Hasta Sāmudrika Palmistry
An Ocean of Knowledge
Hasta Sāmudrika Śāstra is the sacred “ocean of knowledge of the signs and symbols of the hand”. It finds its’ origins in the grander tradition of Jyotiṣa Śāstra (Vedic Astrology) and generally in the category of Sāmudrika/Lakṣaṇa Śāstra–-which is the deep knowledge of any “markings/signs”, typically on the body in general (hands, feet, face, etc…), that serve to give information and insight into the character and destiny of an individual.
In India it is almost impossible to separate Hasta/Palmistry and Jyotish/Vedic Astrology. In fact, a typical response to telling someone that you are a student or practitioner of Jyotish, is for them to immediately put their palms out and ask for you to read their destiny from their hands.
This is because classically anyone with knowledge of the one must have knowledge of the other-–both as part of the way that these traditions have been passed down orally for centuries and, most importantly, because the one massively informs the other and they work as an interactive duo for unlocking the mysteries of our karma and discerning our destiny patterns.
Hasta Sāmudrika and Jyotish
How do Hasta Sāmudrika and Vedic Astrology work together? In India sacred traditions are often difficult to untangle from each other because they are flowering limbs which stem from the solid, rich trunk of the Veda. Both Hasta Sāmudrika and Jyotish are divinatory traditions that can speak to one’s life direction/purpose, marriage, children, education, family, health, wealth, spirituality, etc… i.e. both character and destiny can be divined from the hand and the horoscope, so why have both?
In Jyotish it is said that one must always keep Kāla-Deśa-Pātra (time/place/individual vessel) in mind when approaching a destiny analysis. One direct interpretation of this is that we use the birth time and birth place in charting a horoscope, but what of the “individual vessel”?
Karma or destiny is not easily mapped and is not a linear science, but rather a deep and ever morphing mystery. Therefore, even if we know the time and place of birth, the individual, or vessel, for which that time/place applies will be extremely important for determining the specific trajectory we can predict for that collusion of factors. For example, if two babies are born at the same time, at the same hospital, it begs the question, will they have the same destiny? The answer is that they will share a huge common destiny pattern, but there will also be differences because they are different vessels for the unfolding of that pattern, i.e. their destiny stories for this life will be similar, but because Karma has many levels of depth, not all can be known from this crossing of time and place.
Hasta Sāmudrika is an invaluable tool for understanding the individual (vessel), whether a horoscope is being used or not. As no birth time/place is needed, one can gather information immediately without the need for calculations or charts etc… However, Jyotish practitioners (Jyotiṣi) use this as a goldmine for the confirmation or modification of patterns already seen in the horoscope or as a source of new information not readily accessible in that particular individuals chart.
For example, in Jyotish’s seminal text, Bṛhat Parāśāra Horā Śāstra, there are whole sections on Sāmudrika/body markings as it relates to Jyotish. One of but many examples states: “The woman who has marks (that resemble that) of a conch, Chakra, lotus, flag, fish, umbrella, and a long line rising upwards on the soles of her feet, becomes a queen and enjoys great happiness and comforts”.
Simultaneously, Hasta Sāmudrika has a heavy reliance on Jyotish. All parts of the hand are categorized according to astrological factors and some highly skilled practitioners in India can even map your correct birth chart from your hand! This can be utilized in complex or simple ways according to one’s level and exposure to Jyotish and its ocean of knowledge. The more one understands Jyotiṣa Śāstra the more it informs Hasta Sāmudrika and vice versa.
Always remember, in learning Hasta Sāmudrika the hand is always available and always up to date!