The validity of Anumana (inference) in Nyaya system

by Babu C. D | 2018 | 44,340 words

This thesis is called: The validity of Anumana (inference) in Nyaya system. It tries to establish the validity of Anumana through citing its application either consciously or unconsciously in every sphere of human life. Anumana in Nyaya system is the knowledge of any object not by direct observation but by means of the knowledge of a liṅga or sign ...

Chapter 5.3 - Anumana in Vastushastra

Inference is significantly resorted to in the Vastushastra which represents a body of ancient concepts and provides knowledge to many modern architects. The term Vastu is derived from the root vastu or vasthavya-that means really existing, the earth.[1] The word Vastu denotes the residing place of god and man. In the modern sense, it covers all buildings irrespective of their consummation like residences, industries, business establishments, lodges, hotels, etc. It is based on the five basic and essential elements such as air (vayu) fire (agni), water (jal), earth (bhumi) and sky (akasha) which are known as pancabhutas (five gross elements).[2] Everything on earth is the combination of these elements. Kautilya describes Vastu as ‘griham kshetramaramasetu-banda, tatkam adharo vavastudh.’[3] According to Vishvakarma the term Vastu is derived from the verb ‘to dwell’.[4]

Vastushastra provides a framework for good, peaceful and healthy standard of living. The shape of a building should merge with the surroundings, the environment and the topography of that area. Prior to designing any building vastu advises balancing of the five elements earth, water, fire air and space in their proper place and proportions to keep the occupancy of that place in harmony and to allow one to enjoy happiness and peace in the dwelling or working place.

Vastushastra though an ancient one, gives more comfort than the modern ones. It is both a science and art and its aim is human inhabitation. Apart from being the science of architecture, it is also referred to as a science of amenity. The cosmic energies are converted into material benefits for the residents of the vastu based structure. Vastu creates a rhythm and balance in a building or a layout of a town to ensure a qualitatively better life for the residents.[5]

Vastupurushamandala a grid of square and regarded as a perfect figure is conceived to be a fundamental form in architecture. All other shapes are derived from it. The square is oriented to the eight cardinal directions; it makes space comprehensible and therefore, it is looked upon as an allencompassing symbol of the world.[6]

The ancient Vastushastra texts describe functional relations and adaptable alternate layouts for various rooms or building and utilities but do not mandate a compulsory architecture. Sachdev and Tilloston state that the mandala (the model of organization) concept of Vastushastra does not insist every room or building to be in square shape.[7] The basic theme is around core elements of central space, peripheral zones, and direction with respect to sunlight and relative functions of the spaces. Vastu principles have relation to motions of planets rather than caste and creed of the people.

However, applying Vastu science for residence or public purposes is likely to invite troubles. Some have superstitions regarding this and hence they stick on it;[8] whereas some others consider it as pseudo-science. The latter advocates that the suitability of this method to the modern environment is yet to be proved. Narlikar in this connection puts forth his opinion that the buildings constructed using Vastu rules which are not logically proved, like in the shape of triangles etc., will be against to government rules. Buildings built in the shape of parallelogram can lead to quarrels in the family. Some plans are to be modified or neglected so as to suit to vastu rules. Meera Nanda cites the example of late N.T. Rama Rao former chief minister of Andra Pradesh who sought the help of vastu consultant to get rid of some political problems. Rama Rao was advised that his problems will be solved if he entered his office from the east gate. Accordingly a slum on the east side of his office was smashed to make way for his entrance from east.[9]

Experiments, observations and inference are the main criteria for arriving at the truth. Vastu consultants extensively use inferences to predict on the construction and location aspects which will bring joy and happiness to those who visit and reside. However, the additional tool that a wise vastu consultant should have is the intuitional perception with which many disciplines of knowledge developed. It is inference mixed with intuition that all the vastu consultants use to deliver their predictions. In modern times, the general public keeps on intense ear towards the suggestions of vastu consultants which are mostly based on the inferences they make on the experiences of people who have utilized Vastushastra properly guided by vastu consultants.

Footnotes and references:


Dr. Arundhati, P. Vastu Vidya in Manasollasa, Girls Information services, New Delhi, 2003 (ISBN: 81-901708-1-3)


Prof. S.K. Ramachandra Rao. Vastu Vidya. In Vastu, Astrology and Architecture, edited by Gayatri Devi Vasudev. New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Pvt. Ltd., 1998, pp. 13-28.


Kautililya’s Arthashastra Chapter LXV p.166


Arthashastra, Vol. 2, 10-15.


Prof. B.B. Puri. Vastu Science for 21st Century, Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, 2003.




Vibhuti Sachdev, Giles Tilloston (2004) Building Jaipur The making of an Indian city, pp.149-157. ISBN 978-1861891372




Nanda Meera. The science wars in India, Dissent, 44 (1). 1997.35Anil Chawla. A Philosophy of Astrology, 2004

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