OVERVIEW OF VASTU
A GLIPMSE INTO THE VASTU UNIVERSE
Colonisation and foreign invasions have broken the continuity of our knowledge systems. Recovering the missing links and reconnecting to the wisdom of our land is an essential task as it will show us a path to reclaim our connection to our environment, our communities, physical health and spirituality. It is becoming increasingly clear today that societies are failing to sustain themselves without acknowledging and valuing traditional wisdom.
The three major streams of knowledge that originated in India are yoga, ayurveda and vAstu.
Ayurveda is the vignAna shAstra or science of food which teaches a person how to sustain essential balance in one’s body. Yoga is the vignAna shAstra or science through which body, mind & breath can be balanced to attain the highest potential of energy within. vAstu is the vignAna shAstra that shows the individual how one can create and live in harmony with the built and unbuilt environment.
vAstu can be considered as the manifested form which connects the belief system of a populace or community with the healthy lifestyle it yearns for, and offers it the inspirational ambience for deeper and more meaningful experiences. Indeed, we cannot undermine the importance of vAstu.
‘In sound through music
In the body through dance
In words through poetry
In space through architecture
In form through sculpture
In thought through mathematics
One can touch the Divine.’
(From the oral verses of the Shilpi)
Texts on vAstu shAstra have been in existence for over 3000 years. These texts documented various aspects of architecture after several years of trial and error in the field. There are 64 original texts in Sanskrit as well as many others in regional Indian languages. Traditional architects, sculptors and craftsmen of the Vishwakarma community continue to practice and embody the philosophy, skills and techniques of this ancient tradition.
The beauty of traditional knowledge streams are that they are never meant to be stagnant or fixed bodies of knowledge. They have evolved, gained volume and richness gradually over time with each generation testing the knowledge and adding to it. So, let us join hands in exploring this vignAna shAstra to make our lives more meaningful and sampUrNa.
My approach in vastu has gone through many iterations based on my personal evolution and the additions to my knowledge base. Moreover, many years ago when I was studying with my teacher Ganapati Sthapati I realised that there was a masculine interpretation for all traditional wisdom that I don’t agree with which works with the fear of people and uses control and oppression to offer wellness. I saw this as a negatives process that created dependency and lack of confidence in people. Therefore I moved away from the mainstream and spent 10 years in study and self reflection between 1993-2003. Following this I came back into teaching and professional practice with a fairly revolutionary perspective to the Vastu Shastra. I clearly departed from the fear inducing Systems to a liberating path that accepts people as they are, space as it is and buildings as they are. Then I assist people, spaces and buildings to a more wholesome experience of their potential rather than cut and break with the idea that there’s a mythical goal of perfection that they can get to. – Sashikala Ananth
To learn more of our appoach to vAstu, please visit