Another important Vedic distinction, says Lipman, is the spatial relationship of each room to the others. "For instance, if you were to say you want your living room to be 24 by 36 feet, we might adjust those numbers to something like 23.9 by 37.5 feet so they'd resonate with the laws of nature and the solar system," he says. "Think of it as like tuning a violin. When a violin is perfectly tuned, the strings have this wonderful harmonic relationship, and if one string is slightly out of tune, it just doesn't sound right." When the rooms in a house are perfectly tuned, he adds, "It just feels better to live in."

BUILDING PRINCIPLES

To find out more on the concept of vedic architecture - or to update your home - contact one of these architects or builders.

Karu Architects
Boone, North Carolina
(828) 265-0444
www.karuarchitects.com

Maharishi Global Construction
Fairfield, Iowa
(641) 472-9605
 www.mgc-vastu.com

Mandala Club
Vero Beach, Florida
(772) 234-3118
www.mandalaclub.com

Veda Design
Lexington, Kentucky
(859) 243-0348
www.lexingtonpeacepalace.org



Although studies suggest as many as three million Americans meditate daily, and at least 60 percent of the U.S. population has experimented on some level with alternative sources of medicine, convincing home buyers and builders to think Vedic has been a challenge, especially considering the lack of documented evidence to substantiate claims of better health, greater family harmony, or increased financial prosperity. Nevertheless, there are some preliminary studies to suggest Vedic's orientation hypothesis might be right on target.

One scientific test conducted by the University of Milan School of Medicine, published in 2001 by the Journal of Affective Disorders, placed patients with similar degrees of bipolar depression in wings with both east-facing and west-facing windows, and found that those assigned east-facing rooms recovered, and were released, four days earlier. Another study, this one conducted by rural Iowa physician Veronica Butler, MD, showed patients who slept in north-facing beds suffered significantly more depression and anxiety than those who didn't. And there are even unrelated, nonscientific studies citing more burglaries to homes facing south than to those facing any other direction.

Vedic proponents believe such studies will one day prove useful to potential home buyers,­ offering valuable, nonstructural information about a house's history, such as divorce statistics, health issues, and financial pitfalls that have befallen its former owners. It will also give architects the tools to avoid inadvertently drawing such personal misfortunes into their plans. "At the moment, architects don't keep these statistics, because it doesn't occur to us that we have any way to influence that," says Lipman. But just think about it. "If you spend enough money, you can get a good wine cellar and a large swimming pool and exotic wood doors with fantastic hinges," he says. "After you spend all that money, is your marriage going to be better? Are you going to stay healthy, or are you still going to end up getting a chronic disease? This kind of knowledge is something money couldn't buy up to this point. But if you knew that simply by living in the house, it would improve the quality of your life, who wouldn't want that information?"