Why do we touch the feet of our elders? Scientific Reasons
In an Indian tradition touching the feet is very common gesture that we used to give to our elders. It is a sign of respect and adopted since Vedic period and also known as Charan Sparsh. Children from a very small age were taught to touch the feet of elders, whether grandfather, grandmother, father or mother, etc. I remember still at my home there is a tradition of touching the feet of our parents, grandparents early in the morning when we woke up and before going to the bed at night. We have read in an epic Mahabharata, Yudhistra stated that touching the feet of the elders gives strength and feeling of greatness. Even Rishis have observed four beneficial factors of touching the feet, i.e. it gives strength, intellect, knowledge and fame.
In an era of modernisation also touching the feet gives gesture and respect to the elders which most of the generations are still following. Elders give blessings while touching the feet by saying long life, fortune, wisdom, etc. There are some scientific reasons behind touching the feet. Let us find out some reasons behind it.
What is the right way of touching the feet?
Before seeing the scientific reason behind touching the feet first we will see how we should touch the feet. Without bending your knees, bend the upper half part of the body and stretch both the arms with head between them to touch the feet of elders. The fingertips of the left hand should touch the right foot of the elder and vice versa. Then, in return elder person will give blessings and touch the top of your head with right hand.
Scientific reasons of touching the feet are:
1. According to science, a human body contains negative and positive currents of electricity. The left side of the human body carries negative current and the right side of the body has positive current. Therefore, two halves together complete a circuit built of positive or negative. And so it is suggested that while touching the feet, we should cross the hands. So that the positive current in both flows in a uniformed circuit and similarly negative flows jointly in a circuit. Thus, both the currents formed a well-unified circuit.
2. We all know that nerves coming out of the brain are present all over the body. These nerves end at the fingertips of hand and feet. So, when you touch your fingertips to the opposite feet of the elder, the energies of two bodies are connected. Fingers and palms become the receptor of energy and feet of another person as giver of energy.
3. When you touch the feet of an elder keeping aside your ego, then the elder accepts your shraddha or your reduced ego and their heart emits positive vibes or thoughts and energy, we can also say it as karuna which reaches you through their hands and toes.
4. We can also say that a kind of cosmic energy also released while touching the feet that connect each other’s mind and heart. The same we can say with handshakes and hugs also. It is said that when you touch the feet of a good soul, you will choose the right path or you will get the right direction in your life to work.
5. Bowing down and touching the feet increases blood circulation which is good for health.
Touching the feet is a kind of exercise also
- Some say that there are three methods of touching the feet one is to lean forward and touch the feet, second is to sit on the knees and touch the feet and the third is also known as ‘Sashtang Pranam’.
- In an exercise it is said that leaning forward and touching the feet stretches the waist and back bone.
- When you sit on the knees and touch the feet of an elder relieves the pain of your knees as a person bends his or her knees. All the joints of the body get stretched.
- In Sashtang Pranam whole body is stretched and cures the body pain.
Therefore, from the above article we come to know that there are lots of benefits in touching the feet of an elder as it gives a kind of respect and dedication which arouse automatically and helps in suppressing the egoistic nature of a person. There are lots of scientific benefits and on the other hand it is also a good exercise which is good for health. The custom of touching the feet is practiced whole heartedly and indicates India’s rich culture.