Why do we prostrate before parents and elders?
Indians prostrate before their parents, elders, teachers
and noble souls by touching their feet. The elder in turn blesses us by
placing his or her hand on or over our heads. Prostration is done daily,
when we meet elders and particularly on important occasions like the
beginning of a new task, birthdays, festivals etc. In certain traditional
circles, prostration is accompanied by
serves to introduce one-self, announce one’s family and social stature.
Man stands on his feet. Touching the feet in prostration
is a sign of respect for the age, maturity, nobility and divinity that our
elders personify. It symbolizes our recognition of their selfless love for
us and the sacrifices they have done for our welfare. It is a way of humbly
acknowledging the greatness of another. This tradition reflects the strong
family ties, which has been one of India’s enduring strengths.
The good wishes (Sankalpa)
and blessings (aashirvaada)
of elders are highly valued in India. We prostrate to seek them. Good
thoughts create positive vibrations. Good wishes springing from a heart full
of love, divinity and nobility have a tremendous strength. When we prostrate
with humility and respect, we invoke the good wishes and blessings of
elders, which flow in the form of positive energy to envelop us. This is why
the posture assumed whether it is in the standing or prone position, enables
the entire body to receive the energy thus received.
The different forms of showing respect are :
Rising to welcome a person.
Paying homage in the form of
Touching the feet of elders or
Prostrating fully with the feet,
knees, stomach, chest, forehead and arms touching the ground in front of the
Returning a greeting.