Can my bed be facing the North? Will it bring any bad luck to my house? Is the location of my kitchen optimised for my health? These are questions we often have while talking about Vastu Shastra. There is always a mystery surrounding the ‘real’ Vastu science and its meaning in actuality.
According to veteran Vastu Shastra expert, Shashikala Ananth, Vastu Shastra a part of ancient Indian knowledge that deals with space and form. Vastu is derived from vas, meaning ‘to live in’ & Vastu Shastra can be translated to ‘science of architecture’. It deals with balancing the energy flow of a building to be in harmony with its environment.
Winston Churchill once said, “We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.” This quote emphasises how constructed spaces influence our lives and how they represent more than just steel and concrete. The knowledgeof Vastu can assist our seniors in having a wholesome life.
What really is Vastu Shastra & does it work?
Vastu Shastra’s principles are rooted in the merging of architecture with its natural environment. This unique merger is based on several factors such as Geopathology, structural orientation, location of nearby elemental bodies, placement of various parts within the structure, spatial geometry, and other related influences. It considers the positioning of the sun, moon and other planets trivial to the wellbeing of the inhabitants of a structure.
Many consider Vastu to be gravely impactful on their daily life. An individual’s life is affected by many factors such as their habits, their physical habitats, space occupied, local geography, energy patterns enforced by the sun & the like. Seniors that have learnt this practice from their ancestors continue to advocate its importance for health & wellbeing.
With that said, Vastu does not claim to be a cure-all for all ailments & difficulties. It is not a health science but a science of structures and buildings. It is centred around the belief that the environment, whether natural or man-made, has a deep effect on us, and our physical, emotional & mental health.
The knowledge of Vastu helps build spaces that are in synergy with its inhabitants and surrounding. Just as the modern fields of civil engineering and architecture consider the elements to be of importance, so does the science of Vastu.
Today, before any major construction, we are required to conduct soil tests, water tests etc to ensure structural integrity. Similarly, Vastu too advises checking the quality of soil, water and other natural elements through various means. Vastu experts have been consulted on numerous structures around the world for aeons. A famous example is the Angkor Wat, a Cambodian monument and UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is built on Vastu principles.
The principles of Vastu, though ancient, are applicable even in modern times. It is not a replacement for medicine or architectural science but can be implemented as a supplement to enhance one’s health and overall quality of life.
Vastu & Seniors
As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “It is health that is real wealth, not pieces of silver and gold”. A predominant concern in adults over the age of 60 is the onslaught of ailments and comorbidities. The health of a senior may be influenced by varying aspects like lifestyle, genetic history and environment amongst others. While not much can be done to alter pre-existing genetic conditions, the direct environment can be optimised in alignment with Vastu Shastra to support a wholesome and healthy life for seniors. Vastu suggests creating a space in a way that enhances incoming positive energies and minimises any kind of hindrance to its flow. Some Vastu principles that may aid in the better health of seniors are given here:
The East and the South-West direction of a building are associated with the health and wellbeing of the senior members. Hence, it is advisable to fill these directions with rejuvenating energies.
South or South-West should be reserved for the room of the senior-most member of the family. If the senior member spends a good amount of time in spiritual and religious affairs, their room may be placed in North-East, East, or North direction as well.
Sun, the source of all energy, rises from the East, therefore, this direction should always be kept open and clean. Windows placed in the east direction are considered lucky since they bring good energy with sun rays inside the house.
A proper wind flow pattern should also be taken into account to avoid unnecessary discomfort to senior members.
To reiterate, Vastu Shastra is not a substitute for science. It follows the simple principles of nature. Our ancestors used this knowledge to build spirited spaces, which helped them attain emotional, physical and mental well-being. In ancient times, people would retire to the forest or religious places, away from their homes, to spend time in an environment that heightened their spiritual growth. It may not be possible to leave everything and move to the forest in the 21st century, but with the help of Vastu Shastra, one can create an environment that enables spiritual growth, good health and overall well-being wherever they may be!
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