Friday, July 15, 2005

Indian Feng Shui (Made Simple)

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You have heard about it before …it is similar to Chinese’s art of feng shui. It is called Vaastu (Sastra). Vaastu dates back to the times when the sages lived - probably 6,000 - 3,000 BC.

How Vaastu works

Vaastu works on three principles of design that cover the entire premise:-

1) The first one is Bhogadyam, which says that the designed premise must be useful and lend itself to easy application

2) The second is Sukha Darsham, in which the designed premise must be aesthetically pleasing. The proportions of the spaces and the material used, in the interiors and exteriors of the building - ornamentation, colour, sizes of the windows, doors and the rooms and the rhythms of projection and depressions - should be beautiful

3) The third principle is Ramya, where the designed premise should evoke a feeling of well being in the user.

Other rules

There are certain rules that should be followed while building a house or a building. For instance, the building's underground water tank or well should be situated in the northeast direction. But, if the building has an overhead tank then it should be placed in the southwest direction. Also, more space should be left to the north and the east of the building compound and less on the south and the west. Open space should be kept around the building and if the plot has a road on the east-north directions, it is better for the inhabitants.

In the kitchen, the platform should be placed in the east with the cooking stove on the right hand side and the sink and the water on the left. The permanent or the heavy items should be kept in the south and southwest side of the building and so with equipments like TV, radio or any other entertainment device. Sleeping in the right direction is also an important factor in Vaastu; the head should be in the east or the south directions.

Vaastu Shastra, in addition, also says what kinds of plants and trees are good for the family residing in the building.

It is believed that if a house is built on these few rules, then that particular house will never face serious health and money problems and the family members will live in harmony.

Differences with Chinese Feng Shui

Even if Vaastu and Feng Shui both mean to harmonise you with your surroundings, they have totally different philosophies. It is very difficult to say which is better, but the fact is that both are encompassed in the blanket of misconceptions. People believe that Feng Shui means changing everything that they had done around their homes earlier. But it is not true. In fact, the real masters say that if you have been having a satisfactory life in the terms of health, wealth and relationships, your house is utilising all the energies properly, so do not disturb it. Also, they warn against generalising of the good and the bad directions, as these directions vary from house to house and person to person. Therefore following these directions and putting up cures, especially the water ones, can do more harm than good as water is a very strong cure and is quick in showing both good and bad effects. And lastly, laughing buddhas, fortune bamboos, wind chimes and a few other Feng Shui items are not necessary. A good Feng Shui master will tell you affordable and simple alternatives that are very much Indian and pleasing to the eye. So if you believe that an idol of Goddess Lakshmi represents wealth, you install it in your wealth corner and not the three-legged toad.

For more reading, look here

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* My “Feng Shui” thing in my car (suppose "harmonise" the interior) which I took out after couple of months. It keeps hitting the windscreen whenever I slam my brakes or doing the “fast & furious like” acceleration