We’re not entirely unaware of the term vastu shastra, which is a traditional Hindu system of architecture that determines how certain buildings and rooms should be built. In fact, the system is centuries old and has been mentioned in ancient Hindu scriptures. In those times, architects were called vastukars in Hindi because vastu was an essential part of any building design. But of course, with time, modern architecture took over and many of these philosophies were left behind. However, some people in modern India believe in it and insist that their homes be built accordingly. The big question is: is vastu for real, or is it just another passing fad?
As vastu has re-emerged as a trend in architectural design in India, it is also an educational course and millennials are showing interest in it, especially the architects and the interior designers. As Saurabh Gupta, a 32-year-old Gurugram architect puts it, “Vastu is an added advantage that we can offer to our clients. People today insist on making their house designs as per these principles.”
Two sides of the same coin
Vastu also attracted many scientists and modern thinkers. They were seeking a validation for the theories of vastu and thus, two schools of thoughts emerged, rather, two types of vastu practitioners–the ones who follow the astrological side and others who follow the scientific side. (Also read: Simplify Life, Be A Minimalist)
We got to hear from Dr Rahul Mehra, a young scientific vastu expert having big names like Reliance, Birla group and the Uppal group among his clientele. He says, “My ideology is based on achieving green building status. Vastu was created with an aim to make healthy buildings and thereby healthy beings. My approach is scientific. I use modern techniques and gadgets for applying vastu in my projects.”
On the other hand, Mr Anil Kapoor, who has been advising big businessmen and industrialists, believes in the astrological side. He says, “Vastu is an ancient art. It is based on the movement of planets as well as the laws of nature. I recommend it for any person according to his kundli (a natal chart in Hindu astrology) as well as the directions of the house.” (Also read: 5 Life Lessons To Learn From Buddhism)
Same principle, different approach
Both these scholars in their respective fields are doing really well. When asked for a vastu solution, they both had same answers but different reasonings. As per Mr Kapoor, “Vastu works in ways more explained through planetary positions. And I generally suggest upaays (remedies) for things that can’t be altered.”
Dr Mehra however, involves a lot of scientifically proven gadgets and objects in his vastu practice, e.g. Pyramids, Lecher antenna, Colours, aromas and even music.
When asked about ‘which entrance is the best according to vastu for any home,’ they both had almost similar answers but with different reasonings. On one hand, astrological vastu talks about gods and goddesses associated with directions, while on the other hand, scientific vastu validates it with the principles of nature. ‘North-east/East’ as they both agreed is the best entrance option for any residence, though other directions can also be considered with some remedies involved.
Take your pick
While a scientific vastu expert associates misfortunes of a house with negative energies of the earth and cures them using modern equipment, an astrological specialist will list some pujas to be done for grah shudhi (purification of the home). As Mr Kapoor puts it, “Many pandits today claim to be knowledgeable about vastu. And this hurts me, as people start considering vastu as a money-making business and disbelieve those who actually know about vastu.”
Dr Mehra has regards for both ideologies as he explains, “Scientific vastu is a clear cut fact-based study of nature in context with building and its occupants. Astrological vastu is a more customised understanding of life in a habitat.” He adds, “Scientific vastu is not just about aligning the building and occupants with the laws of nature. It is also about how the subject (mind) perceives the object (the matter, the building etc.) People think vastu is about placing products whereby the reality is that it is about aligning the body and the mind in context to unlimited natural energies.”
Well, both the ideologies are meant to serve the purpose. What is required is to be cautious and not harm nature while constructing your house. Both negative and positive energies exist and with time, they have been scientifically linked with cosmic energies. All directions (north, south, east, west) have an inclination and are symbolic of a certain energy. Thus, the presence of energies is for real and we optimise them to benefit our homes by following the simple rules of vastu.
No matter which approach you choose to believe in (the scientific one or the astrological one) the fact is that vastu is not just a fad. Would you use the principles of vastu to design your home? Tell us in the comments below.
Image Credit: Nikhil Mudaliar