Why do we touch our elders' feet?

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?

Baby sleeping with Baby Ganesh

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: 

  1. Lean forward and touch the feet,
  2. Sit on your knees and touch the feet,
  3. 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.

Why Do Indians Touch the Feet of Their Elders?

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.

This Groom touched his Bride's feet & the reason is Winning Hearts! |  ShaadiSaga


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Modi Toys is a children's brand of toys and books inspired by ancient Hindu culture. We exist to spread joy and to spark curiosity in the next generation through our innovative soft plush toys, illustrated children's books and free learning resources. Our weekly Theology Thursday series covers a wide range of topics rooted in Hinduism to help us better understand the origins of traditions, the symbolic meaning of rituals, and the stories behind Hindu holidays and festivals. The more we can understand "the why" behind this 4,000 year ancient religion, and make sense of it in this modern age, the greater we can appreciate and preserve our rich Hindu culture. While we take great care in thoroughly researching the information presented, we may occasionally get some things wrong. We encourage a healthy and open dialogue so we can learn together. Please leave a comment below or email us directly at support@moditoys.com to address any concerns. 


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