A neighbour recently commented on the windows in my apartment not being in the right direction according to Vastu. She did not, however, notice the Feng Shui tortoise facing the main door, which was done to sort of 'negate' the ill-effects of the windows being in the wrong direction.
Both Vastu and Feng Shui, are ancient bodies of knowledge focusing on the harmony between humans and the dwellings they inhabit. Since they are both equally popular in terms of application to home and office spaces, how do you decide which is best for your home? Let’s have a look at Vastu Vs Feng Shui - A guide that will help you choose the best of both worlds.
Vastu Vs Feng Shui - Which one would you pick for your home?
While we all have heard of the terms and know about how these 2 help with getting the ideal peaceful and happy home, here are the places where they differ and how...
1. Vastu Vs Feng Shui - Conceptual Difference:
Vastu focuses on the art of placement - by rectifying the geographical locations of the home and the elements within, on the basis of the four cardinal directions and the five basic elements. The five elements around which the science of Vastu revolves are air, water, fire, earth, and space.
Feng Shui is all about balancing the energies to live in harmony with our environment. It focuses on the flow of ‘Chi’ (energy), which is the Chinese equivalent of ‘Prana’ in Vastu. While Feng Shui is also based on five elements, they differ slightly from the elements of Vastu - Space and air are replaced by wood and metal. To apply Feng Shui to your home, it is necessary to first identify the ‘bagua’ - the Feng Shui energy map, which comprises of eight areas. Each area is governed by elements that are crucial to the prosperity of a house and its inhabitants.
2. Vastu Vs Feng Shui - The Main Door:
Vastu accords a lot of importance to the main door - the entrance to the house allows cosmic energy to flow in and out, and also creates the first impression of the house. The door should always be in the north, north-east, east or west direction, and should ideally be made up of wood. The main door should always have a threshold, and should open at 90 degrees. The area surrounding the main door should always be adequately lit, and should be kept as clutter-free as possible.
As per Feng Shui, there should be no garbage bins, dead plants or any other obstructions hindering the flow of energy through the front door. The door should be well-maintained, with the hinges being oiled regularly. The colour of the door should be in accordance to the direction which the door is facing. Another factor is the size of the door - a good door will always be proportionate to the size of the house.
3. Vastu Vs Feng Shui - The Living Room:
As per Vastu, the best directions for a living room are the north and north-east directions, since they are ideal for building a serene and convivial environment. There is an emphasis on keeping the windows to the north or north-east direction, and the furniture in the southern and western corners. The centre of the room should be kept as open and clutter-free as possible. It is best to avoid keeping artificial plants, bonsai and cactii, in the living room as they exude negative energy. Lighter colours on the walls, along with paintings depicting happy faces, beautiful sceneries, etc. add to the positive energy in the room.
The basic principles of Feng Shui for the living room are simple - no clutter, organisation, and, natural light, airiness, and a balance between aesthetics and practicality. Additionally, it gives a lot of importance to shapes and materials used to build the room, along with the choice of colours. For e.g. if you have a north-facing living room, the best materials would be metal, glass, or mirror-like surfaces. Also, having wavy shapes that resemble the flow of water would create wonderful energy. All shades of blue and black would work well here, since north is governed by water.
4. Vastu Vs Feng Shui - The Bedroom:
Vastu states that a bedroom in the north is ideal not just for young couples, but also for storing cash, valuables, and important documents. Cupboards and other storage should always be placed in the south-west corner, while the bed should never be in the centre of the room. Mirrors should be avoided as far as possible - if necessary, they should be placed along the north-east wall. The walls should be decorated with pictures that convey intimacy, happiness and harmony. It is ideal to sleep with the head facing the east direction, and avoid windows behind you.
For a good Feng Shui bedroom, avoid keeping appliances like a TV, computer, or exercise equipment. The bedroom should be as airy as possible. The bed should be approachable from both sides, and never in line with the door. Having different levels of lighting in the bedroom works well to adjust the energy. Candles, ideally non-toxic, are the best bedroom lighting to create a warm and intimate atmosphere. All doors, which include the doors to the cupboards as well as the bedroom, should be kept closed at night, to ensure a nourishing flow of energy. Shades of white and brown are best suited for the bedroom.
4. Vastu Vs Feng Shui - The Kitchen:
The best direction for a kitchen, as per Vastu, is the south-east, the abode of Fire. The sink, along with the taps and provision for water storage should be placed in the north-east direction. The hob/cooking stove should be in the south-east direction, at a considerable distance from the sink. The person should face east while cooking. Ideally, the door of the kitchen should never face the door of the toilet. The cooking stove should never be visible from the entrance to the house, and the colour black should be avoided.
As per Feng Shui, the kitchen should be kept as clutter-free as possible with emphasis on proper lighting and airiness. Placing a bowl of fruits, or a vase with fresh flowers also helps to uplift the energy of the kitchen. The colour yellow is the best colour for a kitchen, since it is said to aid digestion. Factors such as the door of the kitchen not facing the door of the bathroom, and the direction of the cooking stove, are the same as those advised by Vastu.
5. Vastu Vs Feng Shui - The Bathroom:
Ideally, as per Vastu, a bathroom can be placed in the eastern portion of the house. The mirror can be placed on the eastern wall. Windows or ventilation can be in the east or the north. The washbasin can be placed in the north-east, while the place for bathing can be the western corner. In case of an attached WC, it should be in the west or north-west, and few inches above the ground. In case of a separate toilet, it should be constructed to the west or north-west portion of the house.
Feng Shui prohibits having the bathroom in close proximity of the kitchen or the main door. If the bathroom is close to the kitchen, or facing the kitchen, different paints should be used to colour the kitchen door wall and the bathroom door wall, to demarcate the areas. A bathroom facing the main door should be kept neat and tidy. The area between the two should be demarcated with a bathroom rug. All bathrooms should have adequate ventilation.
In a nutshell, both Vastu and Feng Shui help to cleanse the energy in your home, and ensure that the inhabitants are blessed with good health, abundance and happy relationships. The ideal option is the one that is practical and doesn’t require much of an overhaul on your end!