Vaastu is the science of direction and architecture that combines all the five elements of nature and balances them with the man and the material. Vaastu Shastra is creating a congenial settings or a place to live or work, in most scientific way taking advantages of the benefits bestowed by the five elements called "Paancha Maha Bhootas" of the nature thereby paving the way for enhanced health, wealth, prosperity and happiness in an enlightened environment.
The world comprises of five basic elements, also known as the Paanchbhootas. They are Earth, Water, Air, Fire and Space. Out of the nine planets, our planet has life because of the presence of these five elements.
EARTH (Bhumi):- here means composition of the surface of the earth , the soil and other minerals present in the soil. The upper part of the surface is called soil, Stone, sand, iron, lime etc., all these are parts of soil. All these physical elements are available in limited quantity and on a particular place. This depends on the composition of surface, its form and size, trees and vegetation grown upon it etc. that whether it will be appropriate to inhabit at such a place or not. Moreover if there is a residence there, what type of construction should be there. Availability of essential building materials and their transportation also depend upon the formation of soil. Soil can be categorized on the basis of its shape, touch , taste and sound . We must take care that it suits our physique while selecting land for building and collecting building material. There are many things described in Vaastu Shastra about the size and type of land and method of "Bhoomi Poojan" are also explained in it.
Earth, the third planet in order from the sun, is a big magnet with North and South poles as centers of attractions. Its magnetic field and gravitational force has telling effects on everything on the Earth, living and non-living.
WATER (Jal) :- It is most essential for all creatures and is a basic element in construction. Water forms 3/4 part of body's weight. All of us know about different forms and resources of water. The quantity of water available at present is limited and is less than the requirement. Not only for creatures and vegetation but also for house construction, water is needed in sufficient quantity. Therefore, it should be ensured before house construction, whether water will remain available or not. Usually, in most of the villages a pond is available along with ground water source, which is maintained by villagers themselves. People inhabit colonies on the banks of rivers, lakes and sea, where underground water is available in large quantity and wells can be dug up in a suitable place for colonies. Shape and size of building and life-style are designed at a place according to the availability of water and relation with land. Taking care of water also means the house is stable even during heavy rains, the building is not harmed and flood does not cause havoc. Taste forms, feeling and sound are characteristics of water.
This is represented by rain ,river ,sea and is in the form of liquid, solid (ice) and gas (steam, cloud) . It forms part of every plant and animal. Our blood is nothing but water with hemoglobin and oxygen.
AIR (Vayu):- Atmosphere ( i.e. mixture of gases like Oxygen , Nitrogen, Carbon dioxide, Ozone etc.) exists around the earth up to 400 km height approximately. Composition of atmosphere and presence of vapours in it differ from place to place according to local situations. We cannot see air but we can feel and hear it. Air is an essential element for all living beings. It is essential to have correct supply, correct temperature
and pressure, correct percentage of humidity in the air for both kinds of comforts- physical and mental for man. Therefore, the shape, size,
construction and direction of buildings should be such as they have sufficient supply of air for healthy and comfortable living. No part of the building should remain without air. Foul air should not gather in the
building and fresh air should come continuously . From which direction air should enter or not is also important . In our country the air blowing from the South is considered baneful and inauspicious.
As a life supporting element, air is very powerful life source. Human physical comfort values are directly and sensitively dependent on correct humidity, air flow, temperature of air, air pressure, air composition and its content.
FIRE (Agni):- Fire circulates energy in the form of light and heat. The sun is the main source of light and heat for us. The movement of the earth in relation to the sun causes day and night and change in seasons. Rain and wind are also possible due to the heat of the sun. The sun provides living beings with courage, zeal and power. Most of the colonies in the world are found in temperate zones where Sun's energy is available in sufficient quantity. Care should be taken that the building has constant supply of light, it is completely safe from fire, construction material is selected in such a way that it is fit for living comfortably in both seasons - in summer as well as in winter and it is not destroyed by lightning. Thus house construction plan is greatly affected by heat and light ( i.e. Fire ). Shape , feeling and sound are characteristics of fire .
It represents light and heat without which the life will extinct. All the days and nights, seasons, energy, enthusiasm, passion, vigour is because of light and heat only.
SPACE (Aakash):- Space is the most widely spread over of the five basic elements. The unending region of the universe in which all the heavenly bodies exist is called space (Aakaash). There is no place in the universe where this space does not exist. Gravitational pull of various heavenly bodies, magnetic power, different kinds of radiations and waves like ultra -violet rays, infra- red rays, light rays, cosmic rays, etc. are always present in space. Their effects can be felt in many forms, and many activities and designs (plans) in our life are conducted by their effects .Sound is produced in space only. If there is no space, sound waves are not possible. The form in which space permits the building will decide accordingly the form of our talking, singing and playing, weeping and other activities. The echo of our sound will go according to space. Therefore, the houses should be built in such a way The Five Main Elements and plan that these invisible forces of nature and the energies generated by them can be fully utilized and their harmful effects can be avoided. Human body is also made of five basic elements and similarly all the other things of the world are made of them. Therefore, the five basic elements existing inside and outside man have a constant though invisible relation which affects activities of life. In our residence or office buildings, etc., are constructed in a well- planned manner keeping in view the effects of "Panchmahabhoot", i.e. the five basic elements - earth, water, air, space and fire- life can be full of more happiness and prosperity.
The ancient Rishis and Sages had knowledge of the relation between five basic elements and their energies and their utility in needed quantity. Therefore, vaastu shastra explains such principles of house building according to which appropriate use of the effects of these five basic elements can be achieved by selecting land accordingly, as soil inhabits our body, similarly our body inhabits a building. The effects of these five basic elements have been fully taken care of in the principles laid down in Vaastu Shastra, by which a residence can be made for a comfortable life and not merely for show.