Ba Zhai or Eight Mansion is a popular system of Feng Shui practice by many in the east. Its popularity is likely due to its simplicity where the auspicious and inauspicious sectors within a dwelling are determined simply by the sitting direction of the dwelling.
A dwelling is divided into eight sectors. Four of these are auspicious and four are not depending on the sitting direction. Houses that sit north, south, east or south-east are known as east houses while those that sit north-west, south-west, west and north-east are known as west houses.
For east houses, the sectors of north, south, east and south-east are auspicious while the others are not. For west houses, the sectors north-west, south-west, west and north-east are auspicious while the rest are not. In practice, practitioner strives to place the main door, master bedroom and kitchen in the auspicious sectors of the dwelling.
Another thing with the eight house system is that the passage of time does not affect the luck of the house unlike other systems such as the Flying Star which believe that the luck of the dwelling changes over time.
There are many who say that the Eight House is a false system. Feng Shui Master Jiang Da Hong who lived about 400 years ago, state that the system is false in his book, “The Five Songs of the Heavenly Principles”. In it he states that, “The eight house fixed by the sitting and facing is baseless. The wane and wax of the three cycles fixes the true path” implying that the auspicious and inauspicious sectors (or areas imbue with good or bad qi) is not fixed and changes with time.
Of course later commentators who practice the Eight House method insist that it shows positive results. Even today there are many practitioners of this system and they too insist that it works. So who is right?
The answer may lie in this legend. Apparently Emperor Xuan Zong (685-762 CE) of the Tang Dynasty ordered Yi Xing a buddhist monk, astronomer and royal advisor to the king to devise a false method for the ‘barbarian’ neighbours. But instead the monk created a simple one based on Feng Shui’s fundamental principles.
Although the original text is lost, this system is described in many notable text including Ba Zhai Ming Jing (Eight Mansions Bright Mirror) and Ba Zhai Zhou Shu (The Complete Book of Ba Zhai).
I believe the debate as to who is right or wrong will go on until someone comes out with enough proof that one or the other is wrong. Or maybe they will discover that both are right with their individual strengths and weakness!