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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Touching feet of elders is a tradition in our Country is it a Good practice or bad practice?

    We have been taught by our parents to touch the feet of elderly persons as a mark of respect. The elderly persons reciprocate with their blessings. Touching the feet of elderly persons is prevalent in most of part of our Country and in abroad too.

    Some scientific reasons also attributed to the act of "Padasparshan" During the process of touching the feet , the fingertips of your hand are joined to the feet of the opposite person, and thereby generate possitive energy in our body.

    But, we tend forget our tradition and values which has got many scientific benefits.
  • #661282
    Touching the feet of elders to seek their blessings is definitely a good practice. At the same time, washing the hands and fingers after touching the feet is also advisable.
    "If you are killed in action, you go to Heaven. If you win, you rule this Earth (as beautiful as Heaven). That is why, O son of Kunti, take a firm resolve and fight!"-- Shrimad Bhagwad Gita

  • #661283
    I won't accept it as a good practice to touch the feet of elderly persons. It is good to kneel/bow down and take their blessings. Are we permitted to go near the idol in a temple to touch it and take his blessings? We cannot. Moreover, all the elders are not good elders. There would be immoral elderly characters who may not be worth to give their blessings.
    I suggest that touching the feet should be limited to a few family members viz Grandparents & parents only. They are superior to God. Because they are the people who gave birth to us and shown the world.

    I don't agree with Partha's suggestion. It will be an insult if we wash our hands and fingers after taking their blessings. It is better not to touch the feet of such elders.

    I am worried that Partha might further suggest that we should have a head bath after being blessed by the elders with their hands/fingers touching our head.

    No life without Sun

  • #661284
    There are some traditions which are there since time immortal in our culture and we follow them without asking questions. Every society has these traditions. Britishers shake hand while french people bring the face near the other persons face in a oblique way.

    So, it is simply the tradition. Sometimes we go into the anatomy of these traditions and find out the good or bad points in it. We will get many as the knowledge will bring out all the points one by one.

    The main thing is if we are interested in maintaining our identity some of these traditions are to be kept alive and we must adhere with them with pride so that others also mimic them rather to condemn. It is the pride and the boldness behind these traditions that they get a global recognition. If we ourself feel that these are old fashioned things and will be seen as a matter of backwardness by others then we ourselves are condemning it which is a 'getting defeated' syndrome.

    So if we want to do it, do it with pride and boldness otherwise there are many other simpler ways to honour the elders.

    Knowledge is power.

  • #661288
    The term for touching the feet in Sanskrit, called Pranama.. Which means bending , bowing forward. There are different types of Pranama's. Ashtanga , Shastanga , Panchanga , Namaskar, Abhdandana. These are respectful salutations.
    "If you don't understand my silence, you will not understand my words"

  • #661290
    Let us not term it as touching the feet, say falling on their feet (without touching the feet).
    Let us not wash the feet of the elders and apply Chandan and Kumkum. It is too much and is an insult to Chandan and Kumkum which are kept on high pedastal. They are meant for our forehead decoration.

    No life without Sun

  • #661317
    While we pay our respects to our elders we should bend and bow and do namaskar. We need not touch their feet. In fact, many gurus never allow others to touch their feet. We should bow and bend do namaskar without touching their feet. If we have the habit of visiting Swamis like Sringeri peeth or Kamakoti peeth, the devotees will never touch the feet of the Swamijis. They just bend and do namaskar.
    It is to show our respects to the elders. There are two schools of thoughts on this. As a younger person, we should not see whether another person who is elder to you is good or bad. We can just respect him and leave him. We need not follow him. If the other person is good we should follow him. If we can inculcate this habit we will have a better future. The other school says you need not to respect his age but we should respect his character. It is individuals prerogative to follow whatever they like.

    always confident

  • #661325
    The topic is highly debatable. My siblings, cousins and I always touched the feet of our senior family members when they were alive. The practice of touching feet to express respect is still present in my generation, but we don't want our kids to do the same. My son and his cousins do not like to touch feet of anyone especially the outsiders. My son says that he would love to hug me than touch my feet. He feels that his hug to me would reflect love and respect both. I love the attitude of my son.

  • #661328
    It is a cultural symbol of respect and there is nothing wrong in it. Only thing is one should not touch the feet due to hygienic reasons and just take the hands near the feet.

    We should not feel ashamed of this practice.

    Thoughts exchanged is knowledge gained.

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