Finer details of VASTU


In Indian architecture, the dwelling is itself a shrine. A home is called manushyalaya, literally, “human temple”. It is not merely a shelter for human beings in which to rest and eat. The concept behind house design is the same as for temple design, so sacred and spiritual are the two spaces. The “open courtyard” system of house design was the national pattern in India before Western models were introduced. The order introduced into the “built space” accounts for the creation of spiritual ambiance required for the indweller to enjoy spiritual well-being and material welfare and prosperity. At right is a typical layout of a square building, with a grid of 9×9=81 squares, meant for family persons (for scientists, artists and yogi a grid of 8×8=64 is prescribed). The space occupied by the central 3×3=9 squares is called Brahmasthanam, meaning the “nuclear energy field”. It should be kept unbuilt and open to the sky so as to have contact with the outer space (akasha). This central courtyard is likened to the lungs of the human body. It is not for living purposes. Religious and cultural events can be held here–such as yajna (fire rituals), music and dance performances and marriage. The row of squares surrounding the Brahmasthanam is the walkway. The corner spaces, occupying 2×2=4 squares, are rooms with specific purposes. The northeast quarter is called Isana, the southeast Agni, the southwest Niruthi and northwest Vayu. These are said to possess the qualities of four respective devatas or gods–Isa, Agni, Niruthi and Vayu. Accordingly–with due respect to ecological friendliness with the subtle forces of the spirit—those spaces (quarters) are assigned as follows: northeast for the home shrine, southeast for the kitchen, southwest for the master bedroom and northwest for the storage of grains. The spaces lying between the corner zones, measuring 2×5=10 squares, are those of the north, east, south and west. They are meant for multi purposes

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