Vastu Shastra (“science of construction”, “architecture”) is a traditional Hindu system of design based on directional alignments. It is primarily applied in Hindu architecture, especially for Hindu temples, although it covers other applications, including poetry, dance, sculpture, etc. The foundation of Vastu is traditionally ascribed to the mythical sage Mamuni Mayan.
While the fields are related, Shilpa Shastra explicitly deal with sculpture – forming statues , icons, stone murals etc. Vastu Shastra are concerned primarily with building architecture – building houses, forts, temples, apartments etc.
The Sanskrit word vastu means “any really existing or abiding substance or essence, thing, object, article”, and also “goods, wealth, property”. The vrddhi, vastu takes the meaning of “the site or foundation of a house, site, ground, building or dwelling-place, habitation, homestead, house”. The underlying root is vas “to dwell, live, stay, abide”
The term shastra may loosely be translated as “science, doctrine, teaching”.
There are many principles in Vaastu Shastra. To mention a few which involve certain mathematical calculations, Maana is used for proportional relationships in a building and Aayaadi specifies conditions for maximum well being and benefits for the residents of a building. Below are some of the basic theories in vaastu sastra.
The introduction of the idea that Vaastu Shastra is concerned with building architecture should immediately disqualify the idea that it is some form of Indian feng shui. Anyone who makes a study of the authentic vaastu shastras will see that there is no similarity to feng shui or geomancy. It is a science related to the building arts and not to placing yantras, crystals or moving furniture. Modern so called vaastu consultants take a weekend workshop and expect to understand something that takes more than ten years to learn traditionally. In the western world for example, there are many fly by night weekend workshop that claim to teach “vastu” however the only traditional form is taught at The American University of Mayonic Science and Technology, which is Indian based but teaches in the US on invitation.  Five elements
According to vastu sastra, the world comprises five basic elements known as the pancha maha bhoota. Out of the eight planets, ours has life because of the presence and balance of these five elements. The five elements are as follows.
EARTH (Bhumi) – 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.
WATER (Jala) – 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.
AIR (Vayu) – 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.
FIRE (Agni) – Represents light and heat which account for day, night, the seasons, energy, enthusiasm, passion and vigour.
SPACE (Akasha) – The akasha 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. Vaastu sastra 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.
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