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What is the difference between Vastu and Devta Vastu?

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Understanding the Differences Between Vastu and Devta Vastu


Vastu Shastra, an ancient Indian science of architecture, and Devta Vastu, a subset of Vastu focusing on the placement and worship of deities, are both integral to traditional Indian culture. Though they share common roots, they serve distinct purposes and principles. This blog post aims to delve into the nuances that differentiate Vastu from Devta Vastu, offering a comprehensive understanding of both practices.

Vastu Shastra: An Overview

Vastu Shastra, often referred to simply as Vastu, is a traditional Indian system of architecture and design that dates back thousands of years. It combines elements of art, science, astronomy, and astrology to create harmonious living spaces. The word “Vastu” means dwelling or house, and “Shastra” means science or teaching, thus, Vastu Shastra can be translated as the science of dwelling.

Core Principles of Vastu Shastra

  1. Five Elements (Pancha Bhootas):
    • Earth (Prithvi): Represents stability and patience.
    • Water (Jal) Symbolizes fluidity and adaptability.
    • Fire (Agni): denotes energy and power.
    • Air (Vayu): represents movement and growth.
    • Space (Akasha): Embodies expansiveness and openness.
  2. Cardinal Directions:
    • North (Kubera): wealth and prosperity.
    • East (Indra): health and peace.
    • South (Yama): strength and valor.
    • West (Varuna): gains and prosperity.
  3. Center (Brahmasthan): The central zone of any space, representing equilibrium and balance.
  4. Mandala: A Vastu Purusha mandala is a square grid used as the blueprint for constructing buildings, ensuring alignment with cosmic energies.
  5. Energy Flow: Ensuring optimal energy flow is crucial. Obstructions in the form of clutter or improperly placed objects can lead to imbalances.

Applications of Vastu Shastra

Vastu principles are applied to various buildings, including homes, offices, temples, and public spaces. Key considerations include placing rooms, entrances, windows, and furniture to enhance positive energy and minimize negative influences. For instance:

  • Homes: The main entrance should ideally face north or east, with kitchens in the southeast corner, and bedrooms in the southwest.
  • Offices: Workstations should face east or north, and the head of the organization should sit in the southwest corner.

Devta Vastu: An Overview

Devta Vastu, or Deity Vastu, is a specialized branch of Vastu Shastra that focuses on the placement, orientation, and worship of deities within a dwelling or a temple. It goes beyond the general principles of Vastu to include specific guidelines for spiritual and religious practices.

Core Principles of Devta Vastu

  1. Placement of Deities:
    • North-East (Ishan Kona): Ideal for placing water-related deities like Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu.
    • East: Suitable for the Sun God (Surya) and other gods associated with health and vitality.
    • South-East (Agni Kona): Best for deities associated with fire, such as Lord Agni.
    • South: Generally avoided for placing deities, except for certain protective forms of goddesses.
    • West: Suitable for placing deities like Lord Hanuman, who represents strength and protection.
  2. Orientation:
    • Deities should generally face the west or the east. Worshippers should face east while praying to harness positive energy.
  3. Materials and Symbols:
    • Use specific materials like wood, metal, and stone for idols, and incorporate auspicious symbols and yantras to enhance the spiritual environment.
  4. Purity and cleanliness:
    • Maintaining cleanliness and purity around the area where deities are placed is essential. Rituals like Abhishekam (bathing of idols) and daily offerings are part of maintaining sanctity.
  5. Integration with Rituals:
    • Devta Vastu is closely linked with daily rituals, festivals, and ceremonies, ensuring that spiritual practices align with cosmic energies.

Key Differences Between Vastu Shastra and Devta Vastu

While Vastu Shastra and Devta Vastu share common goals of enhancing well-being and harmony, their scope and focus differ significantly.

Scope and Application

  • Vastu Shastra:
    • Broader in scope, applicable to all types of buildings and spaces.
    • Focuses on architectural design, construction, and spatial arrangements.
    • Aims to create harmony between human dwellings and natural forces.
  • Devta Vastu:
    • Specific to religious and spiritual contexts.
    • Focuses on the placement and orientation of deities within a space.
    • Aims to enhance spiritual well-being and facilitate worship.

Principles and Guidelines

  • Vastu Shastra:
    • Based on the five elements, cardinal directions, and energy flow.
    • Includes guidelines for placement of rooms, furniture, and structural elements.
  • Devta Vastu:
    • Based on the placement and orientation of deities.
    • Includes guidelines for rituals, materials, and symbols used in worship.


  • Vastu Shastra:
    • To create harmonious living environments that promote health, wealth, and prosperity.
    • To ensure balanced energy flow and minimize negative influences.
  • Devta Vastu:
    • To facilitate effective and reverent worship of deities.
    • To create a sacred and spiritually uplifting environment.

Practical Examples

Example 1: Home Construction

In constructing a home, Vastu Shastra would guide the placement of various rooms. For instance, the kitchen would be placed in the southeast corner to align with the element of fire, while the bedroom would be placed in the southwest corner to ensure stability and strength.

Devta Vastu, on the other hand, would guide where to place a home altar or prayer room. The altar might be placed in the northeast corner to harness the auspicious energies of the Ishan Kona, with deities facing east or west.

Example 2: Temple Construction

In temple construction, Vastu Shastra would be used to design the overall layout of the temple, ensuring that the main entrance, central sanctum, and other spaces align with cosmic energies.

Devta Vastu would guide the placement of specific deities within the temple, ensuring that each deity is positioned under their respective elements and directional attributes. For instance, a statue of Lord Shiva might be placed in the northeast corner, while the idol of Lord Hanuman could be positioned in the west.

Integrating Vastu Shastra and Devta Vastu

Though distinct, Vastu Shastra and Devta Vastu can be integrated to create spaces that are both harmonious and spiritually uplifting. Here are some tips for achieving this integration:

  1. Holistic Planning: Begin with the broad principles of Vastu Shastra to design the overall layout of a space. Once the layout is established, apply Devta Vastu principles to determine the placement and orientation of deities.
  2. Energy Alignment: Ensure that both architectural elements and deities are aligned with the cardinal directions and elements to promote positive energy flow.
  3. Ritual Integration: Incorporate daily rituals and practices that align with both Vastu Shastra and Devta Vastu principles, such as performing pujas in spaces that are both architecturally harmonious and spiritually significant.
  4. Use of Symbols and Materials: Select materials and symbols that are auspicious and enhance both the architectural and spiritual qualities of the space.


Vastu Shastra and Devta Vastu, while interconnected, serve distinct purposes in the realm of traditional Indian architecture and spirituality. Vastu Shastra provides a comprehensive framework for creating harmonious living environments, while Devta Vastu focuses on the sacred placement and worship of deities. By understanding and integrating these practices, one can create spaces that not only promote physical and mental well-being but also foster spiritual growth and reverence. Whether designing a home, office, or temple, the principles of Vastu and Devta Vastu offer timeless wisdom for creating balanced and uplifting environments.