Column: Arti Gaur



What are the traits, physical as well as etheric, of an ideal woman? The following views are as per the Puranas, which are one of the most revered books of knowledge and have been followed from centuries as a guide to various aspects of life. Contrary to popular belief that women were suppressed and ordered around, in Vedic times men were considered descendents of a womb and did not have surnames to indicate their family, that’s how important a woman was in the Vedic culture. Women were worshipped as Devis and had the highest place in Vedic society.

The most important traits of a woman lie not in her face but in her feet. In the ancient times when the parents used to meet and marriages where settled they did not have much to go by, certain traits were taken as guidelines and were followed to the hilt in deciding or rejecting a proposal. The longevity of the earlier marriages and the continuity of the family systems are ample proof of the efficacy of the knowledge of the Vedic Rishis.

Women whose feet were not too big and not very small with neatly developed toes, where the big toe is the longest toe and the other toes are descending in order, well-shaped and not running into each other, all digits well-shaped and well-defined without gaps in the digits, they bring intense happiness into the family which they go to, and also they age very slowly. The digits which were too thin were considered not too good for the husband’s health. The nails should be semi-translucent with a slight tinge of pink and roundish glossy small nails such a trait was a positive effect on the family into which such a woman would go, a woman whose second digit was longer than the toe thumb was considered to be dominating and authoritative.

The soles of the feet should be slightly rosy in colour (something like a reddish pinkish rose). There should be just enough padding neither too heavily padded nor bones jutting out. The rosy hue should be filtering to the sides of the feet also. Such women were said to bring financial gains wherever they went.
The nails if they exude a yellowish or grayish or bluish tinge and which had broken edges and were dull in appearance, were not considered very healthy—the woman might have problems during childbirth. A woman with strong well formed nails was considered to have the capacity for bearing healthy children.
The ankle bone should be void of protruding veins and should be rounded in shape, well fitting on the curve of an anklet; this was considered as bringing prosperity to the family. 

Women whose calf muscles were pulled towards the upward side were considered to be travellers. Thick hair on the legs was indicative of the woman going through lot of emotional and physical trauma.

—The writer is an ayurved expert from Dhyan Foundation.
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June 2009

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