By Kurma Dasa
all know what a kitchen is, but what's kitchen Vastu? Vastu, or
more correctly Vastu Shastra, is the ancient Indian art of living
in harmony with the environment, and attracting the most positive
influences into a living structure.
With the benefits of its Chinese counterpart Feng Shui becoming
evident, Vastu Shastra is now having a worldwide revival. It's being
hailed as a highly effective architectural science promoting health,
happiness and prosperity. In response to the increasing demand for
more ecologically sensitive and healthy housing, modern architects
are now drawing on ancient architectural traditions such as Vastu
Shastra in order to create contemporary buildings based on thousands
of years of empirical wisdom.
Within Vastu Shastra is the concept that the cosmos is composed
of the five great elements namely ether, air, fire, water, and earth.
These elements interact in the microcosm of the human body and the
macrocosm of the universe according to the energising flow of the
spirit. Just as the body utilises these five elements to maintain
life, Vastu shastra views a building as a living organism with it's
own life force that when properly constructed acts as a receptor
for the benefit and harmonious interaction of these five elements.
The flow of the five elements through a house carries positive
energy, sustaining life, and imbibing the residents with a deep
sense of peace and vitality. In contrast, a building that traps
a chaotic interaction of elements is said to bring disease and misfortune
to the residents. Those of us that have cooked in a variety of kitchens
will agree that some kitchens just don't feel good to cook in. Interestingly,
the huge Indian hotel chain, the Taj group, are employing Vastu
architects to build its kitchens according to these ancient principles.
Vastu Shastra points out the specific benefits of designing a kitchen
according to such principles. It points out that when designing
a kitchen, the primary concerns are to maintain a high standard
of cleanliness, provide a large area for food preparation, and ensure
the safety of the cook. If you are designing and building an entire
house or restaurant from scratch, Vastu Shastra points out the many
factors that should also be considered. The shape of the block of
land, the direction the building will face, it's slope, the proximity
of gardens, water and soil quality, neighboring houses and buildings,
and the room plans themselves, to name but a few, must all be taken
The ideal area for the kitchen is the southeast corner of the
building. Vastu Shastra explains that the sink and taps are best
located at the north-east corner, while cooking and eating utensils
are to be kept in the south or south-west. Electrical appliances
are placed in the southeast corner. The fridge is ideally positioned
in the northwest area. The stove or oven is placed at the east or
north wall, not touching the south or west walls. Cooking whilst
facing east is considered the best arrangement.
Traditionally, in order to maintain cleanliness, eating is never
undertaken in the kitchen.
Kitchen bench tops are traditionally made of marble or stone. Toxic
pollutants such as chemically treated materials, chemical cleaning
agents and residue from improper heat combustion should be avoided.
Good ventilation and good cooking equipment are high priority. Compost
and recycling can easily be incorporated into the Vastu kitchen
The instinctive human drive to create a comfortable dwelling or
workplace can be satisfied by imbibing the principles of Vastu Shastra,
thus enabling us to maintain a balance between our inner world and
our interaction with the external environment.
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