Vastu Shastra: Fears, Affirmations and Superstitions
Vastu Shastra is the classical Indian treatise on architecture, which had set down principles of excellent planning and design that have been in practice in popular culture ever since. Today, individuals expect a Vastu application to provide them with instant cures and endless opulence by simply relocating an entrance, a window or a room. Today, Vastu compliance has become an inseparable part of the city real estate business. However, the widespread demand in public has expedited realtors to use Vastu as a ‘marketing gimmick'.
This avarice for prosperity has ushered people to embrace Vastu principles in their homes without caring to grasp what its true principles are. This popular demand conjointly tends to invoke apprehensions within the mind of common Indians, and in due course, a style not confirming to Vastu principles is even thought of sinful in some parts of the country. This culture could be a mistake of the treatise itself, and this growing misconception is popping the 1500-year-old Shastra into a feared monster, who, if not given a place in your home, would snatch all the prosperity from your life.
"Today, people are stretching it to such a level and all kind of nonsense is happening; because when fear rules you, you can make a science out of everything. This whole thing has taken over people's minds in the last ten to twenty years." ~ Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev
The people who didn't miss to capitalize on this growing fear are the city realtors themselves. The societal fear has led them to use Vastu Shastra to entice people to buy ‘Vastu compliant flats'. Consequently, Vastu consultancy firms have boomed in our real estate scenario over a previous couple of decades, as people spending over 25-30 lakhs would never mind shelling out a few thousand more bucks for Vastu compliance.
The beginning of the last twenty years has witnessed the realtors using Vastu as a marketing gimmick. The present situation is even worse, as Vastu has become a compulsion for the city realtors. Flats without Vastu compliance find it tough to take a place on the buyers' list, and in order to compete within the property business, the realtors realize it is mandatory to confirm to Vastu principles in most of their flats if not all.
"Vastu compliance has become a basic necessity in the real estate business. It's the key when it comes to the design and construction of a unit. At times, buyers even get units inspected by Vastu consultants before finalizing the deal," ~Anil Gadia, Managing Director, Meridian Realty Group.
The problem is not within the adoption of Vastu principles, but the misunderstanding of the treatise itself. Vastu invariably has to play a guiding role instead of an enforcing one, and the prevailing fear within the minds of the individuals needs to be eradicated through awareness and education.
The term ‘Vastu compliancy' needs to go as it absolutely was never meant to be so. Most of the written text is about flexible design guidelines for space, sunlight, flow, and function, but in modern Indian society, Vastu finds its place rather as a religious superstition than a set of guidelines.
Social reformers since the advent of the nineteenth century have fought irrational beliefs and religious superstitions that have eventually paved way for rational thinking for the generations to come. Sadly, the present state of affairs simply proves to disrespect those tireless efforts, and religious superstitions would be the very last thing one would expect to adulterate Indian architecture. However, somehow society has managed to try and do that too.
The questions that arise here are:
When shall we be all successful in sorting our professional disciplines out of all these irrational beliefs?
Despite the growing dialogue of architects envisioned as protagonists, who are assigned with the task of straightening out social woes through their design, they have played a big role in distorting the essence of Vastu. What will it take for the architectural fraternity to step-up and take note of the surmounting issue of religious superstitions infiltrating into the society through the medium of architecture?