection it should be noted that Pada-Vinyas is a very convenient method, more or less like a modern graph divided into uniform squares for the purpose of making a plan according to proportionate measurements.

The theory of orientation of structures is nothing but the practical application of the Vastu-Pada-Vinyas. The north-east corner which stands for Ishan corresponds to the ultra-violet segment of red solar spectrum. Similarly, south-east corner is controlled by the Agni which corresponds to the infra-red segment of solar spectrum. If the mystical form of Agni is minutely studied, it will really revel the western science. Now, the portion corresponding to the visible spectrum of the solar white light, deities Jayant, Parjanya, Mahendra, Kashyap, Surya, Satya and Bharsa correspond to the seven colours - VIBGYOR. These deities signify by themselves certain distinguishing properties besides the colour of the visible spectrum. They have reference to the radiant energy of the Sun. When the Sun appears on the horizon in the morning, it is accompanied by seven deities including itself. The sun's further move towards the meridian terminates the duties of Aryaman and Brahma controls the heavens at noon. Brahma hands over his charge to Mitra and his colleagues in the north and Indra in the south. The god of ocean, Varuna, occupies the chair in the evening. Now, if we analyse the atmospheric changes, the second quadrant is characterised by diminishing temperature combined with increasing humidity.

Let us see the recommendations by our ancient science for modern planning. Jotirnibandha explains the effects of elevations and depressions of the plot on which proposed construction has been planned. The plots have categorised into four groups:
Gajapristha (elephant's back): If south, west, south-west and north-west of the plot are elevated, this type of plot is called Gajapristha. Person living on such a plot gains monetary benefits.
Koormapristha ( tortoise's back): The plot having its central portion elevated is called as Koormapristha. The owner living on this type of land will lead an aristocratic life with monetary benefits.
Daityapristha (demon's back): If north, south-east and north-east portions of the plot are elevated with depression on west side, the plot is called Daityapristha. The inhabitants always have to lose wealth, sons and cattle etc.
Nagapristha (serpent's back): The plot elongated towards east-west direction with elevation on north and south portion is called as Nagapristha. The owner of this plot will face troubles from enemies, loss of wife and sons and fear of death.
 As per Vastu following guidelines should be kept in mind during the planning of modern house, factory, shop, holiday home & resort etc.

  1. The plot should be close to a square which gives monetary benefits.
  2. A rectangular plot is good which gives plenty of benefits but the length should not be more than twice the breadth of the plot.
  3. There will be fear from the government if the plot is triangular in shape.
  4. It is necessary to maintain south-west angle of the plot to 90 degrees.
  5. North-east angle of the plot should be close to 90 degrees.
  6. North-west angle of the plot should be close to 90 degrees.
  7. It is best to have roads on all four sides of the plot which gives all round happiness to the owner.
  8. Plots facing both south and west roads are good for the business people.
  9. Plots facing both south and east roads are good for women and women-organisations.
  10. If there is a projection on south-east corner of a plot, the owner will experience many difficulties and suffer fro diseases and legal litigations.
  11. If the north-east has projections clubbed with north, there will be more riches, a large income and development in movable and immovable properties.
  12. If north-east has a projection clubbed with east, the owner becomes famous.
  13. If the north-west has projection, there will be loss of wealth, agriculture produce and cattle.
  14. The ground level in the north and east should be the lowest in the plot.
  15. Ponds, tanks or river in north, east or north-east of the plot (outside of the plot) yield very good results.
  16. More open spaces should be left in the east than west side of the plot. Similarly, more open space should be left in north with respect to south.
  17. The building height should be more on the south and west.
  18. The compound walls on south and west should be thicker and more in height than those on north or east.
  19. The level of veranda (balcony) roof should be less than normal roof-level.
  20. Septic tank in south-east or north-west (second choice) are acceptable.
  21. Out-houses and car garages can be built in south-east or north-west, but they should not touch north or east walls.
  22. An open well or a bore-well should be essentially dug in north-east before the construction starts.
  1. Main door should be square with double leaf.
  2. Windows are to be placed high and should facilitate cross ventilation.
  3. Stair must be clockwise direction and should be on south-west or south or west side.
  4. Kitchen platform should be on east side, gas cylinder should be placed under the platform.
  5. Utensils cabinet should be on south or south-west corner of kitchen.
  6. Water filter is to be placed at north-east and sink on south side.
  7. Kitchen store should be on north-west, or south-west side.
  8. Mixer, grinder, refrigerator, toaster, cooking range etc. should be on south-east side or south side.
  9. Exhaust fan is to be placed on south wall.
  10. Commode or pan is to be fitted along north-south direction in toilets.
  11. Bedroom's door should be placed on north or east side.
  12. In bedroom of owner, bed is to be placed south-west corner and at least 3" clear from the walls. Owner should sleep on bed keeping head on south side and legs north side.
  13. Almirah or wardrobe should be beside of bed on south-west side.
  14. In study room, table should be placed such that reader would face north or east during reading. and it is better if top of the table is green in colour.
  15. Dressing table or mirror's ideal location is east or north walls.
  16. Wall clock should be placed on east wall always.
  17. Ideal position of TV is north-west side. Otherwise, south-east side.
  18. Sofa set is to be placed on south-west, south or west side in the drawing room.
  19. Washing machine should be placed on east side in the washroom.
  20. Aquarium can be placed in veranda or balcony or north-east corner of a room.
  21. Dinning table is to be placed east or west side of dining space.
  22. Shoe rack can be placed on south or east or south-east but in no case on north-east side.
  23. Dustbin can be placed on east or alternately north-west side of room.
  1. Guard-room in a factory should be constructed on north-west side of north gate or south-east side of east gate.
  2. Administrative office of a factory is to located either in east or north, away from boundary walls with less height than the main factory, but it is necessary to keep north-east corner always open.
  3. Staff quarter may be constructed in north-west or south-east side of the plot.
  4. Heavy machinery has to be installed in south, west or south-west side of the plot.
  5. Raw materials storage whether inside of factory or sheds outside, should be constructed in south or west.
  6. Finished products are to be kept in the north-west corner which helps for quick movement of stock.
  7. Products under process in an industry may be kept in west direction in the shed or plot.
  8. Transformer, generators, motors, boilers, furnaces, oil engine, electric switch-boards and computers should be kept in south-east corner or close to south-east.
  9. Latrine should not be built on the south-west corner, otherwise there will mental tension to the users. It should be built on the south side or west side.
  10. An open well or bore well, provided central zone of the plot, creates legal litigations or loss of wealth with mental tension. It should always be in north-east corner.
  11. If south-west corner of an old building is lower, which is not good, than any other sides or corners, fix up a metallic rod or TV dish antenna at south-west corner to control bad effects.
  12. Provision of main gate along with the boundary wall of the plot has been given prime importance. All the sides of the plot should be divided into nine equal divisions each. If the gate is to be provided on north or east sides, fix it on third/fourth divisions from north-west corner and north-east corner, respectively. If the gate is to be on the west side, it should be fixed up on fifth / sixth divisions from north-west corner. Similarly, the gate should be fixed up at sixth / seventh divisions from south-west corner, if it is to be provided on south side of the plot.
  13. Sitting arrangements of staff-members in an office is also an important aspect of Vastu-Shastra. Senior officers / managers / boss should sit at south-west corner facing north or east or north-east directions. Account officers should occupy south-eastern portion (best choice) or north side of the office. Field-staff or supervisors in an industry should be accommodated on north-west corner of the office.
  14. Big and long trees should be planted in north-west or south-west portion.
  15. Temple, prayer room, guest room and drinking water can be arranged in north-east portion.
  16. Employees canteen should be on south-east corner.
  1. Square or rectangular shops are always good.
  2. Shop on east-side road or north-side road is the best.
  3. Shop on west-side open or south-side open are also good.
  4. Main entrance of shop should open on north or east. Avoid south entrance shops.
  5. Showcase should be placed on south-side or west-side.
  6. Products should be stored on the selves in south-west, south or west part of shop.
  7. Mezzanine floor, if constructed, should be in south or west side. In no case it should be in east or north side.
  8. God or idols should be kept on elevated shelf in the north-east corner of the shop and this area should be clean and obstruction free.
  9. Owner or manager should sit in the south-west corner facing towards north or east.
  10. Other staffs sitting arrangement should be such that they also sit facing towards north or east.
  11. Accounts book, cash etc. are to be kept in an iron chest or almirah such that while opening face would be north or east.
  12. Drinking water arrangement should in north-east or east side.
  13. In a north facing shop, owner should avoid sitting at north-west corner as far as possible.
  14. In east facing shop, if shop owner sits in south-east corner, there will be fear of theft, fire, accidents as well as health problems.
  1. Land: Like others, land for holiday home and resort should be a square  or rectangular shape and north or north-east or east portion should be down than other portions. Its location should be nearest to a river or hill, or a waterfall or natural beauty is there. People comes here for a change to break monotony and entertainment. The place should be peaceful with natural beauties.
  2. Hills or mountains: It should be on south or south-west portion.
  3. Artificial waterfall: Artificial waterfall should be made on west or south side so that water should flow from west to east or south to north.
  4. Lawn & garden: Lawn and garden should be on east and north side. Big trees are to be planted on south and east side.
  5. Cottage: Cottage or rest rooms should be on south and west side. Doors are to be placed on east, north-east side.
  6. Electrical appliances: Electrical appliances like heater, air-conditioner etc. should be placed south-east corner of the cottage.
  7. Play area: Golf, Tennis, Badminton, Squash court etc. should be on north-west portion.
  8. Club: Health club, Parlour,Sauna bath, Massage parlour etc. are to be placed on east side.
  9. Yoga room: Yoga and prayers rooms should be located on north-east or north side.
  10. Restaurant: Restaurant and bars should be on the south-east or west side.
  11. Entertainment: Music room, dance floor and recreation amenities should be located on north-west side.
  12. Swimming pool: It should be on north-east side. In no case it should be at the center.

Conclusion: A question may arise whether one can achieve everything including happiness and prosperity in life by simply living in a house built as per the Vastu-shastra. There is no full proof evidence because Vastu has its own limitations. But one may get the benefits as per the degree of perfection in following the Vastu principles.



Green Environment

Hi, I’m Gobinda Burman (Green Environment). More than 27 years in the field of Building Construction industry, I’ve completed many high-rise building projects successfully. I have got the opportunity to learn and solve the critical practical problems related to building construction. I love to share my knowledge with those people who wants to build their own home and the budding civil engineers willing to build their career in this field..

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