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4 During 1995 to 1999 I was involved in the study of vaastu shastra and was associated with Thiru. A. Raman, K.A. Natesan and Thiru. Ganapathy sthapathi and floated an International association with Thiru. A. Raman as president. But due to personal reasons I have stopped my involvement in all such activities. However, I have produced some papers on vaastu which was published in the seminars of that period. I am presenting below one such paper for those interested and it was based on my perception of Vaastu at that time. This passae also contains some of my random thoughts on vaastu and some material copied from the publications like the Hindu and etc. VAASTHU SHASTRA AND SCIENCE S.N.Mahalingam., B.E., M.Sc(IISc.)., FIE.,FIV.,
Superintending Engineer PWD (Retd),P.No. 64-A, S.B. Colony II Street, Kamarajapuram, Chennai-600 073. Tele. 237 5403. E.mail:santhri@yahoo.com The matter is composed of the elements the sun (fire), the moon (water), the wind (air), the earth and akasha. Akasha fills the space within the confines of the universe. The western philosophers consider this as a fluid endowed with a mysterious power which is so sensitive that everything that has happened, happening and to happen is inscribed in it; even the lightest emotions of ours, the most fleeting thoughts. It is stated to contain the universal knowledge in some form and the scientists whatever they discover, telephones, television, lasers etc., are actually rediscoveries, the source of which is the knowledge contained in akasha. It is supposed to be similar to internet and only adepts can have access to it. As each creature when it thinks, senses and acts, it imprints the new vibrations in akasha, and contains everything about that creature the forms (shapes) that belonged to it since the creation of the world. It (akasha) is extremely mysterious and all that it is said on this subject is at the same time true and false. This akasha has, as stated, the property of recording all that happens in the universe. The proof for this is that the soothsayers can read on an object that was held by a person for a few minutes. Then they recite the events that has happened around it and even the fate of the person who has had this object in his hands during one or two minutes. Obviously, this statement is made with reference to the true soothsayers. This fluid, akasha where (in which) everything is recorded, where everything is to be reflected, extends to the borders of the universe, represented for us by the limits of the zodiac: for the circle of zodiac represents symbolically the space the God delimited for creating the world. Moreover according to scriptures, the succession of the twelve signs of the zodiac, Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces, reveals the different stages of the creation. All the things that happen to be within the confines of the zodiac are submitted to the imperatives of the time (periods, cycles) and the space. Only pure spirits are free, they are not chained (attached) to the time and space. But when they incarnate (in this world) they enter into the confines of the zodiac and are taken over by the magic circle of implacable destiny which chains even the most illustrious, the great sons of God. According to this everything that happened, happening and to happen within the boundary of the universe is predetermined as per some law and nobody can escape from it. This aspect is amply explained in Hindu mythological stories. But Vaasthu Shasthra permits one to escape from or minimise the influence of this law. This is by the creation of a shell shrouding him, within which only

the law of Vaasthu will prevail. Vaasthu Sastra is about the creation of this boundary or shell for a person who has to take his abode within it. The other papers presented in this symposium will deal with this aspect. Ever since the first Seminar on Vaasthu Sastra held a few years back at Chennai in which Shri Ganapathi Stapathi and Shri Prabhat Poddar were the star attractions, the debate is going on whether there is any scientific basis for Vaasthu Sastra. The Sastra is based on the works of Mayan and Brihat Samhita and other number of similar works. They give the rules to be applied in the design of the living spaces. They may be considered as manuals on this subject. The Vaasthu pundits in rendering advice are following this. But so far no real effort has been foot forth to establish the scientific basis on which it is founded One of the approaches is to track the works on Vaasthu Sastra prior to the works of Mayan and Brihat Samhita. It is to be noted so many things mentioned in the Hindu scriptures, mythological stories, like distant audio and video communication, airplanes, missiles, cosmology and astronomy were rediscovered and given a scientific foundation and have become realities now. To-day's myth will be to-morrow's reality and be accepted as scientific. Certainly there should have been detailed Treatises of the theory, design and technological aspects on the above subjects in the ancient works which may be lying uncared for in either the remote villages of India or the archives of western countries. The Vaasthu Sastra as it exists is better than the above mentioned subjects distant communications and etc., which gives the design aspects of the living spaces. There should have been detailed treatises on the theory and design of living spaces that are yet to be traced. May be they are also lying hidden somewhere untracked. So efforts should be directed to trace the ancient works which may establish the scientific basis. In this pursuit some other rare treatises apart from Vaasthu Sastra may also get unearthed and come to light. The other approach is to take up research work afresh to establish the scientific basis. There are several ways it could be done. In the recent texts on Vaasthu Sastra, for example, the paper by Shri Natesan. (1999), it has been mentioned that the nature of Bio-energy, positive and negative, in a house-site, controls the well being of the inhabitants. The first approach is to measure this energy and for that the research carried out by Shri Prabhat Poddar (1991), that was based on the earlier research conducted elsewhere, may be a starting point. The paper describes a simple unsophisticated instrument for measuring the positive and negative energy levels, the Lecher Antenna, and the Biometer, a scale developed by French research workers, to indicate energy levels the unit of which is termed as Bovis. On the Bovis scale, it is stated : 0 Bovis represents no energy. 6,500 Bovis is the normal human, physical body energy if there is no disease of any kind in the system. A lower physical energies of the body indicate a sign of a medical problem. The lower the body's energy the more significant the disease, ultimately leading to death. 6,500 Bovis to 16,000 Bovis are the energies of different chakras of the body, reflected in different cultures as concentration of energy in the sanctum sactorum of churches, temples, mosques, etc., levels "

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Details of energy levels in temples, mosques and churches have been given. In addition positive and negative energies and its effects have also been dealt with. Shri Prabhat Poddar has demonstrated the instrument on two occasions during his discourses at Chennai. The demonstration was interesting and it was brought to the notice of the audience that the shutters of the doors and windows to be kept so as to open from outside to inside except in bathrooms and lavatories. Since then further work must have been done by him and he may be having more details. It is worthwhile to obtain the findings to enhance the understanding of Vaasthu.

The other aspects that affect the well being of the inhabitants of a house are ventilation, sun light and air (oxygen and other polluting gases concentration level), concentration magnetic forces and especially the concentration level of Radon. Radon is a radioactive gas that is generated in the earth, which is supposed to get collected in the basement, and get released slowly. It is stated to be toxic to humans. So far no measurement appears to have been taken in our country to study the concentration levels of Radon. Perhaps the houses designed and located according to Vaasthu principles may have less ill effects and has to be investigated. Instrumentation to be developed to measure the concentration level of these. Another aspect that needs investigation is the consideration of a house as a living organism. In a building potential energy is stored in the walls and roof. In addition one can notice that air is entering into the building as well as getting outside similar to breathing. Then the air also circulates within the building. The presence of potential energy and the movement of air within and without the building leads one to conclude why not the building be considered as an entity having some form of life? If that is so will there be an aura shrouding the building as is proved to be in the case of plants, animals and humans? In that case why not scan the building for defects as is done for humans by the practitioners of Reikhi or Pranic Healing? The usefulness of Kirlian photography may also have to be investigated which may enable small scale model studies as it was shown (Prabhat Poddar, 1991) that even geometrical figures respond differently depending upon the shapes to Kirlian photography. Is it better to talk in terms of measurement and test results of Bovis energy levels, concentration of oxygen or polluting gases, concentration level of Radon and etc., instead of only orientation, agni moolai, sani moolai and so on. The purpose of this paper is to create awareness on the necessity for research and to focus attention on the possibilities.. Any criticism and suggestions and additional material are invited and feel free to contact. Some details of websites pertaining to Feng Shui and Geomancy is enclosed as Annexure for the benefit of the practitioners of Vaasthu Sathra. This paper is based on several western philosophical works and the references quoted here. The author wishes to record his appreciation and gratefulness to the publishers for giving an opportunity to share some of his thoughts. References: Natesan.K.A. (1999), Scientific basis for locating various rooms in the house as per Vaasthu, Indian Valuer, Vol.XXXI, No. 5. New Delhi. Prabhat Poddar.(1991). The Mysterious Energies Within and Around us, Architecture-Design, Bombay, India.

From

S.N.Mahalingam., B.E., M.Sc(IISc.)., FIE.,FIV.,
Superintending Engineer PWD (Retd),P.No. 64-A, S.B. Colony II Street, Kamarajapuram, Chennai-600 073. Tele. 237 5403. E.mail:santhri@md3.vsnl.net.in To Vassthu Rathna Dr. S. Raman, President, Vastu Shastra Study Circle India (Regd) 20, 4th Cross Street, Indira Nagar, Chennai -= 600 020. My dear Sir, Sub : Two days Vastu Symposium - 13th-14th June 1999 - paper - submitted - reg. Ref : Our telephonic conversation. With reference to the above I am forwarding my Paper "Vaasthu Shasthra and Science" for favour of consideration. If it is not accepted kindly arrange to return it to me.

With regards, Yours truly, (S.N. Mahalingam) Chennai - 73, Dt. 24.5.1999.

The world has different climates in different parts of the earth. When it is summer in the Northern Hemisphere, it will be winter in the Southern Hemisphere. Consider a person walking in Chennai road around 2 o' clock in the afternoon in Anna Salai. The temperature indicated by the Tarapoor Towers will be around 41ºC. He will be sweating profusely and will be very ill at ease. He enters a verandah of an office building; he feels better protected from the sun. Then he enters the

interior of the office where a number of electric fans are provided and are in full action. He feels much better. Then he enters the air-conditioned room of the official whom he has come to see and sits comfortably before him in a cushioned lounge chair. Now he is very comfortable in the airconditioned room, which is working at its full capacity. He tells the official that it is to hot and horrible outside. When the man was out in the sun he was subjected to the macroclimate of the Anna Road, then he enters the verandah, office and the air-conditioned room, which are supposed to have microclimates due to the shade and electric fans throwing a breeze and then the air-conditioned comfort. So even though the macroclimate is harsh, the man can minimise its harshness and even have comfort by providing himself shells of different quality. The three distinctive shells to be considered are; first verandah, then office hall and finally the air-conditioned room. In the verandah the sunrays were prevented from keeping it hot and are relatively cooler than the road. Here the input is shade and natural breeze. In the office hall in addition to prevention of the penetration of direct sunlight (rays) electric fans (the devices) driven by electrical energy is input. In the air-conditioned room, the inputs are the electrical energy, the device (airconditioner) and the enclosure with thermal insulation. These provide distinct environment in each place according to which the comforts level increase. They may be considered as shells enclosing different environment, comfortable, more comfortable and most comfortable. This analogy explains how a man can have his shell to protect him from the fate to which he is destined and within the shell only the law of Vaasthu can prevail. The degree of protection afforded will depend on the level of application of Vaaasthu principles in selecting the site, preparation of the site, and construction of the building. It is said, on construction of a building, a mysterious energy is activated that controls the well being of the householder depending upon the level of compliance of Vaasthu principles. What is this mysterious force?, why it acts? and how it acts? are the questions to be answered. If the questions can be answered then it can be said that Vaasthu Shathra is a science. Vaasthu Shasthra is based on ancient texts the age of which is not known. These should have been based on the still ancient texts because Vaasthu shasthra as it is a sort of a manual containing only rules for applying them in the design, selection of materials, construction site and construction. In the case of engineering detailed treatises are available on strenth of materials, theory of structures, reinforced concrete design, design of steel structures and etc., by applying the principles of which any structure can be designed. Similarly soil mechanics and foundation engineering has been developed to design foundations suitable for each site of construction. For the design of structures they used to have only thumb rules in the beginning but gradually the scientists studied the natural forces and their effect on the materials, by observation and experiments and etc., gradually developed the theory and practice to be adopted in the construction of structures. A similar approach is to be taken in the case of Vaasthu shasthra also; basis to be found for each and every rule of Vaasthu shasthra. For example, if there is a thumb rule for the maximum size of a room, it has to be analysed with the present code of practice with reference strength of materials mentioned in that particular rule. The thumb rule may be modified based on the modern day strength of materials and technology available. It is only an example and similar attempts to be made to examine each rule. In other words the Vaasthu shasthra and the present theory and practice of engineering are to be integrated. Generally there is a lingering doubt in the minds of the Vaasthu skeptics how a portion of land when separated by putting a compound wall will be independent of the mainland. This will be clear by examining the behaviour of a mirror. Let it be a big mirror as in the dressing table. If one stands before, it will reflect his image. Suppose it is cut into four pieces; now each piece will reflect an image. Each piece is independent and has the same property of reflection of images. So analogously a large area of land can be divided into plots and each of which will behave as a distinctive and separate entity from the main land. Each plot can be developed according to the rules laid down in the Vaasthu shasthra to have enhanced properties for the well being of the person inhabiting the place. The Hindu, Sunday, August 1, 1999

Yoga of Healing, point-counterpoint Dr. P.L.T. Girija. …….. Unlike other systems, only allopathy rests on scientific study, or sdubmits itself to the rigours of science. Allopathy is a system which is intellectually honest and other systems should follow its example. The system is verifiable unlike the other systems - specifically Ayurveda which has no single frame of reference. Therefore, whatever Ayurveda recommends is not easily verifiable, and so on. Western medicine looks at the body as a chaotic collective of molecules; it views human beings as engaged in a constant struggle against nature for survival. Such a science can have no theory of health and ill health. It cannot instruct us on how to maintain health by following the ways of nature. In its constant fight and intervention against the natural order of things, it has developed therapeutics and drugs of questionable worth, fraught with dangerous side effects. The Allopathic system, as the dominant and natural medicine in independent India, has achieved precious little in improving health care. A systematic campaign in favour of western medicine combined with state patronage has resulted in a situation where even the poor are compelled to seek out these highly interventionitic, expensive, and at times, futile treatments - this out of sheer "blind faith" in its "efficacy". This trend has reached such ridiculous heights that, to day, a patient is no longer happy or satisfied with an easy cure to a problem, but expects and insists in a high-tech diagnosis and treatment at any cost or risk. Yes, yoga of healing is now essential, we have to seriously study and learn from Ayurveda and other Indian systems of medicine and health care. The Indian systems must be restored to their rightful place as the national systems of medicine and health care. No Government has done anything in this direction. This is a matter of great urgency. The Hindu, folio on Urban Spaces, Sunday August 1, 1999 Extracts from the article Winds of Change by Sujatha Shankar, Architect, CORE group INTACH. Architectural historians have neatly compartmentalised Indian architecture into traditional Hindu and Budhist with Islamic and Colonial periods of influence preceding the contemporary era, though these can hardly be termed water tight. Traditionally, climate, material availability, topography and setrtlement morphology have been major dtmn with Islamic and Colonial periods of influence preceding the contemporary era, though these can hardly be termed water tight. Traditionally, climate, material availability, topography and setrtlement morphology have been major determinants of built form, be it the Banni homes of Kutch, the elevated bamboo homes of Assam, the splendid stone havelis of Jaisalmer, the polls of Ahmedabad, the courtyard homes of Tamilnadu or the wooden architecture of Kerala. The underlying deep structure of thought that generated these was an understanding of the manifest and non-manifest world, represented diagrammatically according to the canons of the Shastras. Principal among these, the Vastu Purusha Mandala was applied top houses, palaces, temples and even cities. Srirangam town, Modhera Kund, the Sanchi Stupa were all models of the cosmos. Essentially trabeate inform, the temple and palace structures reached high level of craftsmanship. What may be termed traditional architecture itself was, however, not totally devoid of external influences - the Hindu temples reveal traces of Greek iconography, while Kerala's wooden architecture is reputed to have Japanese and Chinese overlays. …………. "It is a frozen moment in History." Is how Akbar's new capital Fatehpur Sikri, has been described. It is a physical correlate, a symbol of Akbar's zeal for a composite Indian culture. Built with great speed

and energy, its structures have been modelled after the simple canvas tents used by the semi-nomadic ancestors of the Mughals. The free standing pavillions are constructed as stone analogues of the tents. The most fascinating structure is Diwani-é-Khas designed for private audience in a cube like form with an elaborate central column connected to the four corners by bridges. Akbar sat on the pillar, the Emperor symbolic of the center of the Universe and the four advisors sat in the four corners of the upper level. The overlap of Islam, Hindu and Buddhist myths is almost indiscernible herte. The square plan while of Central Asian origin, would have represented to the Hindu craftsman the "mandala" - the model of the cosmos. In the center in the place of the "Bindu” the source of all energy, sits Akbar as the Emperor. The column is clearly Hindu/Buddhist in form representing the axis mundi. The statement then is one of staggering political and metaphysical impact - the physical realisation of Hindu myths transformed into a new vocabulary, the fusion of Islamic and Hindu styles. For its secular character and wide repertoire of building techniques , Fatehpur Sikri is really without parallel. Reinterpreting Vaastu by Shashikala Anand. What is Vaastu? Is it relevant to modern living? This is an oft repeated question. The answers are many. ………. The Vsastu Shilpa Shastras consist of textual data, oral knowledge, building practices, community networks, knowledge and understanding of subsidiary fields such as the fine arts, (music, dance, poetry, theatre) language and grammar, philosophy, religion and rituals. Out of this wide knowledge and understanding the designer is capable of responding to the needs of : a) Individuals - residence, workplaces, patron built social places. b) Collectives - villages, towns, religious centres, work places, public buildings. In each of the contexts the designer brings in a knowledge of building material, an effective application of local skills and talents, adaptation of craft ant art in various contexts, expression of accepted symbolism and theological interpretation of the divine quest of human beings, and finally the crucial aspects of climatic and cultural appropriateness. In the Indian traditions of building (be it the residential, secular or religious building), the inner seeking of the individual (or the entire people) is seen as the source of all manifestation. The power and imagination of the unconscious, or as it is called in this sub-continent, the "Atman", becomes the fundamental energy for all other outer phenomena making. … To understand the cosmology and to interpret it invisible terms so that the human being may constantly be connected to his/or her environment in a mutually beneficial manner is the way of the ancient societies.... Vaastu is the outer expression of a deeply meditative mind. In the act of creating from stillness, the built form and the occupant become synergized. The ultimate aim of human creation becomes possible in the simplest tasks and in the expression of the ordinary when the individual creativity, a deep love for life, and the desire to offer a manifested form are in a synchronous balance.