The Difference between Vastu and Feng Shui
Vastu is one of the most ancient sciences of architecture and is composed of specific rules, regulations and directions, set down by sages of the Vedic times. Vastu shastra considers a house to be a living soul, having prana. The word “Vastu” came from Vastu – represent anything existing e.g. house, building etc. Shastra in Sanskrit means Systems or Knowledge.
On the other hand, Feng Shui is an ancient art of Chinese art who gives idea of living in harmony with environment to lead lives of contentment and happiness. In Chinese language “Feng” means “wind” and “Shui” means “water”, implying thereby that the technique involves balancing of the cosmic element water & the cosmic quality “wind” in a system to achieve harmony with the cosmic forces.
Vastu v/s Feng Shui
Vastu Shastra is based on science since Feng Shui is based on local geographic considerations and traditions. In Vastu Shastra, the North direction is generally regarded as auspicious because it is regarded as a source of magnetic energy. The East direction is also regarded as auspicious because this direction is the source of solar (sun) energy. In contrast, in Feng Shui, the North direction is generally regarded as inauspicious. This is because in China, the North direction is where the sands and cold winds from Mongolia blow from. In Feng Shui, the South and Southeast direction is generally regarded as auspicious as the warmth of sun can be felt from these directions.
In Vastu Shastra, the cooking stove in the kitchen should generally be placed on the right while the sink should be placed on the left. In Feng Shui, the basic principle on the cooking stove and sink is that they must not be facing each other. Moreover, in Vastu Shastra, sleeping with head pointing to the South or East directions is considered auspicious while in Feng Shui, the sleeping direction should generally be in accordance to the person’s auspicious directions. In Vastu Shastra, big or heavy furniture like sofa, TV, radio equipment, etc should be placed at the South or Southwest sector of a house. This will leave more space in the North and East area – considered auspicious. In Feng Shui, big or heavy furniture should generally be placed at the North sector, directly opposite the auspicious South sector.
Working of Vastu
Vastu works on three principles of design that cover the entire premise.
The first one is Bhogadyam, which says that the designed premise must be useful and lend itself to easy application.
The second is Sukha Darsham, in which the designed premise must be aesthetically pleasing. The proportions of the spaces and the material used, in the interiors and exteriors of the building – ornamentation, color, sizes of the windows, doors and the rooms and the rhythms of projection and depressions – should be beautiful.
The third principle is Ramya, where the designed premise should evoke a feeling of well being in the user.
Working of Feng Shui
Traditional Feng Shui gives equal importance to Time, Space and Action. So it is important to have a mix of the right action, in the right place at the right time to do well.
The most important principles therefore are ‘earth luck’, the energies that are present in your space and time.
The second is the ‘man luck’, which are your own actions and free will. So how you use the available opportunities make a difference in your life.
The third one is ‘heaven luck’, which is your fate and destiny and least in your hands.
These three principles make it easy for us to understand why different people moving into the same house can do varied things in their lives.
Vastu and Feng Shui both comprises of five elements
Even if Vastu and Feng Shui both mean to harmonize you with your surroundings, they have totally different philosophies. Feng Shui was originally intended for ideal placement of gravesites so that people could gain the most benefit from their pleased ancestors. This later developed into a system of placement for homes and other buildings.
In fact, the real masters say that if you have been having a satisfactory life in the terms of health, wealth and relationships, your house is utilizing all the energies properly, so do not disturb it. Also, they warn against generalizing of the good and the bad directions, as these directions vary from house to house and person to person. Vastu Shastra believes that just like humans, a building has a life that weakens after some years. Therefore, to rejuvenate it, the resident must do a Vastu pooja every 30 years. They both utilize the five elements; however, Vastu uses earth, water, fire, air and space; whereas Feng Shui replaces earth and space with wood and metal.
Believers in Vastu or Feng Shui claim that homes built on that tradition promise the well being and welfare of its dwellers. Only if you are happy in your dwelling place you can find success in life and workplace.
- The Architecture Times, Indore