In practice, Feng Shui is optimising one’s space in a specific period of time. Traditional Feng Shui gives equal importance to Time, Space and Action. So it is important to have a mix of the right action, in the right place at the right time to do well. The most important principles therefore are ‘earth luck’, the energies that are present in your space and time. The second is the ‘man luck’, which are your own actions and free will. So how you use the available opportunities make a difference in your life. The third one is ‘heaven luck’, which is your fate and destiny and least in your hands.
These three principles make it easy for us to understand why different people moving into the same house can do varied things in their lives.
Also, the traditional Feng Shui has two main systems of application – the eight mansions or the Pachai and the flying stars or the Xuan Kong meaning time and space. The former is very simple and most popular; it is usually done if you do not know the year in which your building was constructed which is important in the latter. It is a less detailed system and gives you 80 per cent results as compared to the other.
The flying stars however is a very complex system, it is actually making a horoscope of your house, and is much more effective. Since the stars change every two years, so do the cures of Feng Shui. The difference between the two is same as the difference between your weekly horoscope appearing in the newspaper and your janampatri.
Even if Vaastu and Feng Shui both mean to harmonise you with your surroundings, they have totally different philosophies. It is very difficult to say which is better, but the fact is that both are encompassed in the blanket of misconceptions. People believe that Feng Shui means changing everything that they had done around their homes earlier. But it is not true. In fact, the real masters say that if you have been having a satisfactory life in the terms of health, wealth and relationships, your house is utilising all the energies properly, so do not disturb it. Also, they warn against generalising of the good and the bad directions, as these directions vary from house to house and person to person. Therefore following these directions and putting up cures, especially the water ones, can do more harm than good as water is a very strong cure and is quick in showing both good and bad effects. And lastly, laughing buddhas, fortune bamboos, wind chimes and a few other Feng Shui items are not necessary. A good Feng Shui master will tell you affordable and simple alternatives that are very much Indian and pleasing to the eye. So if you believe that an idol of Goddess Lakshmi represents wealth, you install it in your wealth corner and not the three-legged toad.
Vaastu is also a victim of misunderstanding. It is believed that as Vaastu is done at the time of the construction of the house, what happens latter, good or bad is inevitable and cannot be changed. But Vaastu Shastra believes that just like humans, a building has a life that weakens after some years. Therefore, to rejuvenate it, the resident must do a Vaastu puja every 30 years. Whatever the differences, both these methods have proved that there is a definite science involved and should not be taken lightly.