Vastu Shastra is a logical Indian science that deals with the ancient tradition of architecture. It is the science of construction and the traditional Hindu architectural system where the emphasis is laid in the directional alignments. Vastu Shastra, as is practised presently, is based on the 125 verses contained in ‘Brihat Samhita’ of Varahamihira. This very point indicates the vital link between Jyotish and Vastu.
Hindu philosophy considers nature and God synonymous; hence, it becomes all the more significant to build a home according to the principles of Vastu Shastra so that man can exist harmoniously with nature. There are 2 main branches of Vastu Shastra: “Manav Shilpa Shastra” relating to construction of buildings and “Deva Shilpa Shastra” dealing with the principles of constructing temples etc.
Origin of Vastu Shastra
The origin of Vastu Shastra is steeped in legends. It is said that Lord Brahma was the first recipient of this knowledge from Lord Shiva as a part of the Vedas, just like He received the knowledge of ‘Jyotish’. And then the knowledge of Vatu Shastra was gradually spread through the munis, seers and sages of ancient India. However, traditionally the foundation of Vastu is ascribed to the mythical sage Mamuni Mayan.
Etymology of Vastu Shastra
The expression Vastu Shastra has its root in the Sanskrit term ‘Vastu’ which means any really existing or abiding substance or essence. In the context of this ancient science of architecture, ‘Vastu’ also mean the site or foundation of a house, site, ground, building or dwelling-place or habitation. The term ‘Shastra’ however means science, doctrine or teaching.
Principles of Vastu Shastra
Vastu Shastra follows the principle that postulates that in the world everything, substance, man and animals, are made from the ‘Panchabhuta’ that is the 5 basic elements: Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space. These 5 elements have close relationship with man and his environment. Nature has given them their proper place according to merit. Hence it is necessary that man, too, grant a proper place to these elements in the space where he resides.
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