hand." . . As it happened, quite unexpectedly, the scheme fell through and I did not go! But that is not the end of the story. About a year later I ran into him again and instead of shaking me by the hand he started, with the absent mindedness of an artist, to look at the lines and said, "Now, I notice that you are due to go abroad shortly with some delegation/' I had not been out of India for many, many years and there was apparently no likelihood of my doing so in the near future. Within six months, however, the Unesco was established and I went to its preparatory Conference in London (and later) to the Paris Conference, this confirming his prediction. It made me feel that both the negative and the positive predictions could not be mere coincidences ... I must also say, in fairness, that, in the case of this very friend I ha\e seen certain prophecies not coming true which scon is to indicate that it is idle to claim for this branch of knowledge (lie exactitude of a science. I am too much of an 'activist' and a believer in the freedom of the human will to accept I ik- position that the line of the hand or the bumps in the head or the configuration of the face determine a man's fate, that everything is written, with fatal precision and detail, in a man's Kismet which unfolds itself relentlessly, irrespective of what he may do or not do himself. But I can imagine a deep under current of unity linking up our mind and body, our intellect and our physique so that they are ail influenced by our life current as it Hows along its course. I cannot pretend that this statement offers a very lucid or convincing explandtion but did I not start with saying that I should not be writing this foreword?
Mr. Sen has devoted a life time of study to this subject and has read deeply and extensively into it. In this book, he does not offer anything like an original contribution of: his own but brings together the fruit of earnest and devoted work 4.nd those, who are interested in this fascinating subject, hovering on the border of the mysterious and the unknown, will find the book to be a fairly full and adequate guide. They will be thankful to him for placing at their disposal, in tin's compilation, what would otherwise need a small Library of specialized books beyond the reach of most students.
One word more! I would entreat readers not to pay any attention to the unduly flattering things said about my "hand —a fact which makes me feel particularly awkward in writing this Foreword. The author has offered in this book many good readings of character. Is it not possible that, in this particular instance, he may have been led astray?
In the dawn of the world's history Aryan sages in India discovered that it was possible to know the latent abilities and motive powers, the faults and virtues of man from the marks and signs to be found all over his body. To this science they gave the name Samudrika Shasira. It is practised to this day in India; and scholars and experts in this ancient land may still be encountered, interpreting and forecasting human nature and destiny by scrutinizing the forehead, face, hands, chest and feet. It is a striking fact that the marks on the human hands resemble those found on the soles of the feet. It will be recalled that Lord Krishna, the Divine Avatar and Teacher of India, bore marks and signs on the soles of his feet, as the Science of Hand-reading (or Hasta Samudrika Shastra), developed by the savants of ancient India, is at special pains to point out. Palmistry, among the ancient Hindus, was regarded as a branch of the comprehensive lore of Samudrika.
Western scholars today accept without question that India is indeed the home and birth-place of scientific palmistry or hand-reading. Cheiro, the renowned English author and palmist, declares: 'The intellectual power which was to make such observations speaks for itself; and yet it is to such a people that we trace the origin of the study under consideration. With the spread of the Hindu teachings into other lands do we trace the spread of the knowledge of palmistry. The Hindu Vedas are the oldest scriptures that have been found; and, according to some authorities, they have been the foundation of even the Greek schools of learning."
How and when the ideas and doctrines of palmistry spread out of India, and came to be practised in other countries is not known. The fact remains, nevertheless, that