Revisiting Natural Energies: Vaastu Shashtra’s Perspective for Sustainable Design

By Shubhra Kannan and Vibhavari Jani.

Published by The International Journal of Sustainability Policy and Practice

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

The Indian science of building known as Vaastushashtra has attained much attention in recent years. Due to the recent hype and misunderstanding of its real principles, it is perceived as bringing good luck and prosperity to a person and not as an established building science. Because it is considered as bringing good luck, some clients in India follow the advice of a Vaastu Shastri (practitioner of Vaastu) blindly without really understanding the principles. All of this contributes to demeaning the relevance of Vaastu science and its related principles. This paper tries to dispel these myths and brings forth the scientific principles of Vaastushashtra and its message of understanding of the environment and its impact on human beings. Vaastu science not only examines and understands the design aspect of building, but also analyze the natural environment surrounding the building as well as the needs of the inhabitants of the building. Thus, it is a holistic science, which analyzes the environment on the basis of energy surrounding the earth, sun’s path and the magnetic forces of the earth. Further, it describes how the human body, being in the midst of these natural energies, can obtain the maximum benefit from it by constructing a building according to Vaastu principles. A peaceful existence can be created using Vaastu principles, affirm Sahasrabudhe & Sahasrabudhe (2005), who state that “Vastushashtra’s purpose is (create) peace and tranquility for all. The basic principle of Vaastu science is least hindrance to natural energy streams. It orients human endeavor in positive direction to shower divine bliss, leading to success, prosperity and peace.” In this paper, the authors further analyse and compare the energies explained by Brown and the energies explained in Vaastu and try to explain the energy system which is applicable and relevant to the contemporary building design in maintaining a sustainable society.

Keywords: Natural Energies, Building Design, Ancient Architecture

The International Journal of Sustainability Policy and Practice, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp.143-159. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 3.070MB).

Dr. Shubhra Kannan

D.D.U.Gorakhpur University, Greenfield, Wisconsin, USA

Shubhra Kannan is an independent researcher. She aspires to establish herself as an design psychology consultant. Her interest is in design and building research. Shubhra worked with many organizations as an independent design researcher in Bangalore, India (2005–2007). Shubhra holds a Ph.D. in environmental psychology from D.D.U. Gorakhpur University, Gorakhpur, UP, India (2005). Shubhra has presented papers at various conferences regarding vaastu and currently holds a membership of APA and EDRA.

Prof. Vibhavari Jani

Principal, & Professor, Interior Architecture and Product Design, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, USA

Prof. Vibhavari Jani is trained as an architect, interior designer, painter, singer, and as a dancer and holds a Master of Arts degree from Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan and a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the School of Architecture, Ahmedabad, India. Currently she serves as an Associate Professor in the Interior Architecture and Product Design Department in the College of Architecture, Planning and Design, Kansas State University. In past she has served as the program chair and endowed professor of interior design. She has received many awards including a Gold Medal for her undergraduate work and a Best Thesis Award for her architecture research work. Prof. Jani has also received many grants for various research projects. Her paintings, poetry, essays and articles have been published in India, the UK and the US. Among her many publications, “Creation” the book of her abstract paintings based on the Vedanta Philosophy is her favorite. Prof. Jani also illustrated a book entitled “Baal Vikas Yatra” (Baby’s Growth Book) in 2000. Her book of Poetry “Sumbandh Naam Nu Ek Phool” was published in 1999. Her research work on “Interiors and Furniture for Open Plan Offices” was published in 1990. She recently completed a manuscript “Diversity in Design: Perspectives from the Non-Western World” which is being published by Fairchild Publications. She gives lectures on this subject to create awareness about non-Western cultures.