Vaastu is an age old tradition, that literally translates to ‘system of architecture’. It has been serving as a guide to building and organising space at home. The practice is said to have it’s ground in practical and other scientific phenomena. Nevertheless, there have been quite a few dissenters along with staunch believers of this concept. Which brings us to the question, is Vaastu practical in our daily lives?
The concept lies in the broader knowledge of Vaastu Vidya, which gives the detailed diagrammatic layout, preparation, space arrangement and spatial geometry. Vaastu Shastra, what contemporary Indian people use is only concerned with managing the space ‘inside one’s home’. You might be interested to know that even temples are designed based on Vastu Shaastra. World Heritage Site, Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia also employs the circle and square grid architecture as prescribed in these texts. It is common to find elements of Vaastu in Buddhist texts as well.
There are challenges in terms of finding the right Vaastu compliant house, considering the existing constructions. It was after colonialism that a number of buildings were constructed based on other architectural sensibilities. Other aspects such as having a water fountain or rearranging structures are not exactly doable.
Many people subscribe to this concept owing to its practical applications in sunlight, ventilation and sometimes, earth’s magnetic field which is said to have an influence on the human body and mind. With respect to construction, East and North-East facing entrances are said to be auspicious owing to sunlight. Whereas, for internal space management, Vaastu prescribes having the master bedroom at the South-West corner of an East facing house. There are other aspects which has drawn in some scepticism, for example, a principle that dissuades one from having the Prayer room and bathroom adjacent to each other. It is rather impossible for everyone to have a Vaastu perfect home, however there are a couple of basic guidelines for lighting and cross ventilation that have visibly positive effect on the home. Bamboo plants are considered ideal plants for indoor, as they purify the air and, require lesser water and sunlight.
There have always been tips for better buildings and space management in homes. Feng Shui is a Chinese system of harmonising oneself with the surrounding elements in the house. The way forward is to take the best practices for comfort and utility.