Before finalizing a marriage proposal, the boy’s family invariably meets the girl in person. However, the way it is done now hardly serves any useful purpose. At present a group of persons comprising children, ladies, relatives, parents and even grand parents along with the prospective bridegroom converge at the girl’s house or at some other prearranged place. In the midst of a large unfamiliar gathering the girl naturally shrouds herself behind the veil of modesty which makes it impossible to judge her personality, except getting some idea about her looks and voice during exchange of a few sentences.
Astrological works provide an elaborate guidance in this regard. In one of these treatises titled ‘Bhava Kautuhalam’ the author while describing in detail lucky and unlucky features of a girl having a bearing on her married life, discloses that these details are based on the discussion between Rishis Skand and Kumbhaj, which were later described by Sage Ved Vyas.
स्कन्दकुम्भजवयोर्विवादज व्यासगीतभरिवल प्रकाशितम्।
Ascribing lucky and unlucky features found in women to their karma (deeds) in their previous birth, the author states that those women who performed noble deeds in their earlier birth are blessed with lucky or auspicious features, while those:
कृतं नहि तपो यया नगजया सभाराधितो हरिर्नहि रविव्रतं नहि कृतं च तीर्थाटनम्।
धन नहि धराभरे परममर्पितं तर्पितं गुरौः कुलभिहागना भवति सैव दीनांगना।।
Who neither devoutly worshipped Goddess Parvati, nor prayed to Lord Vishnu, nor kept fast for the Sun, nor went on pilgrimage, nor gave daan to Brahmins, nor satisfied the family of their Guru (the preceptor), get unlucky or have inauspicious physical features and remain penurious in this birth. Highlighting the importance of desirable features of the girl, the author states:
शुभलक्षणसम्पन्ना भवेदिह यदाऽंगना।
तत्करग्रहणादेव वर्द्धते गृहिणां सुखम्।।
By marrying a girl endowed with lucky bodily characteristics the happiness of the householder (her husband) is greatly increased.”
यतः सुलक्षणी रेखा योषा हीनायुषं पतिम्।
दीर्घायुषं सुचरितैः प्रकारोति सुखास्पदम्।।
If the husband has short longevity, the woman having lucky characteristics with her good character and deeds increases his longevity and makes him happy and wealthy.
दीर्घायुषं यतिं हन्ति कुयोगैयश्च कुलक्षणैः।
अतः सुलक्षणा कन्या परिणेया विचक्षणैः।।
Meaning, “Those women who have unlucky characteristics on their body destroy even husbands having good longevity and become widows. Therefore, the wise should marry a girl having lucky features.” Forehead
उन्नतसत्रयंगुलो भालः कोमलश्च नत भ्रुवाम्।
अर्द्धचन्द्रनिमो नित्यं सौभाग्यारोग्यवर्द्धकः।।
If the forehead of a girl having bent eyelids is elevated by three anguls (finger width), is soft and is of the shape of half Moon, such forehead increases good fortune, health and happiness.
भालस्थेन त्रिशूलेन शंभुना निर्मितेन वै।
If on the forehead of a girl there is a mark of Trishul of Lord Shiva, she will get the respect of thousands of her friends.
भशकोऽपि ललाटपट्टवर्ती यदि जागर्तिसमध्यगो भ्रूवोर्वा।
तनुते सुखमर्थराशिभागं सततं पत्युरपत्यभृत्ययोश्च।।
If in the middle of the forehead of a woman there is a mole (natural dot) above the nose bridge, she gets much happiness, becomes very wealthy, gets many kinds of food and comforts and always gets the happiness of husband, sons and servants.
पीनमौलिरतिभानहारिका दारिका कुजनसंगकारिका।
लम्बभौलिरपि सर्वनाशिका बन्धका निजकुलान्तकारिका।।
The girl whose forehead is elevated and muscular will have wicked company and lose her honour. The woman whose forehead is long will be sterile and bring dishonour to her family. Eyes
सदा धनवती नारी मधुपिंगललोचना।
पुत्रपौत्र सुखोपेता गदिता पतिसंभता।।
The woman whose eyes are honey coloured will be wealthy, will always be happy with her husband and have the happiness of sons.
अल्पायुरुन्नताक्र्षा च वृत्ताक्षी कुलटा भवेत्।
अजाक्षी केकराक्षी च कासराक्षी च दुर्भगा।।
If the eyes of a woman are elevated she has short life. If her eyes are roundish she will be a whore. If her eyes are like that of a she goat or of a buffalo she will have ill fortune.
पिंगाक्षी च कपोताक्षी दुःशीला कामवर्जिता।
कोटराक्षी महातृष्टा रक्ताक्षी पतिधातिनी।।
A woman who has pale eyes like a pigeon, she will be wicked and without sexual desire. The woman whose eyes are deep like the hole made by birds to live in it, she will be extremely wicked. A woman with red-coloured eyes will be killer of her husband.
विडालाक्षी गजाक्षी च कामिनी कुलनाशिनी।
If a beautiful woman has eyes like those of a cat or an elephant, that woman brings bad name to her family. Eyelids
कोमलौरसिताभासैः पक्ष्मभिः सुधनैरपि।
लघुरुपधरैरेव धन्या मान्या पतिप्रिया।।
The woman whose eyelids are soft, black and thick and have short shape, she is very fortunate. She is respected by the people and is dear to her husband. Eyebrows
पिंगला विरला स्थूला सरलाभिलिता यदि।
दीर्घग्लोमा विलोमा च न प्रशस्ता नतभ्रुवः।।
When a woman’s eyebrows have brownish hair, or thin and a few hair, or the eyebrows are thick and straight, or both the eyebrows are joined together, or are long haired, or are without hair, these are unlucky characteristics. The woman whose eyebrows are bent is also not lucky. Ears
प्रलम्बौ वत्र्तुलाकारौ कर्णौ भद्रफलप्रदौ।
शिरालौ व कृशौ निन्द्यौ शुष्कुलीपरिवर्जितौ।।
Long, roundish or circular ears are auspicious. But thin ears with veins on them and broad ears are inauspicious. Nose
नासिका तु लघुश्चिद्रा समवृत्तपुटा शुभा।
स्थूलाग्रा मध्यनम्रा च न शस्ता सूभ्रुवो भवेत।।
When nose of a woman having beautiful eyebrows has small holes, which are even and circular, it is a lucky sign. If the forepart of the nose is fat and thick and is deep in the middle, then it is inauspicious.
मशकोऽपि च नासिकाग्रगायी सुदृशी विद्रुमकांतिरर्थदायी। अलिपक्षनवाभ्ररुपधारी पतिहन्त्री किल पुंश्चली विशेषात्।।
If in the forepart of the nose of a woman having beautiful eyes there is a red coloured ‘mole’ (natural small point) it confers wealth. But if that mole assumes the shape of the wing of a black bee or that of new clouds, that woman will kill her husband and will become a whore.
लोहिताग्रा कुंचिता च महावैधन्यकारिणी।
दासिका चिपिटाकारा प्रलम्बा च कलिप्रिया।।
If the forepart of a woman’s nose is reddish and curved, it makes her widow. If it is flat she will be a maid servant. If it is very long, that woman will be quarrelsome and will have love for fighting. Cheeks
मांसलौ कोमलावेतौ कपोलौ वर्तुलाकृती।
समुन्नतौ मृगाक्षीणां प्रशस्तौ भवतस्तदा।।
If the cheeks of a beautiful woman who has eyes like those of a female deer are muscular, soft, roundish and elevated, it is an auspicious sign.
निर्मासौ पुरुषाकारौ रामशौ कुटिलाकृती।
If the cheeks of a young woman are without muscles, or flat like that of a man, have soft hair on them and are curved, these are inauspicious and give ill fortune. Lips
वर्तुलो रेखायाकांतो बन्धूकसदृशोऽधरः।
स्निग्धो राजप्रियो नित्यं सुभ्रुवः परिकीर्तितः।।
The Acharyas of Astrology have stated that if the lips of a beautiful woman having beautiful eyebrows are roundish, have lines on them, are red coloured like the Bandhook flower and smooth, she becomes a queen.
प्रलम्ब पुरुषाकारः स्फुटितोमांसवर्जितः।
दौर्भाग्यजनको ज्ञेयः कृष्णो वैधव्यसूचकः।।
If the lips of a woman are long, like that of a man, cracked and without muscles, then these indicate evil fortune. If these are of black colour, it indicates widowhood. Teeth
उपर्यधः समा दन्ता स्तोकरुपाः पयोरुचः।
द्वात्रिशदास्यगा यस्याः सा सदा सुभगा भवेत्।।
f the teeth of a girl are alike both in the upper and lower jaw, small, bright like milk, and are thirty two, then she is always fortunate.
विधवा विकटाकौरः स्वैरिणी विरलद्विजैः।
If a girl’s teeth are ugly, badly shaped, she will become a widow. If her teeth are short and have space between them, she will be a whore. Chin
सुधना कोमला यस्या निर्लोमा च हनुः शुभा।
लोमशा कुटिला लघ्वी चातिस्थूला न शोभना।।
If a woman’s chin is thick, soft and without soft hair, it is auspicious. If it has many soft hair on it, is curved, short and very fat, it is inauspicious and causes poverty and unhappiness. Neck
कण्ठो वर्तुलरुपः कमनीयः पीनतायुक्तः।
चतुरंगुलश्च यस्याः सा निजभर्तुः प्रिया भवति।
If a woman’s neck is round shaped, comely, beautiful, strong and is four anguls in length, she is very dear to her husband.
गुप्तास्थिर्मासला ग्रीवा त्रिरेखाभिः समावृता।
सुसंहता तदा शस्ता विपरीता न शोभना।।
If a woman’s throat is muscular, its bone is not visible and if it has three lines on it and is strong, then such throat is auspicious. But if it is the reverse, then it is inauspicious.
स्थूलग्रीवा धवत्यक्ता रक्तग्रीवा च दासिका।
If a woman’s throat is fat she is left by her husband. If it is red coloured, she becomes a maid servant. If it is fat and broad she becomes a widow, and if it is short she is very poor. Shoulders
पुत्रिणी विनतस्कन्धा हृस्व स्कन्धा सुखप्रदा। पुष्टस्कन्धा तु कामान्धा रतिभोगसुखावहा।।
If a woman’s shoulders are delicate (soft), she is blessed with sons. If she has short shoulders she gets happiness in life. If her shoulders are strong she always remains under the grip of love and sex.
मदान्धा कुटिलस्कन्धा स्थूल स्कन्धा च तादृशी।
यदि लोमाकुलस्कन्धा वैधव्यं द्रुतमावहेत्।।
The woman whose shoulders are curved remains blinded with pride. The woman whose shoulders are fat is also proud. If there are many soft hair on the shoulders she soon becomes a widow. Palms
करतलं भुजयोर्यदि कोमलं विमलपद्मनिमं च समुन्नतम्।
निजपतेः कुसुमायुधवर्द्धकं निगहितं मुनिना विधिनोदितम्।।
If the palms from the base of the arms of a woman are delicate like a clean lotus and raised, she increases the sex desire of her husband. These words of Brahma have been spoken by the Munis and thinkers.
स्वच्छरेखाकुलं भद्रं नो भद्रं हीनरेखया।
अभद्रं रेखया हीनं वैधव्यं चापिरेखया।।
If a woman’s palms are very delicate and soft, it is an auspicious sign. If the palms are without lines, it is an inauspicious sign, and if there are many lines, she becomes a widow.
यस्या वामकरे रेखा तुलाभालोपमा भवेत्।
वैश्यवामा रमापूर्णा नानालकारमण्डिता।।
If a woman has on her left hand the mark of a balance or a line like a rosary, she will have a trader as her husband, or she herself will become a business-woman. She will be endowed with much wealth and will remain adorned with many jewels and ornaments.
गभीरा रक्तामा भवति मृदुला व स्फुटतरा।
करे वामे रेखा जनयति मृगाक्ष्या बहु शुभम्।।
यदा वृत्ताकारा पतिरति सुखं विन्दति परं।
विसार सौभाग्यं बलमपि सुत स्वस्तिकमपि।।
If the left palm of a woman contains deep, red coloured clearly visible lines, it is a very auspicious sign. If these lines are circular, she enjoys sex with her husband and increases his good fortune. If there is the mark of Swastika on the palm she begets sons.
शिरालं कुरते निःस्वं नारीकरतलं यदि।
समुन्नतं च विशिरं करपृष्ठं सुशोभनम्।।
If a woman’s palms have many emerging veins on them she will be poor. If the back of the palm is raised and has no veins on it, it is auspicious.
अंगुष्ठमूलतो रेखा कनिष्ठां यदि गच्छति।
यस्याः सा पतिहन्ती तां दूरतः परिवर्जयेत्।।
The woman on whose hand there is a line starting from the base of the thumb and reaching the base of the smallest finger, she certainly becomes the killer of her husband and should be avoided from a distance.
कोमलः सरलों ऽगुष्ठोवत्र्तलो यदि योषिताम्।
क्रमादेवं कृशाङगुल्यो दीर्घाकारश्चवर्तुलाः।।
पृष्ठरोभाः शस्तफलाश्चिपिटा उदिता बुधैः।
कृशाः कुंचितपर्वाणो हृस्वा रोगभयावहाः।।
If a woman’s thumb is soft, straight and roundish, and the fingers are successively thinner (i.e. the second one is thin than the first, etc.), long shaped and roundish; there are soft hair on their back, and their back parts are flat and broad and have very little muscles on them, these are auspicious features. But, if the fingers are thin and short sized, and the mounds between the lines are curved, these give the fear of disease. Nails
शंखशुक्तिनिमा निम्ना विवर्णा न नखाः शुभाः।
कपिला वक्रिता रुक्षाः सभ्रुवः सुखनाशकः।।
If a woman’s nails are like conch, or short conch, but are low and colourless in the middle, these are inauspicious. If these are pale coloured, curved and dry, it is a sign of destruction of happiness.
यदि भवन्ति नखेषु भृगीदृशां सितरुचो विरला यदि बिन्दवः।
अतितरां कुसुमायुधपड़िया परजनेन लपंति रमन्तिताः।।
If on the nails of a woman, whose eyes are like those of a female deer, there are white coloured dots, such a woman is excessively in the grip of sex and seeks company of other men. Belly
विशिरेण भृदत्वचा सपुत्रा जठरेणातिकृशेन कामिनी सा। बहुधातुलभोगलालिता सानुदिनं भोदकसत्फलाशिनी स्यात्।।
When a woman’s belly is without veins, and the skin is delicate, she begets sons. If her belly is thick she is very fortunate, enjoys many kinds of comforts, eats modaks (laddoos) and sweet fruits every day.
उन्नतेनोदरेणैव बन्ध्या नारीप्रजायते।
जठरेण कठोरेण सा भवेद्भिन्दुकांगना।।
The woman whose belly is convex (raised) she is barren or sterile, and whose belly is hard she is of low caste. Back and Buttocks
समुननतनितम्बाद्या यस्याः सिद्धाङगुलाकटिः।
सा राजपहमहिषी नानालीभिः समावृता।।
The woman whose buttocks are elevated and whose back is thin, is only 24 anguls in thickness, is good natured and good mannered, is surrounded by many friends and becomes a queen. Her life is happy. Thighs
भवतिजानुयुगं यदि मांसलं तदतिवृत्तगतीव शुभ प्रदम्।
भुवनमर्तुरतो विपरीतमादिमिरिदं विपरीतमुदीरितम्।।
If both the thighs of a woman are strong and roundish, it is extremely auspicious, and the woman is very fortunate like a queen. But if the thighs are thin and dry, that woman is unfortunate. Soles and Nails
युवतिपादतलं किल कोमलं सममतीव जपाकुसुमप्रभम्।
दिशति मांसलमुष्णमिलापतेरतिहितं बहुधर्म समन्वितम्।।
If the soles of a woman are very delicate, even, red coloured like the Japa flower, fat and warm and without much sweat, is religious minded, she becomes a queen and gives much happiness.
शूप्र्पाकारं विवर्णंच विशुष्कं परुषं तथा।
रुक्षं पादतलं तन्न्या दौर्भाग्यपरिसूचकम्।।
But when the sole of the feet of a woman are of the shape of shoop (broad at fingers), discoloured and dry, rough, uneven and hard, such characteristics of a light body woman indicate ill fortune.
यदि पादनखाः स्निग्धा वर्तुलाश्च समुन्नताः।
ताम्रवर्णा मृगाक्षीणां महाभोगप्रदायकाः।।
If the nails of the feet of a woman are having beautiful eyes like those of a deer, are smooth, roundish and elevated and of the colour of copper, she is the giver of all kinds of pleasure and wealth.
यस्या समुन्नताङ्गुष्ठो वर्तुलडतुलसौख्यदः।
शूप्र्पाकारा नखा यस्याः सा भवेद् दुःखभागिनी।।
If the great toe of the feet of a woman is elevated and roundish, it gives extreme happiness. The woman whose nails of the feet are of the shape of a shoop (broad at the end) is unfortunate and suffers in life. Gait (Walking)
संचलन्त्यां धराधूलिधारा यदा राजमार्गेडबलायां बलादुच्छलेत।
पांसुला सा कुलानां त्रय सत्वंर नाशियत्वा खलैर्भोदते सर्वदा।।
If at the time of walking a woman’s feet raises dust, she is unfaithful to her husband, destroys three kulas (families), and keeps the company of wicked people.
यस्या अन्योन्यमारुढ़ाः पादांगुल्यो भवन्ति चेत्।
सा पतिन्बहुधा हत्वा वारवामा भवेदिह।।
The woman whose one toe of feet sticks over another toe kills many husbands.
कनिष्ठा न स्पृशेद्भूमिं चलन्त्या योषितस्तदा।
सा द्रुतं स्वपतिं हत्वा जारेण रमते पुनः।।
If while walking the smallest toe of a woman’s feet does not touch the ground, the woman kills her husband and takes another man.
अनामिका च मध्या च यदि हीना प्रजायते।
तदा सा पतिहीना स्यादित्याह भगवान्स्वयम्।।
If the 4th and the middle toe of the feet of a woman are shorter than usual, that woman will soon be bereft of her husband. This is said by Bhagwan Veda Vyas himself. Remedial Measures To minimize the evil effect of inauspicious or unlucky physical features, the following remedial measures have been suggested.
कुलक्षणविलक्षिता यदि सुताऽत्रसंजायते श्रुतिस्मृतिपधानया परमसोमवारव्रतम्।
विधाय तदनन्तरं रहसि कारयित्वाच्युतद्रुमेण हरिणा कृतीशुभघटेन पाणिग्रहण।।
A girl having inauspicious characteristics should be asked to perform the fast on Mondays as per scriptures. Then she should be married in a lonely place either with a Pipal tree, or with the image of Lord Vishnu, or with a pitcher (ghat vivah). After doing prescribed penance and observing the remedial measures:
शुभेऽहनि कुमारिकाकरनिपीडनं कारयेदूरेण चिरजीवना पुनरिदं न दोषायते।
इदं तु बहु संमतं मुनिवरेण गीतं पुनः प्रमाणपटुनादृतं प्रियविनोदकन्दप्रदम्।।
The girl may be married on an auspicious day and muhurta with a match whose horoscope shows good longevity. This way of marriage is approved by famous Munis and Acharyas. Such a marriage reduces the effect of inauspicious characteristics, does not have the defect of remarriage and ensures joy and happiness