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What is Vastu Shastra ?

Updated: Apr 4, 2022

Vastu Shastra is an ancient Indian science to build sustainable and beautiful spaces and to establish a connection between people and the building in which they live and work. A given area/land is divided into five sections based on the elements in nature (air, water, fire, earth and space). Vastu has its origin in Sthapatya Veda which is a part of Atharva Veda. The early principles were drafted according to the sun rays and their differing positions at different times of the day.

In ancient times, this science was only confined to the architects and was passed on either verbally or through hand-written monographs. The significance of Vastu Shastra is established by the fact that in earlier days, the architecture of temples and palaces was completely based on it. So, the existing temples from the past helps one learn the science of vastu. Vastu Shastra has also been mentioned in our ancient scriptures like the Mahabharata and the Ramayana as well. Some examples of vastu principles can be found in the architecture of the following places,

  • The architecture of the city of Ayodhya.

  • Tirupathi temple, Andhra Pradesh

  • Guruvayur temple, Kerala

  • The Setu bridge built by Lord Ram.

According to Indian mythology, Vastu is an Asur (Demon) who prayed to Bramhadev and got boons. His power grew to such an extent that he attacked the Devas (Gods) in an attempt to consume their energies. During the fight with Devas, Vastu was pushed back to Earth and he fell flat on his back with his legs pointing towards south-west and his head to the north-east. Bramhadev then asked the Gods to jump and sit on each organ of Vastu. Bramhadev himself sat in the middle of Vastu, and defeated Vastu. It is said that ‘The Vastu Purusha’ still lies in the same position with his hands resting on his chest. The formation in which the Devas sat on Vastu was used to draft a grid diagram, which helps Vastu experts to decide favourable directions.

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