Feng shui - Indian style
By Esther Williams
M.S. Ramalingam is an astrologer with a difference. He is highly sought after because of his ability to guide people out of their misfortunes through Vasthu Sastra, a 5000-year-old architectural science, known as the Indian feng shui that is used to achieve a balance with cosmic forces and attain harmony.

Irrational as they may seem, the simple changes that Mr. Ramalingam advises in the physical arrangements of a house/factory would effectively put you on the road to prosperity - or so his clients claim.

The white dhoti-clad gentleman with a large red pottu on his forehead is easy to talk to and listens patiently to each of his clients. Using a computer, he charts a client's horoscope in a matter of minutes based on the date of birth and time.

"People have a desire to know their future and I tell them their karma," the Vasthu specialist says. The high-tech consultant then proceeds to tell them of incidents in their past and forecasts their future.

How accurate is the information? The Chennai based astrologer and Vasthu consultant explains that what he says would be absolutely accurate as long as the date and time of birth is accurate. Based on the planetary positions at that time, he would know which planet would rule each aspect of a person's life.

If the clients have had a run of ill luck, he would advise them on ways to change that. His findings are based on their horoscopes. A certain garment factory he visited recently had faced problems with production, labour and quality. After following his instructions to change the entrance from facing east to facing west, the seating arrangements, the position of the switch box, etc., the company has begun to prosper.

Members of Ms. S. Perera’s* family were having a number of health problems. She also had problems with her business. "He told me that the phase would pass," she says adding that after they made changes as instructed they have had more business than they could handle.

Nobody knew that Aarti* and Mahesh* were married in name only. They ran different households, each bought their own paper and never communicated. When Mr. Ramalingam visited them he sensed the separation immediately. Besides suggesting some changes in the outward appearance of the house, he gave them a set of rules to improve themselves.

A few months later… the couple couldn't have been happier! Mr. Ramalingam who has clients from all over India and overseas has been visiting Sri Lanka 3-4 times a year since 1992. He has been able to assist clients (businessmen, builders, students, lovers and even politicians) on starting or improving a business, pursuing a career path or finding an appropriate match.

Having practised Vasthu for over 17 years, Mr. Ramalingam who hails from a family of astrologers from the Tirunelveli District of Tamil Nadu, has acquired a large collection of books on the subject. He believes that he can solve all sorts of problems that are brought about by mental worries. "If I can cure mental worries, it will bring about good health. Luck will follow."

Vasthu Sastra, he says, cannot be dismissed as totally fictional and baseless for it has yielded amazing and powerful results in the lives of many individuals. "There is no magic involved… I am an ordinary man and what I am able to predict, is through calculations."

What about karma? Is one destined to one's fate, good or bad? Karma can be changed, Mr. Ramalingam explains. “Changing your character leads to changed activities. When these bring about good results, karma will automatically change.”
(names have been changed)

In harmony with the universe
'Vasthu' is derived from the word 'vasa' meaning habitat. The Sanskrit term 'vast' is used to refer to the site for construction of a residence. Vasthu Sastra (Indian Feng Shui) is an ancient science of architecture that has been practised in India for thousands of years to achieve happiness and prosperity. To obtain this, one has to be in tune with the universal rhythm of creation.

When building, staying or working in a building or property, one has to respect the five elements - ether, air, fire, water and earth that influence our environment. While harmony with these natural forces leads us to enjoy wealth and happiness, failure to do so can bring misery and misfortune.

An abundance of the five elements within the home fills it with positive energy. It is believed that the elements have an interactive influence on all dwellers of a house and hence have to be balanced in the proper order and proportions.

A Vasthu consultant offers tips on how to build, purchase, stay or work in a property by observing the principles of Vasthu Sastra.

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