the art of Vastu for you?
designed using Indian methodology are said to increase the
flow of good energy
businessman Avinash Bhagat says he hasn't looked back ever
since he moved into his new house in the city's west end.
says much of the credit for his flourishing business and smooth
family life can be attributed to good luck derived from his
new vastu-efficient house.
houses observe the principles of vastu – an ancient methodology
involving elements of architecture and design that states
one can align a house to nature's five elements to create
physical, spiritual and mental well-being.
asks us to align our biorhythms (our internal clock) with
the universal rhythms in which the sun plays the most vital
role," says Ohio designer, Kathleen Cox, author of three
books on vastu.
sun's rays from the northeast in the early morning are a source
of rejuvenation.'' On the other hand, exposure to the southwest,
``where the midday sun rays ultimately collect,'' is believed
to be harmful, she says.
honour the positive aspect of the morning sun by placing lightweight,
low and delicate furnishings in the north and the east so
that the healthy rays of the sun flow freely through each
room," Cox says.
vastu houses, especially those that are built from ground
up, deploy mathematical calculations believed to maximize
the flow of good energy into the house – Hindu temples in
India follow vastu strictly.
and wife Vaidehi migrated from Hong Kong in 2000 and were
running their catering business from an apartment, vastu wasn't
even considered. But in 2003, shortly after moving into a
new house, things changed.
was down by 40 per cent, I was losing contracts and bleeding
heavily in my other franchise business as well. Right, left
and centre things were going down – 2004 was a disastrous
year," Bhagat says. At the time, he didn't realize their
house faced south (considered inauspicious in vastu), while
the earlier apartment faced north.
his story, Bhagat's sister, a vastu expert in India, told
him, "You are sitting on a fire – get out of it."
Heeding that advice, they moved once more but only after scouring
dozens of builders and houses to shortlist one that met most
overseas offices settled down, I started getting contracts
again and, touch wood, I haven't looked back. That makes me
feel there is some sense in vastu, " Bhagat says.
isn't as well-known in the West as feng shui – the ancient
Chinese art of placement to maximize harmony and good fortune.
But it is used extensively in certain Indian Hindu communities.
With increasing immigration to Canada, it means more demand
for such houses.
move around with a compass all the time – this vastu has driven
me crazy," Toronto real estate agent P.K. Sabharwal says
with a laugh.
says he personally doesn't believe in it, ``but of my 10 Indian
clients, nine ask for vastu." Builders here still aren't
making such houses, but most clients, he says, prefer to choose
ones that face north, which is considered more auspicious.
a growing demand and has spread all over the U.S. as well,"
says Sabharwal, now in the process of shortlisting properties
for a group of investors wanting to build vastu houses in
main marketing point (for the houses) will be that it's vastu-friendly
and, hence, good for peace of mind and happiness," says
Snehal Shah, one of the investors in the proposed project.
editor of the biweekly Gujarati newspaper, Vatan News in the
GTA, says he and his four friends will invest money for three
to four houses. Architect Nilesh Loha, also an investor, says
he has worked in India for more than a decade designing such
houses. "I've seen and experienced it for 12 years in
Baroda (in India's Gujarat province) and I believe it (vastu)
is much more awareness in the U.S. about vastu than here in
Toronto, say vastu consultants. Cox, prominent in vastu design
in the U.S., started showcasing it as far back as 2003 when
she designed a vastu-inspired 18-room, three-storey inn in
Annex Quest House, this hotel was inspired by nature's five
elements, Cox says. For instance, she says room numbers with
the numeral one at the end are in the southwest of the hotel,
which represents the element of earth. Earth represents heaviness
and strength (accordingly, the heaviest items in a room should
be in the south and west).
sounds somewhat similar to feng shui, it is because feng shui
incorporates some vastu philosophy. Sharon Hay, director of
the Toronto School of Feng Shui says both have five elements
of nature and the universe, but in feng shui these five elements
are earth, water, fire, wood and metal.
important distinction, in feng shui north is considered inauspicious,''
says Sulakshan Mohan, author of the book Vaastu Shastra (Vaastu
is an alternative spelling. Shastra means science or technology).
``It is the other way round in vastu. A Chinese compass has
south on top."
America, vastu is practised differently by many consultants.
Toronto astrologer Kirit Trivedi uses the date and time of
birth to customize vastu for people.
Mercay, president of the American University of Mayonic Science
and Technology in Colorado, says that "authentic"
vastu is all about making a house from the ground up.
are hundreds of so-called vastu consultants who have taken
certain principles of vastu and combined them with feng shui
and tell people they are doing vastu – they simply are not,"
so-called vastu consultants are attempting to help improve
living spaces through the use of yantras (diagrams representing
the astronomical position of the planets), mandalas, crystals,
furniture moving, mirrors and any number of so-called vastu
none of these are, in fact, legitimate corrections for faulty
vastu. Authentic vastu is much more than the smoke and mirrors
being presented to the public."
host of the Dave Tatla Show, on CIAO-AM 530, agrees. "Many
people are preying on the insecurities and troubles of others
by putting out so called remedial measures. I think it is
all bull crap. People have gone to the moon, and we are still
saying, which direction must we put the bed in? I may be sitting
in the wrong direction, but my show is going perfectly well."
those naysayers, Trivedi says, "It's my job to give you
the information, and not my job to convince you (that there
is some truth to vastu).
unfortunately want proof, but I'm sorry, Mother Nature doesn't
work on emails or receipts."
has similar views. "Even if we do not always understand
the logic of vastu principles, the bottom line is that it
works," he says.
book, Mohan writes that "an aquarium with nine goldfish
and one black fish in the northeast corner/portion of the
house or factory is very good."
"Water in northeast is always good (and the) graceful
movement of the fish creates positives energy waves. But why
nine goldfish and one black fish? It is as illogical as the
number 13 being considered unlucky."
Bhagat, he's glad he has trusted vastu. "One can always
attribute these things to coincidence or say, `Well, things
would eventually become all right,' but the question is, if
something is hampering you and if you aren't losing anything
by trying out something differently, why not?"
Rakshande Italia, Special to the Star // TONY BOCK Published