The word “VASTHU ” has been derived from ‘ VASTOSHPATI ‘ used in ‘ Rig Veda ‘(one of four Vedas –sacred slokas in Hinduism) and is meant to provide protection, happiness and prosperity in this life as well as after death. This following sloga in Rig Veda says:
VASTSHPART PRATI JATI HACHASMAN TVAVESHO ATBHIVO BHAVATAH |
YAT TVAMEH PRATI NATRO JUSHSVSHAN NO BHAV DVIPAD SHA CHATUSHPADE ||
Oh God of structures and building, we are your devotees. Listen our prayer, make us free of disease, give wealth and prosperity, and help the well being of all persons and animals living in the house.
Vasthu Shastra has origin in the Sthapatya Veda, a part of the Atharvana Veda (one of four Vedas – a sacred in Hinduism), which dates back to thousands of years ago. Researcher scholars have found its mention in different epics, like Mataysya Purana, Skanda Purana, Agni Purana, Garuda Purana, and Vishnu Purana. The early principles of Vastu were framed on the basis of observation of the sunrays, at different times in the day.
References to Vastu Shastra have been found in the great Indian epic Ramayana also. The construction of the holy city of Ayodhya, the capital of the kingdom of Lord Rama, shared a similarity with the plan written in the great architectural text Manasara. Even the Ramsetu of Ramayana was based on Vastu principles.
In the Matsya Purana, 18 following scholars of Vasthu Shastra have been mentioned. They are Bhrugu, Atri, Vasistar, Viswakarma, Mayan, Naradar, Nagnajit, Visalakshan , Purandaran, Brahma, Kumaraswamy, Nandikesawaran, Sounakar, Bhargavar, Vasudevar, Anirudhar, Sukran and Bruhaspathi.
Buddhist literature also makes numerous mentions of buildings based on Vasthu. There is a mention of various viharas, temples, houses, buildings in the various Buddhist texts, based on Vasthu. It is said that Lord Buddha used to deliver discourses on architecture and he was very much conscious of the construction of the buildings in order.
Excavations in the ancient cultures at Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa show some specific following in construction and planning. They followed certain basic rules in these cultures and very much similar and comparable with the Vasthu Shastra of Indian origin.
Ancient Books about Vasthu Shastra:-
Brihadsamhitha: This book was written during Guptha kingdom by Varahamihira. This great work has hundred and six chapters, about all subjects of human life. ‘Vasthuvidya’ comes as the 53rd chapter of this book and it is one of the largest chapters. It describes formulae for the construction of bungalows, palaces, art works, etc.
Viswakarma Vastu Shastra: this book is written by Viswakarma and period is unknown. It contains lot of calculations and formulae for constructing palaces, temples, and sculptures according to Vasthu Shastra.
Samarankana Sutradhara: This book was written by a king named Bhojan during 11th century. It describes various methods of architecture, engravings, construction methods of temples and paintings.
Silparatnam: This book is supposed to have been written during 15th century.
Aparajithai britcha: This book was written during 12th century and may be later to the book “Samarankana Sutradhara”. It describes Vasthu Shastra principles and formulae as a question and answer type. The discussion is between Viswakarma and his daughter Aparajithai.
Manushyalaya Chandrika: This book was written by Thirumangalathu Neelakandan Moose in AD 16th century. The precious volume contains the scientific principles of Vasthu construction of houses.
Tantra Samuchayam: This book was written by Chennaas Narayanan Namboothiripad in AD 15th century. The renowned volume specifies the implementation of Vasthu in Temple constructions.
Jayabritcha : This is written in very olden days in south India and explains Vasthu principles to be followed in building houses.
Mayamata: This book was written by Mayan in AD 11th century. It’s an inevitable reference to Temple construction, building of houses and ascertainment of plots.
Manasaram: contains only the voluminous descriptions of Vasthu vidya calculations.
Viswakarma Prakashika: This book was written by Viswakarma, the Devasilpi (Principal Architect of Gods). The period is unknown and describes lot of formulae for the construction of temples and sculpture and explains principles of living.
Silparatnam: writings on interior decorations of Temples by Sreekumaran.
Few other great ancient books based on Vasthu Shastra:-
Vishnu Dharmothra Puranam
The science of Vastu is considered an integral part of the Indian architecture. Being a technical subject, it was confined only to the architects and handed over verbally or in the form of hand-written monographs. The principles of construction, architecture and sculpture, as enunciated in the treatises on temple architecture, have been incorporated in the science of Vastu.
Story of Vasthu Purusha in the MATSYA PURANA:-
Once live a demon called Andhakasura, who killed sages and seers. Lord Shiva had to fight with demon to protect the world and killed him after a long war which had continued for years. While fighting with the demon, the Lord Shiva was very much tired and began to sweat profusely. When the sweat fell down on the earth, a child was born of the drops of Shiva’s sweat. He then undertook penance. Lord Shiva was impressed and highly satisfied by his penance and offered him a boon.
He looked very cruel and horrifying and consumed all the blood from the body of the demon Andhakasura. His hunger was still not satisfied and felt very hungry. He began to grow steadily, eating all that came near his mouth .He occupied almost all the surface of the earth, killing all the inhabitants and destroying the nature.
All the Five Elements of the Nature namely Earth, Water, Fire, Air & sky suffered by the growth of this child and could not carry on their functions.The Gravitational force was somuch that the mouth of the child become a Black hole ,everything was sucked up into that mouth.
This terrified even the Gods in heaven. All of the Gods in heaven grouped together planned to stop the child that was grown up so largely. They attacked it from all sides, laid it face down and they then sat on different parts of its body and pressed it inside the earth. Being bound like that, his powers submerged . In order to mollify the child the Gods bestowed the child with a boon that:
“Hence forth you will be known as ‘VASTUPURUSHA’ or “VASTHUDEVTA “. You will occupy any piece of earth with boundaries made on four sides. The people will offer you prayers and worship you. You can curse or favor the people who own or occupies any place of earth. If they make you feel happy and comfort as you lay down on the earth you may favor them with boons. If not you are allowed to curse and make them suffer.”
Then the Vastu Purusha was quite satisfied. Since then the worship of Vastu-Purusha has been in practice and it has become compulsory to follow certain rules so as to make the VasthuPurush happy and comfort. The Almighty ordered the Gods of heaven, who sat at key positions over the child, to safe guard the child and protect him from the people.
Everyone shall pray and adopt the rules of Vasthu Shastra shall Live in the earth having sound health, good wife, healthy children, wealth, means of earning through business, profession or state service, high reputation in society and over all mental and spiritual peace without any disturbance and trouble.
Life of the building, Vastu Shastra
Vastu Shastra provides exhaustive information about the life of a building.
Vastu Shastra provides exhaustive information about the life of a building for instance, what are the right ways to use a room and what should be the proper area of that room i.e. what should be the length and the breadth. As a result certain rules have been formulated.
The principles of Ayam are not applicable for buildings with a carpet area less than 2000 sq. ft. these will be only prove beneficial when applied to buildings with a carpet area of more than 2000 sq. ft. For flats and small buildings Ayam principles are, thus, not applicable. Such principles are referred as Vastu Chintamani, Muhurat Martanda or Samrangana Sutradhar.
To start with the area of the building needs to be by multiplying the length and the breadth. This area will again be multiplied by nine and the product will be divided by eight. The remainder is known as Ayam in Vastu Shastra. The Vedic science further divides the Ayam into 8 categories:
Dhwajayam :- For this Ayam the formula to calculate the area is as follows-
If the remainder is one it is called Dhwajayam. This is an auspicious ayam. it will be more beneficial put this Ayam to use for constructing bathrooms. It is also useful for steel factories, cloth mills, sugar and rice mills. However if the remainder is Zero it will provide medium level benefits.
Dhumayam :- When the remainder amounts to 2 it is known as Dhumayam. This would only be useful in building is kitchens in the south-east direction. According to Vastu Shastra Dhumayam is the harbinger of numerous troubles but primarily it adversely affects the health of the women in the house.
Simhayam :- Here, too, the formula is the same. In all the Ayams the formula remains the same. What varies is the remainder. Depending on these remainders Vastu Shastra predicts the auspiciousness and the inauspiciousness of the houses.
In case the remainder is 3 it is known as Simhayam. This Ayam leads to the destruction of the enemy and victory of the self. Economic and physical happiness is also related with it. Therefore keeping in mind the measurements of Simhayam the bedroom of the head of the family should be constructed in the south direction. Courts, Parliament house, Goverment offices, industrial establishments, commercial complexes and hostels could be constructed by following this.
Shwanayam :- If the remainder is 4 it is known as shwanayam. Shwanayam is the perfect Ayam only for lumber-room or storeroom. These should be constructed in the southwest direction. Shwanayam can give good results for hospitals, orthopedics, hardware store, libraries and others.
Vrishabhayam :- In this Ayam the remainder will amount to 5. This is an auspicious ayam resulting in the accumulation of wealth. Dining room, bedroom, study room or meditation room should be constructed to the West of the residential building as per Vrishabhayam measurements. This would be quite useful for schools, colleges research centers, cotton mill, textile, sugar factories, receptions halls, auditoriums and others.
Kharayam :- The formula to calculate this ayam is as follows:
If the remainder is 6 it is known as Kharayam. It results in making a man lethargic, even an addict. Hence it is inauspicious in the construction of residences. Garage, granary, godown or servants quarters can be built only in the northwest direction and at a distance of 2 to 3 feet from the wall compound.
Gajayam :- This is considered auspicious as it leads to prosperity. The remainder in this kind of Ayam will be 7. With its measurements sitting room or strong room can be built in the north directions. it will prove fruitful for schools, lodgings, commercial establishments, cold storages and shops.
Kakayam :- According to the last kind of Ayam only temples can be built with its measurements in the northeast directions. The remainder here will be 8.
Quality of a Plot, Vastu Shastra
Vastu Shastra lays down several principles for deciding the quality of a plot.
There are several factors that are considered by Vastu Shastra to decide the quality of the plot. Geographical surroundings, the level of the land and the roads around the plot are the dynamics that help in determining the quality of a particular land. Depending on this factor plots are divided into 3 categories by Vastu Shastra.
First Grade Plots
The first grade plots are the best plots that one can own. The main requirement to be the best plot is to have roads on all its four sides. This plot is more beneficial if it is square in shape or if rectangular in the ratio of 1:2. They also have slope on the eastern and the northern sides. on the southern and the western sides these plots may also have hills, mountains or tall buildings. Such plots are also known as Bramha Stavam. In case such lands have roads on all the four sides extending towards the North-East, the East or the North it will definitely generate more positive energy.
The plot where the road on the Western side is higher than those on the Eastern and the Northern sides is considered auspicious. According to Vastu Shastra plots with the VithiShula or the approach road on the east and the northern entrance is extended on the north-east side are also termed as first grade plots.
Besides the roads on Eastern and the Northern side a pond, lake or river on the Eastern or the Northern sides are also acceptable in such plots.
Among the roads on the Northern and the Western side, the latter in a first grade plot will be on a higher plane. Thus the west of the plot will be an auspicious approach road. on the other hand if there is a downward slope on the east or the north, the plot can have its approach road from either sides. In these plots the water tank is located in the north direction.
Second Grade Plots
The plots having lower roads on the east that of the west are termed as second grade plots. These plots have their slopes or a river on the East.
As far as the roads on the north and the south sides are considered, the former will be on a lower plane. Mostly the slope in this plots are on the north. Vastu Shastra spells out that such plots may also have high mountains, hills or tall buildings on the their south direction.
Plots with only one road on the East or the North side and a slope on the North – East side are also the prerequisites for the second grade plots
Here the road on the western side is a bit lower than the roads on the East, the West and the North sides.
Third Grade Plots
Plot, with a road on the western side and a downward slope on the eastern side, is considered a third grade plot.
They can also have a downward slope on the east road and mountains or tall building on the north, south or west.
Third grade plots might also have tall buildings or mountains on the eastern side while there are roads on the north, the south and the west sides.
The plots having roads on the northern and southern sides are also third grade plots. In their northern sides there may be buildings or other geographical landforms.
Fourth Grade Plots
These kinds of plots can have any one of the following features:-
The plot has only one road on the South with slope in the Southern or the Western side.
The roads are on the South and the East with a downward slope on the South with tall buildings, hills or mountains on East, West and North.
The plots can also have roads on North and South directions and the entire downward slope in the South – West corner. A river or deep valley in the South are also common to such plots of land.
Roads can also be in East, North or South directions. the North -East the South – East or the South-West corner can either have an oblique cut or the South-East or the South-West Corner can be extended with a slope on the South side.
Constructions of Religious Temples, Vastu Shastra
Vastu Shastra recommends some simple guidelines for constructing temples.
Vastu Shastra, the ancient science of architecture has also laid some basic rules for the construction of the temples.
It is very important to choose a proper site for building religious Vastu temples.
A plot where there is a sea, river, tank, lake etc. in the east or the north direction, such a plot is the best place. This can be called, as because of this, there is natural slope in the east or the north directions.
If such places are situated on a tall hill or mountain, the population is thin. This helps in maintaining the austerity of the God. The shadow of the temple should not fall on other buildings. In front of the temple there should be no building of any type. All these objectives can be fulfilled on a hill or mountain and the serenity of the temple can be maintained as well.
The plot of the temple should be square or rectangular in shape. The magnetic north-south poles of the plot should be parallel. This means that the four major directions, the east, the west, the north and the south should meet the plot parallely and not in the corner. This feature is as important as the other features.
By dividing this place into four equal parts the main structure of the temple with Sabhamandap or lecture-hall should be in the south-west part. Go-downs and shops should be in the north-west part. Water storage tanks, wells etc. should be in the north-east part. Kitchen, rest houses etc. should be in the south-east portion as well.
The slope of the land that surrounds the temple in the east and the north direction should be in the north-east corner.
Presence of compound wall around the temple in all the four directions is very essential. Entrance gate should be placed on the east side of the compound wall and that is the best position. Entrance gate on the north side is tolerable. It is very auspicious to have four entrance gates to the main temple building. If there are two gates, at least one of them should be placed in the east and the other one should be in the north side. On the other hand, if there is only one gate it should be in the east direction. But the gate should never be in the south direction. The main entrance gate should be taller than other doors and should be decorated.
There are some points which should be decided carefully to establish a temple. These can be mentioned as the sanctuary, the height of the idol, kind of stone of which the idol is made and its colour, the height of the lap from the ground on which the idol is placed, the height of the pinnacle and the metal used for the pinnacle, the height of the discourse hall, no of pillars used for this hall, their colours etc. should be carefully studied from the viewpoint of Vastushastra.
In many ancient temples some rules can be found. That is why people have faith in those places. They are considered potent by devotees and they also make sacred vows at these places and find that these vows are fulfilled.
The sight of the principal Idols stare in the temple should be trained on the seventh part of the door if the door is divided into nine parts. No building, office, electric pole, tree, shed etc. should come in front the idol’s stare. There can only be entrance gate or road in this direction.