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Paadasparsh – Touching The Feet

Paadasparsh – Touching The Feet

It is a custom in India to touch the feet when young ones meet an elderly person. This is called Paadasparsh or Charanasparsh. More than an act of showing respect to an elderly person, there is a reason behind it. The elderly person usually blesses the younger one in turn, by touching his/her forehead. It is a tradition among Hindus.

The Scientific Reason

Respectable persons and elders would have acquired a lot of knowledge, experience and virtues in their life and hence supposed to have positive energy in their body. Various nerves in our body start from the Brain and end at our fingertips and toes. These nerves carry the energy within our body.

When I touch the feet of such an elderly person with my hand, I am establishing a circuit and the positive energy flows to me. My fingers act as the receptor and the toes of the elderly person acts as the giver of the positive energy.

When the elderly person blesses me by touching my forehead, again an energy flows from his finger tips to my body through the nerves in the brain. So, by respecting a knowledgeable or elderly person, I am in return getting a portion of the positive energy within him/her.

The human body contains both positive and negative currents of energy. Left side of the body carries negative currents and Right side carries positive. Hence, while touching the feet, it is suggested that we cross our hands so that the right hand touches the right leg and left hand touches the left leg. This makes a uniform flow of energies between the two bodies.

How to get blessed by touching the feet

The common way of touching the feet of an elderly person is to bend forward and touch the feet. Alternately, you can sit on your knees and touch the feet. There is yet another way of doing it, doing a Saashtaang Pranaam. Here one lies down on the stomach with the forehead touching the ground and then touching the feet with the fingers. This is normally done by devotees in temples, after poojas at home and as a way of showing absolute respect.

Saashtaang Pranaam has another health benefit attached to it. All joints in our body are stretched, which relieves us from body pains.

Bowing down increases the blood circulation, which is good for health.

It is believed that the practice of touching the feet of elders started from the Vedic Period. Majority of Hindus still practice this noble act.

Picture used for illustration only – Credit: AstroUlagam
Video Credit: Geethanjali

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Born and brought up in Kerala, I did my schooling in Kerala and graduated (B.Sc Physics) from the Calicut University. I have worked with a Swedish Company from 1994 to 2015, as a Senior Project Manager in their Group IT Division in Dubai. This blog is the result of my strong desire to communicate with others, sharing what I know and what I could gather from various sources.

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