Vaasthu & Disaster Management
Vaastu and Disaster resistant building construction

1    Introduction

In India, recently we face disasters one by one. Apart from Earthquakes, some different kind of disasters that are new (unknown) to the world is also happening in our soil. The newspapers are regularly reporting sudden drying of the wells, colour rains, settlement of buildings, colour change of the well water etc. At last we have faced killer Tsunami waves in the different parts of our coastal areas.

As technocrats, we can find many explanations to the same phenomena. Explanations are not sufficient for the sufferings of the victims. These natural calamities will repeat again unexpectedly at any place. Tsunami is new to us. We should think seriously about these killer waves as we have a very long beach and the population depending sea for their daily lively hood is more. In Kerala, the fisherman folk and other tourist locations are mainly based on beaches and the population density per kilometer is the highest compared to any other State in India.


2    Reasons of Natural Disasters (Looking from different angles)

Let us have a look on the reasons for this Earthquake or the Tsunami caused by Earthquakes from  some other interesting angles.

2.1    The scientific reasoning by the Geologists
"    2.1.1 Tectonic plate theory - ie. faulty zones in the classified 8 tectonic plates on the earth and its movements. (Those tectonic plates are Tessibean, American, African, Indian, Pacific, South East Asian, Philippines and Antarctic)
"    Volcanic inner stress inside the earth
"    Huge dam projects in the site
2.2    Some interesting factors related to natural disasters
"    Reckless exploitation of the natural resources leads to natural calamities.    (A meaningful saying by elder generations) 
"    Slaughtering of the cattle (BIS Theory & Einstein Pain Waves)*1
"    Influence of celestial planets  *2
"    Greedy exploitation of limited fossil fuels.
"    Horoscope of the region and the zodiac position of the solar eclipse*2
"    The slope of the plot affects damage of the building. Buildings in North sloped lands were not damaged. (Anand Nagar, Jabalpur Earth Quake 22-5-1997),
2.3    Astro Vaastu Indications
Kalpam & Jyotisham are two interlinked disciplines of Vaastu sastra. The oldest reference available is Brihadsahmita written by Varahamihira in the 6th century AD who lived in Ujjaini. In the slokas of Earthquake criterion  he classifies 4 directional sections with signified constellations seven on each section and explains their impact accordingly as under in brief.
2.3.1    Symptoms of Vayukone (North West)
    Seven Stars in the constellation are Utram, Atham, Choti, Chithira, Punartam, Makayiram, & Aswati and this occurs from the North West with strong winds and it is disastrous.
2.3.2   Symptoms of Ishanam (North East)
    Stars in the constellation are Abhijith, Thiruvonam, Avittam, Rohini, Thrikketta, Uthradom and Anizham causing torrential downpour followed by ailments in the digestive system and diarrhoea.
2.3.3    Symptoms of Nirruti (South West)
    Constellation of Revathi, Pooradom, Tiruvatira, Moolam, Uthrattathi, and chathayam, Makam causing quakes from South west causing annhilation of sea shore and river banks along the side of the water bodies.




2.3.4    Symptoms of Agnikone (South East)
    Pooyam, Karthika, Visakhom, Bharani, Makam, Pooradom and Pooram  causes dispersal of clouds, destruction of dams, lakes, pools and other water resourses, resulting in political unrest, fire accidents, droughts etc.

Remarkable studies were not conducted in this subject in detail later. The occurred natural disasters were evaluated through the eyes of the modern science only. Some scientists did some researches and got good promising results. *3

3    The Essence of Vaasthu Vidya
3.1    Vaasthu, Vaasthu Vidya and Vaasthu Sasthra
'Vaastu' is a word originated from Sanskrit word 'vas' means place to dwell. Thus we can say 'Vaastu' is the dwelling place for the living and non living. All living creatures, the dead and deities come under this category. As per our ancient beliefs, this Earth is not meant for man only. Human beings are one among the millions.

'Vaasthu Vidya' is the study of effective utilization of the natural resources and dwelling place in harmony with the nature. The balance between the different systems is to be kept holistic and the needy exploitation of the resources were permitted not the greedy exploitation.
Vaasthu Sasthra is a set dos and don'ts in Vaasthu Vidya. This is just like Bye Laws or instructions. As an ordinary person you can accept the same  in your daily life or reject it. As a more knowledgeable person in Vaastu Vidya, you have the authority to change it according to the need of the community (client), time and place.
3.2    Origin of Vaastu Vidya

Vaastu Vidya is believed to be originated from 'Brahma', the supreme creator.*4
The oldest literature on this was Stapatya veda, an upaveda of Atharva Veda, (1700 BC) which contain a lot of technical matter in Sanskrit. After that Puranas, Agamas, Niruttas etc came. Later on Varahamihira compiled a lot of other subjects including Vaastu Vidya in his famous work, Brihad samhita (6th century AD).

Mayamata, Manasara, Samarakankana Sutradahara, Kashyapa silpa sasthram, Manasollasa, Prayoga Manjari, Vaasthu ratnavalai, etc.
In Kerala we follow 'Manushyalaya Chandika' (16th century AD) for Griha Vaasthu (Prayojaka Vaastu/ functional Vaastu) and Tantra samuchayam (15th century AD) for temple Vaastu (Praasada Vaastu/ Symbolic Vaastu)

3.3    Classification of Vaastu
According to mayamata, there are four types of Vaastu.
    Bhoomi (Mother Earth)
    Harmya (Buildings) - prayojaka & Prasada Vaastu
    Yaana (Carts, chariots, vehicles etc)
    Sayana (Furniture and interior items)
Among these four items we are more concerned about Bhoomi Vaasthu & Harmya Vaastu. When the interrelationship of these becomes unscientific, the natural disasters occur.
3.3.1    Bhoomi Vaastu
This is the primal Vaastu. Only in Earth living beings can survive. No other planet in the universe is found supporting life so far. So our Mother Earth (Prithvi) is the biggest known Vaastu. Let us have a close look at this ..
"    In ancient classics of all civilizations consider Earth as mother (Prithvi). She cares all of us like her children with all facilities and resources.
"    "Mata Bhoomi: putro aham prithvya" (Atharva veda  (12.1.12) (meaning: Mother Earth, I am your son)
"    She is the ultimate bearer of loads of all structures.
"    Earth is water as well as fire inside it.  Atharva veda (12.1.19). Fire means geothermal energy and the inner side of the Earth is molten due to high temperature.
"    It emits many radiations. *5
"    Earth is represented as a Cow (Kamadhenu) in the Vedas.
"    The Earth's axis is tilted by 23.5degrees to get NE Cosmic radiations.
"    Even though it rotates at a very high speed and moving around the sun, the inhabitants do not feel it.
3.3.2    Vaastu Purusha Mandalam  (Vaasthu kshetram)
This links the Bhoomi Vaastu to the Harmya Vaastu. It has got multi dimensional importance in planning, designing and constructing houses as well as in disaster resistance point of view. (That we will come across in detail later)

Any plot with a square or rectangular boundary can be considered as a Vaastu Purusha Mandalam. Its center of gravity is known as the Brahma Nabhi. The Vaastu Purusha Mandalam is under the control of 45 dieties and they are sitting over the Vaastu purushan, who was a destructive and gigantic demon. Since these deities are sitting on the plot, thus it must be compacted.

There are four Veedhis  (please refer Fig. 3)
A)    Pishacha Veedhi (outer 1/9th)
B)    Manushya Veedhi
C)    Deva Veedhi
D)    Brahma Veedhi

Normally Residential buildings are not permitted in the outer most and the innermost Veedhis. ie. Pishacha veedhi & Brahma Veedhi

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