India has always been considered rich in its heritage and culture. People here, despite being modern are much rooted in their culture and take much pride in calling themselves Indians. While some traditions have changed with time, some have stayed strong in everyone’s heart and are considered respectful, despite all odds. One such tradition that Hindu Indians been following for years is touching our elder’s feet in order to seek blessings. And this act of bending down of touching one’s feet is called Charan Sparsh.
Most Hindu Indians are expected to follow this custom right since their childhood. They are taught to bend down and touch their elder’s feet while going for exams, during festivals, during birthdays or simply while starting a new journey. In fact, in olden times, kids were asked to bend down after getting up in the morning and before going to bed at night. And although modernisation has caused us to make some alterations in these customs, we need to know why is it important to touch our elder’s feet.
The importance of this age-old custom is written in the Mahabharata and in the Atharva Veda. According to Yudhistra in Mahabharata, the act of touching elder’s feet makes one feel powerful and great. On the other hand, Atharva Veda states that bending down to touch the feet of your elders shows that you respect their knowledge and wisdom. It also mentions that the person touching their elder’s feet tends to become humble and respectful.
Also, there’s a particular way to touch other’s feet. The person bending down must bend down in front of them with the back hunched and hands stretching forward. But there are contradictory views about which hand should touch which leg. While some have advised that the hands should be crossed in a way that the right-hand touches the right foot and left-hand touches left foot, others state that the right hand must touch their left foot and left hand must touch their right foot.
But this isn’t all. There’s a scientific reason why our ancestors started this custom. Our human body comprises of positive and negative energy. When we bend down and touch our elder’s feet, we invoke a sense of positivity within ourselves, which gets transferred to the other person’s hands and toes. The elderly person will, in turn, transfer their positive energy to you, when they place their hand on your head to bless you. Charan Sparsh is also considered a form of exercise as it makes you bend forward and helps stretch your spine, thus improving your health and fitness.
There’s a reason behind the origin of each tradition, and sometimes it is backed by scientific reasons too. Therefore, take the time to understand your traditions, and take pride in being rooted in your culture, because no matter where you go, it’s your culture that will define you.