Ancient Science for Thriving Modern Spaces (Part 1)

One of the biggest dreams and perhaps the biggest project in our lives is to build our own home. Why is this so important for so many of us?

From our own home we expect security, comfort, stability, well-being and a connection to a piece of land and thus a sense of belonging.

But simply putting our need for space into a plan and finding an appealing design is not enough to fulfill that primal longing at the deepest level. So how can we ensure that we feel really at home and bask in a sense of well-being and upliftment?

A Step Back in Time

At this point, it is worth taking a trip back in time, when building a house was still a sacred skill and guidelines were followed that brought about this very personal elevation of the residents. It was more than just a practical design and bringing together suitable materials. It was an art of constructing a building that resonates with us, a building that we call home and delight in when we return, that is stable yet dynamic, that roots us deeply with Mother Earth yet is energetically open to the wide open sky, that nourishes us with good health and prosperity, that brings out the best in us and probably most importantly, that is able to uplift our consciousness. The oldest of these traditional sciences was found in the Indian subcontinent. It is called Vastu.

Vastu is on the rise nowadays. Perhaps you have already heard something about this not so easily graspable science. In India and worldwide, Vastu is experiencing a renaissance. But as with other sciences, it also attracts freeloaders who pretend to know more than they actually do. Certain Vastu secrets have been passed down only from master to worthy disciple, usually only within family traditions. Such masters are called Shilpis (Vastu stonemasons) or Sthapatis (Vastu architects). Why did these masters keep it so secret? Certainly not for selfish reasons. These masters were aware of the profound effect of Vastu architecture on people. And this power in the wrong hands can be abused.

Fast Forward to Modern Times

We are certainly in uncertain times. At least one of these contemporary masters saw that Vastu is almost essential for our civilization today. He decided to cautiously but openly instruct various serious persons in this sacred science. This master is Dr. V. Ganapati Sthapati, whose family tradition in Vastu can be traced back to the last 1000 years. He has received this knowledge and skill from his father, who in turn received it from his father, etc. His ancestors built the famous Brihadeshwara temple complex at Tanjur in South India, which is one of the most impressive and still vibrant temple cities in the world. Dr. Ganapati Sthapati himself has built over 600 Vastu buildings around the world.

In his quest to bring Vastu into the public consciousness to positively influence the course of humanity, he wrote and published many books and accepted many disciples, among them some Western scholars and architects who are now increasingly bringing Vastu to our Western world.

The Origin

Vastu in its traditional form traces its origin to two individuals, one named Vishwakarma and one named Brahmarishi Mayan.

Vishwakarma is considered the “chief architect of the universe”.

Brahmarishi Mayan was a rishi (seer or sage) who discovered many universal principles through introspection and deep study of nature. He wrote treatises on architecture, sculpture, dance, music, poetry and other arts, astrophysics, mathematics, herbology, cartography, shipbuilding, and others. The Surya Siddhanta, a traditional scripture that is highly regarded by modern scholars for its precise understanding of astronomy, is probably his most famous work.

His greatest discovery was the mathematics behind the process of creation. Through introspection, he realized the rhythm (laya) of the creation of all optical and acoustic objects. On this basis he developed and refined the five arts of architecture, sculpture, dance, poetry and music. Among the five arts, architecture was the most outstanding for him, since it has the most lasting effect on the observer or, specifically, the inhabitant. This realization led him to make the following statement:

“Architecture is the highest achievement of mathematics”.

Worldwide Application

Despite Brahmarishi Mayan’s Indian origin, the principles of Vastu are not Indian, but universal. The same principles have been applied by many different cultures on different continents, such as the Mayans in Central America, the Chinese, the Tibetans, the Japanese, Egyptians, and even the Romans. Modern Western architecture can be traced back to the latter.

How is it possible that all these cultures seem to apply the same principles? On the one hand, many cultures had their methods of perceiving laws of nature beyond the scientifically recognized laws of nature, connecting with these other forms of energy and working with them. For this purpose they used ceremonies, rituals and meditations. But there is also a very down-to-earth explanation. We learn that Brahmarishi Mayan had twelve disciples and he was an expert in shipbuilding. After the intensive training of his twelve disciples, he had sent them out into the world so that all mankind could benefit from these teachings. We know that the Egyptians and Greeks had a close connection with India. But even more surprising is that Marcus Vitruvius (1st century BC), a Roman scholar and architect, must have had contact with the Vastu tradition in his time. His ten books on architecture (many architecture students study them even today) have strong similarities with the Manasara, an ancient Vastu scripture. The content and structure of the chapters have too many similarities to be coincidental. And since Vitruvius is considered the origin of modern architecture, it can be concluded that Vastu is one of the most important roots of European building tradition.

But not only Marcus Vitruvius’, but also Andrea Palladio’s (16th century AD) and Le Corbusier’s modern buildings show close parallels to Vastu. The good news for architecture lovers is that modern Vastu buildings do not have to look like Indian-style buildings (unless that is specifically desired). Vastu can be applied to virtually any modern design style.

Definition of Vāstu

Vāstu means “the energy that lives eternally.” Vastu, with one “a,” defines the original creative energy that shines from its own power and needs no other source. Vāstu, with two “a’s,” defines that same energy in a more condensed or manifested form.

Dr. Ganapati Sthapati often cites Einstein’s equation E = mc2 as an example. E represents the original creative energy, Vastu, whereas mc2 is related to Vāstu, the manifest energy or matter.

“Concerning matter, we have been all wrong. What we have called matter is energy, whose vibration has been so lowered as to be perceptible to the senses. There is no matter.” Prof. Albert Einstein

“Vāstu is the science of manifestation of energy into matter or material form.“
Dr. V. Ganapati Sthapati

What Vāstu Is Not

It is important to acknowledge other forms of construction/architectural remediation, with the clarity that while they may have some effect, they do not produce what could be called “the Vāstu effect.”

Vāstu and Building Biology
Vāstu is not building biology (also known as baubiology) or a form of “green building.” Of course, it is beneficial to build Vāstu structures according to the principles of building biology. In early times the ancient cultures built with natural materials since there were not artificial materials yet. But we can also build Vāstu structures with conventional materials if so desired..

Vastu and Feng Shui
Vāstu is also not simply an Indian version of Feng Shui. In fact Feng Shui (meaning wind and water) grew out of a teaching called Kan Yu (heaven and earth). Kan Yu had astonishing similarities to Vāstu. Kan Yu was, similar to Vāstu, more of an architectural than a rectification technology as Feng Shui is often practiced today. Kan Yu, as well as ancient Feng Shui, seemed to have sacred measures similar to Vāstu. In Vāstu they are still held as the heart and soul of any design process, whereas only a very rare few Feng Shui experts still consider sacred measures. According to different Chinese masters, Kan Yu came from ancient India.

Vastu and Religion
Vāstu is also not a belief system or religion. Its understanding is based on purely scientific principles that consider subtle natural laws.

Vāstu Science

The essence of Vāstu architecture can be summed up in one important phrase:

“Vastureva Vaastu“, meaning, subtle space transforms itself into manifested space.

According to Vāstu, the whole universe, also the so considered vacuum in outer space, is filled with minute energy particles. As soon as we enclose free space, we enclose a certain amount of these particles. This is why every structure is filled with energy.

“If a part of free space is isolated and confined into a four-walled structure it becomes a living organism and the space enclosed will start vibrating in a particular order. If such a building is designed to vibrate in the same numerical order as that of the indweller, the resultant phenomenon is that he will experience harmony or perfect union with the Universal Self.” Dr. V. Ganapati Sthapati

We see from this quote that one of the key factors in Vāstu is the concept of resonance (compatible vibrational order). The aim of Vāstu architecture is to establish a resonance between the inhabitants, the created structure and nature, thereby connecting us to the earth and to cosmic energies.

How are we able to define the frequency with which a building will vibrate?

Vāstu explains that it is the perimeter of the building – more specifically the exact dimensions of the “empty” space that is enclosed – that will define the frequency. Vāstu offers us a set of mathematical formulas with which we can find an auspicious perimeter (rather than randomly selecting a perimeter which will bring arbitrary, and most likely, undesirable results). These mathematical vibrations have certain beneficial qualities that evoke specific desirable states in the human body, psychology, and spiritual awareness. By choosing Vāstu spaces that resonate these qualities, the human then has the experience of these auspicious qualities in life.

The Vāstu effect is therefore based on the scientific factors of mathematics and geometry, and other subtle natural laws. In fact, the teachings of Vāstu relates closely to modern quantum physics.

Benefits of Vāstu

By implementing Vāstu, we can live and work in structures that reward us with well-being and happiness, prosperity and abundance, strong health and rejuvenating sleep, concentration and success in studies and work, harmonious relationships and spiritual fulfillment.

About the Author

After successfully completing his first diploma training at the German Veda Academy at the end of 2004, Marc founded his Vastu consultancy. In summer 2012 he completed his second Vastu training, a comprehensive 2-year international Vastu certification programme in the lineage of Dr. V. Ganapati Sthapati, the world’s most renowned Sthapati (temple architect and builder).

Marc advises, plans, and supervises the construction of Vastu buildings worldwide, creating vibrant and modern spaces. He also lectures, writes articles, and leads trainings on this powerful architectural tradition.

With every Vastu house building project he is fascinated anew how many positive and beneficial energies are released and the owners benefit from more harmony, success, well-being and spiritual fulfilment. His vision is that everyone can live in such spaces of abundance and power and has made this his life mission. He would be happy to support you in your unique life project “home of your own”.