The Sri Rangam Temple Gopurams from a different angle. The famed Tirupathi Tirumala Temple.
Iskcon's Bangalore Temple in Karnatak, South India.
Purohit Jaya Tirtha Charan dasan conducting the Panch Shila Admestika,
Vaastu Avahan and Sthapanam for the Chaitanya Cultural Centre in Masterton, NZ 1999.
Maya Danava and a Sthapati in South India.
In previous times an architect new the entire science of Shilpa and Vaastu and would not only design houses but would aide in their consecration. In Manasara Shilpa shastra there is a list of the qualities of a Sthapathi (devotional architect) that would mistake him today for a saint at least.
Vaastu and Your Health - is your Environment Making You Sick?
Feng Shui like Vaastu describes several classes of events, some of which are deemed desirable and are thus labeled auspicious, while others are labelled inauspicious. The classes of events are roughly summarized as: Production of wealth; Enhancement of health; Improvement of relationships; Protection from misfortune or harm; Mild misfortune; Serious lose; Serious injury; Death .
These classes describe the kind of Chi (energy) that certain environments and Feng Shui methods generate. This is very scientific, as scientific as mixing one chemical with another and generating or creating a chemical reaction. It is therefore, necessary to link the energy of Chi with human conditions for both establishing an environment and invoking remedial measures in one.
As the biological systems of people and most animals are mainly reliant upon electrical energies, it is not difficult to see why we may well react in subtle ways to minute changes in our electrical environment. Many such correlations are being investigated by Western science: for instance, the much-publicized connection between high electromagnetic fields under electrical pylons and mobile telephone transmission stations and the incidence of cancer. If we look at Feng Shui as a practice, we find that Feng Shui masters advise against living too near to transmission lines and towers, but explain the reason as being the likelihood of being hit by Shar Chi or "killing breath".
Thus, it may be argued that Western science is well acquainted with invisible energies, some of which may be a component of the Chi said to affect individuals in Chinese terms. In terms of Vaastu and Vedic astrology these same energies are contacted, identified, and either worked with for the proper construction of a building or avoided to clear the way for the inhabitants to reside in, work with or use the said location.
As Vedic astrology examines and works with electro magnetic forces that influence us through the celestial heavens and here on Earth so Feng Shui investigates living and working spaces with respect to their orientation in the magnetic field of the Earth. In the same way as a traveller requires a compass for direction in which to travel so Feng Shui masters will use compasses to determine the orientation of such spaces and the location, in particular, of the main door used for entry and exit. This initial information allows them to locate where particular elemental influences exist. What places in which to have parts of the house/office/building/temple and where weak spots may lay, and what to place there to compensate for it. This implies that Feng Shui masters are not only concerned with the relationship between the magnetic fields and electrical or generally energetic materials, but are also deeply concerned for the well being of the people who use them.
Western science documents the interaction between magnetic fields and moving electrical charges. I remember we had one fellow Herr Reinholt living and working around Nelson, who was involved in Electro Magenetic evaluation of buildings etc., who came to one of our temples in Auckland to see how the devotees had built what he later referred to as, "...a great Radio antenna". The subtle elctromagnetic forces that he showed us with his instruments were amazing to say the least. To the untrained eye it was just another building site, but to one who has had some training in the field of what should be where, and the magnetic forces that are invoked by unconscious building attitueds is mind blowing. What to speak of on a greater scale of electro magenetic energy and it's effects on our being in general, no matter how strong or weak as in a quartz watch. Still it has an effect, like when we all joined hands with only one person wearing a watch and the electro magnetic fields travelled through each of our bodies as an electric current normally identified with a much stronger power also would. This is exactly the situation when an individual walks around in the earth's magnetic field. The effect is very weak; nevertheless, it exists. It is, therefore, not surprising that Feng Shui masters are interested in the magnetic field where an individual spends most of his or her time, whether at home or at work, or in their place of worship.
The basic practice of Feng Shui sometimes ignores biology and the use of compasses, and concentrates on the symbolism of terrain. Good terrain on which to site one's home should exhibit the symbolic existence of the dragon, the white tiger, the black tortoise, and the red phoenix. In this way we take a careful not not only of the geometric and astrological worth of a place, but also what it looks like and symbolically represents. Other inauspicious places might be a gaping cave or a hill that resembles a demon's head, these things can be clearly seen with the eyes. These might be indicated by buildings, mountains, hills, lakes and even the shapes of rivers or inlets. This symbolism may simply be common sense that indicates that certain locations are instinctively unhealthy while others are particularly pleasing. I know that on many occassions when either looking for land, or looking at other people I've either felt really good about the entire synagy or I've felt uncomfortable and wished to go. This is the system as seen in the search for a better home location, and just as much as a healthy diet or pleasing meals, is which is known to enhance the quality of life.
One may have heard of the term "Round the bend" meaning mad or mentally unstable. This term was taken by the British Raj and incorporated into their slang from the people of Kakbeini in Northern Nepal on the bend of the Kali Gandhaki river. The atmospheric winds blow there day and night at a ridiculous rate of knotts, as a friend of mind said, "It can drive you nuts". Similarly the parallel may be drawn for those with knowledge of Western science in which the existence of charged particles and particles of water vapour in the atmosphere is well documented, and so are the effects of such particles upon people. The study of weather effects shows that mountains, valleys, and other geographic factors do give rise to various climatic conditions, including winds and eddies, temperature gradients, and humidity conditions. The lie of the land will, therefore, affect the prevailing weather conditions around the home. Parallels may, therefore, be drawn between Western science and Feng Shui practice. We can see a practical and graphic example of this in New Zealand's Southland - Otago region where for years now they have not had a decent amount of rain, and similarly in Canterbury it is so dry that the entire place was yellow last summer when I went there to perform a wedding. But on the other side of the Southern Alps around Queenstown they have so much rain that roads are washed away, floods wash away top-soil and sheep that on the other side of the mountain cry out and die for want of water are washed away by it in flood. For that matter too, it is not just the South Island; some folk who live in the central plateau have been grately disturbed by the activity of Mt Ruapehu since basing their livelihood around the unpredictable "Angry Mountain". Similarly in 1998 when a lady in urban Rotorua sudeenly awake to find a Geser blowing in her house and garden proved the ridiculousness of building houses on thermal lands. Other graphic examples are those of the Mid-west in the USA, where they have Hurricane Valley. Each year in the area around Kansas the local people are devistaed by hurricanes, hundreds of them. Yet their forebears the Native American Indians hunted these lands at given times of year when the huricanes were not created by the mixutures of hot and cold weather, but never EVER made their homes there. One may re-evaluate who is the hethen unitelligent savage - he who lives by such natural laws as the Native Indian, or the so-called modern day man who arrogantly tries to live there anyway despite the continual disturbances.
In recent years, increasingly large numbers of householders, as well as business people in the Far East have been actively consulting Feng Shui masters when setting up their offices, premises, shops and factories. Many of them believe that Feng Shui can enhance or seriously destroy their business luck. They practise Feng Shui to avoid the collapse of business ventures, to secure the smooth running of their enterprises and indeed, to safeguard prosperity and success for themselves. Many go to great lengths to make certain their place of work and business are oriented according to good Feng Shui precepts.
In Hong Kong, one of the most celebrated 'believers' of Feng Shui are the Taipans of the Hong Kong Bank. Each succeeding Executive Chairman of this hugely successful bank has abided by the advice of the Bank's Feng Shui experts.
Consider: Two Guardian Lions are precisely placed on the premises according to Feng Shui orientations in order to protect the Bank's fortunes. Important moves or relocations are only permitted on specially selected auspicious dates. Even its Head Office, designed by the world-renowned British architect, Sir Norman Foster, was vetted by Feng Shui men during the planning stage and throughout the construction period.
At this point you might want to view my page on Muhurtha Astrology, which is a very potent tool that we use in unision with establishing the very best facilities available for you; according to time place and circumstances.
In Taipeh, Taiwan, evidence of the practice of Feng Shui abounds in the commercial areas of the city. Here, the visitor will notice that the corners of buildings are usually "rounded" out so that poison arrows are not pointed at neighbours thus ensuring that the Pak Kua mirror is not used in retaliation. There are also the widely used revolving doors in front of office blocks. This helps create good "Chi" for the buildings concerned.
In Malaysia, plentiful stories abound on Feng Shui having gone wrong for some of the tycoons who have lost their fortunes, with even more speculation about those who have excellent Feng Shui.
In Singapore, Evelyn Lip, a famed writer and architect, who has made a lifetime's study of Feng Shui as it relates to business in order to incorporate it into her professional work, believes that Feng Shui leads to good aesthetic sense in architecture. She maintains that good Feng Shui brings about a sense of equilibrium, which in turn leads to clear-mindedness and, ultimately, to success.
Imperial Feng Shui
The Empress Dowager Cixi had started her career in the Palace as a low ranking concubine to the Ching Xian Feng emperor, to whom she bore a son. Upon the emperor's death in 1862, Cixi had become Empress Mother and Co-Regent for the young emperor. She soon became adept in the use of the royal prerogative of appointment and dismissal, to an extent which allowed her to consolidate her power and influence at court.
She had invited the most learned of Feng Shui masters to protect and preserve her imperial authority. Though small, her apartments had supposedly been lavishly decorated with symbols of longevity and power. Many of those precious objects had long ago been taken away, but it has been mentioned that it could seen that the entrance must have symbolized her personal "bright hall".
More significantly, according to the Feng Shui compass the Empress Cixi had been born an East group person, (1835) and her most auspicious directions had been North/South/East and Southeast. As a result the all important north/south axis of the entire Palace complex had been extremely auspicious for her. All the important gates, entrances and halls faced north or south. Cixi benefited tremendously from this orientation because the Chi that flowed into the palaces all brought beneficial, protective and auspicious good fortune to her.
In the closing decades of the Ching Dynasty, Cixi became all-powerful, but she never ruled directly. Her power was always wielded from behind the curtain, and she did not relinquish control of the country, right until her death in 1908.
Based on her date of birth, and according to the Pa Ku Lo Shu Compass formula, the Palace complex had endowed her with monumental earth luck. Her Feng Shui was enormously auspicious, and powerfully protected her, consequently by such re-inforcement of her envoronment there was no way she would have been defeated by any of her enemies. Perhaps that is why she stayed all-powerful throughout her life, and up to her death.
Finding the Feng Shui North
A USEFUL NOTE: I have studied under the direction of Lillian Too from her books and videos, and who discovered from the start that although the Chinese place SOUTH at the top when referring to the Feng Shui compass, as far as application of formulas and everything to do with Chinese Feng Shui is concerned, any Western type compass can be used.
Thus when Feng Shui refers to North, they mean the magnetic North and the Chinese North is similar to the Western North. It is thus not necessary to flip the directions around. The same goes for practice in either the Northern or Southern hemisphere.
There are practitioners whose understanding of the fundamentals of Feng Shui is not sufficiently deep and who thus advised their clients in the Southern hemisphere that Feng Shui North was to be read as south, and vice versa. Their rationale was that since South represents the element fire, it must refer to the equator ... This is actually incorrect. The fire element in the South is derived from the Arrangement of Trigrams around the Pa Kua compass. For the dwellings (i.e., houses of the living as opposed to houses of the dead ... graveyards) the Later Heaven Arrangement of Trigrams around the Pa Kua applies, and this places the Trigram Li (which means fire) in the South (incidently even in Vedic terms the South is the place of Yamaraj the king of death). As such, irrespective of where you live, in the North or South hemisphere, the same element symbolism applies.
Legend has it that when the humble carp swims through the Celestial Dragon Gates, it becomes transformed into a dragon. In olden days, scholars who passed the Imperial exams to qualify for powerful appointments in the emperor's court were likened to the carp ascending these heavenly gates.
In those days, court advisors had to pass examinations that required knowledge of China's Classics, one of which was the I Ching. Those with lofty ambitions to get the ear of the emperor, or to become powerful State officials had to possess the ability to interpret the predictions revealed through the I Ching, and to also have knowledge of Feng Shui.
In ancient China, dragon (and phoenix) motifs were used as decorative features in the homes of the rich and the influential. These appeared in paintings, on vases, on porcelain and also carved as subjects on doors, ceilings and gates. The legendary Dragon Gates or "Lung Men", are said to have been located at the mountain pass along the Yellow river and were supposedly erected in the days of the Xia dynasty.
Striving to ascend the dragon gates, or "Deng Lung Men, therefore, represents the cherished hope of commoners who were not born into rich or influential families, since this was seen as the only way they could become dragons. This too would seen resemblent of the Vedic caste system that in the hands of small minded rulers kept the sudras down so that the Vaishyas, Kshatriyas, Kayashtas and Brahmins could prosper.
Carvings of Dragon Gates can still be seen in old mansions or temples in Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and China. These generally form part of the roof's architectural structure and frequently show several carps attempting to cross the gates which are guarded by two majestic dragons Finding many deep similarities in the essence and intent of Feng Shui I find it very compatible for the works that I do as a purohit amongst the community. If I can be of help in sharing what I've learned, and what I'm still learning to help you or your community then please get back to me for a consultation - ideally before you purchase your land or house, but other wise for remedial measures, etc.