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Vaastu - The Indian Art of Placement Print E-mail
Lenny Balston   
Wednesday, 21 September 2005

What is Vaastu?
Vaastu is an ancient science of placement and design that was developed in India more than 3,000 years ago. It is a practice that guides the design and construction of buildings in harmony with the natural laws of the universe. It is closely linked to Ayurveda, which teaches us about the physiological and psychological makeup of the planets and their forces upon our mind and body, while Vaastu takes into account these planetary forces when placing or constructing material structures. As such it has been used to design houses, temples, and even ancient cities.

Einstein proved that all matter is composed of condensed energy vibrating at different frequencies. Juliet Pegrum in her book 'The Vaastu Home' says "Although we tend to imagine that external objects are solid and separate from ourselves, in fact they constantly emit vibrations, which interact positively or negatively with both us and other objects. This interconnectedness means that each one of our actions however small, affects the balance of the cosmos." Vaastu guides us in arranging structures so that their underlying energy fields are beneficially manipulated according to proportion and direction.


Vaastu was originally a sacred, oral tradition but was at one point written down by an architect of ancient India called Maya, the text was called the Mayamata. Although lost for many years this text was rediscovered in 1934 and is the primary basis for modern vaastu. References to vaastu can also be found in two ancient Indian epics, the Ramayana and Mahabharata.


The most important tool used in vaastu is the Vaastupurusha - a symbolic representation of the planets and five elements based on mathematical calculations. Vaastupurusha lies on his belly with his head facing north east and feet south west. Using the vaastupurusha, by placing it over a drawing of your plot, house or rooms, a vaastu practitioner can identify areas where you might be experiencing difficulty and align structures correctly to rectify them.The vaastupurusha is a square divided into 9 equal portions. Each portion represents a different cardinal point and has different planets and deities associated with it. The vaastupurusha also takes into consideration the five elements; ether, air, water, fire & earth. Different colours and senses are used to strengthen the energies associated with the planets and elements. The centre square is considered sacred and should be left bare - it is governed by the element ether.

The Five Elements
According to the Indian scriptures all matter is made up five basic elements. Ether is the pure space that first manifests from consciousness. Air is formed when ether becomes more condensed and atoms and molecules are produced. Air is associated with movement, and when this movement becomes strong, heat is generated. This gives rise to the fire element. When air (hydrogen) or metals are heated liquid is formed. This is the next element water. From it the earth principle evolves. Earth represents the solid state of matter. Our five senses also correlate with the five elements. Sound is associated with space, touch with air, vision with fire, taste with water, and smell with earth.The table below shows us the relationship between the cardinal points and the planets.

Vaastu Table

Height & Weight
Energy is believed to enter in the north east and exit in the south west. To allow maximum energy to enter the home, furnishings should be kept to a minimum in the northeast. The heaviest and largest furniture should be in the southwest, secondly the south-east, then the north-west. This is to keep as much energy in the house as possible. The southwest elevations may also be higher than the northeast, but not the other way round.

Vaastu is a complex science. This was a very brief introduction to some of the basics. If this topic piqued your interest you I suggest you get, "The Vaastu Workbook" by Talavane Krishna for an in-depth understanding of this fascinating science.

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