In this edition of Interview with a Master we sit down and chat with one of India’s leading Feng Shui and Vaastu practitioners and Corporate Member of the IFSA – Master S. BS Surendran.
1. How did you first become interested in Feng Shui? Please share some of your path of learning with us.
As an Electrical & Electronics Engineer, I was always drawn towards energies. Electricity cannot be seen but can be felt. Similarly natures energies are not seen but can be felt and experienced in a place. However from my much earlier school days photography was my passion and I used to always be seen with a camera. My focus through the lens was drawn towards structures and designs and I was attracted to the Indian Temple architecture and designs.
I used to wonder why a place of worship or temple had a specific shape. At that point of time I was unaware of sacred geometry and energies. When I got more involved and inquisitive I started understanding the ancient science of Vedic Vaastu and architecture and started learning from my Gurus. My ancestor lineage has a great knowledge in Sanskrit and Vedas and they could help me and are my first Masters or Guru. Later I was most fortunate to meet a person from SE Asia who introduced me to Feng Shui, which was similar to Vaastu and this made me start going deeper into these mystic sciences. However those were the days with no internet and Google so it was a tough job to seek knowledge and get credible responses.
2. Many Feng Shui consultants feel that the further they study Feng Shui the more confused they become. Did you experience this during your own journey, and if so how did you overcome it?
My path in Feng shui learning has not been easy as I am from India and understanding Chinese script was difficult. I started my formal training way back in 1999 under Grand Master Yap Cheng Hai and Grand Master Lillian Too. After completing my training under these great Grand Masters, I was armed with ample theory and practical knowledge. Each of the Grand Masters was unique in their own way and both are very special people. From each of them I learnt the finer nuances of Feng Shui and more than theoretical approach I was eager to understand the practical aspects and application in real life, especially under constraints.
After doing many different courses under these Grand Masters I also took up Destiny Analysis and I Ching Divination under Grand Master Raymond Lo and here again I repeated the courses many times for a better understanding. I did not stop there however, but went ahead to study both Feng Shui and Destiny Analysis under Grand Master Vincent Koh. I did not get confused but had a stronger foundation as the basics are the same, but sometimes the approach was different. Each of the Grand Masters shared something special and their tips and advice only made my consultations better, ensuring good results to my clients.
Today I dedicate my success and knowledge in Feng shui to all these wonderful teachers and I am most fortunate to have learnt from such renowned Grand Masters.
3. What made you turn Feng Shui into your profession?
I was heading towards a successful Power & Telecommunications business and our organisation was quite well known for quality and service. However I always used to look at things by putting myself in the other person’s shoes. In the course of my business interactions with people, I realized that however rich or powerful the person was, they still had issues in their personal life and although everything looked rosy their bed of roses often contained many thorns.
My little advice offered at that point of time with fundamental knowledge of Feng Shui and Vaastu to people who expressed their problems did give rise to positive results and they used to come back to thank me. This gave me the strength, self confidence and impetus to take a bold decision to divert from my business career and take up professional consulting. At that point of time (especially in India), Vaastu or Feng shui was not viewed as a profession, but merely a hobby or past time. However my instinct and determination to pursue this path made me go deeper and take up Feng shui and Vaastu as a full time career.
4. Is Feng Shui widely accepted and applied in your country and do you face any difficulties explaining Feng Shui to your clients?
As I previously mentioned Vaastu is from Vedic times in India (over 5000 years), but it was never viewed as something serious, rather as a religious practice. Similarly Feng Shui was not taken seriously, but it has gradually gained popularity in India through symbolism and books. Even today neither Vaastu nor Feng Shui is viewed as a profession and many are surprised when they realise that I am a full time professional consultant. At times even if I introduce myself as a Feng Shui consultant, they respond with “Oh, ok that’s an interesting hobby. So where do you work? “.
As Vaastu is well known and popular, understanding advanced Feng Shui formulas is difficult for clients, as they are more used to symbolism so it does get tricky and difficult when explaining to them that primarily we need to check for compass directions, apply formulas, counter the afflictions, enhance the good sectors and finally place symbolism if required. For many this is too elaborate and what they look for is simple solution through symbolism only. Hence interest towards learning Feng shui theory, formulas etc is not much as clients prefer to seek help of consultants to resolve the issue.
5. What is the most common reason that people engage you for a consultation?
Well it varies from client to client, but if I can put down the reasons on a scale of 1 to 10 then the primary reasons are health, finances, career and relationship. However there are instances where people have approached me to resolve family disputes over property sharing, officials who have felt victimised due to bureaucratic interference and also those who have had difficult parent-children relationships. In fact India still follows a joint family concept where most homes observe the traditional methods of overseeing the children’s education and personal lives. This often creates conflict between the parents and the child.
These situations not only call for Feng Shui or Vaastu advice, but also a more humane approach to undo the tussle with counselling and talking. Such clients do consume a lot more time in terms of the consultation.
6. Do you practice Yin House Feng Shui and if so do any of your clients engage you to select an auspicious burial site?
I have learnt from the Grand Masters who are experts in Yang Feng Shui and I have followed only their school. As you may be aware India is culturally diversified so some follow burial and some cremation. Hence Yin Feng Shui as a concept does not exist in my part of the world. Either burial or cremation is according to the respective religious practices and family custom. Hence adapting Yin Feng Shui would not be acceptable.
7. What analysis methods do you use during your consultation process?
I primarily ask the clients to submit their floor plan and personal data to prepare their Four Pillars and also to understand the layout of the property. This also helps me in asking them a few leading questions based on their Four Pillars to ensure we are on the right path. Once this is done an on-site visit gives me a better understanding of the property and begins with an exterior Landform analysis, observation of local flora & fauna and an internal layout analysis based on Flying Star. In addition I also take into account the Vaastu quality of the property, its soil and energy and any Vaastu or Feng Shui afflictions, the furniture layout and interior decor as per their Four Pillars.
Finally I check on the Bio-energetics to determine any environmental aggression on the occupants, energy levels, magnetic node points or energy block in the property or rooms and then fix the blockages. The entire process can be long, but I try to give a solution which has a broader foot print in terms of correction.
8. From your point of view, do you think the knowledge of destiny analysis is important when it comes to Feng Shui?
Initially I was practicing Feng Shui without integrating destiny analysis. No doubt the Feng Shui worked, but the potency of the correction was not as strong. Integrating destiny analysis with Feng Shui gives a complete picture of the possible reasons for a specific event in a home and gives a forewarning which can be shared more gently with the client to alert him of possible events and advise on remedy. It also helps in advising the client with regard to financial investments, long term planning and family relationship and health.
In my humble opinion, destiny analysis with Feng Shui is highly potent and effective. However I don’t practice destiny analysis alone as a fortune telling tool. After all when we speak of Feng Shui luck comprising of “Tien, Ti and Ren” (Heaven, Earth and Man), it makes Feng Shui analysis more effective to integrate the house luck with the occupants luck and put it in synchronicity.
9. Please share with us a case study you have done which you found to be most interesting.
I have been practicing for a very long time now and consult and teach globally. I have had many interesting cases and each of them have been unique. However this was an incident involving a client who was not a great believer of Feng Shui initially, but was just curious. He shared some basic inputs about his house and family and on a preliminary check I saw that there were strong afflictions in the property and luck of the senior family member. Irrespective of whether he believed in Feng Shui or not, I advised him to be cautious of some mishap, especially fire related. Not much attention was paid to my advice at the time, but after a short time he contacted me again following a major fire in his home.
This opened his eyes and made him take my Feng Shui recommendations more seriously as he perceived my earlier analysis as fortune telling and was baffled. However the landform of his home was bad and the fire happened in the year of the Horse and in the month of June, peak season of summer.
10. What are your Top Feng Shui Do and Top Feng Shui Don’t?
My top Feng Shui Do’s are:
• Take up Feng shui consultations with respect and humility, as it is an interaction with divine universal energy
• Lend a patient ear to your clients issues and view them with compassion
• Approach consultations with a positive frame of mind and a good heart and intention to help the client
• Analyse the charts and floor plans thoroughly before giving any advice
• Do be prompt in your response to queries and turnaround time for post report consultations
My top Feng Shui Dont’s are:
• Don’t speak anything negative or glorify negative aspects of a home which could scare the client, but do speak the facts with the choice of right words
• Don’t be harsh in your words
• Don’t view Feng Shui consultations as just a business opportunity
• Don’t disrespect the Feng Shui tools or compass and use them as an object to exhibit great knowledge which you as the consultant possesses
• Don’t force your personal or religious views on the client, but share the information and allow them to decide