This article is intended to help people in North America, especially USA (United States of America) to understand some key elements about the influence of directions on Vastu compliance for a house, office or any plot / property. (Published - Jan. 17, 2019)
Vastu Shastra is an ancient science of architecture and engineering developed over centuries. The recommendations for a Vastu compliant construction or living have been explained more in layman terms related to specific god ruling the direction than the scientific principles behind it. There is no dearth of information available online on the various Vastu topics but most of the online documents or blogs end with prescribing Yantras or Poojas as remedies for an actual engineering defect to the process (or building) involved. I am an engineer and look at everything in Vastu Shastra from a technical perspective and make recommendations based on the critical and scientific analysis of the property involved. This blog series will give my unbiased view points on the important topics.
Vastu Shastra is centered on the influence of directions (balancing with earth, water, fire, air, and space as 5 major factors) to the building (and its inhabitants or residents) and the land holding it. There are 4 cardinal directions (East, West, North, and South) and 4 major sub-directions (angled directions between 2 cardinal directions - North-East, North-West, South-East, and South-West). Any direction between a cardinal direction and adjacent sub-direction will have an angle between 1 to 44 degrees (depending on how you do the measurements).
The actual direction of a plot is usually calculated based on factors including the main road in front of it or on the sides while the building direction is calculated based on the front or main entry. Many a time, people in USA miscalculate the Vastu facing direction of home or building based on front door, which may not be in the direction of main entry or actual direction for calculations. This will be explained later in this article. And direction is just one of the several important factors affecting a Vastu compliant building design. The below diagram is an approximation only, contact VastuTruth if you need help with the best vastu direction of main door.
In all property or plot surveys in USA, the North direction will be shown as an arrow, usually in the upward direction. If the property is tilted or inclined to a cardinal direction, then the arrow direction will be shown in the magnetic North direction. So the arrow will be tilted and may not be vertical or horizontal on the printed paper (depending on how you hold the sheet/map). In Vastu books printed in India and many online sites, the upper direction is given as East and there may not be an arrow. There is nothing wrong with this representation, as long as the reader knows how to interpret directions correctly.
Any building that is not facing a cardinal direction and built (facing or perpendicular to) at an angle closer to the sub-directions can be classified as non-compliant on a very high level. If you find that is the case with your building (house, business, property), you would need professional help to determine the level of non-compliance and see if it could be fixed. For accurate analysis and professional help, you would need to get a survey of the plot or property, engineering drawing of the building or lot fit map and share it with the Vastu Consultant.
I have heard people call Vastu consultants for advice on radio talk shows and TV shows and ask for remedies to fix Vastu (direction) issues. And they get quick answers also in these shows, which is very surprising to me. Below is an example of where the house owner thought that their house (main door) is North West facing whereas the house is facing cardinal North. The owners got some remedies over a radio talk show for North West facing house and then one of their friends expressed a concern on the recommendations. They called VastuTruth for a second opinion and from the plan and survey the house is perfectly North facing.
See a similar example below, for a “North East” facing house as per house owner, whereas for Vastu calculations, it is considered as a North facing home with respect to road and main entry from the road.
I will use the second house as an example for elaborating on direction measurements.
You will not call an Orthopedic surgeon or doctor and ask for advice over phone for a broken leg. You will take x-rays or do scanning and give results to the doctor for analysis and get the right treatment. Similarly, please use sound judgement while getting advice over phone and media talk shows, where your interpretation of the problem and the Vastu talk show host's remedy may not resonate with the actual situation.
VastuTruth gets phone calls as mentioned above and emails asking for advice on Vastu directions and we ask them to get back with more details to do a proper analysis.
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The best way to find the Vastu direction is use a quality magnetic compass. If that is not possible, use one of the compasses available on your smart phone.
To start measuring, place the compass against the front door in closed position. See below image for reference. If you are using a smart phone, make sure that one of the sides or bottom microphone part of the phone is aligned to the door/walls (and parallel to the floor as shown below). (Use the same side of the phone or compass for all measurements) This will help you get the most accurate measurements.
People ask questions like "which facing house is good for me", "which facing direction is good for my star", "if the house direction is not good for my star, can I buy it in my spouse's name" etc. The answers to all these questions require more detailed analysis and a professional Vatu Consultation.
If your main door is made of iron, it may give wrong measurement with the magnetic compass. Mark the angle on it (#3 below). Then make another measurement on the wall adjacent to the door frame and confirm that you get the same measurement (#2). (You will get an angle with approximately 90 degree difference if you measure with adjacent side of the phone, than in previous one. See diagram below) Make a third measurement on front wall of the main entry to the building (#1). If the first and third values are different, then the main door and main entry to the building “could” be different. Note these measurements and seek assistance from an expert Vastu Consultant, if you are not sure.
If the above 3 angles are all the same with the same side of compass as reference, then the main entry is in line with the building and hence proceed with the calculations as-is.
In this case (for figure given above), we see that house is facing North direction at a slight tilt of approximately 6 degrees East of North.
Note: If you are measuring the direction of a plot or land, it is difficult to use any handheld compass to get accurate measurements. In that case, I will rely on the engineering survey of the plot as the most accurate measurement. If that is not available, you should make multiple measurements with respect to boundary line or boundary wall and calculate the direction with the help of an experienced Vastu Shastra consultant.
Please do not buy a plot or house which is North East facing just because you have heard or read that North East is good. North East direction is a good place for Pooja room in a Vastu compliant building but that does not mean all North East facing properties are good. A north east facing plot will most likely have the front road running at an angle to cardinal directions. So any building would not give you the desired results on such a property, even if it is a 100% Vastu compliant construction. This is a classic example for a "Vidisha property". Similarly, if you have questions on "north west facing house", "south east facing home", "south west facing house" etc., get the measurements correctly and consult a qualified Vasthu Shastra Expert in USA, who knows about the terrain, weather patterns, and construction practises.
I have seen dozens of people buying North East facing houses in USA and end up getting bad or poor sleep and undesirable results in the house. Some realtors and builders markup these houses and get people to buy it at higher prices without realizing the damages they are doing to the buyer and family. Please check with a knowledgeable Vastu consultant before you buy a house and save yourself from future hassles.
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In USA, most subdivisions or developments (communities) have been developed with no regard to Vastu compliant construction, though newer developments are taking this aspect to some consideration. Due to building codes and city/county construction regulations, most of these subdivisions will have a requirement where the front wall of the house has to be parallel to the front road or aligned with the roads (where 2 roads touch a property).
If the plot is rectangular or square in shape, facing a cardinal direction and there is a road in front of it, the house is "most likely" to face that direction and be Vastu compliant. If the plot is not in rectangular or square shape (irregular shape), then the front of the house (house facing direction) may not be aligned to the road or a cardinal direction. In that case, you should seek professional Vastu help to see if the property shape can be corrected and if the house can be built in a direction that is complaint with the Vastu principles.
Some people like Cul-de-sac properties when choosing a home. Get an expert Vastu Consultation before making that decision, as very few of these properties have the correct orientation and energy levels for a harmonious life. This has been our experience from reviewing scores of properties across various neighborhoods in USA.
People have a misconception that South facing houses or properties are bad for the owner. This is incorrect, as the orientation of the plot, design of the house and property layout, and various other factor determine the Vastu compliance of the house. Please seek assitance from an expert Vasthu Consultancy if in doubt.
If you are planning to buy a plot for building a Custom Vastu house or building, please contact a Vastu consultant and have the property inspected before you purchase it.
I have got calls from 3 families in last year, who bought plots (1 to 2 acres at prices from $250K to $700K) in expensive subdivisions for building their dream custom vastu homes and got disheartened to find that plot directions were wrong and that their dream houses will not be even 50% vastu complaint. All of them have unknowingly purchased "vidisha" properties, based on a little information they read online or got from others. If these plots were in areas where they do not need to follow HOA (Home Owners Association) rules or strict city building codes, they could have realigned the direction and altered the design of the house and made it better Vastu compliant, as livable properties.
One of the above 3 families had spent over 8 months in talking to 2 separate Vastu consultants in India for their house design in USA and none of them pointed out these important aspects. By the time they contacted VastuTruth, they had spent over $300K in plot cost and around $40K in architect's fees for house design, and was disappointed to hear that they have to either start over in design and apply for new permits or look for a better plot. Another family from above list sold their plot at a loss, as they couldnot get HOA permissions to correct the facing of the house.
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