A building becomes majestic if it has massive supporting pillars. Brihat Samhita brings out the importance of pillars in several Slokas. The strength aspect is emphasized when it says that the thickness of the main beam should be the same as that of the pillar. The pillars are described as being divided into several parts, each part being carved with various designs and few at the bottom being worked in Gold, Here, apart from the strength of the pillars the aesthetic beauty is brought into focus. There is also the mention of minor beams relating to the modern secondary and tertiary beams.
Another aspect of the scientific thinking of our ancients is reflected io the position one is supposed to sleep. It is normally recommended for people to sleep with their heads to the South. The human body is said to have the ability to acquire the property of magnetism because there is a large percentage of iron in the blood circulating all over our body. It is also known that the earth is a huge magnet with its Poles having attractive and repulsive powers as is evident by the pointing of a compass needle. The feet for the most part of the day are in contact with his huge magnet.
The South polarity is said to be indUced in the feet and conse- quently North polarity, in the head. This arrangement of Poles in the human body is natural to it and, therefore, conducive to health.When lying down with your head to the South, the rnagnetic poles of your head and will attract the South and North Poles of the earth respectively, thereby preserving the polarity of the body natural.It is precisely for this reason too that the ancients said that the body enjoys perfect health and sleeping with the head to the South strengthens longevity. By sleeping to the North, this natural polarity is disturbed or dimin-ished and the body becomes vulnerable to disease.
Sage Markandeya, who was able to conquer death, is said to have stated that a person acquires strength and longevity by placing his head Southwards, and brings upon himself disease and death by lying down with his head placed to the North.Hospitals, nursing homes, mental asylums etc, can expect to have faster recovery of their patients if they 'insist that they lie with their heads to the South.That our ancients were aware of the usefulness of lighting rods is seen from the fact that ancient temple top shave iron or copper rods inserted into them. These rods placed at the top of a temple are similar to the lightning conductor rods that are now fixed at the rooftop of modern buildings.
The Vastu Mandala or grifj is givenimportance not only for the structure but also for certain daily activities like sitting for food etc.Every human being has a definite energy pattern or vital force around his body, normally called the aura. Depending on the evolution of each individual, the energy-flow round the body is weak or strong. The ancients felt that whenever a person sat for food within a square traced on the floor ( or a wooden peeta or platform ) without touching his neighbour, the aura or the vital force would not be disturbed The non-disturbance of the aura would actively assist in proper digestion of food, thereby keeping the individual in good health.
Many traditional families even to this day, squat on the floor and have their food sitting in a pre-drawn Mandala, not touching each other.The same reasoning can be extended to explain why most Hindus prefer to do the Namsakaram rather than shake hands with others. As the awareness in Vastu grows rapidly, the ever-questioning mind of the called rationalist tries to find a reason for every Vastu movc. However scientific our ancients were, it is sometimes impossible to fit the rules of Vastu totally to the limited framework of modern scientific thinking.
The limitations of the modern thinking mind can be compared to the common sense in a child. For example, how does the child reconcile to the fact that the Americans who are on the underside of us stay glued to the surface of earth without falling off?What common sense (in the child) says is not possible is proved to iije contrary by irrefutable evidence. The child is just not able to understand the logic because of its limited thinking, but as it grows into adulthood, it is able to comprehend the laws of gravitation and understand why the Americans do not fall off from the underside of the earth.Our scientific thinking, I feel, is still in its childhood.
Vastu Sastra can be used not only for individual houses but also for group-housing schemes and town planning. Our ancients have provided us with 'wonderful knowledge about planning and construction and we need to discipline our senses to make use of this knowledge for the betterment of mankind at large. Vastu can provide us all the vital information required to make our lives healthy and peaceful. The fundamental Vastu plan includes the modern spaciousness, the verandahs open to the sky lawns, various rooms, kitchen, bath etc.,
Industries, offices, shops, business complexes can all benefit by the application of the fundamental Vastu rules.It is unfortunate that the 'town planners of today have absolutely no knowledge nor inclination to tåke the assistance of the science of Vastu. The growth of cities is totally unplanned and congestion, lack of basic sanita- tion and total negligence of the aspect of symmetry and beauty are to be seen everywhere.
The byelaws of the City Development Authorities are such that the builder has to invariably flout them, The planning of houses on the micro level and of towns on the macro level are the finest traits of human civilization one can think of, If only our people and the town planners made use of the principles of architecture as laid down by our ancients, the world would be a better place to iive in.
Let us hope each one of us contributes to make India the most pros-perous country of the new millennium. In my recent visits to USA in July and November 2003, I was happy to interact with the people of USA on two very unique projects,In July 2003, I visited USA on special invitation from North Carolina for identifying important aspect of a sub-division being built on Vastu principles.In November 2003, I was invited by The Hindu Temple Society of New York seeking my guidance in their projects.Let each one of us contribute to the society by building our houses