Derived from Sanskrit, the word ‘Vaas’ connotes a dwelling or an abode. ‘Shastra’ symbolises a science, or an area of study. It would be fair to define Vaastu Shastra as the ‘art’ of living in harmony with your surroundings. More than 3,000 years old, its principles are derived from esoteric wisdom combined with scientific application. This series is dedicated to using these principles to manifest peace, happiness and prosperity. Vaastu divides every home into nine zones — each dedicated to a Hindu deity and a corresponding direction. Think of your home as a Rubik Cube containing nine smaller blocks which serve individual functions. You may also require a mariner’s compass, should you get confused with directions:

THE EAST is the direction of the rising sun, governed by Lord Indra. This area relates to our health and prosperity. Living rooms and studies are best plotted here.

THE WEST Lord Varuna gives us rain and water. This area represents cleansing and nurture. Water closets and bathrooms should be built here.

THE NORTH Kuber, who has incalculable stores of wealth and prosperity, resides here. This direction is considered very auspicious, and anyone who keeps their safe and financial instruments such as wallets, jewellery, cheque-books and credit cards here, will see their money multiply. This area represents privacy and solitude,bedrooms must be built here.

THE NORTH EAST Place either a water-fountain or an aquarium here. This area is ruled by Chandra, who controls lunar cycles and sleep.

THE NORTH WEST is ruled by Vayu, Lord of the winds, who rules communication. Guest rooms and offices should be built here.

THE SOUTH Minimal activity should be performed here as this direction is ruled by Yama, the God of Death. The use of the southern region is banned for all auspicious functions.

THE SOUTH EAST is ruled by Agni, and all pantries, furnaces, boilers, heaters go here. Your kitchen should ideally be built here. The East is where the sun rises and temperatures are significantly higher in the southern hemisphere. Placing cooling appliances such as air-conditioners or coolers here will result in a clash in temperatures causing its occupants to get frequent fevers and colds.

THE SOUTH WEST is considered home to the demoness Nairuti. Storage Rooms, garbage bins or heavy immovable goods should be placed here. Water appliances such as faucets, water tanks and bathrooms should NEVER be built here as they could get contaminated by dark energy and prove harmful to man.

THE CENTRE The very middle of the house belongs to the element of space, and represents abstractions and a void. Keep nothing here as far as possible. Even though the functions of the spaces seem bound by religious beliefs, careful thought will allow you to decipher logic and common sense.