Friday, 2 November 2018

Designing a home

Dr. Shrinivasan
Original Kannada by : Dr. C.R Ramaswamy




A house is a necessity for all of us. Even better if it be our own. In spite of financial and other challenges that it brings, building a house of our own to suit our needs brings huge satisfaction. In today's time, the challenges of building a house have significantly come down due to availability of required amenities and services." 

The current thinking is to have a house as per our taste, with built in safety and security. An emerging trend is the desire for compliance with Vaastu. If houses and offices do not meet Vaastu, they are either partly demolished or remodeled to be Vaastu compliant, by spending lakhs of rupees.   

However, even birds and animals have been wonderfully designing and constructing their nests even better than humans since ages. For eg. The weaver bird’s nest is creative and attractive. It has various compartments to lay eggs, store food, provision for ventilation and all these without any help from architects, engineers or others.

So then, what is the novelty in the way humans design their houses? The exalted view of Bharateeya Maharshis is worth noting in this context. The design of house is special and follows the cue of an underlying theme. The theme originates in our intellect and imagination and takes the form of a plan on paper and eventually the physical structure of the house. In the plan of our sages, the theme is none other than the model of the human body itself.

The various parts of the human body are designed for the preservation and well-being of the 'Self'-Jeeva, Similarly, a home while being convenient for its owner-inhabitants, must satisfy the desires of the owner's 'Self'- Jeeva. So what does the Jeeva desire? We often mistake the desires of our senses to be the desire of the Jeeva as well. A man being blackmailed and threatened, will not speak the truth even in the presence of a judge. Similarly, under the influence of our senses, we are incapable of expressing the desires of the Jeeva. However, wise men, who have understood the truth after freeing themselves from the chains of the senses have established that, the Jeeva craves to get back to roots, to be reunited with the Lord. Sages have shown ways and means to please the senses while pursuing this reunion without hindrances. These are the system of Purusharthas (Literally ''For the sake of the supreme Purusha') comprising ‘Dharma, Artha, Kama, Moksha. To achieve this, the Jeeva chooses as home, the human body -   a natural sculpture capable of achieving both Yoga-emancipation and Bhoga- sense gratification. 

A house too should follow the same principles and aid the pursuit of Yoga and Bhoga. In order to do that the presence of the Devas need to be invoked and the dark forces eliminated. The Shastra that enunciates procedure for doing so is the Vaastu Shastra.

The four walls of the house remind us about the four ‘Purusharthas’. The pillars of the house represent, the Prana-apana (balancing) on which the body is anchored. There should be a pillar at the center of the house to represent Dharma and two doors to represent sun and moon. A place of worship to seek Moksha (liberation) should be an essential part of the house. Sages opine that such a house based on Vaastu supports achievement of Purusharthas. A life in such a dwelling is a well lived one.