Vastu Shastra ("science of construction", "architecture") is an ancient doctrine which consists of precepts born out of a traditional view on how the laws of nature affect human dwellings. The designs are based on directional alignments. It used to be applied in Hindu architecture, especially for Hindu temples, and covers other domains, including vehicles, vessels, furniture, sculpture, paintings etc. The foundation of Vastu is traditionally ascribed to the sage Maamuni Mayan, and Vishvakarman. It is believed that Vastu shastra is almost 10,000 - 12,000 years old science.
Vastu works to establish harmony between body, mind and universe by creating living spaces that are similarly attuned with the cosmic balance and are orientated according to the movement of the sun and moon, the electromagnetic field of the earth, the five elements and the astrological influence of the planets. When alignment is achieved, the living space echoes the basic structure of the universe, and prana (the energy sustaining all living beings) flows freely through the living space, bringing health, happiness, peace and well-being to its inhabitants.
According to Vastu Shastra, the world comprises of five basic elements known as the “Pancha Mahabhuta”. Out of the eight planets, ours has life because of the presence and balance of these five elements. The five elements are as follows.
South West zone represents the energy associated with Earth element. 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.
North East zone represents the energy associated with Water element. 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.
North West zone represents the energy associated with Air element. 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.
South East zone represents the energy associated with Fire element. Represents light and heat which account for day, night, the seasons, energy, enthusiasm, passion and vigor.
Centre represents the energy associated with Space element. The Space 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.