Some of us grew up having to remember to always touch our grandparents' feet when we saw them. But how many of us know exactly the reason why?
This practice is known as Pranam, Charanasparsh or Padasparshan. Regardless of the name, it all boils down to one thing: respect.
There are 3 main ways to touch feet in the Hindu Culture:
- Lean forward and touch the feet,
- Sit on your knees and touch the feet,
- Lay on your stomach with your forehead touching the ground, and your hands touching the feet.
Because our elders have been around for much longer than us, they have walked the earth for far greater. All of the experience and wisdom they have collected is symbolized in the dust they have collected on their feet
Some Hindus believe that when a person bows down, their ego gets suppressed. So the elder person, in turn, blesses the person touching their feet by raising their right hand.
It also allows for a circuit of energy to be created between two individuals. When the tips of our fingers touch the tips of their toes, energies between the two people are merged.
This practice is also seen in many traditional Hindu wedding ceremonies, when the wife is asked to touch her husband's feet.
It is believed that, planet Jupiter, the supreme master of the gods, resides in the hands of a woman. Whereas Shukracharya, the guru of the demons, lives in the feet of men. When the wife touches her husband's feet, along with avoiding the ill effects of the planets, wealth is also formed.