Vāstu is the body of Vedic teachings on space and form. That might sound abstract at first glance, But, as you will see, it soon becomes both specific and important. Vāstu describes the effects of spaces on people who regularly use them.
Shaping of living space
The roof over your head gives you protection. Without the floor under your feet, you would fall. These are two examples that vividly illustrate how spatial environments impact our lives. The teachings of Vāstu provide us with knowledge that we can use to design living spaces in a way that is conducive to our ambitions and objectives. We cannot live in a space that has no roof and no floor. We do not need Vāstu to tell us that. But what Vāstu has to offer is a subtle understanding of space and form. Knowledge that is inherent in every roof and floor but is not immediately obvious. How do different flooring materials and roof shapes change our thoughts and actions? Yes, you read that correctly. Vāstu is about the ways in which we unconsciously and quite naturally react to space and form. How our perceptions and thus our thoughts and actions change, in accordance with our living spaces.
The many rules and principles of Vāstu are brought together in the Vedic tradition, in a specific discipline known as Vāstu Shāstra. Shāstra is a Sanskrit word meaning bundle.
The teachings of Vāstu
Raum und Form
Each of us has favourite places, which allow us to relax or give us strength. They might be a mountain range, a lagoon or a particular room in our home. What these places have in common is not that they reflect our tastes or preferences but rather that they have good Vāstu, at least for the purposes of relaxation or “recharging our batteries”.
Vāstu means living space. Humanity’s living space is planet Earth. The seas which make our planet appear blue are not a suitable living environment for humans, but an excellent one for fish! The oceans thus have advantageous Vāstu for salt water fish and disadvantageous Vāstu for humans. Continents, countries, regions, landscapes and cities are all living spaces with good or less good Vāstu.
Vāstu is often reduced to a body of knowledge relating to living spaces, i.e. residential land and buildings, but this definition does not do it justice. Our living spaces also include the immediate neighbourhood, our workplaces, allotments, weekend cottages etc. In principle, any form, great or small, is a kind of Vāstu. A vase or a skyscraper. Whether the subtle influences that arise from the form and substance of the vase or the skyscraper constitute good or bad Vāstu depends on the objects’ purpose. What might be suitable for a supermarket is probably not right for a residential building.
What can we conclude from this? Anything that has form is also Vāstu. Vāstu can be positive or negative, depending on the purpose. A “Vāstu house” is not a rarity, because in fact every house is a Vāstu house. The question is whether the Vāstu is favourable to the building’s purpose. This can be determined by a Vāstu analysis.
...or what Vāstu is not
For many people Vedic architecture is a modern term for a form of architecture that respects and integrates Vāstu principles, in order to generate good Vāstu. For others it is a term applied to buildings dating from the Vedic Period. Vāstu architecture and Indian architecture are two other, well-meaning but misleading concepts. We already know that Vāstu means living space, and there is no architecture outside living spaces. Vāstu is a universal teaching that uses subtle forces in order to optimise living space for a particular purpose. Vāstu as a teaching is not limited to a culture, a country or a religion and can be learnt and used by anyone, any architect and applied anywhere. The aim of Vāstu Shāstra remains to generate good Vāstu.
Would you like finally to be able to live your life to the full, or to make realistic plans and decisions with a view to the future? But all you ever find is "information" and "tips" instead of real answers and solutions.
If so, we should talk. Most of my clients say that a consultation not only allows them to cut through the inessentials and get to the crux of the matter but also to see with crystal clarity what they need to do.
The principles of Vāstu
Light is crucial
So now we know that Vāstu Shāstra analyses and uses the subtle effects of space and form on our lives. The principles that Vāstu uses in this process can be derived from two decisive factors: light and mass. Vāstu Shāstra uses the path of the sun, the points of the compass, the five elements, the three Gunas (qualities), the planets, various deities and much more to define and illustrate the effects of light and mass.
Light and mass
Light and mass are closely interconnected. The more mass a form has, the less transparent it is to light. Depending on mass, light is either absorbed or reflected. The physical natural vibrations of a form are thus correspondingly greater or less. We humans also have natural vibrations, which can resonate with the vibrations of forms in our environment. It is this resonance that stimulates our perceptions, our thoughts and our actions. The classification and use of elements, Gunas, planets and other categories in Vāstu serve to define precisely the subtle vibrations of forms and thus spaces.
The path and position of the sun during the various seasons and in the course of a day produce a natural distribution of light in every location. The teachings of Vāstu include knowledge of the subtle effects of this natural distribution of light and shade. This knowledge is brought together in the principles of Vāstu. In accordance with the natural distribution of sunlight, the elements, Gunas, planets, divinities and much more besides are assigned to the points of the compass. A Vāstu Vedin, as Vāstu masters are called, is able to make use of this assignment and its importance, in order to analyse, define and optimise Vāstu (living space).
Some popular modern forms of spatial design, which falsely claim to be based on Vāstu, emphasise the role of the Jetstream (fast-flowing stratospheric air currents) and/or the Earth’s magnetic field in seeking to elucidate the principles of Vāstu. However interesting these factors may be, the traditional Vāstu principles are not based on these phenomena.
Vāstu Shāstra is firmly embedded in the Vedic tradition, whose different areas of knowledge and philosophies inform each other:
- Some Vāstu principles are also to be found in Hasta Sāmudrika (Vedic palmistry).
- The Vāstu philosophy is inspired by Sad-Darshana (six philosophical views)
- Jyotisha (astrology) is also an essential component of advanced Vāstu.
Good Vāstu in our living environment
Inspired and creative
One form of living space is our home. It is not a natural living space, but one that is created and shaped by us. Vāstu teachings enable us to design our home in a healthy and positive way. What are referred to as Vāstu bedrooms or living rooms or gardens are examples of the targeted use of Vāstu principles, which have been outlined above. A living room is usually the communal space of a home, where social exchange is the focus. Here we need to be wide awake and full of life. The bedroom, on the other hand, is for nighttime regeneration, and it needs to encourage us to wind down and rest. The simplest way of ordering rooms in a home is through their orientation, taking account of all the categories used in Vāstu (Gunas, elements, planets etc.). If the living room and bedroom, as well the kitchen and office, are correctly located, this is a good basis for a healthy and successful way of life. Entrances and exits, windows and doors, as well as furniture, all have their appropriate place in a home.
But it would be a strange kind of world, if all houses and apartments were to be built on the same pattern, and every bed pointed in the same direction. It would be highly unnatural, and this would in itself infringe a basic Vāstu principle. Vāstu simulates the subtle forces of nature, and nature is always flexible. Good Vāstu is not achieved by the rigid application of specific rules, but rather through the art of arranging the many rules in the most natural possible composition of space and form. Traditionally trained Vāstu masters can compensate for a bedroom which is in the “wrong place” in a home, i.e. the wrong area in relation to the points of the compass, by the clever application of other Vāstu principles. These can involve materials, tissues, ornaments, decor and colour schemes.
There is no such thing as perfect Vāstu, but it is possible, under the existing conditions, to achieve the best possible composition to ensure that our living space is conducive to our ambitions.
Vāstu: your chance of happiness and success
Using creative leeway
People create advantageous and disadvantageous Vāstu when they design living space, whether homes, offices, shops, leisure facilities, or even open spaces and whole cities. Ideally, anyone who has a free choice will choose the right part of town, the right building plot and the right living space in the right building, in order to create the best conditions for good Vāstu. But, in an urbanised world with chronic housing shortages, most people do not have the means or the good fortune to achieve this. But with a Vāstu consultation, we can optimise our chances of happiness and success even in the smallest one-room apartment. Vāstu is never static in the sense of being a once-and-for-all solution. It requires our attention and correctly applied creative intent. And it is worth the effort, as there is nothing better and nothing more effective than living and working in an environment that supports you in your perceptions, your thoughts and your actions. People who know nothing about Vāstu Shāstra would call it luck or success. We simply call it good Vāstu.
Living and learning Vāstu
Utilizing positive influence
Good Vāstu leads to positive effects for people who use it. The same applies to disadvantageous Vāstu in terms of negative effects. The Vāstu of the living spaces you frequently use makes it possible to predict how specific themes in your life will develop. Similarly, it is possible to stabilise specific challenges in your life by optimising the Vāstu of your environment.
The Vāstu teachings are an invitation to understand helpful and less helpful dynamics in your environment and beyond. Consensus and conflict, health and illness, success and failure, happiness and unhappiness cannot be attributed to Vāstu alone. But Vāstu offers an important corrective mechanism that you can adjust yourself. It is undoubtedly useful, even indispensable. And learning about Vāstu can open up entirely new possibilities. Vāstu seminars can change your understanding of and outlook on life, and thus your prospects. The future can be very bright indeed!
This is how you can use Vāstu
Creating good conditions
For a Vāstu consultation please feel free to contact me, so we can have a first conversation about your Vāstu project (without obligation).
Vāstu is not a question of taste and it offers solutions for every style, which can optimise your living space. The compromises that good Vāstu requires are generally easy to accept.
There are indeed rules in the discipline of Vāstu which might give the layperson this impression. But in reality there are countless homes that are orientated towards the west and the south which have very good Vāstu.
You can use it anywhere where you are allowed to shape your living space. This may be possible from the front door of the building, or perhaps only from the entrance hall onwards, and certainly from the front door of your apartment. In principle there is always scope for shaping spaces, however small they may be.
This will certainly have an effect on the Vāstu of your house, which may be positive or negative.
Vāstu is subject to constant change over time, as a result of new acquisitions, alterations, changes in the use of spaces or social changes. Ideally we take the appropriate measures to reflect these changes, so that the Vāstu of our living spaces continues to promote and support our goals and tasks.
Your first step. An important one.
"Good decisions help us to cultivate happiness and success."
- Bernd Roessler
Consultation via Zoom
Tried and tested methods