If your answer to the above question is, "Who is Vastu Purush?", then welcome to the club of the 'Vastu-uninitiated'! A home without the presence of Vastu Purush is inauspicious to say the least. But, before seeking the answer as to why this figure is important for your home, let us see who the Vastu Purush actually is.
The story of this mythological being is mentioned in the Matsaya Purana. The story goes something like this:
'Once Lord Shiva was engaged in a fierce battle with a rakshasa (demon) called Andhikasur. However, the immense powers of Lord Shiva were matched by the demon and, as the battle raged, Lord Shiva began to perspire profusely. Beads of sweat formed on his forehead and began to fall. Out of this perspiration was created a demon of such immense proportions that his body obstructed the Earth and the sky. Seeing this, the devtas (Gods) became alarmed.
They devised a way to overpower this demon. A total of 45 Gods seized this creature and sat on his back, pushing him down towards the Earth. The demon, under their immense weight, crashed face down to the ground with his head towards the north-east and his feet towards the south-west. The demon prayed to Lord Brahma, thus, "Oh Lord, you have created this cosmos. This body is also yours. Why then are these Gods torturing me without any reason? Tell me what should I do to escape their wrath?" Brahma, appeased by the sincerity of his prayers, said, "From this moment you will be worshipped during every construction work, since you lie beneath the Gods. Those who offer you prayers as Vastu devta will be blessed with happiness and prosperity, but those who don't, will suffer penury and untimely death." From that day onwards, Vastu Purush was born. The Gods, sitting on his back, became the presiding deities of their respective directions.
Vastu Purush is the spirit that dwells in a structure or a building. It, in fact, provides us with a blueprint for the layout of the house, called the Vastu Purush mandala. This mandala is an energy grid of 64 squares on which is superimposed the Vastu Purush. From this are derived the rules of Vastu. The Vastu Purush breathes from the north-east; the reason why it should always be kept open and clutter-free. The south-west portion contains the heavy rear of the Vastu Purush and is deemed ideal for locating heavy objects. The positive cosmic energy enters from the north-east and flows towards the south-west.
Of the 45 Gods sitting on the back of the Vastu Purush, there are eight main Gods that represent the eight directions. They are:
- North: Governed by Kuber, the Lord of Wealth, and Soma, the Lord of Health, this direction is associated with tranquility, relaxation and sexual relationships.
- North-east: Eesh, the Lord of Energy and Knowledge governs this direction. This direction is associated with self-awareness and knowledge.
- East: This direction is governed by Indra, the King of Gods. This direction provides contentment, optimism and encouragement.
- South-east: Agnidev, the Lord of Fire, governs the south-east. This direction influences health, wealth and prosperity in all its forms.
- South: The south is governed by Yama, the Lord of Death. This direction is most favourable for wealth, success, happiness and peace.
- South-west: Niriti, the Lord of Demons and the Goddess of Destruction, governs this direction. The energy of this direction bestows tranquility and purity.
- West: West is governed by Varun, the Lord of Water and Rain, and the upholder of the Universal Law. The energy of this direction is associated with success, glory, fame and fortune.
- North-west: Vaayu, the God of Wind, governs the north-west. This direction bestows leadership qualities, promoting responsibility and the ability to plan, organise and lead.
So how can you invite the Vastu Purush to reside in your house? The answer is to construct and organise the house according to the principles of Vastu. The basics of these principles are:
- Keep the north-east light; south-west heavy. The underground water tanks are ideally located on the north-east and heavy overhead tanks, to the south-west.
- Keep the north-east open; south-west closed. Plant trees and tall shrubs in the south-west and short shrubs and flowering plants in the north-east of the garden. Have more windows in the north-east.
- Keep south-west higher; north-east lower. Ensure that the flow of the drainage is from the south-west to the north-east.
- Centre of the house is brahmsthal, so nothing should be constructed on it and it should never have clutter.
- South-west bestows stability; north-west, movement. Make the master bedroom in the south-west; the head of the family will remain in control. Make the guest room in the north-west; guests will leave early!