Feng Shui or Vastu Shastra for Your Home?

yellow wall and colorful pillows

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Vastu shastra and feng shui are both ancient and sacred bodies of knowledge revealing the connection between humans and the dwellings they inhabit. In vastu shastra, as well as in feng shui, the focus is on human's well-being, which can only be achieved when we are in harmony with nature and the Universal flow of energy.
There are many similarities between feng shui and vastu shastra, after all, both systems are based on the knowledge of the flow of Universal energy called Chi in Chinese culture and Prana in Hindu.

The word "vastu" can be generally translated as meaning "dwelling", and the term "shastra" can be summed up as "teaching". Vastu shastra is a complex body of knowledge with many mathematical formulas expressing deep reverence for the Hindu deities and proper ways to show this reverence in the design of a space.
How do you know what to go for - feng shui or vastu shastra - in order to create best energy in your home? Explore our tips and decide for yourself!

What we know and understand of vastu shastra and feng shui can be quite limited, as ancient wisdom is rarely clearly translated and applied in the modern culture.
However, both feng shui and vastu shastra are becoming popular in home and office feng shui applications, so this simple exploration will help you. We will proceed from the basic concepts to home colors, bedroom tips and more. Enjoy your exploration!

The brief comparison below is a very, very simple and basic summary of deeply complex and ancient systems of knowledge. We summed it up in 3 main points.

  1. Flow of Universal Energy. Both feng shui and vastu shastra are based on the knowledge of the flow of Universal energy called Chi in Chinese culture and Prana in Hindu. No matter you go for feng shui or vastu shastra, you will always be attuned to how the energy flows in your space, as well as be clear as to what is good energy (Sheng Chi in feng shui) and bad energy (Si Chi and Sha Chi).
  2. Five Main Elements. The main concept in both feng shui and vastu shastra is the concept of five elements on which everything else in the Universe is built upon. However, the five elements in vastu shastra - Air, Fire, Water, Earth and Space - are different from the five elements in feng shui. Read more What Are the Five Feng Shui Elements?
  3. Reverence for the Sacred. It is believed that Vastu initially emerged as a science of building Hindu temples that truly express the reverence for the Divine. Feng shui originated with the same energy of honoring the Spirit world and those who passed on, this is why one of the initial applications of feng shui is the Yin feng shui or feng shui of proper design of the graveyards.

MORE: Origins of Feng Shui

How does it all apply to you on a practical level in your own home or office? How do Vastu Shastra and Feng Shui differ (or are similar) in their views on the front door, center of home, kitchen, bedroom, colors and more?

Feng Shui or Vastu Shastra: CENTER OF THE HOME

Both feng shui and vastu shastra agree on the utmost importance of the center of a dwelling.

In feng shui, the center is called the heart of the home, or the yin-yang point from which all other bagua energies originate from. The center should always be kept clean and happy, with good, fresh energy.

Vastu shastra is considered to be the originator of the concept of open courtyards. Located in the center of a dwelling, their purpose is to receive the highest quality of energy. The center of a dwelling is compared to the function of lungs in vastu shastra.

No matter how you look at the function of the center of a dwelling - as the heart, lungs, tan tien or yin yang point - the meaning is the same. The center of a home should always be kept clean, fresh, happy and open, as the energy of the whole house depends on it.

Below are some feng shui tips and info related to the center of your home:

feng shui vastu shastra home center
The view of the center of a home according to feng shui and vastu shastra. Photo: Dougal Waters / Getty Images

Feng Shui or Vastu Shastra: FRONT DOOR

The design of the front door is very important in both feng shui and vastu shastra , as it is through the main door that the dwelling absorbs most of its Chi or Universal energy nourishment.

BEST DIRECTIONS:

Since ancient times the most auspicious direction for the front door - according to traditional feng shui - was considered to be South. This is why red color is often admired as the best feng shui color for the main door, as red is the color of the South fire element.

In vastu shastra, North and East are considered to be the best directions. According to vastu shastra consultants, in order to find the best location for the front door, divide the house into nine parts and place the door in the fourth section of the house.

GENERAL GUIDELINES:

Even though the info on the best directions for the front door is contradictory (some of it can be explained by different topographic conditions in China and India), both feng shui and vastu shastra agree on what creates a good energy front door.

  • No obstructions in front of the door
  • No direct doors alignment
  • No rusty hardware, peeling off paint, etc
  • No wall facing the front door upon entry
  • No bathroom over the front door
  • A door on the same, or higher level than the street level, etc.

Below are some feng shui tips for your front door:

front door feng shui vstu shastra
How similar are the front door guidelines in feng shui and vastu shastra?. Photo: Angel Herrero de Frutos / Getty Images

Feng Shui or Vastu Shastra: YOUR KITCHEN

No matter which culture you look at, the kitchen always plays a very important part in the overall design of a home.

In feng shui, the state of your kitchen is directly related to the state your health, wealth and happiness. It is important to know how to create good energy in your kitchen, as well as how to sustain it at all times.

Feng shui advises against having a bathroom above your kitchen, or a bathroom door facing your kitchen. It is also undesirable to see the kitchen as soon as you enter the home. Best feng shui colors for the kitchen would depend on its feng shui direction, but generally warm, clean colors will create best energy in your kitchen.
Vastu shastra also places a big importance on good energy in the kitchen.

According to vastu, the kitchen should not be placed under or above the prayer (puja) room, bathroom or bedroom. Best colors for the kitchen are considered yellow, orange, pink, chocolate or red. Black is to be avoided as a bad vastu shastra color for the kitchen.

Below are some feng shui tips to help you create best energy in the kitchen:

What is the feng shui and vastu shastra advice for your kitchen?. Photo: Jupiterimages / Getty Images

Feng Shui or Vastu Shastra: COLORS

Color is one of the strongest expressions of energy and as such, is a powerful tool in creating the mood, or the energy you desire.

In feng shui, color is considered an excellent feng shui cure and is used according to the five elements theory. For example, if you need the water element in your North facing study, you would consider adding blue, the color of the water element of the North.

You will add coral red in the South bathroom for the fire element of the South or spring green accents in an East facing living room for the wood element of the East. Colors are also chosen in feng shui according to the birth elements of people who live in the house.

Vastu shastra has a similar complex approach to the choice of color. However, the color correspondence for various directions is different. Color is chosen according to the ruling planet of the specific direction, not its element. So, if you want to paint a room in the Southeast of your home, for example, you will choose the silver white color of the ruling planet of the Southeast direction, which is Venus.

Color is also advised in vastu shastra according to the zodiac sign of the inhabitants. So, for example, if you are a Gemini, green colors will be best for your energy, and if you are an Aquarius then pink and blue will be your best choices. As you can see, both feng shui and vastu shastra have similar approach in the reasoning behind the choice of colors. The direction of the specific space is the number one criteria and the personal energy of humans who live in the space is the other criteria.

Below are some feng shui tips and info to help you choose best colors for your home:

feng shui vastu shastra colors
Use of color in your home according to feng shui and vastu shastra. Photo: Derek E. Rothchild / Getty Images

Feng Shui or Vastu Shastra: BEDROOM

Your bedroom is one of the most important rooms in the house, no doubt about it. Do feng shui and vastu shastra agree on the guidelines for the bedroom, or do they differ? Let's find out.

According to feng shui, the best colors for the bedroom are the so-called skin tones, and you know that means a wide range of colors: from pearly white to deep chocolate brown. Bed positioning is very important for good feng shui in the bedroom. Bedroom art and bedroom decor are always taken into consideration when creating a good bedroom, and items such as an aquarium, or a mirror facing a bed are best avoided.

Vastu shastra advises against using white or yellow colors in the bedroom, and suggests light pink, dark blue, gray, chocolate or green colors. As Northeast is considered to be the direction of the Hindu deities, no bedroom should be placed in this direction. Vastu shastra also advises against sleeping with the head facing North direction.

Below are some feng shui tips to help create best energy in your bedroom:

feng shui vastu shastra bedroom tips
Create a good bedroom by following feng shui and/or vastu shastra advice. Photo: Caroline Woodham / Getty Images