|24 The Basics of ‘Vaastu Shastra’-Origin, Construction methodology & Vaastu Yagna
When Bhagavan Shankara was demolishing Andhakaasura, there was a drop of sweat that fell on the ground and an awesome and nasty Being who kept on drinking the blood of the slain Asura; since that ‘Praani’was not satisfied with its hunger, it started to eat up whatever came handy. As the Praani requested Shankara, the latter gave a boon of being able to consume any where in the Trilokas; in Swarga, the Praani was called ‘Deva Vaastu’. As the Praani came down to Earth, Brahma gave the dispensation that whenever there was a talk of Vaastu or the Rules and deeds of Construction, there would be ‘Bali’or Naivedya / offering of food at the end of ‘Vaishwanara’Bali or oblations to Agni. Also separate ‘Vaastu Shanti’/appeasement deed to the Deity of Vaastu would fetch food to him, as and when construction activities are commenced all over the Universe. That was also the Origin of ‘Vaastu Yagna’.
Eighteen Rishis gave the Rules and Regulations of Vaastu Shastra to the posterity and these Rishis were: Bhrigu, Arti, Vasishtha, Vishwakarma, Maya, Nagnajit, Bhagavan Shankara, Indra, Kumara, Nandeswara, Shounaka, Garga, Vasudeva, Aniruddha, Shukra and Brihaspati. As regards, the knowledge of Griha Nirmaana, the results of initiating construction activity in various MONTHS are as follows: in Chaitra Month ‘Vyadhi’or diseases are caused; in Vaisakha the Constructors gain cows and Ratnas; in Jeyshtha Month, death is indicated in the family; in Ashadha month construction helps gain of servants, Ratnas and ‘Pashus’ or domestic animals; in Shraavana Month there would be gain of servants; dangers and risks in Bhadrapada Month; construction in Aswin Month might lead to risk to wife; in Kartik Month there would be gain of Dhana- Dhanya or Money and Crops; in Margasirsha month there would be surplus of Bhojyas or Food Items; commencement of construction in the month of Pausha might lead to thefts and loss of materials; Construction in Magha Month there would be benefits but some fear or possibility of Fire and finally, activities of construction during Phalguna Month should yield gold, progeny and prosperity.
Initiating the Construction of Grihas / houses is considered the best in respect of the following NAKSHATRAS OR STARS: Ashvini, Rohini, Mula, the three Uttaraas, Mrigashira, Swati, Hasta, and Anuradha. As regards the DAYS, all the days of a week are good, except Sundays and Tuesdays. In regard to YOGAS, construction should not start on the following yogas viz. Vyaaghat, Shula, Vyatipaat, Atiganda, Vishkambha, Ganda, Parigha and Vajra. Following MUHURTAS are stated to be ideal for contstruction viz. Sweta, Maitra, Maahendra, Gaandhawa, Abhijit, Rouhini, Vairaja, and Savitri. To decide on the SHUBHA LAGNA, the activity of construction should be commenced when the Chandra bala as also Suryabala would be equally positve. The most important activities apart, ‘Stambharohana’or the hoisting of the Pillar should be taken up first; similarly the procedures should be the same as in respect of the costruction of Praasaads, wells and such mini water bodies. SOIL TEST would be the foremost activity before the actual construction is taken up. Sweta (White), Lal (Red), Peeta (yellowish) and kaala (black) may be the ideal soils for the Four ‘Varnas’of Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaisya and Shudra respectively. Taste-wise, the soil may be sweetish for Brahmanas, sour for Kshatriyas, ‘tiktha’ or bitter for Vaishyas and ‘Kasaili’/ Kashaya / Pungent for Shudras. As a part of the soil quality test, saplings are to be planted and the best soil quality would yield the growth over three nights; medium growth over five nights and minimal growth over a week. The best soil obviously would give out the quickest yield. By way of a diagram, the area meant for construction is drawn as a big square which is divided into nine squares while each square is further sub-divided into nine smaller squares, thus making a total of eighty one squares.Of these, thirty two Devatas are worshipped in as many sub-squares and thirteen Devatas from outside those sub squares, thus accounting for forty five squares. The names and the positioning of the respective Deities are: Shikhi, Parjanya, Jayant, Indra, Surya, Satya, Brusha, Antakisha, Vayu, Pusha, Vitatha, Brihatsakshatha, Yama, Gandharva, Bhring raaja, Mriga, Pitrugana, Daivarika,Sugreeva, Pushpadanta, Jalaadhusha, Asura, Sesha, Paapa, Roga, Ahi, Mukhya, Bhallata, Soma, Sarpa, Aditi and Diti; these thirty two Deities are Baahya Devatas. These Deities are to be worshipped in the four Dik-konas like Ishaana. Now, outside the Vaastu Chakra the following four Deities are to be worshipped viz. Aapa, Savitra, Jaya, and Rudra. In the middle nine squares, on the four sides of Brahma, eight Sadyha Devatas are to be positioned and these are Aryama, Savita, Viviswaan, Vibhudha -adhipa, Mitra, Raajayakshma, Prithvidhara, and Apavatsa. Apa, Apavatsa, Parjanya, Agni and Diti-these are of five Devataa varga to be worshipped in Agneya-kona. Further, twenty Devataas are positioned in two rows: Aryama, Viwaswaan, Mitra and Pritvidhara-these four are stationed on three sides of Brahma in three, three positions each. This is the Procedure of worship to all the relevant Deities.
The methodology of construction varies from one building to another such as Chatuhshaala, Trishaala; Dwishala etc.The Chatuh shaala is open from all four sides with gates /doors on all the sides, known as Sarvatomukha and is normally ideal for a Palace or a Temple. A building which has no door to the west is called Nandyavarta; without a door on the Southern side is called Vardhamaana; without a door on the Eastern side is called Swastika; and without an opening on the Northern side is Ruchaka. A King’s Palace is ideally measured the hundred and eight hand-lengths, while that of a Prince has sixty six measures; a General’s abode with sixty four measures; forty eight measures to forty eight measures; and thirty two for an ordinary citizen. As regards the ‘Stambhas’ (Pillar) in an ordinary house, its circumference is multiplied by nine times and the result must be the depth of the pillar underground; a four angled pillar is called ‘Ruchak’; eight angled pillar is ‘Vajra’; sixteen angled pillar is ‘Dwi Vajra’, thirty two angled pillar is ‘Praleenak’ and a pillar whose mid-region is round is called ‘Vritra’. All the residential homes should be entered from the right side ‘Pravesha Dwar’. Entry from the eastern side where Indra and Jayanta exist is the best; in the southern side ‘dwara’, it is said that Yamya and Vitatha are supposed to be ruling and is good too; on the western dwara, Varuna and Pushpadanta are prominent; Uttara dwar is governed by Bhallat and Sowmya and is quite propitious. But one should be careful of ‘vedhas’or forced entries: for instance, such vedhas through side-lanes might result in ‘Kulakshaya’ or damage to the Vamsha; forced entry through trees might end up in mutual hatred of family members; vedha through mud would bring in sorrows; vedha through water ways would result in problems; vedha through pillars might end up through difficulties arising due to women. Entering from one house to another could end up in grief to the master of the house. A house which opens on its own might result in madness of a family member. Similarly, a house which gets closed on its own could end up in ‘Kula naasha’/ distress to the Kula. Entry through a very high door could lead to ‘Raja bhaya’ or difficulties on account of Authorities. If the door is too low, there could by ‘Chora bhaya’ or fear of thefts. A door just above another door could attract Yamaraja darshan. If a house with a main door of disproportionate size is built in the middle of a big road is made, the master of the house would not live for long. If the main door is smaller than the other doors of a house, that house might not have contentment and would be a constant abode of recurring predicaments. The rear portion of the house must be kept duly adorned with trees, foliage, pots and decoratives. The east of the house there should be ‘Vata’ vriksha; in the Southern side Udumbara tree and the western side Pippala Tree and Pluksha tree on the northern side. Nearby the house, trees with thorns and Ksheera Vrikshas or milk-yielding trees are not good. It would be propitious to grow trees like Pumnaga, Ashoka, Shami, Tilaka, Champa, Dadimi, Peepali, Draksha, Arjuna, Jambeera, Puga, Panasa, Ketaki, Malati, Kamala Chameli, Mallika, Coconut, Kela, Kadali and Patala as these Trees are signs of Lakshmi / prosperity. Houses are better not built in the extreme vicinity of temples, Dhurtas or mischievous elements, General Adinistration, Four-Lane Centers, since there might be causes for irritation, fear and problems. Leaving ample space before, rear and sides of the building is a must. It would be advisable to have the southern part of the house elevated and such an abode is called a ‘Sampurna’ or complete from the Vaastu point of view and would thus bestow the best of advantages. To lay the ‘Adhara Shila’ (Foundation Stone) of a building, the Priest should determine the ‘Muhurat’, decorate the Stone with white cloth, lay ‘Nava Ratnas’and Gold along with Nava Dhanyas or nine varieties of appropriate seeds and with the help of masons fix up the stone, and perform ‘puja’to Ganapati, Vaastu Deva, Ishta Devata or the Family Deity with formal ‘Mantrocchaarana’,also perform ‘Havan’/ homa to Agni Deva with milk, ghee and honey: The relevant Havan Mantra is:
Vaastoshpatey Pratijaanee –hyasmaantswaavesho anameevo bhavaa nah,
yat tvemahey prati tanno jupuswa sham no bhava dwipatdey sham chatushpadey/
VAASTU YAGNA comprises: Sutrapath, Stambhaaropana or hoisting of the main Pillar, Dwara vamshocchraya, Griha Pravesha and Vaastu Shanti. Sutrapath takes place in the Ishana Disha and Stambhaaropana in Agneya kona. Vaastu Deva’s ‘Pada Chinhas’ or foot prints should be set up and the ‘Karta’should do ‘pradakshinas’(circumambulation) around the foot-prints. It is stated that water with the powder of Munga, Ratna and Suvarna should be sprinkled while designing the ‘Pada-Chihnaas’. Incidentally, the signs of Vaastu should never be ash, lit up firesticks, nails, skins, horns, bones, and skull as some ill-informed persons tend to do so and such material would lead to distress, danger and difficulties. It is advisable that masons and other workers are present at the time of Griha Pravesh.
Ishaaney Devataagaaram tathaa Shaanti gruham bhavet,
Mahaanasam thathaagneye tatpaarswam chottarey jalam,
Gruhasyopakaram sarvam Nairutye Sthaapaded Buddhah/
Bandhasthaanam bahih kuryaat snaana mandapameyvacha,
Dhana Dhaanyam cha Vaayavye karmashaalaam tato bahih,
Evam Vaastu viseshah syaad Ghruha bhatruh shubaavaham/
(To the Ishaana side of any house, the Devataagruha and Shantigriha must be set up; its kitchen must be in the Agneya kona; to the northern side the ‘Jala sthaan’ (Water reservoir); all the house materials be kept in the Nairuti kona; the place for keeping domestic animals like cows and buffalos as well as bathing rooms are better constructed outside the house; the storage place for Dhana-dhanya should be kept in the Vayavya kona; the ‘Karya shala’or the Offices should be organised outside the residential place. This pattern of living would certainly assure excellent propitiousness and happiness to the entire family. At the ‘Griha Pravesh’ function (House Warming Time) approaches, Peace and Prosperity is ushered in as stated:
Krutwaagrato Dwijavaraanatha Purnakumbham
Dhadyakshataamala pushpa phalopa shobham/
Datwaa hiranyavasanaani tadaa Dwijebhyo,
Maangalya Shaanti nilayaya gruham vishekthu/
Gruhoktahoma vidhaanaa Bali karma kuryat,
Praasaada Vaastu shamaney cha vidharya uktah,
Santarpayed vijavaraanatha bhakshya bhojjyeh,
Shuklaambarah Swabhavanam pravishet sa dhupam/
(As the house is fully ready, the Head of the family should initiate the action of conducting ‘Mangala Shanti’ with a group of Brahmanas ahead along with a ‘Kalasha’/Vessel, full of Sweet Water, Curd, Akshatas, tender mango leaves, flowers, fruits and coconuts as also scented sandal water, agarbattis/ incense sticks and oil-wick lamps nicely lit and decorated, as Brahmanas recite Veda hymns and musical instruments are played, while entering the house at the appointed ‘Muhurta’. There after Griha praasaadas/ doors and other household items are purified for Vaastu Shaanti and Homa and Balidaana are performed. Brahmanas are treated with Bhojan and gifts of gold, vastras and dakshinas, where after relatives and friends are treated too with bhojan and gifts.)
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