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Monday, February 1, 2010


Site Orientation means the position of the Site with respect to the cardinal directions (or the points of the Compass). The Site’s  orientation is identified by the direction that the road-side of the Site, faces. So, a Site with a road in the North, is called a North facing Site. 

To ascertain the 'Orientation' of the Site, nowadays we use a compass. It is recommended that one stand with the compass in the centre of the plot, which is considered the navel of the Vaastu Purusha and determine where the North is. Accordingly we can find out the Orientation of the Site.

ASCERTAINING THE ORIENTATION OF A SITE: However, in earlier times a procedure called Shankustaapana was followed, wherein a gnomon was erected in the centre of the plot.  A circle was drawn with the bottom of the gnomon as it's centre and a radius twice it's length. Two points were marked where the shadow of the gnomon before and after noon met the circumference of the circle. The line joining these two points is the East-West line. Two circles are drawn at the East-West points with their distance as the radius. The intersecting points are the North and South points.

For the ancient Indians, Orientation played a very important role in in their daily lives ecause  the  important environmental factors like the Sun, the Earth's magnetic field and the monsoon wind directions  that  affect man and his buildings are always taken with reference to the cardinal directions.

From time immemorial, the Sun has been considered the ‘Giver of Life’  because without the Sun, there can be no life on Earth. The importance of the Sun has been explained here:
  • Sun illuminates the world and is the reason we can see.
  • The seven constituent colours of the Sunlight; VIBGYOR, enable us too see everything in colour. In addition these colours are very useful in treating several diseases.  
  • The Sun’s UV rays  help in the synthesis of Vitamin D, a very essential nutrient/hormone in our bodies and they also destroy germs and bacteria. 
  • The Sun uplifts our spirits and improves our overall health. In fact in scandinavian countries, in the winter months when the hours of sunlight are considerably reduced, a majority of people suffer from a depressive illness called SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). 
Therefore it is important that all humans expose themselves to the Sun. However, overexposure is not good as the intense UV rays of the Sun can cause skin cancers and the Infra-red heat rays can cause sunburn. It is best to expose to diffused and indirect sunlight within the house and to direct sunlight only in the early mornings, when the intensity of the UV rays is less. Read more about the 'Sun and it's effects' on humans. 

In Vaastu Shastra, there is a lot of emphasis on designing buildings in such a way that all rooms get maximum benefit of the Sunlight by default and irrespective of whether the occupants desire it or not. Thus the East direction (for the useful, early morning sunlight) and the North direction (from where there is constant sunlight through most of the year in India, since it is in the northern hemisphere) assume a lot of importance  in Vaastu Shastra, as explained here.
  • The most frequently used rooms during the day are oriented in the East  and the North whereas the rooms that are used mostly at night are restricted to the South and the West, which are hotter directions.
  • More doors and windows are placed in the East to allow the Sun's UV rays to penetrate into the house in the mornings.
  • Trees and tall shrubs are planted in the South and West of the site to protect the inmates from the afternoon heat and to provide them with oxygen.
  • Tall trees and plants are avoided in the North and East so as to allow an unhindered flow of useful morning sunlight into the house.
  • The open wells and other water sources are kept in the North-East to enable the morning UV rays of the sunlight  to destroy germs and bacteria, before using the water. 
  • Kitchens are oriented towards the East to allow the UV rays to destroy the germs that tend to multiply in the presence of moisture and food.
Like the Sun, the Earth's magnetic field also has a  significant influence on the well being of the inmates of the house as explained here:

  • The Earth is a huge magnet with it's magnetic North pole near the arctic North pole and the magnetic South pole near the antarctic South pole. 
  • Similarly, the human body behaves like a magnet with the head as the North pole and the feet as the South pole. The magnetism in our body is caused because of the presence of Iron ions in our blood. 
So it is impotant that at all times we should ensure that our head does not lie towards the North since like poles always repel each other. And scientifically it has been proven that if one sleeps with the head in the North, the blood circulation is affected and it causes headaches, tensions and disturbed sleep.
Read more about the 'Earth's magnetic field' and it's effects on humans.

This post is about the 'Vastu Shastra principle | Site Orientation'. Read about another important "Vaastu Shastra principle | Vastu Purusha Mandala - Planning", which explains the positioning of rooms in a House according to a diagram known as the Vastu Purusha Mandala:
Vaastu Shastra is a rational science based on facts, observations and governed by a set of principles. To understand the logic and reasoning of these Vaastu principles, go to Vastu Principle | Site Orientation

1 comment:

  1. Happened to look at your web site explaining about the basic principles of Vastu with supporting logic.
    The way you have explained things is marvellous. Kudos


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