I have freely consulted the standard works, such as: Brihad Sanghita, Samudrika Chintamani, Brihad Samudrika Shastra, Hasta Sanjivani, and Hindu Palmistry by P. Srinivas Mahadev Pathak. These have been illustrated with readings of the hands of well-known figures in world history. As far as possible, I have followed the Western style of treatment; but where necessary, I have not hesitated to point out clearly in what way Indian palmists differ and diverge. Throughout this work, I have verified the theory of palmistry by actual Indian hand-leadings. It is my experience that certain signs and marks regarding marriage, love affairs, friendships, divorce and widowhood described by European writers, are absent from Indian hands. I rarely came across the mark of divorce on the hands of a Hindu. Friendship between a man and a woman is unusual in India; it is therefore not surprising that such marks are few and far between.
The Hindu school of palmistry calls the main lines by different names. For instance, the line of Heart is called the Ayu Rekha or Line of Life, the line of Head the Matri Rekha or Mother Line. The indications of the lines given by Hindu writers nevertheless resemble in broad principles the interpretation of Western authors. If employed sensibly, a hand-reader familiar with the methods of both schools will prove far more successful than one equipped with those of one school alone. Personally speaking, I find that the two systems are not necessarily opposed, but complementary.
In my earlier studies I found it difficult to understand why in the absence of clearly defined lines of Fate and Sun a person could be rich and at the same time occupy a high and enviable position in society. According to Cheiro and St. Germain, the shape and type of the hand have to be borne in mind in order to determine the social position of the subject, and the, lines alone are not as important as it has been thought so far. Thus, very weajthy persons had the Fate and Sun lines dimly marked simply because they set no store by their fortune, so that the lines indicating riches and success appear dim and indistinct. Dissatisfied with this reading, I had recourse to the Hindu school, and learnt that marks such as those of a Temple, Flag, Canopy, Fish, etc., have also to be taken into account. Their significance is revealed in Sanskrit verses or slokas. I could not at first identify them in practice. Hindu pundits were not of much use, either. It is only after long years of close study and work that I have been able to locate and identify them on human hands.
In this connection I should like to cite an interesting experience of mine. In 1934 I was asked to read the palm of a young man of 22, a law graduate and the son of an ex-minister of an Indian state. He was on the threshold of life, and he was worried about his chances of admission into the Indian police service. I noted that the lines of Fate and Sun were conspicuously absent. Hence I could not predict success at his examination. My position was -decidedly awkward. If I said he would do well, I should have been false to myself; and if I foretold failure, the young man would be upset and discouraged. So I said that he had a fair chance, but much depended on his own efforts. Actually I felt that his chances were slender, and that the odds were heavily against success. Later on, I learnt that he had come out quite successful. On referring to my Hindu textbooks, I discovered that on his hand was the mark of a temple, indicative of good social position and wealth.
In Benham's Laws of Scientific Hand-Reading you will see the imprint of the hands of William Jennings Bryan, a candidate for the Presidentship of the U.S.A. I must say that a first glance, through a magnifying glass, did not warrant the reading that Bryan would amass a fantastic fortune and climb very high socially. A closer study, however, revealed the mark of a temple on his wrist, signifying great wealth and high status. This mark I have seen on the hands of scores of wealthy and famous persons, for example, Rabindrandth Tagore, the great Indian poet.
The Hindu school again, mentions the sign of the Conch. When it is present, it denotes a millionaire. I have seen on the hands of a Hindu gentleman who in ten years could make a million and attain a high place in society.
On another occasion, I had the chance of examining the hands of the wife of a