Bharathiya Shilpa Vyavastha : Part 6

Vaastu for living (Continued)

House planning was done according to the locality (Farm or Garden or Village or Town or City): Depending on where the house is being built, the design of the house would change. 

Few regional and community variations were also introduced in the design and architecture of the houses: As Bhasha – Language, Bhusha – Garments, Bhojan – Cuisine and Bhavan – House design would change every 50 kms in Bharat, there were regional variations. The artisans had their own timings for work, storage of raw material and finished goods, workshop etc. and these would change for every artisan. The design of the house for various artisanal communities would change accordingly.  

Directional Vaastu as it is practised today: The so-called modern “Vaastu Consultants” don’t consider any of the above and only go by the directional principles. Like South-East for Kitchen, North-East for Puja Room or entrance, South-West for “Master Bed-Room” (This principle was not at all there, when Vaastu Shastras were written and being properly practised!!), North-West for toilet-bathroom (again toilets and bathrooms inside the house did not exist in Bharata) and central area to be left free etc. These are only the directional principles. These directional principles changed according to the region (Janapada). They are different for north of Vindhyas, south of Vindhyas, on the western ghats, below the western ghats, on the east coast, on the west coast, at the foot of the Himalayas and in the north eastern states.

In the original practice of Vaastu, it is after considering all the other aspects, that ‘Directional Vaastu’ was applied. These directional principles were applicable, but regionally they varied. Unfortunately, in today’s day and age, the stress on directional principles has taken predominance. The house designs are almost the same cuboid shaped or matchbox shaped. I also keep telling the fact that the present day Vaastu has become close to resembling a superstition (well almost so!). As it just considers that if the Puja Room is not situated in the north east, then _______ will happen or if the Kitchen isn’t in the south east corner, then the house will have a cold vibe etc. And some people have started inventing new terminologies as “Subtle Energies” and “Divine or Demonic Influences” – Sookshma Shakti, Daivee Shakti or Asuree Shakti. Whereas, the Primary or Basic purpose of the ‘Directional Principles’ was to allow proper ventilation and sunlight into the house and also see that the monsoons don’t harm the house. We must understand that many regions in Bharata have 3 months of rain and some regions have up to 5 months of rain in a year.

Also, as per the original Vaastu principles, there are a minimum of 10 different types of houses which are built and then there are regional variations in these. Further to this, there are variations in the houses according to the profession they practice (Jaati). For example, the house of a potter will be different in design to a house of a carpenter. If these variations are considered; we have a few hundred thousand designs of houses! Compare that to the modern-day designs that rarely go beyond specifying the number of bedrooms … a “2BHK” or a “3BHK” etc…!

Shastras on Vaastu: Texts on Civil engineering, Architecture, Structural Engineering, various texts and their specialisations are usually classified as Vaasthu Shastra giving a wrong understanding that they are not many, but one. Contrary to this understanding, out of the above 200 manuscripts, more than 80 are exclusively on Civil Engineering, Architecture, Structural Engineering and Construction Technology. The texts which deal with these subjects are collectively known as “Vaastu Shastras” I would like to call them as “Shastras on Vaastu”. These texts deal with all aspects of construction including Site Selection, Drawing the Site Plan, Selection of Raw Material, Structural Engineering, Plan Execution to finishing and some of them even discuss the post construction processes like Vaastu Shanti/Homa, Maintenance etc.

I have listed below some of the Shastras which I have come to know of. After the listing, I will be discussing the knowledge and information from these Shastras and also some of the practical aspects that I have noted from some of the ‘Shilpis’ that I met during my travels across Bharat in a future blog. Most of the technicalities are discussed in the Shastras but some of them are only available in Sutra form and the implementation of these aspects is based on local practices.

The following are a few texts which deal with the Vaastu Shastra for living. 

  1. Manasara
  2. Mayamata
  3. Brihath Samhita
  4. Anka Shastra
  5. Aparajita Vaastu Shastra
  6. Armadi Prathishta Paddhathi
  7. Kaashapiya
  8. Kshetra Nirmana Vidhi
  9. Gargya Samhita
  10. Griha Peetika
  11. Gattotsarga Suchanika
  12. Jnana Ratna Kosha
  13. Vaastu Sarani
  14. Devalaya Lakshana
  15. Dhruvadi Shodasha Gehani
  16. Nava Shastra
  17. Agni Purana
  18. Maya Sangraha
  19. Prasadi Lakshana
  20. Tachchu Shastra
  21. Manushalaya Lakshanam
  22. Manushalaya Chandrika
  23. Chaka Shastra
  24. Mantra Deepika
  25. Manasollasa
  26. Raja Griha Nirmana
  27. Rupa Mandana
  28. Vishwakarma Prakasha
  29. Samaranjana Sutradhara
  30. Vimana Lakshana
  31. Vaastu Vidya
  32. Vaastu Purusha Lakshana
  33. Vaastu Nirnaya
  34. Vaastu Sarvasva

One can see how vast and deep this subject is and why it needs more detailed handling!

(To be Continued)






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