Growing up in India I was surrounded by Vastu, ritual, all things echoing the same thing.…my surroundings where conducive in making me question the purpose of all these things….now i realise the purpose of all rituals, customs, things in india is the same..the life is integrated to achieve spirituality.
This essay explores the function of the built environment in this respect of upping the human experience. the role due to my innate understanding of Indic sensibilities and philosophy, the exploration is informed by/ based on Vedic principles. This sacred and spiritual takes the form of tradition in India. It is embedded deeply in our way of life. IntroductionThe association of religion and man dates back to existence itself.
Historically, numerous religions have been recorded but the fundamental characteristics of all remain the same. From a functionalist perspective,religion is seen as a social institution for maintaining social order and cohesion and offering meaning and purpose to the existence of life. Moreover, the genesis and establishment of all religion is achieved through symbolism and objectification. All religious systems revolve around a set external or physical reference points known as sacred places, objects etc.In today’s context, the relevance of religion is in its universal function – to serve mankind in becoming a realised being. This self-realisation refers to state of wholeness and consciousness achieved by awakening and unification of one’s mind, body, soul and surroundings.
It can also be perceived as the meeting of Being and Becoming. From this broader perspective, the notion of sacred expands beyond the religious symbolism and objectification. This perception of sacred is not restricted to places or objects, it rather is omnipresent ; the sacred exists in the surrounding environment inevitably. However, in today’s times this essence of self-realisation, is lost. Our modern world is fragmented into isolated parts. The discord and decay in daily life has been fuelled by the division of human beings and nature, mind and body, spirit and matter has. Hence, there emerges a strong need to revitalise our surroundings in order to facilitate the process of self-realisation. This essay is an exploration into how architecture can become an ally in regaining wholeness in mind , body and environment.
therefore the idea emerges of a sacred, spiritual in architecture. if buildings nourished the human mind, body and soul. The “sanctity” of a place?’Although most of us have visited shrines, churches, and other settings where sacredness is a palpable reality, these places usually remain outside the stream of day-to-day existence. If access to sacred sites is limited to a few rare and distant locations, the totality of our consciousness is restricted to those moments when the “profane” world can be left behind to enter a holy precinct. Since the sacred is the most intimate part of ourselves. we ought to be able to find it at close hand , in the immediate circumstances of daily existence. Spiritual architecture is not solely the province of religious structures dedicated to particular rituals and occasion.'(Lawlor, 1994, 145)Architecture is an indispensable element of human existence; it is deeply rooted to the sacred powers of life.
Most humans spend their entire lives interacting with built environment and designed landscapes. We are born in hospitals, we live in houses and apartments , study in schools, play in parks, work in offices, worship in temples, and are buried in cemeteries. Physical places become key reference points on the psychological map of or individuality – home, school, and the workplace are used as touchstones to define who we are. Because of the essential role that buildings and cities play in shaping human experience, architecture must provide wholeness for the mind, body and eventually soul – it must be “sacred”.
This perception of sacred is not confined to the vocabulary of religious symbolism and ritual or places or times, but it refers to a mentality that encompasses life itself. sacred is pragmatic – two sides of the same coin… as it aims to enrich human experience! However, the sacredness present in the surroundings cannot be precisely defined. Each individual views it through the lens of her/her distinct personal history.
This “sacredness” can be revealed and realised in the built form but its experience is exclusive to every individual.(NEED A LINE TO TIE IN NEXT PART) Concept of Space through the Vedic lens Vedic Architecture (Vastu Shashtra) is a multidisciplinary and holistic approach to the built environment based on the teachings from the Vedas. All the practices, and disciplines and sciences derived from the Vedas are integrated and are aimed to help man achieve the ultimate goal of understanding and experiencing life in the purest form through the collective theories from the Vedas.
The most fundamental theories manifested in space making have been discussed below. Dynamics of Existence According to the Vedic psyche Time is seen as cyclic. The belief in reincarnation, the cycle of birth, death and rebirth, the unending chain of construction, destruction and reconstruction, all refute the theory of recurrence of time. Although cyclic, time is not static, the concept of change is inevitably tied in with the concept of time. The past and future are separate realms which are connected by the continuity of time.
Moreover, in this continuity of time change occurs in the form of of subsequent set of events. This frequency of time is the only constant which brings about a change in the surroundings. While time may recur, the alchemy of time with space renders the resolute always unique.