Bhoomi or Earth is considered Mother of all. Without her support none can dare to exist, even be it microscopic life. We live and grow thanks to her gravitation support that keeps us moored while she carries us on her back without a murmur. Imagine Mother Earth getting a bit angry and wobbles left or right for a few minutes. Won’t we be thrown off her back into the space and fall to death?
Naturally when we raise a building there is digging of the earth to lay the foundation or when farmers begin tilling the land for the first time. We ought to feel a sense of indebtedness which expressed as gratitude in the form of seeking her blessings and forgiveness for disturbing her equilibrium.
Vaastu Shastra, the science of architecture and construction, makes it obligatory to perform Bhoomi or Vaastu puja in the form of chanting Vedic mantras to neutralize bad effects arising out of tampering earth’s equilibrium and in a metaphorical sense we could be asking Mother Earth to refrain from being angry.
Bhoomi Puja is done at auspicious time and preferably in the morning and at Northeast of the plot. There are dos and don’ts and this puja should be avoided if the woman of the household is menstruating or in advanced stage of pregnancy.
First part of bhoomi puja is shilanyas or the foundation-laying ceremony. It is done before digging the earth and in days gone by man not modern enough he would start the construction by digging a well and perform the first puja. Then foundation-laying would follow with stone laid in Southwest corner. The groundbreaking ceremony would be done mostly during Uttarayan from June 21 through December 20 but today on the advice of the pandits timings or the day varies. Uttarayan was preferred earlier because days were longer with more daylight available for construction activity to move at rapid pace.
Today modern living and computers have changed our lives dramatically. Once Vaastu puja meant digging of well and foundation stone laying ceremony or Shilanyas.
Today wells are out of vogue. The present generation might have barely seen a well. Even not all villages need a well today as there is water connectivity from panchayats. Mostly the puja we see today are the stone-laying ceremony that goes with the Vedic chanting of mantras. If it is a newly built flat it is the Graha Pravesh puja that is performed seeking protection of Lord Ganesha for peace and prosperity. This puja is also an important ritual to keep evil spirits or negative energies away.