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Thursday, March 19, 2015

RITUALS TO BE PERFORMED BEFORE START OF CONSTRUCTION

After finalising the Contractor, you can start the construction. But in India, it is common to refer to Vastu Shastra – the science for architecture and construction, before initiation of any construction work.
Vastu Shastra recommends that you perform certain rituals before and during the construction of your house. They have been explained in detail here.

RITUALS TO BE DONE JUST BEFORE CONSTRUCTION:

According to Vaastu Shastra, five rituals or Poojas must be done before the actual construction begins. Most people do not follow all of them, but almost everyone start construction only after performing the Bhoomi pooja. Some of you who might be interested in knowing about these rituals. So they have been explained here in detail. The five poojas are:
  • BHOOMI POOJA (Seeking permission from Bhoomi)
  • BALIDAANA (Offertory ritual)
  • HALA-KARSHANA (Levelling of site)
  • ANKURAA-ROOPANA (Sowing of seed)
  • SHILAANYAASA (Foundation laying)



1)  BHOOMI POOJA (VAASTU POOJA):  

The first ritual to be done before starting the construction, is a Vaastu pooja or Bhoomi Pooja. This should be done at an auspicious time and on an auspicious day, as fixed by your astrologer/priest (normally it is done in the morning).
According to Vastu Shastra, it is  absolutely necessary to do the Bhoomi puja, as you must take permission from Mother Earth (Bhoomi) to build a space. When you raise a building, you bring about change in mother earth. So, you must seek permission and forgiveness from mother earth, for your actions that disturb the equilibrium. There are special vedic hymns to appease the various energies residing in the space.
PREPARATION BEFORE THE BHOOMI POOJA:
The following steps should be followed in doing the Bhoomi pooja:
Clean the site: The site should be cleared. Dirt, stones, holes in the ground, and trash should be removed. Thorny bushes should also be uprooted and removed.
Divide the site into a 9 x 9 Grid: Divide the site into 9 x 9 grid. Mark out the foundation of the proposed building.
Dig a square hole in the North East corner: In the grid, dig a square hole in the North-East portion of the foundation marking. The depth depends on the proposed foundation footing. In the center of that square mark out area to place cornerstone.
Prepare the base:  Place cement in the four quadrants of the hole leaving at least 2’9” for the central area where the foundation stone will be laid. 
Prepare 5 stones (bricks, stone) Wash the five stones and keep them ready for consecration by the priest.
Keep a kalash ready: Place the following items in a copper kalash or in a plastic box: Navratans(nine gems), a tiny piece of gold, a silver coin, whole betel nut, a stick of turmeric, a little whole green moong, coriander seeds, Sambarani and jaggery. Now these items vary from region to region and depends on the customs followed in your community. But each of them has a significance.

PERFORMING THE BHOOMI POOJA:

Perform a ceremony:  After all the preparations have been made, perform a short ceremony either by yourself or with the help of a priest, to honour and appreciate the energy that emerges from the earth. If doing it by yourself, you may light a candle, which is symbolic of light, the source of all visual form.
Invocation (Devi poojan): Invoke the Vastu Devta (God) and offer prayers. Every community has its own special method of performing this puja. The priest will guide you accordingly.   
Purification (Bhoomi abhishinchan): To purify the place, sprinkle pure water or Ganges water using mango leaves or flowers, while mantras are recited.
Offering (Pran pratishtha poojan): Sprinkle rice grains and flower petals on the earth while mantras are recited.
Placing the Kalash and stones: Place the kalash in the centre of the pit. Then place one stone above it and the remaining four stones in the four corners, around the central stone.


2)  BALIDAANA (Offertory ritual): This is the second ritual to be done before the start of Construction. It is an offertory ritual and offerings are made and spirits and demons are requested to leave the site.

3) HALA-KARSHANA (Levelling of site) : This is the third ritual, wherein the Site is levelled and sloped according Vaastu guidelines for Site Slope, so that the Site is at a higher level than the road level and the South-West corner is higher than the North-East corner. It is also recommended that the whole site be ploughed to rid it of the past and give the soil a new life. 
4) ANKURAA-ROOPANA (Sowing of seed): This is the fourth ritual, the sowing of the seed and a final offering to the memory of those who have left the place. It is also the first offering to the new ploughed ground.  
5) SHILAANYAASA (Foundation laying): This is the fifth ritual, the foundation laying ceremony. The groundbreaking ceremony for the house should only be done during the Uttarayan period, when the Sun is in the northern hemisphere, from June 21 through December 20.





This post was about the Rituals to be followed before construction. Read about the next stage in Construction