About Vastu : Vastu is a science that traces its origins to ancient India and deals with buildings and architecture. This pure scientific method helps in identifying congenial settings and places for living and working. This is done through taking the advantage of benefits that nature provides through its energy field and elements thereby leading to enhancement of health, wealth, happiness and prosperity.
Vastu Shastra is the amalgamation of art, science, astrology and astronomy. This ancient science has spiritual roots and specializes in building and designing. Vastu Shastra supports individuals by improving their lives and securing them from things that can go wrong.
Vastu is a directional science combining the five elements within nature and balancing them with human beings and materials. Vastu Shastra helps in creating ideal settings for living or working using scientific methods to take advantage of benefits provided by five elements named “Paanchbhootas” of nature thus creating the path for enhancement of wealth, health, happiness and prosperity in an open environment.
Our sages and seers have been blessed with the knowledge of using these five elements of the universe and their unique influences and characteristics including gravitational effects, magnetic field and the likes of planet Earth, the various galaxies in the universe, the velocities and directions of winds, heat and light from the Sun considering effects of Infra-Red and Ultra-Violet rays, the intensity and volume of rainfall and many more. This knowledge is used for benefitting mankind by helping in the planning and construction of buildings for residential, entertainment, praying, educational, production, working and many other purposes. These scientific systems and methods have been evolved by sages in ancient India and kept confined till modern times named ‘Vastu Shastra’. The search of the sages is being researched in modern times for building its concepts.
All causes, subjects and objects pertaining to architecture revolve round man. He conceives and perceives architecture by relating to his self-experience with the surroundings. Through designing techniques, he changes and designs elements within the natural environment. Five essential elements, named ‘Paanchbhootas’ make up this world. They are Space, Earth, Air, Water and Fire. Of all nine planets of the Solar System, life is found only in this planet because of presence of all five elements here. Water and Earth are limited resources having localized availability to aid in the growth of human habitat. These become the fundamental choice factors in identifying the location for the habitat and also its structural form. Air, Space and Sun are available universally and are moulded through designing to suit human needs.
Let us take a look at each of these elements to identify their role, workability and meaning in architecture.
- Water (Jal): Water is available in two forms – Liquid and Gas. The liquid form gets represented by sea, river and rain whereas cloud and steam represent the gaseous form. This is a fundamental component in all animals and plants. Human body is essentially composed of water along with oxygen and hemoglobin. Presence of water is seen in all physical life and habitat. The basic shape and type of life has a strong dependency on the relationship between water and earth. A look at history reveals that all cultures had developed on banks of certain water bodies thereby reflecting the influence that water has on human life since ages.
- Earth (Bhumi): This is the third planet of the Solar System and has huge magnetic properties with its South and North poles serving as attraction centers. Its gravitational force and magnetic field has effects on every living as well as non-living form on the planet. It has a tilt of 23.5 degrees at its meridian. It is composed of flora, fauna, landscape, landform and land structure. Factors pertaining to availability and workability of construction materials in a location depend on the Earth. In India, Bhumi is worshipped giving it the same status as our mothers.
- Air (Vayu): The element of air is the most powerful source of life. Oxygen derived from pure air serves the human blood and body the best. The earth’s atmosphere extends around 400km and has the presence of Oxygen, Nitrogen, Helium, Carbon Dioxide, other gases, vapor, humidity and dust particles in different proportions. The degree of comfort that we physically experience depends directly on proper humidity, temperature and airflow of the air and also its pressure, composition and content. This is because air deals directly with the entire surface of our bodies through the skin and the blood system (via respiration). Air signifies movement also.
- Fire (Sun): The Sun represents light and heat absence of which can extinct life. Heat and light influences all nights and days, seasons, enthusiasm, energy, vigor and passion. Natural process under a temperate sun brings out the best in our minds. The best temperature is around 24 degrees. Different zones having distinct climate differences have their own architecture and culture. The Sun plays a significant role in developing visible qualities pertaining to architecture relating to colors, textures and most importantly, vitality expressions.
- Space (Aakash): The above elements work together as skilled engineers to help create emotionally pleasant, physically comfortable, intellectually determinant as well as fully vibrant and satisfying spaces to house human beings. It encompasses huge regions that is not only restricted to the solar system but encompasses the whole galaxy. Its forces that have an effect on us include heat, light, gravity, magnetic field among others.
Most ideal habitats, architecture, life and culture have shown preference towards those areas where these five elements are available abundantly. This is because human evolution and growth has a significant relationship with them. Hence, the effects of these five elements of nature have to be used in proper designing of buildings in order to significantly improve the quality of human life.