From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Sphuraṇa literally means ‘throbbing of limbs’.

Prognostication by observing the throbbing of one’s limbs seems to be an ancient field of knowledge. Apart from some of the purāṇas like the Matsya,[1] some independent works like the Vasantarājaśakuna[2] also deal with this subject in great detail.

The limbs involved in throbbing may be any one from the head to the foot. For men, all throbbing of limbs on the right side indicate auspicious results and on the left, inauspicious ones. For women it is exactly the opposite. A few of these may now mentioned here:

Limb Prognostication
Top of the head Acquisition of land
Forehead Prosperity in the present position
Region of the eye Death
Upper arm Union with friends
Hand Wealth
Back Defeat
Chest Success
Soles Journey with gains

Sanyāsins were prohibited from practicing such arts to gain alms. The results of inauspicious indications can be offset by giving gifts as prescribed in the śāstras.[3]


  1. Matsyapuraṇa 241.1-14
  2. Vasantarāja who might have lived in circa A. D. 700.
  3. Matsyapurāṇa 241.14
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore