Vastu and Feng Shui

“To destroy anything is easy.
To build requires great skill and care.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi ~

Even though there are obvious differences between the two systems Vastu and Feng Shui, in essence and purpose they are very similar. Both sciences have valuable traditions that date back to antiquity and some argue that they could have originated from the same source - ancient Vedic India.

Vastu dates back to prehistoric times, the period of Aryan civilization between 15,000 B.C. and 5,000 B.C., while Feng Shui, meaning wind and water, dates back to 3,000 B.C. in traditional Chinese history.

Great architects of the time both in India and China realized that Mother Nature has many hidden secrets. They came to understand that the entire universe is interconnected; no single element or ingredient is truly independent from the rest.

Although over the millennia, these sciences developed their own unique and particular style in architecture and placement, both are based on very precise scientific conclusions. They equally recognize the need for symmetrical placement, for clarity and lack of clutter, and for recommended directions to be considered when designing an architectural space.

Feng Shui uses the ‘Ba-gua’ map, which is basically an indicator of various directions and the corresponding areas of life such as health, prosperity, relationship and travel. Similarly, Vastu has a well-known sacred diagram in the form of ‘Vastu Purusha Mandala’. This particular mandala creates the basis for the understanding of the movement of the beneficial energy called ‘chi’ or ‘prana’ through cosmic space.

Houses or any structures that are designed and built according to the principles of traditional Vastu design generally orient towards the east or north, to maximize the amount of morning sunlight entering the premises.

In Vedic times people lived closer to nature and gave more attention to its cycles. They carefully observed that the rising sun with its pleasant heat and light is a source of vital energy, radiated ultra violet rays which are proven to be beneficial and healing for human health, while the setting afternoon sun had far too much heat and glare, rather having detrimental effects due to harsh infra-red radiation. Unlike Feng Shui and solar homes, Vastu design consciously recognizes the importance of harnessing the vital energy of other planets as well.

Vastu design has more a mathematical foundation and it also has a very precise and detailed measuring system. This is based on Vedic sutras or formulas, providing more objectivity and consistency than its counterpart. Lacking a similar basis for calculations, Feng Shui is more subjective and esoteric.

Even though Vastu Shastra offers simple and logical solutions or cures to correct imbalances in the home, it mainly focuses on the entire process of correct design and the prevention of any defects in the architectural space in the first place, thereby gaining greater benefit.

After all, as our highly regarded natural healers would say “Prevention is better than cure”. By taking care of our good health, we are ensuring our long-term wellbeing.