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This is part 5 of the series of 9 articles presented on Vastu Shastra. A home buyer, at times, begins the journey of owning a home with a single point agenda of ‘Vastu compliance’. The journey is not an easy one, and is riddled with many roadblocks and confusions. These articles are meant to ease the confusion, or perhaps, bridge the lack of a balanced perspective around Vastu while: i) planning on buying and/or constructing a home, and ii) to assist the home buyer to zero-in on the most sensible choice of an apartment.

For a clearer perspective on Vastu Shastra, it is recommended that all the 9 parts of this series on Vastu Shastra be read

However, should the reader be in a hurry, it is recommended to at least go through the ‘4 steps to understanding & demystifying Vastu’ and the ‘conclusion’ in part 9 of the series. This will hopefully impart a well-rounded balanced perspective on Vastu Shastra, its implications and its applicability. Above all else, it help us shape (or choose) our overall demeanour and approach in dealing with the dilemmas posed by Vastu Shastra effectively.

Note- An index with links is given at the bottom of this article to help you navigate and jump directly to the desired topic of this 9-part series. 

Vastu Guidelines or Tips on ‘rooms’ & ‘spaces’ in our homes:

Let us now explore the various Vastu recommendations or guidelines on the design-related, location-specific elements as well as the factors of ‘interior and exterior spaces’, and the influence they have on the behavioural disposition of the inhabitants (positive or negative). The intent remains to attain harmony with the elements of nature, to optimize on their beneficial effects, and to minimize (or eliminate) the harmful effects.

Described below are the ‘exterior spaces and internal rooms’, and how they scientifically interplay with the elements of nature. The Vastu recommendations are based both on a scientific (logical) as well as a nature-inspired perspective aimed at bringing peace, harmony, prosperity, good-health and wellness to the residents of a house.

Verandah

  • North or East of the house:
    • A place to sit and relax should get exposed to the Sun and help absorb ‘Vitamin D’
    • North has constant sunshine, and East has morning sunshine
    • Heavy furniture to be placed on the South-West of Verandah; This allows the beautiful sunlight to stream in interruptedly
  • Small plants to be placed North-East of Verandah to allow constant sunlight in the morning

Main Entrance

  • In this article (mentioned earlier) elaborate explanations have been given along with the concept of padas on where the main door should be located; The crux is that there is no such thing as South or West entrances being bad; All that matters is the positioning of the main entrance door
  • Vastu Shastra makes incessant recommendations to optimize on more morning light (sunlight) to permeate, hence, a preference for more space towards North & East corners; However, placing doors in other directions (viz. South & West) is NOT forbidden
  • Main door is where positive energies enter and exit, hence a separate pooja is recommended for the main door for increased psychological solace, and to channelize positive energy to benefit the inhabitants
  • For a home constructed on a plot, the ‘entrance gate’ and ‘main door’ should be on the same side
    • Logic being that unnecessary walking around by visitors is avoided securing the privacy of the inhabitants
  • Preferable to have two doors, one entrance and another exit; the exit door should be smaller
    • A large entrance door traps more fresh air to pass through the house
  • Main door to slide inwards, and in a clockwise direction
    • Helps the resident open the door from inside using left hand, and guiding guests from the right hand
  • Main door to have a ‘threshold’ (a slightly raised platform which may be up to 3 inches higher than the floor along the frame of the door)
    • A ‘threshold’ deters ants and rodent from entering with ease; footwear kept to the side to help avoid the entrants stumbling upon them and falling-off
  • Main door to be well lit-up
    • Makes the door visible, and looks appealing and inviting
  • Main door to have auspicious signs like ‘Om’ or Swastika
    • A soothing image for the guests to look upon
  • Main door made of Teakwood
    • Sturdy door that are termite resistant as well as long-lasting
  • Similarly, there are scientific basis for recommendations for AVOIDING the following when planning the main door:
      • Avoid main door facing main door of another house
      • Avoid trees, plants or anything else in front of the main door that obstructs free movement and view
      • Avoid main door facing abandoned or run-down buildings
      • Avoid provision of septic-tank right under the main door
      • Avoid positioning doors in the corners, and keep the door at least one feet away from the corner
      • Avoid having a wall right in front of the door that blocks flow of air
      • Avoid auto-closing and worn-out unoiled doors (i.e. doors not lubricated well for smooth functioning) that make screeching sounds
      • NOTE– it can be observed that all these reasons are to do with scientific reasons like safety, having adequate ventilation (air-circulation), being well lit-up (sunlight), being aesthetically pleasing, having good workmanship, and providing a ‘feeling good’ experience to the inmates living inside the house

Living Room

  • Living room is the place where the family gathers, spends quality time, and have moments of relaxation which males the living room the area to connect and create beautiful memories
  • Thus, living room is normally accessible through the main door, where the positive/negative energies enter
  • Prefer North (esp. North facing site), North-West (esp. West facing site), North-East or East (esp. for East facing sites) as your living room to optimize on positive energies
  • For South facing units, one could opt for Living room in the South-East corner, and there is no other option, go for South-West corner as your living room
  • Guideline for furniture is to have Sofas and heavy sitting items placed against the South and West walls, and allow morning light to come in from North and East. North is known to be a source of light on a constant basis. The logic simply is to keep the windows in North and East unobstructed by furniture or heavy items, and allow ample sunlight
  • Using rectangular and square furniture allows it fit neatly as well as optimize on space; Circular and curved furniture is not recommended
  • Fixtures in a living room can be as follows:
      • Good to have water bodies like aquarium or fountain in the North, East; Avoid South
      • Sound of falling water is pleasant, and so is watching the fish swimming and breathing life in the Aquarium
      • Fireplaces to be in South-East (represents fire) or North-West; Avoid North-East and South-West (representing water)
      • Similarly, Air-conditioners to be installed on West walls to optimize on harmony with nature
      • Television to be watched facing East of North, and inadvertently end up soaking the sunlight entering the room
  • Artefacts or paintings to be placed as follows:
      • To hang positive, harmonious, peaceful and soothing images in the home
      • Artefacts and paintings to depict any rasa that is positive. Nine expressions that humans display are viz. shringara (beauty), haasya (laughter), karuna compassion), rudra (anger), veera (valour), bhaya (fear), veebhatsa (ugly or disgusting), adbhutha (surprise) and shaantha (tranquil & peaceful)
      • To put-up paintings, artefacts and images that evoke positive expressions or rasas; Avoid themes that depict sorrow, death, turmoil, sadness, anguish or violence (any negative and mentally unsettling images/items). For instance, 
          • Northern walls to have water-related pictures to evoke tranquillity
          • East walls to have pictures of things that indicate life or liveliness like fruits, sunrise, flowers etc.
          • North-East walls to have pictures that evoke spirituality or religious-overtones
          • South and West walls to have pictures that signify strength & sturdiness like mountains, animals, bridges, buildings etc.
      • Avoid keeping artificially stunted plants (bonsai) or thorn-based plants (cactus), or dehydrated flowers as they indicate elements that are not in harmony with nature
  • Colours and lights for a living room:
      • Use soothing pastel shades in living room like blue, yellow, green, white that make the room bright, and makes it appear more spacious; ‘Light’ curtains advised in North, East, North-East; ‘Heavy’ curtains to be hung in South & West
      • Good to have adequate and relaxing light in living room
      • The bigger and hanging lights (chandelier) to be placed in South-West corner, and not North-East

Pooja Room

  • A room where religious scriptures, texts, and idol-worshipping or meditation is undertaken
  • This is the sacred area (mandir for Hindus), and must exude positivity; The pooja room transmits positive energy to other rooms as well
  • This is why it is best to have Pooja room in the centre of the house; Centre of the house allows good flow of air-circulation, and the sacred place to be seen from all directions; If Centre of the house is not possible, choose the North-East part of the house, followed by East of West directions of the house; The intent or logic again is to have the morning sunlight coming-in
  • The other solution or alternative is to place the mandir (or prayer area) in the North-East corner of the room; This room must not be a bedroom, store room or a toilet
  • In fact, a mandir can be placed even in the North-East corner of the kitchen; Avoid dark places for Pooja like cellar or basement, which do not have ample sunlight
  • In a duplex or a house with multiple stories, it is good to have the pooja room on the ground floor to enable all the family members (especially, elders with ailments or other inabilities) to have access to it, with or without their knowledge, and this sub-consciously helps keep the mind calm and sane
  • Door of the Pooja room to have two shutters, and the room in itself can have the scientifically recommended pyramid-shaped ceiling; A well-ventilated and well-lit pooja room is good, with windows towards the North and North-East walls; To compensate with adequate (bright) electrical lighting if natural light is a problem
  • Pooja room to have a threshold (raised bottom of a doorway) to abstain ants and other insects from have free access
  • When meditating for longer duration that goes beyond fifteen minutes, once can face the East direction, and need not necessarily look at the idols; This way one should benefit from the morning sun rays, and also avoid distractions by continuously looking at the idols of the deities
  • Disfigured, broken idols must be avoided, and keep them away from the walls by at least one inch; This allows adequate air-circulation, and also incense sticks or other fire-lit smoke; Placing the idols at a height of your eye level in a sitting position (on the ground); The size of the idols also should be small (about the size of your open palm i.e. no more than 8 inches tall); Not to have two idols of the same deity (duplicity); Not to have too many deities clutter your pooja room
  • The intent and logic behind an uncluttered pooja room with less deities is to harness the positive energies
  • Idols could be made of metals/materials including wood, stone, brass, bronze, silver or gold as per your preferences
  • While the pooja room is placed in North-East, the materials related to pooja may be stored in the South-East of the Pooja room, to allow unobstructed morning sunlight
  • Cupboards lower than the height of the idols is advisable since they allow sunlight to enter the pooja room comfortably; This also allows for incense sticks, pooja materials to be stored in this area
  • If a fire-place is to be placed, it may be done in the South-East corner, since that is the area assigned to Agni
  • Lamp and food offerings to be placed in front of the idol to allow better visibility and show reverence to the deity
  • White or pastel yellow and blue colours brighten-up the pooja area; Marble and granite of these lighter shades can be used to make the pooja room seem bright
  • What to Avoid in Pooja room:
      • Not to have pooja room under the stairs, in the bedroom or in the toilets
      • Not to bring torn or distorted images which can be distracting
      • Not to have idols facing each other
      • Avoid placing the idols against the South wall, since the worshipper then faces South while praying or meditating; Face East direction to avail maximum sunlight
      • Avoid having a bell in the Pooja room; Must not replicate temple; Pooja room is for praying and meditating, and not making noise
      • Avoid keeping pictures of the dead, animals, violence, crime, and anything that has a disturbing or distracting effect on the mind
      • Avoid placing a dustbin which tends to bring in negative energy

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