Home is our abode of love where we expect to enjoy the fruits of our labour. We expect to enjoy our peace & happiness, progress & prosperity, health & wealth and faith & spiritual development from our home. If its surroundings and construction are poor and the atmosphere eerie, we can neither be happy nor healthy. Hence to ensure that the house is built properly, in modern times we take the help of the professionals who can build a good house with a solid foundation, strong walls, a proper structural balance with the right weight and pressure distribution, proper plumbing, electricity, air light etc. This branch of modern knowledge is called architecture, or civil engineering.
The ancient seers of India knew not only the above, but quite a few other things beyond. Hence their house building principles included: the North-South flow of magnetic forces: the East-West earth motion and Solar energy forces: and with Divine Spiritual Perception, they also knew the various Deities who rule the different sections of the house and based on the Nature of the Deities, what type of room/function is ideal in that part of the house. This branch of ancient Indian knowledge is called Vastu Shastra, or Vastu Shilpa shastra, or Vastu Nirmana shastra. It was employed to build not just houses but to plan and build entire towns and cities and temples.
Vastu shastra makes the optimised ideal use of the magnetic, solar & spiritual forces and the five basic elements – Earth, Fire, Water, Air & Space. The principles are based on very practical reasons. For example if the East side boundary wall is too high one will not get enough sunlight.
According to vastu shastra, the world comprises five basic elements known as the pancha maha bhoota. Out of the nine planets, ours has life because of the presence and balance of these five elements. The five elements are as follows.
EARTH (Bhumi) – Earth, the third planet in order from the sun, is a big magnet with North and South poles as centers of attractions. Its magnetic field and gravitational force has considerable effects on everything on the Earth, living and non-living.
WATER (Jal) – This is represented by rain, river, sea and is in the form of liquid, solid (ice) and gas (steam, cloud). It forms part of every plant and animal. Our blood is mostly water.
AIR (Vayu) – As a life supporting element, air is a very powerful life source. Human physical comfort values are directly and sensitively dependent on correct humidity, air flow, temperature of air, air pressure, air composition and its content.
FIRE (Agni) – Represents light and heat which account for day, night, the seasons, energy, enthusiasm, passion and vigour.
SPACE (Akasha) – The Akasha provides shelter to all the above elements. It is also considered the primary conductor of all energy sources within the universal context – physical energies such as sound and light, social energies such as psychological and emotional, and cognitive energies such as intellect and intuition.
There is an invisible and constant relation between all the five elements. Thus, the person can improve their conditions by properly designing their buildings by understanding the effectiveness of these five natural forces. Vastu Shastra combines all the five elements of nature and balances them with the person and the material. It takes advantage of the benefits bestowed by the five elements of nature to create a congenial living and working environment thereby facilitating spiritual well-being and paving the way for enhanced health, wealth, prosperity and happiness.