The Science of Physiognomy | Garuda Purana

Radhika Raman Das
By Radhika Raman Das 976 Views Add a Comment 19 Min Read

After a detailed description of astrology, Lord Hari spoke to Lord Shiva on the science of physiognomy as follows:

If a person’s palms are soft, like the inner portion of a lotus flower, and if they do not perspire—if his fingers are close together and do not have any space between them—if his nails are copper coloured—if his ankles are well shaped and without veins—if his feet are plump and shaped like the back of a tortoise—he is certainly destined to become a king.

Rough and yellowish nails, a face with protruding, veins, odd-shaped feet, and fleshless toes—these indicate sorrow and poverty.

When one’s calves resemble the trunks of elephants, with sparse hair—this is an excellent sign.

Those who are destined for greatness – have a hair growing from each pore of the body. Those who are destined to become great Vedic scholars have two hairs growing from each pore. Those who are destined to become poor have three hairs growing from each pore.

A sickly person has knee-caps devoid of flesh.

A man with a small penis is destined to become rich but without children. A man with a stout penis will be poor. A man with a single testicle will be miserable. A man with testicles of different sizes will be lecherous. A man with testicles that hang loose will not live long.

If, when a man passes urine, it makes a lot of noise, he will be poverty-stricken. Men destined for greatness pass urine steadily, without making any noise.

Those destined to enjoy material pleasure have flat bellies. Those who are pot-bellied are very miserly.

Lines indicate the age of men. A man having three parallel lines on his forehead will experience happiness with his children. One who has two parallel lines can expect to live only up to the age of forty. If the figure of a trident or a broad-edged spear appears on a man’s forehead, he can expect to have children, wealth, and a long life.

A girl with curly hair, a round face, and a navel that curls to the right makes her family flourish. A girl with a golden complexion and hands that resemble a red lotus is one in a thousand in terms of chastity.

A woman with uneven hair and round eyes will always be unhappy and will become a widow at a young age.

A girl with a face like the full moon that shines like the rising sun, having wide eyes and red lips, will always be happy.

If a woman has many lines marking her body, she will suffer much. A few lines indicate poverty, red lines denote happiness, and black lines indicate slavery.

A real wife is like a minister who handles the personal affairs of her husband. She executes her duties like a real friend. She is affectionate like a mother and in bed, she is like the most expert courtesan. Such a wife is very auspicious.

A woman who has lines on the palm of her hand resembling a goad, a circle, or a wheel, marries a great man and gives birth to a son.

If a woman has hair on her breasts, or if her lips are high, her husband will die soon.

If a woman has brown hair that curls upwards over her body, she is destined to become a slave, even though she may have been born a princess.

If a woman’s little finger and thumb do not lay flat when placed on a flat surface, she will prove to be of ill repute. A woman who shakes the ground as she walks will become the killer of her husband.

Smooth, oily eyes indicate a happy married life. Oily teeth indicate a liking for food. Oily skin indicates sexual pleasure, and oily feet denotes the possession of conveyances.

If a woman’s feet are beautiful, with high arches and copper coloured nails; if the soles of her feet have lines resembling a fish, goad, lotus, wheel or plough; and if they do not perspire—she will lead a happy life.

If a woman’s calves are free of hair, if her thighs resemble the trunk of an elephant, if her vagina is broad like the leaf of an ashvattha tree, if her navel is deep, and if her breasts are free of hair — these are all considered to be auspicious.

If a man ’s feet rarely perspire, if his soles are as soft as the inside of a lotus, if his toes join one another, if his nails are copper-coloured, if his instep is arched, and if his heals are fine— he is destined to become a king.

If a man’s feet are flat, if his nails are greyish, and if his toes do not touch one another—he is destined to be poor.

If a man ’s calves have fine hair, if his thighs are like the trunk of an elephant , and if his knees are fleshy and even— he is destined to become a king.

Persons with curly hair are likely to die in exile.

It is said that if a man’s penis is short, he will live a long life and will become rich. A man with a stout penis will not have a son and he will be poor. If a man’s penis slants to the left—he will have no sons but will be rich. If his penis is curved, a man will have sons. If a man’s penis is small, he will not beget sons. If his penis has a protruding vein, he will be happy. If the bulb of the penis is stout, a man will be blessed with sons.

A man whose testicles are unequal in size will always be running after girls. If the testicles are tight, he shall be long lived. If they always appear dirty, a man will experience happiness.

If, when a man urinates, it comes out in one continuous flow, that indicates happiness. Men passing urine in a single flow will enjoy women.

Persons with high, oily testicles that are equal in size will possess good women and wealth. If a man’s semen smells like honey, he will enjoy much wealth. If a man’s semen is dry, he is destined to be miserable. If a man’s semen has the smell of fish, he will beget sons. If the semen has no smell, he will beget daughters. If a man’s semen smell like meat, he will greatly enjoy sexual pleasure. If a man’s semen has a salty smell, he is destined to be poor.

A man who finishes sexual intercourse quickly enjoys longevity. A man of prolonged sexual intercourse is short-lived.

A man with stout buttocks is destined to be poor, a man with fleshy buttocks is ever happy.

If a man has a neck like a buffalo, he is destined to become a warrior. If a man has a delicate neck, like a deer, he will become a master of the Vedas. A man with a neck that resembles a conch shell may become a king, and a man with a long neck becomes a glutton.

A back that is straight and devoid of hair is auspicious— otherwise, it is inauspicious. It is an excellent sign if one’s armpits are shaped like the leaf of a banyan tree, emit a good smell, and have hair like that of a deer.

Hands that are plump and a little curved, and that fit together nicely are good. Hands that extend to the knees indicate royalty. Poor people have short hands that are covered with hair.

The fingers of intelligent persons are short. The fingers of servants are flat. Fingers that are very fat indicate poverty. Thin fingers indicate humility. Persons with hands like a monkey’s will be poor. A depressed palm indicates that one’s ancestral property will be lost. Persons whose wrists make a sound when twisted will meet with poverty. The wrists of wealthy persons are very fleshy. It is not a good indication if one’s wrists are unequal.

If a man’s fingernails are like husks, it indicates that he is impotent. The man with split nails is crooked. A man with pale fingernails is fond of arguments.

A man with a thin chin is destined to be poor. One with a fleshy chin is destined to become rich.

The lips of a king are very red, like a bimba fruit. If one ’s lips are rough, split, or uneven— that person is destined to be poor.

Smooth, shiny teeth that are without a gap are auspicious. Sharp teeth of equal size indicate good fortune.

A reddish tongue is auspicious, as is a long and fine tongue.

A round face indicates prosperity. A woman with a round face will get a son. A long face indicates poverty, misfortune, and great sorrow. A square face indicates a coward, a sinner and a rogue. A short face indicates miserliness.

Persons with shiny moustaches enjoy all sorts of luxuries. A moustache of smooth and thick hair is auspicious. A man with a reddish moustache is surely a thief.

A man with ears that are flat and without flesh will enjoy opulence. Misers have short ears. Kings have spear-shaped ears. Ears that are covered with hair indicate a long duration of life. Persons with big ears become kings or rich men. Ears with lobes that hang down indicate royalty.

A man with a nose like that of a parrot will be happy. A man with a dry nose lives long. A person with a chiselled nose having deep nostrils will have sexual intercourse with unworthy women. A long nose indicates good fortune. A curved nose is an indication that one is a thief. A flat nose indicates death and misfortune. A nose bent towards the right indicates cruelty.

A sudden spasm of sneezing indicates strength. If sneezing is continual, it indicates great delight and if it is resonant, it indicates a long life.

If a man ’s eyes resemble the petals of a lotus, and are a little curved at the comers, it indicates happiness. A sinful man has cat-like eyes and wicked men have eyes the colour of honey. Squint-eyed persons are ruthless. Green-eyed men are sinful. Commanders of armies have eyes like those of an elephant. Kings have grave eyes, ministers have thick fleshy eyes, scholars have eyes like a blue lotus, and dark eyes indicate good fortune. Round eyes indicate a sinful person. Persons with pitiable eyes are destined to be poor.

Smooth, oily skin indicates that one will abundantly enjoy luxuries. Persons with wide, high eyebrows are happy. Persons with uneven eyebrows are destined to be poor. Long, unattached eyebrows indicate wealth.

Persons with hair on their foreheads are misers.

Untrembling, mild laughter is good. Laughter with the eyes closed indicates sin. Frequent laughter indicates a defect or the onset of madness.

A man with a pot-like head delights in sinful activities and is devoid of wealth.

Whatever the limb, if it is rough and lacking in flesh—it is a very inauspicious sign.

Persons destined for greatness have three things broad, grave, and long—five things that are very fine —six that are high—four that are short—four that are reddish —and seven that are even.

  • The navel, voice, and understanding—these shall be deep and grave.
  • The forehead, face, and chest—these shall be broad.
  • Eyes, sides, teeth, nose, mouth, and the back of the neck—these shall be elevated.
  • Calves, neck, penis, and back — these four shall be short.
  • The hands, palate, lips, and nails— these four shall be red.
  • The comers of the eyes, feet, tongue, and lips shall be short.
  • The five things that will be fine are the teeth, knuckles, nails, hair, and skin.
  • These shall be long—the space between the nipples, the hands, teeth, eyes, and nose.

For women who shall attain greatness (or become a queen) — these are the signs. Her feet are smooth and even. The soles and nails are reddish. The toes touch one another with no space between them. The tips of the toes are raised. The heels are plump, and the soles have the lustre of a lotus flower. They do not perspire and may have the marking of a fish, goad, banner, thunderbolt, lotus, or plough. If the calves are devoid of hair, well-rounded and not muscular— that is auspicious. The thighs should resemble the trunks of elephants and they should be devoid of hair. The vagina should be in the shape of a fig leaf and very wide. The clitoris should be hidden. The hips should be large and heavy. The arms should be long. The navel should be fleshy, and the belly should have three circular wrinkles. The breasts should be equally developed, without hair, large and firm. The neck should be firm, hairy, and resembling a conch. Red lips are auspicious, as is a round, plump face. The teeth should be white and the voice very sweet, like that of a cuckoo. Simplicity of speech, consideration for others, and an absence of stubbornness make the voice very pleasant to hear. An attractive nose with symmetrical curves at the tip is auspicious. The eyes should be like a blue lotus, and they should be close to the nose. The eyebrows should not be very thick and they should resemble the crescent moon. The forehead should not be high, it should resemble the half-moon, and it should be devoid of hair. The ears should not be fleshy, and they should be of equal size. Hair should be dark, soft, and curly. A symmetrical well-formed head is auspicious for women. The hands should be soft, like the inner part of a lotus flower.

All of the above-mentioned characteristics indicate happiness in the marriage of a woman. Characteristics that are contrary to these are inauspicious.

Other inauspicious signs for a woman, calves that are too fleshy or hairy, a belly that resembles a pot, a vagina that is depressed, a short neck, a very long neck, and a very stout neck (which indicates a fierce nature). Squinting eyes and roving eyes indicate an absence of chastity.

If, when a woman smiles, two dimples are seen on the cheeks, she is certainly an adulteress.

A woman whose belly hangs down will be the killer of her father-in-law. If her buttocks hang down, she will be the killer of her husband.

A moustache-like growth of hair on a woman’s upper lip is inauspicious for her husband.

Hairy breasts are inauspicious.

Sharp and uneven teeth indicate misery. If a woman’s teeth are long, she will bring about the death of her husband.

If her hands resemble those of a crow, are sinewy, or wrinkled—a woman will become poor.

An elevated upper lip indicates a quarrelsome nature and harshness of speech.

If a woman is ugly, these defects are strong indications. If she is beautiful then some of these defects can be ignored.

The Garuda Purana next discusses astrology at great length. Theseare all subtle sciences—palmistry, astrology, physiognomy, numerology, and vastu. Grossly materialistic persons often doubt their validity but still, all have a large following.

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Raman (Radhika Raman Das) joined ISKCON in 2003 and got initiated by HH Bhakti Caitanya Swami Maharaj in 2011. As the Editor in Chief at "The Vaisnava - Online Magazine", he helps readers around the world hone in their Spiritual Curiosity, express their unique realizations as aspiring Vaisnava writers and enthusiasts, as well as to spread the digital seed of Srila Prabhupada's mission to spread Krishna Consciousness all around the globe.
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