t is said that we create Karma, and our consequent destiny, through three means: our thoughts, speech and actions. “By his actions you will know him” is an age old phrase meaning that we can think and say many things, but it through our actions that we show our true nature and manifest our world. It is also said that the hands are the primary means through which we act and build our world.
Therefore the hands are like a mirror which reflects the accumulation of our actions in the form of the signs and symbols present in the hands, however we need educated eyes to see them. Like a face, which is the primary way we recognize another person, hands when properly understood can show both the nature and destiny of person.
“The hands are like a mirror which reflects the accumulation of our actions…”
“Hasta” Samudrika Shastra, or Vedic Palmistry, is “the ocean of signs and symbols” in the hand, is intimately related to Jyotisha as it is included in Nimitta, one of the six limbs of Jyotisha. Nimitta, or omenology, is made of many things and includes all markings of the body, but finds its ultimate expression through the ocean of “omens” found in the hand. Furthermore, all areas of the hand, the fingers and the palm, are assigned to the nine planets and the meanings of these areas reflect the karakatwa, or innate meanings, of the planets. Gifted Indian palmists can even figure out exactly what your horoscope is by the markings in your hands!
To give you an idea of how closely related Hasta and Jyotisha are, you need not go any further than any street corner in India. Simply start a conversation with someone and tell them you are a student of Jyotisha and something amazing will happen: they will immediately put their palm forward and say “please, tell me my destiny!” They will not show you their horoscope, but rather expect that you can read their destiny from their hand. This is so because in India astrology and palmistry have a happy marriage! Like two wings of a grand tradition, they rely on each other for balance and lift in the ever-shifting flight of predicting someone’s destiny.
Palmistry is no stranger in the west and Victorian palmistry shares many of the same age old methods which are employed in Hasta. It is said that the gypsies of Europe passed many secrets to the budding palmists of the west and this had powerful influences on what Victorian palmistry evolved into. Many scholars have surmised that the gypsies are, in fact, descendants of a group of migrating people which came from India and it seems that the divinatory secrets of India came with them.
“Hasta is not just about the lines in the hands, …the structure underlying those lines is of more importance…”
Practically speaking Hasta is a very utilizable and can be employed quite quickly. To begin, Hasta is not just about the lines in the hands, in fact, the structure underlying those lines is of more importance when we first examine a hand. The shape and size and thickness or thinness and even the color of a hand all have much to tell about a person, even before we look at lines.
Just like in Jyotisha where we start with finding out which ascendant, or Lagna, a person has in order to understand their particular “universe”, we do the same in Hasta, but using four types which relate to the four elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water. Someone could have an Earth hand or a Water hand and from that we can ascribe a typology which is a powerful tool for establishing a basis that we then begin to build the edifice of their destiny pattern upon.
“In Hasta, we utilize four hand types which relate to the four elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water.”
How we determine the elemental type is, in theory, quite simple: we measure the palm and the fingers to determine if the palm is square or rectangular and if the fingers are long or short in relation to the palm. Sounds simple, right? It can be when you have a pure Earth hand or a pure Water hand which will show two extremes in their shapes and sizes.
For example, an Earth hand is seen by having a square-ish palm and short fingers (usually thick) and a Water hand is seen by having a slim, rectangular-ish palm and long fingers (usually slender). These two hand types are worlds apart, think construction worker’s hands vs. a runway model’s hands and you will start to get the picture. Not only are they very different in the way they look, but the owners of these hands will likely be worlds apart in the way they live as well.
Let’s have a quick look at some Earth hand indications. Because the Earth hand is so well knit and thick, with very few lines, they tend to be people who are salt-of-the-earth types and have good endurance. They are more likely to live in the countryside than the city, they can be small town folk who are more reserved or even suspicious initially, but very loyal to those they know well. They are matter-of-fact types and are prefer simple and practical approaches to life. They don’t tend to move much and usually prefer a permanent base. With these features, if a Jyotish client comes to you and asks where they should relocate to, Hasta will quickly tell you that for them to be truly happy they need to be somewhere where they can be closer to nature, ideally outside the urban center and in a place where life is simple and relaxed.
“The Water hand is slim, delicate and thin,…they tend to belong to intuitive, elegant, creative types..”
Water Hand indications are quite different. Because the Water hand is slim, delicate and thin, with many small lines, they tend to belong to intuitive, elegant, creative types who are quite sensitive, both physically and mentally.
They are usually drawn to others socially and are compassionate, empathetic types who make for good healers, but also tend to blur boundaries and take on others energy and emotions easily. Like water itself, these types absorb whatever is around them and can be idealistic, dreamy and even psychic in nature. They are very sensitive to their environment and relationships and this can affect their nervous systems and therefore they have many fine lines in their hands. Now, with these features, if a Jyotish client comes to see you and asks if you think they should become an energy healer as a profession, you can easily answer yes. However, Hasta can also inform them about the dangers of being overly receptive and the need to place boundaries when doing their work.
Hasta can be used in a myriad of ways, either in conjunction with Jyotisha or as a stand-alone practice. However, there are so many correlates between the two practices that at least some knowledge of the one will have an immense impact on working with the other. No matter what, Hasta is always practical and available—you don’t need a computer or software, no need to know a birth time, and the hand is always up to date!