Sthapatya veda is the knowledge of vedic architecture. This knowledge comes from a 5,000-year-old Hindu text and is thought to predate Chinese feng shui. Sthapatya (sta-pat-ya) can be translated as “to establish” and veda as “knowledge.”
Sthapatya veda uses the circadian cycle, yet this knowledge expands to include the universe itself. The five elements — air, earth, fire, water and space — are also important factors in building design.
The guidelines for sthapatya veda remain uncontested, though some modern day systems are more refined. In the 1990’s Maharishi Mahesh Yogi revived this ancient knowledge and introduced it to the western world. Since then, sthapatya veda has become accepted as an important contribution to healthy and environmentally friendly living.
Homes and buildings are cardinally positioned north, south, east and west. The orientation of the home is the primary consideration and the entrance is ideally facing east, which is governed by the rising sun. The only acceptable alternative would be a north facing entrance. South facing buildings are unacceptable.
The land should be at least an acre in size and be slightly rounded or turtle shaped. The home and the surrounding fenced area is called a vastu. Every detail within the vastu is to be positioned accordingly to specific guidelines. They include everything from drainage directed to the northeast, to an odd number of steps on the stairs, to toilets being housed within water closets, located inside the bathrooms.
Room placement is according to the sun and moon so that daily activity will be energetic and purposeful. The kitchen should be in the southeast corner of the home; the dining area should be in the southwest section. This positioning will cause a natural stimulation of the appetite upon entering these rooms. By positioning the study or library in the northwest corner of the vastu, the intellect will be stimulated upon entering that room. Likewise, upon entering the bedroom, the physiology will begin to settle and prepare for sleep. It is believed that the placement of every room will put the homeowner's activities in line with the patterns of the sun and moon and enhance each experience according to natural law.
The very center point of the home is an area of silence, called the brahmastan. This area should remain inactive from daily life so that the lively silence of the universe can be established in the householder's thoughts and awareness. A brahmastan area should extend upward to a cupola.
A sthapatya veda home should be built of all natural materials and products such as stone, water and wood. This concept should be consistent throughout all phases of the construction process. In decorating the home, all natural fabrics, woods and stones should be used as well. Harmony between the home and the geographical location is also advised.
Light is another important consideration in the construction of a sthapatya veda home. Windows should be placed so that the light can penetrate throughout the home as the sun moves across the sky. This also allows for proper ventilation.
It is not necessary to take on a lifestyle, belief system or religion in order to gain the benefits of living in a sthapatya veda home. The reported advantages range from better health, deeper rest, more clarity and creativity, more happiness and peace of mind.