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Vaastu Rituals for Construction & Moving In

Vaastu is a complete understanding of direction, geography, topography, environment and physics. It is a study that dictates the form, size and orientation of a building in relation to the plot, soil, surroundings and personality of the owner.

Vaastu endows peace and prosperity to all mankind. A house, big or small, built as per Vaastu makes life pleasant and prosperous. Harmony with the environment, peace for the spirit and health for the human being are the criteria for healthy homes. These have deep roots in the human experience and in traditions of home building according to different cultures across the world.  Hence, adapting the science of Vaastu and Feng Shui in construction of a building ensures that the structure is in accordance with the laws of nature and contributes towards the wellness of the occupants.

The knowledge of sacred architecture in India has existed in the oral tradition since before the Vedic Age, some five thousand years ago. From the oral tradition it was later recorded in the Sanskrit mantras and compiled under the title “Vaastu Shastra” (Vaastu= Site or house or place of dwelling, Shastra = treatise/instructions).  Vaastu Shastra  is possibly the oldest known architectural treatise in the
world today.

Buying a home and renovating it, or constructing a new home, is a very important investment in one’s life and gives a great sense of satisfaction when the building shapes up and is ready for occupancy. To ensure that the building is free of negativity and bad luck, many rituals or prayers are performed at various stages of construction as per Vaastu tenets.

All dwelling spaces are considered to be alive with unseen entities, and these call for rituals to cleanse the space before we commence any activity. There are specific rituals or “pujas” (prayers and space cleansing) associated with construction activity, and each of them is performed at specific stages of construction. The process of rituals is divided into 4 parts, the first being performed prior to commencement of construction, the second on positioning the main door, the third on completion of the building to usher in happiness and bless the house, and finally, the last ritual is performed when the actual moving in happens.

•    Ground Breaking Ceremony
The main purpose of this is to achieve a deep sense of identity with the Earth energy, the Mother Earth, with the being of the house and with the blessing energies of the Masters of the knowledge of Vaastu Science. This is for the purpose of arousing these cosmic forces and directing them in a positive way for the project. Work beginning at the auspicious time will be completed without any impediment and the constructed building will yield prosperity, wealth and longevity.

A prayer is offered at the NE sector of the plot at an auspicious time and date, and offerings such as fruits, flowers and sweets made of coconut are broken, symbolizing the beginning of the auspicious time and as a mark of dispelling obstacles. Incense sticks are lit and the property owner makes an offering to the Mother Earth, seeking blessings and the co-operation of the insects and life existing beneath the soil.

Next the earth is symbolically dug and each of the family members involved in the project will take turns to dig the earth with a positive frame of mind, wishing for prosperity and abundance in the proposed building.

•    Consecration and Installation of the Main Door

The main door frame and shutters are aligned and placed at the most auspicious sector of the house and the frame is smeared with sandal paste and Yellow turmeric paste and vermillion. Flowers and mango leaves are tied at the top of the door frame and the door is decorated. Beneath the main door frame, semi-precious gem stones, coins, grains are all placed.

Incense sticks are lit and offerings made to ensure that the space is cleansed and the door receives auspicious energy. The area surrounding the main door frame is filled with metal or coins, and some even place a conch shell beneath the door frame to ensure positive forces are amplified and received into
the building.

•    House Warming or “Gruha Pravesh”
Gruha means house, Pravesh means making the entry. This is a special prayer signifying completion of the construction or renovation of the building. This is performed on an auspicious day as per the almanac and the auspicious time is also decided. For this ritual, the house is decorated with flowers and the specific place where the “ceremonial fire” is to be lit is identified.

The priests then prepare a copper pot which is filled with water, nine kinds of grains and one coin. A coconut is then placed on the top of the pot with mango leaves which will be carried by the house owner to the place of the ceremonial fire inside the house. Next, the priest performs a “Vaastu Puja” with the ceremonial fire being kindled with offerings and wood shavings. The smoke emanating from the ceremonial fire is considered auspicious as it is further energized with the chanting of the prayers, said to ward off evil spirits and astral characters of animals and humans which can cause negative vibrations. It is believed that such spirits may have been in the vacant space and they need to move away, so an offering of food and sweets is made in all the eight compass directions, known as “Balidaana”. Later, new protective spirits are invited to guard the home and bless the space.

•    Moving In
This is the concluding part of the ritual and is performed at the time the family actually moves into the new home. The place is thoroughly cleansed to remove any bad energy and the imprint of the many workers who were working in the building. Salt water is used for cleansing and positive affirmations are made and prayers are chanted.

Next, a lamp is lit and carried to the centre of the house, main room, main door and bedrooms. The lamp is then placed in the middle of the house along with incense sticks, flowers, water and milk. The first cooking in the kitchen commences with the traditional “boiling of the milk” and the milk is allowed to overflow and food is cooked to offer to
the deities.

The prayers continue, seeking good health, wealth and happiness. Later, the holy water blessed by the priests is mixed with sandalwood oil and sprinkled liberally in each corner of the property to purify the space. The food and sweets are offered to the Gods, and then distributed amongst guests and family members as it is considered as
blessed food.

The essential items used in the prayers represent the five elements in Vaastu. The water or milk boiled represents element water, incense with the smoke rising represents air, flower represents earth element, lamp represents fire element and the sound of the metal bells used during chanting represents ether or space. All the elements are brought together collectively and they represent the entire planet earth and are offered to the Gods of the space directions seeking protection for the home.

Constructing a building or renovating is a process where the energy of the place is transformed and a new lease of life is given to the property, hence Vaastu tenets insist on the rituals of inviting positive spirits or energy into the space, as this infuses a feel of goodness, wellness and prosperity for the occupants.


Feng Shui Consultant and Traditional Vaastu Practitioner

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The following article is taken from the "Feng Shui World (Jan/Feb 2009)". To subscribe, please click here.