VASTU – The Harmony Of Space. 1

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Space and time are inseparable from each other. We go through life, covering its distance (space) per hour (time). In the Vedas, there is a section “Vastu Shastra” which reveals the secrets of the inner essence of space.

So, space is one of the elements of the material world which is an invisible receptacle of all the rest. From the materialistic point of view, space is just physical vacuum, but the Vedas say that at the metaphysical level space of the universe is divided into directions, each of which is controlled by the powerful cosmic beings, just like all areas of a country are controlled by some government officials. Therefore, before any construction or space designing takes place, one has to make sure that the project is in accordance with environmental and cosmic harmony.

According to the Vedas, the entire universal space reflects the divine structure of the universe. This subtle structure of space must be taken into consideration in construction to facilitate a harmony between subtle and gross physical elements.

When the residence (dwelling) repeats the model of the universe in miniature, then we can easily sense the Divine presence in our homes and the whole atmosphere is peaceful. Where there is the Divine, all inauspiciousness goes away, like when the sun rises, all darkness dissipates. Structures that are built in accordance to the principles of universal harmony are like temples where one feels enlightenment and inspiration.

When we try to establish our own new order not knowing of the existing laws, we unknowingly violate the natural order of the universe. Even if we unknowingly come into conflict with subtle laws of nature, we feel some sort of inner discomfort, which later turns into stress, depression, illness, irritability and aggression. These external signs indicate that something is wrong internally. If we rebel against the state laws and try to establish our own rules within an existing state, that will only create trouble for us. The problem is that most people do not realize that the Earth planet is a small part of a totally unified space kingdom.

A person lives in a microcosmos of one’s mind and body, in a mesocosmos of the society and in a macrocosmos of the universe. These three habitats are subject to common laws of harmony coming from God and leading back to Him. The art of “Vastu” is important as it regulates the relationship between humans and God through the environment, which is an indicator of the relationship.

If a dwelling is built improperly, a person may feel uncomfortable, ill and mentally unstable. Thus, one becomes an inefficient member of the society. And when a number of such people increases, the overall quality of life decreases. Thus here you have a state crime on a larger scale, but with the effect of a time bomb. It’s a kind of unintentional sabotage that destroys the psyche and health of the people.

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For example, a person lives on the 1st floor of a 30-storey building, and next to his apartment there is a garbage disposal. In this way one experiences a subtle pressure of 29 floors of neighbors’ karma and the “aura” of garbage. What kind of health and consciousness will one have? From this point of view all contemporary high-rises are the “mass grave yards of the living dead.”

Such a violation of space principles creates an inner disharmony prompting people to violate other laws. In such homes sinful desires dominate, and when the majority of people are impious, then life becomes hellish as sinners are the residents of hell. Here’s the result : the unawareness of subtle laws of nature leads to quite tangible gross consequences.

According to the Vedas, a dwelling  should continue a harmony of nature and should be an Ashram – a spiritual refuge. And consequently the residents of these dwellings, too, will be harmonious personalities. A human is a combination of three principles: the visible gross matter, which forms the physical body, invisible or subtle matter or our mind and metaphysical soul – the source of the individual’s consciousness. In this regard, ” Vastu Shastra ” has three objectives:

1. To create a comfort for the body ;
2 . To ensure the stability of the mind (psyche);
3 . To bring happiness to the soul.

These three goals could not be achieved by a random manipulation of matter, but by following the objective rules and principles. Comfort, stability and happiness, though, seem to be subjective categories, in reality take place only when we follow the certain objective laws.

There are quite definite objective circumstances in which these desired states are achieved. We can not expect comfort in a house without windows, or vice versa, in a house with glass walls, where it is impossible to hide from prying eyes. It is difficult to expect health and quiet, if the house is not positioned strictly on the cardinal directions but otherwise. In this case, the natural magnetic lines connecting the north and south poles, colliding with the walls of a structure, will create invisible magnetic vortices, which would have a negative impact on our thoughts and emotions.

Also, the latest research in the field of neuroscience has shown that there is an exact match between the planets of the solar system and the various parts of the brain: the basal ganglia, thalamus and hypothalamus.

Knowledge of these correspondences is the basis of a specific orientation of the building in the cardinal directions. The Vedas say that different energies emanate from different directions in space and we feel ourselves differently when we look in different directions. Everybody likes when the windows face east or south, because it creates a warm and bright atmosphere, which positively affects the psyche.

Space is an element that we can really lack. For example, we all know what it means to experience a lack of air, water, or light. In the Nordic countries, even in the winter there is such a phenomenon as photo depression, which is caused by the fact that in the winter the days are shorter and sunlight is less. This, as it turns out, affects the mental state of a person. Scientists have found that sunlight helps to produce the hormone of joy – endorphins – in the brain. This explains the fact that the residents of sunny southern countries are much more optimistic and joyful than the residents of the northern countries, where the light is much less.

So, with a shortage of air we’ll suffocate, with a shortage of water we will die of thirst, with a shortage of fire (in the form of heat or light) – we will freeze or plunge into depression. So, what is the case with the lack of space?

Generally, people who live in very confined flats become more awkward and conditioned. They find it difficult to think big and to express themselves freely. This internal constraint eventually turns into quarrels, scandals, internal feeling of hopelessness and alcohol addiction. Confined community houses and dormitories, as a rule, are more unfavourable places to live, where most suicides, fighting, drunkenness and the like occur. So, as we see, the lack of living space affects the psyche and behaviour.

The fact that the mental state depends on our location in space, can be seen even from the experience of a child, placed in a corner, facing the wall for his naughty behaviour. Square boxes of modern buildings and apartments make us blunt and square thinking. A lack of an extensive beautiful landscape view from the window creates a feeling of lack of prospects in life. It is one thing – a view of the sea or the beautiful valley with hills and ponds and another thing is a view of a motorway or a brick wall of the neighbour’s house.

Since space is an objective category, the proportions of the structure, the orientation in the cardinal directions and the indoor layout must comply with the objective laws of nature, and not based on subjective speculative fantasies of modern architects and designers who have not a slightest idea about the inner essence of space.

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In addition to the proper placement of the structure, the surrounding landscape is as important. It is not recommended to settle near a cemetery, factory, hospital or a prison. These places emanate a negative energy that is sure to have a negative impact on one’s health and psyche. The Vedas do not advise to purchase a land or a house, which is located between two larger buildings, because they will dominate your smaller structure and create a sense of limitation.

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Having said all this, the question naturally arises about the similarities and differences between a Chinese Art of “Feng Shui” and Indian “Vastu”. With external resemblance, they differ considerably in their goals. The purpose of “Feng Shui” is to create a harmony between human and the environment, strengthen the sense of tranquility and comfort. And that is, the level of body and mind. These two purposes twin “Feng Shui” and “Vastu”. What is missing in the Chinese culture in general, and in the “Feng Shui” in particular, is the concept of the soul and thus the idea of spiritual progress and God realisation.

Spirituality is substituted with occultism and mysticism, which are related to the psyche. This is quite subtle, but still materialistic philosophy of dualism of the cosmic forces of Yin and Yang, their metamorphosis and ways of balancing. Yang symbolises the active, masculine, bright nature, and Yin indicates a passive, dark, feminine nature.

The Vedic philosophy behind the art of “Vastu” points out the spiritual prototypes of Yin and Yang, which are inside of the scope of the spiritual personalism, and shows that the Yin – Yang is just impersonal material projection of spiritual personalities – the first woman (Radha) and the first man (Krishna). Thus, “Vastu”, in contrast to the “Feng Shui”, aims to not only facilitate a material comfort and peace, but also a spiritual perfection .

If “Feng Shui” says that there are different energies that circulate in the world and we can use them wisely and be happy, then “Vastu” says that all these energies emanate from God, and that is why we need to use them in such a way that they would connect us with Him.

If, we in our ignorance misuse or separate the energy from God, then karma is formed. And even if a person acts materially competently, but not connected to God, he will create karma. Though this karma may be pious, and will bring some temporary material happiness, the atma or soul will not get liberation from the cycle of rebirth unless or until he finally makes his first step towards God. And the art of “Vastu” helps us to get closer to God, using His divine structure of the universe in architecture and construction.

In the next article we will talk about the practical aspects of “Vastu Shastra”.

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