Vastu Shastra, often referred to simply as Vastu, is an ancient Indian architectural and design system that dates back thousands of years. Its history is deeply rooted in the cultural and philosophical traditions of India.
This ancient Indian architectural science seeks to align the energies of our living spaces with celestial forces. It is all about energy and living in harmony with our natural environment. Through particular placement and design, Vastu Shastra offers the promise of a more balanced and harmonious living.
A Glimpse into the Origin of the Ancient Wisdom of Vastu Shastra
The origin of Vastu Shastra dates back to Vedic times in ancient India. It is thought to have been comprehensively outlined in the Sthapatya Veda, a part of the Atharva Veda. It came about as an approach of knowledge incorporating the connection between man and buildings (architecture).
You can also read about the flowers mentioned in the Vedas and their symbolism to know more about the plants and flowers mentioned in these ancient sacred texts and their symbolism.
Very early references to architectural principles and the importance of spatial orientation can be found in the Rig Veda, which is one of the oldest Vedic texts. These texts emphasized the significance of designing and constructing buildings in harmony with nature and the cosmos.
In about 1000 BCE - 500 CE, the principles of Vastu Shastra began to take more concrete form in ancient Indian texts like the Ramayana, and the Mahabharata. These texts provided guidelines for the planning and construction of various types of buildings, including homes, temples, and palaces, underscoring the importance of proper orientation, proportions, and materials in architecture.
Later, one of the significant developments in Vastu Shastra known as Vastu Purusha Mandala emerged. This sacred diagram symbolizes the cosmic man lying on the ground with his head in the northeast and his feet in the southwest. The Vastu Purusha Mandala is the foundation of many Vastu principles, defining the layout and orientation of structures.
Then Vastu Shastra evolved into a more structured discipline, as it became part of the Shilpa Shastras, a group of ancient texts that covered various artistic and technical fields. These texts provided detailed instructions on architectural design, sculpture, and iconography.
The Kashyapa Shilpa, attributed to the sage Kashyapa, is considered one of the foundational texts of Vastu Shastra. It expounded on architectural principles, including the planning and construction of temples, and described various rituals associated with architectural practices.
During the medieval and post-medieval eras, Vastu Shastra continued to influence architecture in India. It played a significant role in the design of temples, forts, and palaces. The Vijayanagara Empire, in particular, was known for its adherence to Vastu principles in the construction of its monumental structures.
Later during the British colonial rule in India, traditional Vastu principles saw a decline in popularity as Western architectural styles gained prominence. However, there has been a revival of interest in Vastu Shastra in modern times, both in India and among the Indian diaspora. Many architects and homeowners today incorporate Vastu principles into the design and construction of buildings.
In the contemporary world, this concept continues to guide architectural, and interior design in India and among those who value its holistic approach to creating harmonious living spaces. While some aspects may have evolved to adapt to contemporary needs and preferences, the core principles of Vastu Shastra remain influential in the design and construction of homes, temples, offices, and other structures.
The Essence of Vastu Shastra
In its literal sense, Vastu Shastra translates to ‘science of architecture’ and it is a holistic approach to creating living spaces that resonate with the universal energy known as ‘prana.’ The term ‘Vastu’ originates from Sanskrit and translates to ‘dwelling’ or ‘habitat,’ while ‘Shastra’ means ‘science’ or ‘knowledge.’
Altogether, Vastu Shastra is the science of creating harmonious environments and architectures that enhance the well-being and fortune of those who inhabit them. This ancient science emphasizes the interplay between the five elements: Prithvi (earth), Jal (water), Agni (fire), Vayu (air), and Aakash (space).
It also follows certain principles including using bright and uplifting colors in the home, keeping the center of the home clutter-free, and displaying lucky artworks.
By aligning these elements harmoniously within a structure, Vastu Shastra seeks to harness their energies to the benefit of the occupants. The primary aim is to create a nurturing and balanced environment where positivity and abundance can flourish.
According to the concept, every dwelling place receives some quantity of cosmic energy. These energies could be either good or bad and influence the well-being of the home’s occupants.
The Potential Benefits of Vastu Shastra
Deploying Vastu Shastra in your home is believed to offer a myriad of benefits. Vastu-compliant homes are designed to attract and retain wealth. Proper placement of elements, furniture, and even plants can positively influence financial stability and abundance. The science of Vastu also emphasizes creating a healthy living space. By optimizing the flow of positive energy and air circulation, it can contribute to better physical and mental health.
Generally, it aims to create a harmonious and positive atmosphere in your home, which can lead to overall well-being and happiness.
Similarly, balanced Vastu can foster harmony in personal relationships. By ensuring that the energy in your home supports emotional well-being, you can strengthen bonds with loved ones. In the workplace, aligning your workstation with Vastu principles is believed to enhance productivity and pave the way for career success.
Seven Lucky Plants for Your Home According to Vastu Shastra
Plants play a vital role in this concept. They are considered not only as aesthetic additions but also as living sources of energy that can influence the aura of your home. Here are seven plants that Vastu Shastra regards as auspicious and fortunate.
Tulsi (Holy Basil)
In an ideal Vashu arrangement, the Tulsi plant should ideally be situated in the north, east, or northeast direction of your home.
Tulsi is revered as a sacred plant in Hinduism. It is believed to purify the surrounding air and dispel negative energies. Additionally, it is known for its medicinal properties and is said to promote good health and prosperity.
Money Tree plant
The Money tree plant (Pachira aquatica) with its distinct braided trunk and lush green foliage, is said to resemble a miniature tree of abundance. According to Vastu Shastra, placing the money tree in specific areas within your home or workplace can stimulate positive energy flow and attract financial growth.
Believed to attract wealth, abundance, and good fortune, the Money tree has become a popular choice for those seeking to enhance their financial prosperity while incorporating Vastu principles into their living spaces. The southeast corner, known as the wealth zone, is considered the ideal location for the plant as it is believed that this placement aligns with the element of fire, which symbolizes wealth and success in Vastu Shastra.
Bamboo plants are considered symbols of luck in this concept and they are best placed in the east, southeast, or south directions.
A symbol of fortune among many cultures, bamboo is said to bring growth, success, and harmony to the home, making it an excellent choice for those seeking prosperity.
Neem trees are ideally planted in the north, east, or northeast direction of the home in this architectural concept.
This plant is renowned for its medicinal and purifying properties. It is believed to ward off negative energies, promote physical health, and cleanse the environment.
Aloe vera plants are recommended in the north or northeast direction. This plant is not only a fantastic natural healer for various skin conditions but is also known for its ability to absorb negative energies. It is believed to bring positive vibes and good fortune to the home.
Lucky bamboo plants are versatile and can be placed in any direction, but they are often positioned in the east or southeast.
Besides its attractive appearance, lucky bamboo is considered a harmonizing plant. It is believed to promote balance, peace, and growth in all aspects of life.
Jasmine plants are typically placed in the west or north directions. This plant is known for its flowers that have sweet and romantic fragrance, which is believed to invite love and positivity into the home. It can nurture emotional well-being and strengthen relationships.
The Role of These Plants in Vastu Shastra
Each of these lucky plants plays a specific role in enhancing the Vastu-compliant environment. Vastu Shastra places a significant emphasis on balancing the energies within a space with plants like Tulsi, bamboo, and Lucky bamboo helping harmonize these energies and creating a sense of equilibrium in your home. Aloe vera and Neem are believed to absorb negative energies, purifying the environment and fostering a positive atmosphere.
Money plants and bamboo are symbols of prosperity and growth, making them ideal choices for those seeking financial well-being, while jasmine, with its romantic fragrance, is thought to promote love and strengthen bonds in personal relationships.
Plants' Placement for Maximum Benefits
To harness the full potential of these lucky plants, their placement in your home is crucial. Therefore, heed Vastu guidelines for plant placement based on the direction of your home. The north, east, and northeast directions are generally considered the most auspicious for most of these plants.
Also, ensure a balanced placement of these plants to create harmony and symmetry within your living space. Regularly care for your plants to keep them healthy and vibrant. Prune and nourish them to maintain their positive energy.
And with that, you’ll be sure to welcome fortune to your home!