Charansparsh - Ancient Vedic tradition involved touching the feet

This ancient tradition involved touching the feet of parents, elders, teachers, the wise and noble and anyone for whom we have respect and reverence that originates from their contribution to our lives or even society at large. By bending down and touching someone’s feet, we are increasing our humility and showing respect for the superior qualities of the other human being. This is turn helps us become more courteous and humble, motivates us and is also a stress-reliever as we do the physical act of touching the feet. The person whose feet we touch will place their hand on our head and give blessings of health, wealth, prosperity and a long life. Fingertips of your hand and feet have these nerves end. These nerves form a circuit immediately and the energies of two bodies are connected. Your fingers and palms become the ‘receptor’ of energy and the feet of other person become the ‘giver’ of energy.

This act of ‘charansparsh’ is an enduring tradition that highlights the facet of strong family values in India. One of the most important traditions is touching the feet of one’s parents. It is said that it is not possible to repay for the hardships and sacrifices that parents go through to give birth and bring up a child, even if we try for a hundred years. Thus, touching their feet is one of the ways in which we bow down to them in their service.

As per the Hindu scriptures, there is an order of priority in which ‘charansparsh’ may be performed, that includes spiritual knowledge, moral strength, age, family and wealth. Even if a man is the wealthiest in the land, he will still touch the feet of spiritual gurus and elders. Another fascinating aspect of touching feet is the sheer scientific thought that has gone behind it. The blessings and good wishes of elders is a highly valued asset in India, and in order to pass on good wishes, positive vibrations and good thoughts are created.

These flow in the form of positive energy into our bodies. To be more specific, our nerve endings are placed in fingertips of our hands and feet respectively. When our fingertips touch the feet of another person, there is an immediate connection of positive energy flow from the feet (giver of energy) to the recipient (person touching the feet). Whether we bend down to touch the feet or become fully prostrate on the floor, this positive energy exchange takes place and spreads thorough out our bodies.

It is wonderful to know and realise that the simple act of touching someone’s feet is actually so beneficial for our overall wellbeing. It would be a wise idea to make ‘charansparsh’ one of the first lessons in etiquette that we teach our children, and make sure that they understand its significance and do it the right way to be blessed for a lifetime.

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