The Term" Vasthu" is derived form the word vasa, meaning habitat and, in Sanskrit, vast is referred to as the site for construction of a residence.
The word "Vasthu" refers to both the site on which a building is raised and to the building itself. "Sastra" means science.
Other terms that refer to the same topic include the art of placement, science of architecture, science of construction, science of dwelling, science of energy flow, and law of nature.
It is believed that Vasthu Sastra developed sometime between 10,000 BC and subsequently one can fine reference to it in the holy epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata, in an era when philosophy was a way of life.
In the ancient Vedic literature, especially in the Matsya Purana, the 18 originators of the science of Vasthu Sastra are mentioned. Among them, Maya the great scientist, architect and town planner of old India is generally recognised as the author of Vasthu Sastra.
The science of town planning during the Vedic period (2500 BC 200AD) was given paramount importance to the extent that Indo-Aryans perfectly shaped human settlements into various categories depending upon the characteristics of the population.
The application of Vasthu Sastra extended not only to residences and temples but also to military barracks, market places, ports, administration buildings and, of course, palaces, of which many have withstood the test of time.
Vasthu Sastra goes beyond architecture. Ancient masters have recorded its principles which encompass the geological, geophysical and, above all cosmological and celestial.
In ancient India, architecture, medicine, astrology, philosophy and spirituality exist in complete cross relations to one another, their boundaries over lapping and enriching one another.
Vasthu Sastra is also connected to other sciences- astrology and Ayurveda (science of holistic medicine and longevity).
In the early days, Vasthu Sastra was propagated via Hinduism as a channel to disseminate knowledge. it is actually a pure science.
For centuries, Vasthu Sastra has been widely used in India in the purchase of properties; there is a growing global interest in it now.
Just like Feng Shui from China, the underlying principle of Vasthu Sastra is to live in harmony with our environment so that the energy surrounding us works fro us rather than against us.
Vasthu Sastra is based on the arrangements and balancing of the five elements in their proper order and proportions. These ancient sciences are still applicable in modern times.
Vasthu Sastra is not magic, superstition or a religion, although some of its advocates may consider it part of their religious rituals. It is also not based on a belief system.
In short, Vasthu Sastra is not a question of faith but is a fact of life.