Vedic home design said to provide health, prosperity

Vedic home design said to provide health, prosperity

By: GARY WARTH – Staff Writer

Paul
Worland suffered from chronic sinus infections and fatigue. Cathleen
Cook suffered from various health problems, including lingering
depression.

Both feel much better today and say they are
enjoying life more, with better health, greater peace of mind and even
improved finances. But it wasn’t a doctor, therapist or financial
consultant who helped improve their life, they say. It was their
houses.

“We built the
house as a Vedic style,” Worland said about this style of building
associated with Hindu culture. The word Vedic comes from Veda, which is
a sacred Hindu text.

 

Specifically,
vastu architecture follows the belief that the direction a building
faces and the use of its rooms have a direct effect on the health and
well-being of its inhabitants, he explained.

“Proper vastu means
proper direction, dimension and placement of the rooms,” Worland said.
“The orientation of the house is critical. It (the front of the house)
faces due east or due north.”

Like astrology, vastu architecture
is based in a belief that solar, lunar and planetary influences affect
life on earth. Proponents of the philosophy believe the strongest
influence comes from the sun, which generates different qualities of
energy as it travels east to west. Ancient Vedic formulas describe how
houses should be designed so activities in the house correspond with
the influences of the sun’s energy.

While not as widely known as
its Asian cousin, feng shui, which also sees a correlation between
design and well-being, vestu architect is gaining in popularity.

The
200-person Maharishi Vedic City in Iowa consists entirely of
Vedic-style buildings, while the dozen or so Vedic-style homes near
Cook and Worland in Barona Mesa, just south of San Diego Country
Estates, make up the largest cluster of the style in Southern
California, Cook said.

Cook and her husband, Joel, moved into
their custom home three years ago. Like Worland, they practice
Transcendental Meditation, introduced to the West in the 1960s by
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who is helping resurrect Vedic design worldwide.
The maharishi plans to build 3,000 “peace palaces” in the Vedic style
to teach meditation and other programs around the globe. An
18,000-square-foot palace opened in August in Dallas.

“It works
because the orientation of the house, relative to the sun’s axis, has a
very powerful influence,” Worland said of the Vedic design principles.
“Also, the placement of the room and each of the corners of the
buildings, and what you do in those areas, will affect the whole house.”

While associated with Hinduism, Vedic design principles are not tied to any one religion, Joel Cook said.

“The
Vedic is a body of knowledge that has been adopted by Hinduism as a
source of knowledge,” he said. “It’s just the basic ways of looking at
the laws of nature, how to live and ways to stay healthy.”

Joel
Cook, an optometrist with a practice in Rancho Penasquitos, sees vastu
architecture not as mysticism, but as a set of sound principles.

“The
idea is there’s a best way to do everything,” he said. He also points
to studies done by Dr. Alarik Aranander, director of Iowa’s Brain
Research Institute, whose studies suggest the mind is more orderly when
facing east.

Worland’s home is based on a traditional Eastern
design, while the Cooks’ home is an elegant, Craftsman-style home with
hardwood floors and natural-finish wood throughout.

“It could be
modular,” Joel Cook said about how Vedic principles can apply to any
style. “It could be a trailer. It could be any old thing you want.”

The
Cooks’ home is crowned with a kalash, an ornate Hindu vase, but there
is little else to indicate the house was built following Vedic
principles.

But even people unfamiliar with Vedic design might notice that something feels different about the house, the Cooks said.

“We
find people who come to visit us like to linger,” Joel Cook said. “When
they come for dinner, we practically shoo them out the door.”

According
to literature from the Holland-based Maharishi Vedic Architecture
(www.VedicArchitecture.org), an incorrectly placed entrance can lead to
“inauspicious, negative influences for everyone.” Anger, aggression,
constant fear, poverty, chronic disease and lack of vitality and
success also can result from incorrectly placed entrances, according to
the group.

The dining room should be where digestion will be
most healthy, the study should be where intellect will be most lively
and the living room should be where social life will enjoy the greatest
support, according to Maharishi Vedic Architecture. A booklet created
by the group shows the dining room to the south, the living room to the
west and the study to the north.

The Cooks’ front door faces
true east in accordance with Vedic principles, which also call for
clear north-to-south and east-to-west sight lines. There should be no
activity at the center of the house, or the brahmastan. Accordingly,
the Cooks have placed a small table there, holding an orchid-filled
vase, bathed in sunlight from an overhead skylight.

Southern entrances should be avoided, so the Cooks have surrounded their south-facing patio with a fence that has no gate.

A
desk used for paperwork near the kitchen and another in the study for
personal finances both face north, the direction for prosperity.

Certain
elements also must correspond with specific compass directions. The
fire element, for instance, should be the southeast corner of the
house, which is where the Cooks built their kitchen.

The earth
element in the southwest corner represents stability and restfulness,
so that is where the Cooks placed their master bedroom. The northwest
corner of the house represents the air element, so it was a good choice
for the guest bedroom, as guests move in and out of the house.

The
water element should be in the north, where the Cooks built their
exercise pool, and the space element should be in the northeast corner,
where the couple built their meditation room. Even their toilet faces
north.

The Cooks say the results of following the guidelines
have been more than worth it. They moved to Barona Mesa three years ago
after living uncomfortably in a conventional house in Mission Hills.

“I feel better,” Joel Cook said. “More secure. More aware of the seasons and where you are on the earth.”

“I
think my health has really improved,” Cathleen Cook said. “I had a
lingering depression. There was no reason for me to be unhappy, but I
was unhappy.”

Worland, an architect and engineer for 22 years,
is so convinced of the merits of Vastu principles that he will not
build a conventional house.

“Before, I used to design whatever,
up until around 1985,” Worland said. “But then I realized that this
vastu design is kind of like a building code for good fortune and
prosperity. If I’m not designing something that’s properly vastu, I’m
designing something that might not be best for my client. The architect
or designer actually has the ability to design good fortune for people.”

Contact staff writer Gary Warth at [email protected] or (760) 740-5410.

Vedic
is defined as related to Veda, ancient sacred Hindu texts. Sthapatya
Veda is the table of knowledge in these texts that refers to building
structures and homes, and Vastu refers to how a house is properly
located to follow those principles.


Source: NC Times.com