Gain Bag

Indian culture & the stories behind it.


Touching elders’ feet – What is the reason behind it?

Indians are known for their culture and tradition which they have been following for the last 5000 years.   But many of us are not aware of the stories behind these traditions. One such tradition is touching feet of our elders. This practice is followed to show our respect for elders. It also has a story behind it.

Charan Sparsh or touching elder’s feet

The story behind it goes as below

Hindus reckon Sage Markendeya as chiranjivi or immortal.

As per our mythology, he was born with a 12-year life span only but later won over death.

Rishi Mrikanda and his wife Marudmati were devotees of Lord Shiva. They prayed Lord Shiva for a child and got blessed with a son. They named him Markendeya but his life span was 12 years only.

Markendeya’s father instructed him “whenever you see an elderly person, just get blessings from him/ her by touching their feet”. He followed his father’s instruction and touched every elder’s feet who passed their house. One day the Saptarishis(the seven rishis) visited his home. As per his practice, he touched their feet and seven sages blessed him “ayushman bhava” meaning “live long life”ignorant of the fact that the boy must die at 12. But rishis words would not fail. So, the Saptarishis took the boy to the Creator of this universe i.e. “Brahma”. Brahma also blessed the boy “ayushman bhava” and extended the life span of the boy. At the age of 12 when Yama Raja (lord of death) came to take Markendeya, he ran and clung to Shiv Linga.  Lord Shiva emerged and blessed Markendaya with immortality

What is this tradition?

When we meet an elder, we touch his feet to show our respect. It is often an integral part of darshan or “visions of the divine”.

We bow in front of them and take blessing in exchange

what happens when you touch the feet?

Our mythology suggests that we receive positive vibes from elders by touching their feet.

The nerve system of our body is spread all over the body i.e. It starts from the head and ends at toes. When you touch the feet of your elders, an energy ring is built between bodies. It creates a vibration on the nerve system within two bodies and activates all the never cells. The person who touches the feet becomes the receptor and the other one is the giver. When you show respect by bowing, it’s called “Shraddha” and elders emit positive vibes of energy, called “Karuna”.

What can be the reason behind it?

  • Social

We can say it is a way to offer our respect for somebody with higher wisdom, experience. It’s an acknowledgment of their status.

  • Emotional

Younger ones pay respect to elders and elders accept them with an open heart and help them solve their problems.



All living beings comprised of energy. The energy flows from head to toes and vice versa. This energy loop keeps living things alive. when we touch someone’s feet it interrupts this flow of energy which could be negative or positive energy. The energy we receive depends on what the person feels about us. But a positive activity like paying respect is mostly responded with positive vibe which is called blessings.

In today’s modern world many old things are getting obsolete but still many of us follow this positive practice.

Benefits of Pada Namaskar/ Touching feet.

It is a very much important exercise for your muscular contraction for the area of hips, thighs, and knees. It helps with the flexibility of your ankles and helps to prevent twisting or spraining. It also helps in joint pain relief. It gives strength to your foot and leg. It relaxes a stressful mind.

3 thoughts on “Touching elders’ feet – What is the reason behind it?”

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