Some of the Rishis or "seers" of yoga specialized in environmental health (SthapatyaVeda, also known as "Vastu" or simply Vedic Architecture).
The whole message of the Vedic Rishis was that we could live life in total unison with universal intelligence, with natural law. Modern physics (not school textbook level, unfortunately) is coming to the conclusion that there is an underlying unbounded unified field of nature's creativity and intelligence.
What physics doesn't teach, however, is that we humans are also part of the natural order. The creativity and intelligence that bubbles perpetually up as our thoughts, feelings, ideas, and understandings are coming from the same source. The walk in nature, our touching of beauty and wholeness, is reminding us about what or who we are already deep inside. Every religious and extant philosophical tradition speaks of this: the Kingdom of God Is within You; the Atma (Self) is Brahma (totality), but the truth is deeply hidden it seems.
The whole thrust of Vedic Architecture is to make the hidden "transparent." So it's not just a tradition of how to select ideal sites, how to design and orient buildings, and what materials to use. It's a science of the built environment which allows all the wonderful potential of the Self to unfold without effort, so that we can maintain and grow our individual connectedness with the cosmic value of life (the unified field).
So, something is done to the environment we live in so that we spontaneously rise to higher consciousness. The Vedic Rishis saw that everything is connected by, and is an expression of the unified field. They taught techniques to take any aspect of life (emotions, mind, body, breath, environment) and, by refining that area, to bring about a total evolution in the personality.
Take houses or offices, for example. We need to construct a building such that we are protected from the extremes of the elements, and yet we can still fully enjoy the positive flux from the environment. The problem is that the modern science of building is not informed by a complete understanding of the relationship of man to the world, and of man to his Self. In this tradition, it is understood that the Vedic Rishis were fully in touch with the unified field within their own consciousness. From their cognitions came the precise formulas Of Vastu (pronounced "VAASTU") that tell us the "how tos" for building houses, offices, farms, towns, cities, and even whole provinces.
Life unfolds in space and its progress is seen in time. We entered this world at a unique point in space-time and, not surprisingly, Vedic Architecture takes into account both these factors.
The site: when the proposed building site is evaluated, we look at many factors including the quality of the soil, the slope of the land, bodies of water, sunrise, and the placement of the new building on the site.
Building orientation and entrances: modern science has shown that the brain neurons fire differently depending on the direction we are facing. This supports the tradition of orienting vedic buildings so that they align with the cardinal directions (tree/geographical east etc.). Only east and north entrances are considered auspicious.
The sun is the most powerful influence of nature in the wider environment. Specification of room placement is determined significantly by the sun's daily movement. Layout of rooms respects natural ventilation to encourage vitality throughout the building.
Consider room and outer building" dimensions and proportions. Vedic Architects may have to specify upward of a 1000 dimensions for a particular building, and the relationships of these dimensions both horizontally and vertically. These dimensions, and the walls, floors, and ceilings that are built from them, will either cut us off from the environment, or will resonate constructively with the environment to energize and enliven positive values of life within the space.
Our birth allows a vedic analysis of the unique melody and rhythm that we are potentially about to add to the world karma, if you will. Vedic Astrology is used to quantify the relationship that we have to our closest relatives and the world at large. This then gives us a way of tuning the built environment--to us.
Three key times are set according to Vedic Astrology for ground breaking, foundation stone laying, and first entry into the completed building.
Buildings constructed according to this eons-old tradition of Vastu are traditionally considered and experienced to bring joy, prosperity, health, and peace to the occupants and owner. In our world that seems to be calling out for a true technology of peace, the promise of peace in the home and peace in the heart from Vedic Architecture is very intriguing. The individual's "peace" is the unit of world peace. We radiate our influence perpetually into the environment through our every thought, speech and action. By building according to the knowledge of Vastu, we allow into ourselves just the positive influences of the environment, and through the peace we thus experience, we radiate our peace out again. The inner and outer worlds have become one unity.
Websites to read more and actually see vedic houses built in the USA:
1] General and scientific research: www.sthapatyaveda.com
2] Online exhibition: www.mgc-vastu.com
3] Images of houses: www.vedahouse.com
4] Renewable/Sustainable: www.raama.com
Chris Adamson, M.Sc. is a consultant in Vedic Architecture practicing in the Asheville area with his architect wife Sarah. at Raam Consultants, Inc. 828 252 1144, firstname.lastname@example.org
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|Publication:||New Life Journal|
|Date:||Apr 1, 2004|
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