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Vaastu Shastra: The Science of Architecture

Updated: Sep 12, 2023

The art and science of designing spaces, called “Architecture” have always been an integral part of humanity’s progress and development. No culture is untouched by the beauty of architecture and its evolution along with civilization. Structures and buildings that seem like wonder to our eyes today date back to several centuries! The modern architects can never cease to be surprised by the beautiful and enduring architectural miracles that stand tall in different cultures, be it the magnificent Taj Mahal or the Leaning Pisa Tower. 

Designing spaces in today’s world is more than just planning the placement of structures and columns to facilitate longer durability. It goes way beyond that where architects look at ideas and inspirations to design spaces that focus on the overall well-being of the people who live in the spaces. One such biggest source of inspiration for modern architects from across the world is the Vaastu Shastra, an ancient Indian science that lays principles and guidelines for planning and designing spaces, laying the foundation of mindful architecture that fits the best interests of the people living in. 

Your space defines your lifestyle and ultimately the innate you, and hence you should leave no stone unturned in planning your spaces mindfully that brings out the best in you. Vaastu Shastra is primarily aimed at creating congenial and comfortable living conditions, taking in a more holistic picture into account. Modern architects across the world are turning towards Vaastu Shastra as a guiding science to layout the architecture plan of buildings. Furthermore, the interior designers too are using Vaastu Shastra to effectively manage the interior spaces in the most optimal ways. 

The Foundation Principles of Vaastu Shastra

Understanding the key foundation principles on which Vaastu Shastra is based is important before knowing its applications. Ancient Indian sages like Rishi Kashyap, Maya, Agastya, and others have written various books on this science and the founding principles laid out in their books are the following: 

  1. Man is a cosmic being who must live in harmony with the other cosmic elements of the universe.

  2. The five basic elements of nature which are Vaayu (Air), Jal (Water), Agni (Fire), Ambar (Ether or Sky) and Prithvi (Earth) which are the natural forces that have a direct impact on our living. The harmonious flow of these natural cosmic forces in any space is essential for ensuring the holistic well-being of the occupants. The lives of the occupants can get out of balance when the synchrony amongst such forces is tampered or disturbed.

These are the two guiding principles on which the application of Vaastu Shastra is based upon. The following is a brief overview on how Vaastu Shastra has been or can be utilized by interior designers or architects in the light of modern day architecture.

Vaastu Shastra and Directions…

Vaastu Shastra is majorly influenced by the sunrise and the sunset, governing the eight directions, each covering a 35-degree area of space. These directions define what parts of houses are best planned in what directions, keeping in mind the holistic overall well-being of the residents. 

  1. The main entrance of the home must face eastern side. Any construction that concerns the main entrance area like the veranda, garden, store-house, water-fountain etc must be planned on the eastern front of the house.

  2. The central segment of the house which is called as “Brahmastan” is best kept lightly occupied or vacant. In modern day architecture, this is the central part of the living room area which is generally the carpet area surrounded by sofas or seating furniture around. Home interior decoration items like large mirrors, comfy seatings like bean bags and the various throw pillows etc must be planned around the main sofa or recliner sets instead of being randomly tossed around the carpet area.

  3. The South-East corner of the home is the best place to plan the kitchen. It must also be planned at a higher level, meaning it is recommended to have large compartments and drawers for storing cooking utensils, groceries and more. Interesting and trendy kitchen home interior decoration items like antique copper finish utensils can be hung around to add more character to the space, and to guide new users to the utensil storing section of the kitchen.

  4. Work area of the home should best be planned on the South-West side. In modern day contexts, this means that study rooms for children and home-office sections of your home must be planned in the South-West, ensuring enough ventilation and just enough sunlight.

  5. The Master bedroom of the house should face the Southern direction with the attached bathroom occupying the South-West direction. Since the Master bedroom is the place where the head of the family and the spouse reside in, it should be planned as a resting and recreational place, with enough natural sunlight and air passing through.

  6. The Dining Room must occupy the Western end of the home, facilitating an easier movement of food from the kitchen to the dining room with less barriers in between.

  7. The Pooja room or the place of worship must be planned in the North-Eastern direction. Additionally, the idol of God, photographs of Gods and Goddesses, and any home interior decoration items concerning the worship must be placed in the West or North directions. Rest of the place must be left vacant or lightly occupied, allowing the person worshipping to feel comfortable while being seated for prayers.

Vaastu Shastra and colours…

The second most important factor to consider while applying Vaastu Shastra to modern architecture, after directions are the colors. The colors regulate the thinking patterns and the overall emotional state of the residents and thus it is a defining factor to consider before planning your space. 

  1. The color white represents peace, grace, and purity. It shows a sense of expansion and thus is most suitable to be used in the living room and to paint the ceilings of all the rooms. Additionally, home interior decoration items follow any theme from the modern and minimalistic styles to the retro and wooden styles or the antique and metal-finish styles, the color white acts as the best neutral palette that will highlight and draw attention to any piece of home interior decoration items. 

  2. The color Blue signifies the depth of emotions, inspiration, devotion, new beginnings, and the truth. It is most suitable to be used in the bedroom and the guest rooms to ensure peace of mind. 

  3. The color Green represents prosperity, hope and offers a harmonious and positive ambiance, making it best suitable for study rooms or home-offices. Different shades of greens can be mixed and used to create a beautiful palette of patterns. Additionally, home interior decoration items like indoor plants, rich in green color can be used in study or workrooms. 

  4. The color Orange represents power, spirituality, optimism, health, and happiness. Orange is a color that is appropriate to be used in any room of the house according to Vaastu Shastra. 

  5. The color Purple signifies royalty, trust, richness, and gratitude. Light shades of purple can be used in the living room or any area where members of the house gather around to create an uplifting mood and ambiance. Several home interior decoration items sync well with the various hues of purples and can best be used to create peppy and perky spaces at home. 

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