As per Bharatiya (Indian) culture, one should touch the feet of elderly people in the house and seek their blessings, while going out of the house in the evening after lighting lamps, after returning home from a journey, after wearing new clothes and on many such occasions. The following article explains the science behind this tradition of greeting the elders by bowing down and touching their feet.
One should pay obeisance to parents and elders in the house by bowing down and touching their feet. A few children feel ashamed of paying obeisance to their parents by bowing down and touching their feet. Children should not forget that mother bows down for them several times in a day. While playing outside, if any damage is done to the neighbour’s property, then the father also humbly bears the insult by the neighbour. Then why should we be ashamed of saluting such great parents by bowing down? So from today on wards, let us pledge that we shall greet our parents by bowing down and touching their feet.
Similarly, one should also pay obeisance to the elder brother or sister and other elderly people in the family. Children, wherever there is someone who is senior to you in age, knowledge, art or in any other field, you should bow down as a token of respect towards them.
Why should we salute elderly people by bowing down and touching their feet ?
Greeting elderly people by touching their feet is a way of expressing our respect for them. Also, it develops humility in us. (Remember : Humility is priceless.) To greet by bowing down and touching the feet of elderly people is the simplest way to decrease the ego within us.
There is a saying in Marathi “Mahapure zade jati, tithe lavhale rahati”, meaning “In a flood, many trees are washed away, but the weeds and grass remain intact”. Similarly, a towering ego can destroy an individual, but an individual who is modest always goes a long way.
Don’t feel shy to pay salutation to your parents !
‘मातृदेवोभव । पितृदेवो भव । (Means mother and father are like God.) This is the teaching of our great Hindu culture. In the Holy Text ‘Manusmruti’, it is said that serving one’s parents and Guru is the greatest penance. Lord Vitthal was pleased with Pundalik when he saw him serving his parents. Children, keeping an ideal of Pundalik in mind, obey your parents whole heartedly and serve them with humility. This is your duty.
तुष्टायां मातरि शिवे तुष्टे पितरि पार्वति ।
तव प्रीतिर्भवेद्देवि परब्रह्म प्रसीदति ।।२६।।
Meaning : Even God is pleased if mother & father are satisfied.
So children, obey your parents whole heartedly. Help them with their work. Consider them equal to God and serve them accordingly.
Every child has to be grateful towards its parents. We have to be humble in front of any common man. We must behave with others with respect and humility. Every parent has suffered hardships and has sacrificed. Even if a teacher or mother-father punishes, you have to be grateful towards that also. Every child has to think as to why do they punish? You have to think wisely that ‘definitely I must have done something wrong’, because parents or teacher do not gain anything by punishing. They get angry only with the intent in mind that our child should improve. It should behave ideally and people should talk good about it. They do not get angry with a third person’s child. They get angry only with their own child because they love it; so the child should not hold any grudge about this and has to be grateful towards its parents and teachers.
In this world nothing is free. Parents cater to all the needs of a child like food, toys, and clothes only because of love. What do the children give their parents in return? They cannot give money, so at least the children should give respect to their parents. The children have to bow down to their parents and take their blessings daily. If someone gives something to us then we thank him. The Indian cultural way to be grateful or to thank somebody is to bow down and pay salutation. Some children feel shy to bow down to their parents. The mother has to bend for her child so many times in a day to clean its nappy, to wash its clothes, to prepare the food that it loves, to serve and feed. Sometimes due to the mistake of a child the parents have to be ashamed of. It is not possible to give something in return for all these things. Then the children should not at all be ashamed of to bow down to their parents and pay salutation.