The Indian practice of Vaastu places great importance on the foundation of buildings, and it regards the laying of foundation as a symbolic “homage to Mother Earth”, so every care is given to ensuring the foundation is sound, holding the load of the structure on the ground and distributing this load uniformly.
Vaastu investigation also warns against building on land that has potential for landslides with unstable slopes nearby. Importance is given to surrounding land topography, and checking the cosmology of stars and planets is also important. The planets are believed to have an effect on the earth and water of continents. Vaastu soil testing involves touching, smelling and even tasting the earth! This is done during preliminary investigation time when it is necessary to walk the property, breathing deeply to feel the vibration of the land. Feeling good suggests the presence of good positive energy.
Soil has different categories based on colour, appearance, taste, shape, slope and smell. What kind of soil is ideal depends on the specific type of activity intended for the built structure. To inspect the quality of the soil, one has to take away the top layer of the soil and dig a little portion to assess it.
• A plot with predominantly red soil and which has a bitter taste is suitable for activities relating to the law; such as legal work,
maintaining law & order, armed forces, administration, Government departments and so forth.
• Soil which is mainly white, smells good and tastes sweet is suitable for intellectual and educational work such as schools
where teaching occurs, or temples, newspaper offices and other Academy type work where education takes place.
• Soil in shades of Yellow or Green and having a mild smell and sour taste is believed to be excellent for Commercial activities,
finance, businessmen, bankers, and traders.
• Black dark soil with a bitter taste and pungent smell is suitable for almost everything and is considered the best kind of soil.
For example, a plot with red soil that has a pungent taste and with spiky plants having red flowers would be considered suitable for Government buildings, Court Houses and so forth. Should such attributes be lacking, then work on the exterior/interior design, layout, furniture, colours and landscaping can then be enhanced to derive greater and more positive benefits. (Refer table given below).
CHECKING QUALITY OF THE SOIL
Dig a square hole in the centre of the site, oriented along the cardinal directions of depth, with a width and length of 1.5 ft. Store the excavated soil elsewhere, and then fill the pit with water for the night. The next day, at day break, examine the pit and check the water level to determine the strength of the soil. Little absorption of water indicates good soil. Also, while filling the pit with water, examine the direction of water flow. When the water in the pit moves in a clockwise direction, the land is valuable as it indicates flow of positive energy in the soil; movement in the opposite direction suggests unsuitable energy flow.
You can also check the compactness of the soil using another method. Here, you back fill the soil excavated into the pit. If the pit fills up with the entire soil, it is of average quality; if the pit overflows with soil, the site soil is excellent; and in case the pit does not get packed fully with the excavated soil, then you know the soil is of low quality. Compact earth occupies more space when loosened; and naturally dense and compact earth is better for carrying the structure of the building.
ANALYSING THE LAND SURFACE
The surface of the land reveals its intrinsic energy and here, luck is categorized as the Elephant’s back, Turtle’s back, Demon’s back and Serpent’s back.
• Elephant’s Back
This is land that is elevated in the South, Southwest, West or Northwest. Vaastu equates such land with the Indian Goddess of
Wealth, Lakshmi who is mounted on the elephant’s back. This kind of land will bring wealth and prosperity.
• Turtle’s Back
This is land that is elevated in the middle and shallow all around. This kind of land will also generate prosperity, longevity and an
accumulation of wealth for occupants.
• Demon’s Back
This is land that is elevated in the Northeast and East, and such land brings knowledge luck for the children.
• Serpent’s Back
Land that is elongated in East-West directions and elevated in North and South directions is likened to a Serpent’s back. This
causes negative effects on the longevity and wealth of the household and is harmful for the women of the home.
The following article is taken from the "Feng Shui World ( July/August 2010)". To subscribe, please click here.