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.