Lesson 14 -- Drawing & Dimensioning the Mandala

Copyright Michael Borden, November 2004

Once the perimeter of the VPM is established to be correct for beneficial results to the occupants of the house by using the Ayadi calculations, then the designer creates the grid of the Mandala on the paper. The Mandala we prefer to use for a residence is the Parama Saayika Vaastu Mandala which is a 9 x 9 grid pattern. Odd numbered mandalas are best for residences: 1,3,5,7,9,11,13,15,17,19,21,23,25,27,29,31.

The designer creates a 9 x 9 grid within the perimeter of the Mandala. For example: if the perimeter is 45’ (north to south) by 36’ (east to west), then the grid will be a set of 81 equal modules created by dividing the sides of the Mandala by 9 equally. The basic module of this proposed Mandala would be 5’ x 4’, 81 modules total.

If the Mandala was 45 x 45 then the basic module would be 5’ x 5’.

I have deliberately used these easily divided numbers for the examples. In reality, the designer usually starts out with such simple numbers, but in the process of applying the ayadi calculations the numbers can get somewhat challenging. This is because the dimensions of the Mandala are converted from English units to Vaastu units and then further influenced by the ayadi formulas.

The final process of conversion to vaastu units and adjustment through ayadi formulas I do not explain in this introductory seminar. The reason for this is that it can be a complicated process and the responsibility of getting it clearly communicated to a student is daunting. If you wish to learn the process, I’m happy to give it our on an individual tutorial basis as an advanced course.


(Right click to enlarge)

I usually start out by drawing and dimensioning the Mandala as a 3 x 3 grid. So, for the 45’ x 45’ example, the major modules of the Mandala would be 9, 15’ x 15’ modules. The center 15’ x 15’ module is the Bramhastan. The SE corner module is the Fire energy location. The SW corner module is the Earth energy location. NW = Air energy. NE = Water energy. The lines in the 3 x 3 module are the major energy lines of the VPM. If possible, I place the major structural walls in relationship to these major lines. Ganapati Sthapati’s house in Tamil Nadu is laid out almost entirely with respect to these major lines only. His house is not divided up into many rooms. It is a very simple plan and my conjecture is that the simple plan, laid out with respect to the major energy lines of the Mandala, creates the most pure resonance with earth and cosmic energies.

The 9 x 9 grid represents the next level of “mandalic” energy lines. Minor walls are laid out with respect to these lines. In a modern western house, I’m sometimes driven to use these lines also for major wall layouts.

There is one more level of energy line division I use. If you divide the VPM again by 3 you come to the 27 x 27 grid Mandala. This Mandala has 729 modules. If you take the 45’ x 45’ VPM we were using above the module would be 1’-8”. This Mandala is used in a floor plan that requires more complexity.

Once you have established the Mandala diagram, then you can lay out the walls on this grid. Walls can be in relationship to the grid in the following ways: 1) centerline of wall on grid line, 2) either side of face of finished wall on grid line.


Dharma Sala Plan with Grid

My preference is to keep all walls on centerline relationships with the grid. However, I have created projects where the inside face of wall of the exterior walls are aligned with the grid and the interior walls are centerline related. I feel it’s best to keep the major walls in the same kind of relationship to the grid. For example: if you have walls on the 3 x 3 grid (mentioned above) energy lines, try to keep them with the same relationship: all on centerline or if you are using face of wall relationship then keep it symmetrical with the Brahmastan. This means the south wall with be on the south side of the Brahmastan, the north wall will be on the north side of the Brahmastan, the west wall on the west side of the Brahmastan, etc. The idea is to create a symmetry in the plan.

Don’t have some exterior walls on centerline and some on face of wall. (There are some exceptions to this, but, for now, stick with this rule.)

As you lay out the walls, keep in mind the following design goals:

  1. Room functions should follow Vaastu principles: Kitchen in the Southeast, Master Bedroom or Offices in the Southwest, Meditation or prayer in the Northeast. Brahmastan in the center is supremely important and must be respected. (Keep all mechanical systems, pipes, ducts, wires, etc., out of the Brahmastan. Also, a natural light source such as skylights or clerestory or open to sky is required in the Brahmastan.) Dining is recommended in the middle west. A good area for women is in the east just next to southeast. Treasure in the north. In general, the corner areas are most critical for room function to be correct. The middle spaces are more free to use as needed, not including the Brahmastan. Try to keep the following out of the main body of the Mandala: bathrooms (or at least toilets) and stairs. (Stairs should have an odd number of risers and if they turn should turn clockwise going up.)

    A few comments: It’s best if the Brahmastan is left open with nothing at least the center of it. I have seen people put fountains and plants and tables in the center of the Brahmastan. This is not correct. Brahmastan is for space energy at the heart of the house. Influences in the Brahmastan spread throughout the whole house. It’s fine to walk through the center of the Brahmastan. It would be fine to have some furniture around the periphery of a large Brahmastan, but, it would not be recommended to sleep or work there or spend many hours there. The energy is too intense for long exposure.

  2. Mandala Zones
    (Right click to enlarge)

  3. Ideally, a walking space around the perimeter of the Brahmastan is recommended. In the 9 x 9 grid, the center 9 modules are the Brahmastan and the 16 modules surrounding the Brahmastan could be used for walking. (Many times, I have been unable to achieve this in floor plan designs because the clients could not accept so much space given over to these areas.)

  4. One of my typical design strategies is to use “pop outs”. Pop outs are extensions to the floor plan outside the Mandala. The main Mandala or “mother grid” does not stop at the perimeter of the Mandala. It actually spreads over the whole site, energetically, once the house is placed on the ground. Pop outs, follow the grid pattern of the Mandala. See examples in this lesson for how this is achieved. These extensions can be on any side of the house, but in all cases the main corners of the mother grid should stay undisturbed. This means you cannot make an extension at a corner. Extensions must be at least one module from the Mandala corners.

    I try to put the toilets and stairs in these extensions and keep them out of the mother grid area.

  5. Courtyard House with Grid

  6. Orientation of the house is very important. For east and west facing houses, it’s best to rotate the structure counter-clockwise 2 degrees from true north relationship. For north and south facing houses, it’s best to rotate the structure clockwise 2 degrees from true north relationship. This rotation is a kind of energy management. It’s dialing the energy of the house to a level that is conducive to constant human habitation.

    House front orientation influences: East = physical comfort, mental peace, West = material prosperity (big numbers), North = money, South = salvation, redemption, away from earthly worries.

  7. VPM Doors
    (Right click to enlarge)

  8. The front door location is very important. Depending on the orientation of the house the main entry location will be assigned. The front door should be the largest door in the house. Opposite the front door, on a direct line through the house, there should be a window or glazed door. Ideally, create a line of sight and light through the center of the house in both directions. See the diagram for door locations.

  9. Garages: They could be to the south or north of a house. They can be attached as and extension or by a breezeway. Ideally, the garage is separate from the house and outside the vaastu perimeter wall.


  10. Site with grid lines

  11. Vaastu compound: The structure needs to be located within a walled area. The wall does not need to be high or solid. The vaastu compound gives more room on the north and east sides of the house. Layout the wall with respect to the mother grid as it extends out from the Mandala. So, the wall will be a certain amount of modules away from the structure. Again, centerline or face of wall relationship can be used, but keep it consistent.

  12. Electricity coming into the house: southeast corner

  13. Furnace: southeast corner

  14. Don’t put plumbing fixtures or fireplaces in the corners or on the diagonal lines of the Mandala. Fireplaces are ideal in the Southeast, but can be used in other areas with some review from an expert.

  15. Water coming into the house: Northeast.

  16. Waste water: Out the south side if possible.


  17. Elevation with lines

  18. Exterior elevation: This subject is a bit hard to discuss. In general, the Mandala of the house can be extended vertically. The module used can be something that is a 1/8 fraction of the floor plan module. In other words, the elevation is divided into 8 equal parts and the main elements are laid out with respect to these lines. See example.

Procedure for Auspicious Vaastu Ceremony

There are formal ceremonies that are conducted at particular phases of the construction, but they are in Tamil or Sanskrit, so they are not available to us except if we engage a Vaastu Pundit. My teacher, Ganapati Sthapati, has always encouraged me to conduct my own ceremony, telling me to use my own inner knowledge of what to do. We come from the heart with a good intention for the structure, which is to be an alive being, and also with respect for the Mother Earth upon which the home sits, rooted in Earth energies.

The main purpose is to achieve a deep sense of identity with the Earth energy, the Mother Earth, with the Being of the house and with the blessing energies of the Masters of the knowledge of Vaastu Science. This is for the purpose of arousing these cosmic forces and directing them in a positive way for the project.

A simple ceremony should be conducted at an auspicious time chosen by an Indian Astrological consultant. Usually, the time chosen is the time of the awakening of Vastu Purusha. Work beginning at this time will be completed without any impediment and the constructed building will yield prosperity, wealth and longevity. However, there are other criteria that may be considered by consulting the astrological expert.

There are three times that should be considered for ceremonial respect and gratitude:

  1. Ground breaking: this is the formal beginning of the project. Bring a shovel for digging a small hole as a token beginning. If possible, you can stake the perimeter of the building. At least locate the area of the North east corner of the main rectangle or square of the building. There place a clean cloth or mat so you can sit and meditate and say the prayer for the house. At the proper time have incense burning and have the fruit and flowers to lay on the northeast area as offerings to Vastu Purusha.
  2. Foundation deposit: At the appropriate time, a foundation deposit can be placed for the house. This deposit consists of precious gems and metals. It should be placed so that it will not be disturbed during construction. Sometimes it is possible to do the groundbreaking and foundation deposit at the same time, but you must find a way to protect the deposit during the ongoing construction. Contact me for information on how to obtain this the foundation deposit items.
  3. Move in ceremony: At the appointed time to move it, you can create a ceremony of gratitude to the house, the Mother Earth, the Solar System, the Universal Energy that floods the house.

    You can bring flowers, incense and fruit.

    You can use your own words also, and these:

    Protector of the dwelling, recognize us: Be an excellent abode, the non-inflictor of disease.

    Whatever we ask of thee, be please to grant. Be the bestower of happiness on our bipeds and quadrupeds.

    Protector of the dwelling, be the preserver and augmenter of our wealth.

    Possessed of cattle and horses, Indra, may we, through Thy friendship, be exempt from decay: like a father to his sons, be favorable to us. Protector of the dwelling, may we be possessed of a comfortable, delightful, opulent abode bestowed by Thee.

    Protect our wealth, whether in possession or expectation and ever cherish us with blessings.

    Protector of the dwelling, remover of disease, assuming all kinds of forms, be to us a Friend: the Grantor of Happiness!

    Begin the digging or place the foundation deposit at this time and/or place the fruit and flowers on the northeast ground. Sit in silence a few minutes and then you are finished.

This ends the On line Vaastu seminar. Your questions will be welcomed and answered as quickly as possible. I invite students to work with me on an individual basis for further studies. Please also review the “questions and answers” section.

Questions & Answers