Beware of Vastu fraudsters whose very authenticity is questionable
Fuelled by blind consumerism there is a cloudburst of new age religions, spiritual practices, fortune telling, healings, neo-yoga and neo yogis, power yoga and power yogis, spiritual guides and masters, strange ideas of meditation, and of course, several prophets of doom. In this overwhelming deluge the very nature and spirit of Vãstushastra is being run over by a pseudo Vastu which is hybridized with corrective ideas taken from Fengshui, promoting the use of hanging coins, dragon images, fountains, toads, hanging crystals et al. Higher versions of Vastu are being devised, dwarfing the ancient masters. A path of spiritual progress, a system of architecture is being turned into a comical farce.
But are we also not responsible? In our race for a better life, we sometimes touch the border of absurdity and look for solutions to all problems of life so desperately that we begin to believe every soothsayer who promises us a slice of heaven, caring little to understand neither their authenticity nor the authenticity of their ‘knowledge’.
A few months ago, when I was visiting Ahmedabad, I got a call from Akshay Nagardas to visit his ancestral house, an expansive haveli which was designed as per Vãstushastra a few decades ago. I have always liked that haveli for its grandiose and the intrinsic harmonic beauty which is woven in the layout. As I was entering the home, I noticed that above the entrance where once stood a statue of Ganapati was now a hanging grid of nine small pyramids. In the ‘baithak’ decorated with rich traditional Gujarati furniture and vessels, I noticed a golden three legged Toad with a coin in its mouth, resting on a corner table.
His sister Bhama had done a hobby course in Vãstu and Fengshui and had decided to replace Ganapati’s statue with the pyramids and put the Toad in the baithak to attract wealth.
We know that a 3-lgged toad is a popular Chinese symbol in Fengshui to attract wealth, but what was a grid of nine pyramids doing above the door? I am sure Lord Ganapati must be quite relieved to be replaced by the pyramids, after having spent all those years above the door warding off dark forces!
Are we a desperate lot, seeking solutions to problems of life, believing every soothsayer who promises us a ‘patchup’ solution, caring little to understand their authenticity? Besides, the presence of the Toad in the baithak also announced the arrival of The Dragon, if not challenging our traditional beliefs, then most certainly pushing his way into our living spaces, exploiting our gullibility of becoming rich overnight.
But there was an essential point which, like most of us, Bhama, had missed out. She had perhaps not realized that from an Indian perspective a toad with a missing limb is an incomplete form, and therefore ominous. So how would it attract wealth? Indian philosophy aims at perfection of body, mind and spirit. Vãstushastra and its allied sciences strive for beauty and completeness in life within us and also around us. It believes that what is complete in its nature will also be rich and beautiful. Beauty is in perfection: perfection of works, perfection of form.
Laxmi, the goddess of wealth is depicted as a full-bosomed lady in full bloom with appropriate proportions, the presiding deity of Sri Yantra is a goddess of 16 years in her full youth, Ram, Krishna, Arjun, Siva, are so complete as masculine, even the fearsome Kali and Bhairav have an untamed grace and a layain their ferocity.And are we to replace the comeliness and resplendent beauty of Laxmi with an incomplete handicapped amphibian?
And what does one do to fight the global cloudburst of new age religions, spiritual practices, fortune telling, healings, neo yoga, spiritual guides and masters, the prophesies of doom? In this overwhelming deluge the very nature and spirit of Vãstushastra is being run over by a pseudo Vãstu which is hybridized with corrective ideas taken from fengshui, promoting the use of hanging coins, dragon images, fountains, toads, hanging crystals, et al. A system of architecture is being turned into a farce.
And are we to replace the comeliness and resplendent beauty of Laxmi with an incomplete handicapped amphibian? And what does one do to fight the global cloudburst of new age religions, spiritual practices, fortune telling, healings, neo yoga, spiritual guides and masters, the prophesies of doom? In this overwhelming deluge the very nature and spirit of Vãstushastra is being run over by a pseudo Vãstu which is hybridized with corrective ideas taken from fengshui, promoting the use of hanging coins, dragon images, fountains, toads, hanging crystals, et al. A system of architecture is being turned into a farce.
Vãstushastra is neither a magical science, nor occult, or a corrective science. It should not be mistaken to be a vidya which offers a solution to everyday problems of life, because there isn’t one.
Vãstushastra is a science of designing spaces, the oldest and highest form of architecture – holistic, logical and very effective. Its principles were derived thousands of years ago and are valid even today. It replicates in a structure the same harmony which exists in the cosmos and keeps it going like a well-oiled clockwork, which maintains the equilibrium of the planets and the stars and sustain life on earth and take evolution forward. Nature is at peace with itself. Peace does not mean inaction or laziness. Peace in this context means doing the most intense action while remaining calm inside.
Vãstuvidya designs an Outer Space – a Bãhyãkãsh – which bring calm and peace to the inner space of the dweller – to his Chidãkãsh. When the Chidãkãsh is calm and at peace, the mind is calm, the intellect is sharp, the intuitive faculties perform better, so one can studies better, sleep better, remain healthy, take appropriate decisions in business and life, and grow richer financially and socially. The highly potent vibrating energies of such outer Space of his dwelling not only give him the Pranic strength to work more efficiently, but also help to convert the work and the effort into fruitful results, enabling him to enjoy the fruits of his efforts, look well after his dependents, make good money in life. And finally, an attuned Bãhyãkãsh sows the seeds of spiritual purity in the Chidãkãsh. It is a cyclic movement, leading to material and spiritual prosperity, peace and happiness. This is the real magic of Vãstushastra.
The practice of Vãstu, therefore, is about understanding the causal relationship between Energy and Form, between the shape, size and directions, then to use mathematical calculations to design spaces which have the vibrations of the required type – either academic, commercial, creative, research oriented, curative, judicial, governance, defensive, productive, industrial, domestic etc.
A Vãstu practitioner is a Brahma in its own way, for he is carving out living space out of Emptiness. That is a delicate and pious task, a job which needs special skill sets. The conditions for being a Vãstu practitioner are tough. Besides knowing the nuances of the Vidyã, the person has to a sadhak, aspiritual aspirant who is also learned, humble, at peace with himself, not greedy, benevolent, doing works and deeds of charity, travelling to holy places/tirthas, having a complete clarity of thought, confident, in command of his surroundings, a worshipper of the Divine.
न हीनाङ्गोऽतिरिक्ताङ्गो धार्मिकस्तु दयापरः । अमात्सर्योऽनसूयश्च तान्त्रिकस्त्वभिजातवान् ॥
गणितज्ञः पुराणज्ञः सत्यवादी जितेन्द्रियः ।चित्रज्ञः सर्वदेशज्ञश्चान्नदश्चाप्यलुब्धकः ॥
अरोगी चाप्रमादी च सप्तव्यसनवर्जितः । सुनामा दृढबुद्धिश्च वास्तुविद्याब्धिपारगः॥ – मयमतम् “
A Sthapati must know how to establish buildings. He must be well versed in all Shastras. must not have any missing or A supplementary limb. He must be religious, compassionate, disinterested, free from envy, knower of Tantras. He should look respectable. He must be learned in mathematics, Puranas, should speak truth, and be a master of his desires. He should be able to draw (sketch), should know his area well, must be generous and not greedy. He should have a sound health, be attentive, and free from seven vices. He should have a good reputation, be of a determined mind, he must have crossed the ocean of science of Vãstuvidya.
verbal abuse, violation of property, physical violence, hunting, gambling, loose morals, and drinking.
There has been a renaissance of Vastushastra in the past decade or so, and it is not a haphazard development, but because Nature has a bigger plan. The time has arrived when the need for Vãstushastra is growing more than ever before. Not just because the pressures at work are increasing and to counter them we need a finely tuned home to go back to, but the larger reason is that we are witnessing a great shift in human consciousness, as if a new dimension is opening up. All the prophesies of annihilation of human species and doomsday have failed to stop the human consciousness from taking the northward route. Humanity has today reached a peak from where it is about to leap into the spaces of higher consciousness. It is on the threshold of a spiritual awakening, of the beginning of a journey to understand who we really are, and not to reinforce the artificial sense of a derived or adopted social identity. The whole nature is under a cycle of evolution. With it comes an intrinsic need for a holistic system of architecture – of Vãstushastra – which can create environments where this intellect can blossom, where we can act seated in consciousness and inner strength, where we are free from all selfish and egoistic movements, where we care for each other and love becomes the uniting thread for all humans.
We are the world’s oldest surviving repository of ancient wisdom, and we must also take the initiative of utilizing this wisdom. Those who reckon Vãstushastra in line with hindutwa and bhagwa must grow out of the frigid mindset of blocking all that is good in the name of secularism, rise above this nonsense and pave way for incorporating Vãstu principles in planning townships, housing, universities and institutions of learning, public buildings.
Because sooner or later the rest of the world will do the same.