The sacred Hindu scriptures are called the Vedas, the storehouse of all knowledge, and they are the oldest literature in India, more than 5,000 years old. There are four major books and six appendices called the sadvedangas, the limbs of the Vedas, which explain how to read and use the scriptures. One of the Vedas, the jyotisa (light from God), concerns astronomy and astrology, which also includes tips on reading the body. Also known as the eye of the Vedas, so called because it is concerned with time cycles, it lets us see through time so we can understand the workings of nature.
In the Vedic system, astrology is a dictionary created by Lord Krishna so we can read the signs and understand the language of time by using the horoscope, or birth chart, and the zodiac, or sky clock. The planets do not have the power to direct fate, but they do describe and measure it.
The study of the parts of the body — including the mouth, ears, legs, feet, and hands — is a branch of astronomy, and the study of the hands is called Hasta Samudrika Shastra, which translates as “the ocean of knowledge concerning signs and symbols of the hand.” Thus, palmistry and astrology are very intimately related.
Nine Heavenly Bodies
In Vedic astrology, there are nine planets, or heavenly bodies, but they differ somewhat from those of the West:
1. The sun: Concerns God, the life force, the masculine principal, command, renown, self-esteem, and the external, that which we show to the world.
2. The moon: Concerns the female principal, emotional life, the mind, intuition, and our true internal nature.
3. Mercury: Concerns communication, education, and thought.
4. Venus: Concerns love, sex, the arts, creativity, food, pleasure, and money.
5. Mars: Concerns conflict, force, activity, endurance, and determination.
6. Jupiter: Concerns marriage and children, religion, knowledge, and fortune.
7. Saturn: Concerns discipline, limitation, truth, and duty.
So far, Vedic astrology is much like that of the West, but there are two additions. Instead of the outer planets, the Vedic system includes two lunar modes:
8. Rahu: The lunar north mode, concerning materialism, instability, and the unconventional and unorthodox.
9. Ketu: The lunar south mode, concerning antimaterialism, social order, and the spiritual life and orthodoxy.
According to Vedic palmistry, the fate line shows the expression of the unconscious thoughts found in your major lines and the structure you have brought to your life.
The Three Gunas
The Vedic practitioner looks at the same elements as his Western counterpart when doing a palm reading, examining the three gunas, or levels of awareness. To him, the major lines show your subconscious, the positive and negative patterns of thought that direct how you live, think, and feel without a planned response, as seen in the life, head, and heart lines, just as it is in the West.
The minor lines show your consciousness, what you are actually aware of regarding your own life and destiny. Again, this is very similar to the West's interpretation.
Interpreting the Mounts
The mounts show your superconscious, the consciousness as it is applied in the world, or how you have faced your challenges and what you have accomplished in the areas controlled by each mount. These, too, are similar to Western tradition and found in the same places, and they basically follow the previous list that describes the planets in astrology. In addition to the other planet mounts, the mount of Rahu, which takes the place of the plain of Mars, stands for your current environment, while Ketu, which is found where the West places the mount of Neptune, is the past, your karmic inheritance, and how you feel about it.