Vastu and Fengshui

The difference between Vastu and Feng Shui

Our home, our domain. The one safe retreat for us when we are hurt, upset or threatened. Nothing can happen to us there.

So imagine someone coming and telling that your haven can cause miseries, especially if you keep certain wrong things in the wrong direction? Yet that’s what people are being told today, making them change everything they have so far been used to.

Because with the economical and cultural globalisation, the Chinese Feng Shui has entered also Indian homes. Suddenly everything that was previously done was pooh-poohed. Everything, right from the pictures in your house to your sleeping positions were changed. You had to have lights on every beam and in every hook, brass turtles on your floors and your favourite idol of Goddess Lakshmi got replaced by toads! The ancestral houses were no longer ‘good’ for the inhabitants. The direction of everyone’s entry into the house was changed. People started investing in fortune and laughing buddhas.

Then, not to be kept under wraps of old-fashionedness, Vaastu lifted its head. Soon two camps were formed, and after much mud slinging (Feng Shui-ites called Vaastu the outdated, unfashionable idea and Vaastu loyals called Feng Shui unreligious Chinese Vaastu), people began to wonder – which was the right one, who would give them good days?

Feng Shui v/s Vaastu

To find out who’s more authentic and beneficial, we must know everything about the two first. Vaastu, which literally means to live, works on the premise that the earth is a living organism, out of which other living organisms emerge. This life energy is known as Vaastu Purusha. The Vaastu Shastra works for a bounded premise i.e., a house, building, industrial area or shop. The main aim is to form a balance between the outside atmosphere and the atmosphere within the premise. Vaastu makes use of five elements – prithvi (earth), agni (fire), tej (light), vayu (wind) and akash (ether), the earth’s magnetic fields i.e. the north and the south pole and the sun’s rays. Feng Shui literally means wind and, is based on the idea that individuals should live in harmony with their environment. It was believed that if we live in balance with the order of the world, we could attract fortune and prosperity.

This science makes extensive use of the wind and the water – the former is supposed to carry the energy and the latter is supposed to retain it. In addition, Feng Shui also makes use of five elements – earth, fire, water, wood and metal.

So even as the basic premise of both seems to be the same – living in harmony with the environments and seeking equilibrium with it – both sciences have vast differences in the way they operate. Probably due to the fact that they have originated in two geographically and culturally different areas, and different times.