(Last Updated on : 25/06/2010)
Following the proper rules of Vastu Shastra in the construction of residential buildings is important to a large extent. The concept of Sthala in residential buildings is very significant in Indian Vastu. Sthala generally refers to a covering and depending upon the numbers, there are Ekasthala, Dvisthala, Tristhala, and Chatuhsthala. There are several other types of houses like Chandogrha and Misragrha. As the names themselves indicate, they are constructed freely and with combinations.
In Vastu depending upon the status of people residing in the structures, there are a set of different classification, like the Samanyajana-nivasa-griha (common man's residence), Prabhu-nivasa-griha (residence of lords), Devata-griha (abode of gods) and Prajopayukta-nirmana (structure of public utility).
The Shilpa Shastra prescribes a minimum of eight sections in a common residence. They are: Sridria-griha (bath-room), Alankara-griha (dressing room), Dravya-sthapana-grha (store room), Pacana-griha (kitchen), Puja-griha (place of worship), Bhojana-griha (dining room), Sayana-griha (bed-room) and Dhanagrha (treasury).
Residences of rich and high officials may have many more facilities ranging up to forty-two classes. Additional rooms like Vasa-griha (living room), Kiija (well), Grihini-griha (mistress room), Ayudha-griha (arms cell), Vasanalaya (common room), Homakarma-griha (place of sacred fire), Cakara-griha (place of servants), Sutikalaya (maternity home), Dasalaya (servants' place), Sarhmelana-griha (friends' room), Gosald (cattle shed), Vahanasala (vehicles shed), Balalokana-mandapa (children's play house), Vivdha-mandapa (marriage place), Vastracchadana-grha (dressing room), Kanyartalaya (maiden room), Bala-griha (boys' room), Vidyabhyasa-mandapa (learning place), Tailabhynga-mandapa (place of oil-bath), Asthana-mandapa (formal court), vilasa-vilasinl-mandapa (amusement room for gents and ladies), Atithi-griha (guest house), Raksakara-griha (bodyguards' house), Parivara-griha (attendant room), Yojya-griha (solders' place), Yuvaraja-grha (prince's place), Amatya-sanahdna-griha (commanding room), Sopana-mandapa (staircase), Natyamandapa (dance hall), etc.
The rule of Vastu says that always a bath-room should be provided in the Western direction. Kitchen, toilet, arms cell and dining halls can be accommodated in the South-Eastern direction. Southern side is preferred for bed-rooms. South-Eastern direction is good for granary, store house, treasury and ladies room. North-Eastern direction is advisable for dwara.
A residence is divided into three wings: the front, the central and the dorsal. Of them, the front portion is named as Brahma-bhaga and here studies, official transactions, discussions and other study transactions may be carried out. The central portion named as Gandharva-bhaga consists of bed rooms, living rooms, treasuries, entertainment features, etc. The last portion named as Manusya-bhaga consists of kitchen, bath-room, toilet, shed, stable, etc. Thus it is evident that the divisions that were made in Vastu were strictly scientific and a lot user friendly.
Bath-rooms and water tanks, and dressing rooms are prescribed to be located in the North-Western direction. Thus, the classical medium of the Vastu Sastra not only caters to the needs of physical comforts of residents but also looks at the spiritual and psychological implications. In this way, it can very easily be preferred to other systems of unidirectional thought. In a word, Vastu is a holistic approach towards happy living.