In the Indian tradition, people touch the feet of elders as a mark of respect. They say namaskar with folded hands. Although, it is more hygienic to shake hands rather touching others feet. Why do people touch the feet was the puzzle to me. In the quest for answers, I started respecting and honoring my own feet.
Recently in the science of Climate Change, the term Carbon Footprint is often used. If someone from space is observing a person fitted with the Global Positioning System, the person would move from one point to another to and fro in one’s lifetime and release the emissions in every act. If one tracks the animals, the footprints are only seen. Therefore the feet of people seem to be causing the ultimate impact. As a result, so many footprints have emerged, such as Carbon Footprint, Ecological Footprint, etc.
Carbon Footprint: The amount of carbon dioxide and other carbon compounds emitted due to the consumption of fossil fuels by a particular person, group, etc.
Ecological Footprint: The impact of a person or community on the environment, expressed as the amount of land required to sustain their use of natural resources.
Pressing the feet of the older adults after a day’s hard work when they return home was common in the past. It is a form of affection and love shown towards the elders.
Lord Sri Rama of Hindu Mythology was in exile in a jungle. His brother, Bharatha loved him very much. He came to the Jungle in search of him and requested him to return to the kingdom and rule. Committed to his father’s order, he did not want to return. So Bharatha requested Rama to give his chappals so that he would keep them on the throne as a mark of respect and rule the kingdom in his place.
In the Hindu temples, the Shatagopam placed on the devotees head at the time of praying God is common in Vaishnavaith temples. It has the symbolic small size chappals at the top of the conical shaped metal cap. In many ashrams still, we find the chappals of their gurus after their demise are still kept and prayed with reverence. At the Mother Theresa center in Kolkatta, her slippers displayed speak a lot about her work. The impressions caused on the slippers due to usage are unique for each person.
The footprints of Lord Krishna are prayed with reverence. Similarly, on the Krishna Ashtami day, the footprints of toddlers or very young kids are collected and stored as a memorable gift.
As a witness to say that so and so God has visited a place, people show the footprint like impressions on the rocks. Say if one goes to Yadagirigutta Narasimha Swamy old temple, on the Granite rocks there are impressions or cavities on the granite rock. They are not exactly of the size of an average human being, but people say in olden days the people were big in size. These are the weathering of the rocks due to rainwater flowing in swirls with pebbles and sand grinding the weak rock. Still, people believe and show the impressions as evidence of the God having visited.
Traditionally, greeting with folded hands is common among the Hindus and many Indians. Touching the hands or shaking is not common, but touching the feet of the older adults is a common thing. When a guest comes home giving water for washing the feet is the first thing done, even before giving water to drink.
People touch the feet of the dead people with great reverence as a mark of respect.
Energy transfers from the first fingers of the feet and through the spinal cord and shoots up through the center of the head. It is called the activation of the seven chakras.
For diabetic people the symptoms start from the foot, it is an indicator to understand the levels of sugar in the body.
Feet are the only part of the body without any complaint would carry the whole body. Sometimes the hands may complain, say while carrying a heavy bag, the feet carrying the body weight and the weight of the heavy bag did not complain the pain, but the hands complain. When people dance with joy it is the feet that are under maximum strain, everyone sees other body parts more and appreciate than the feet.
While taking a bath, the time spent on each part and the time spent to clean the feet should be more.
It has taken me to places unimagined, in day and night, in the thorns and grass, in the hills and plains. Feet are trigger happy with the thought of the brain to take any risk to achieve the goal.
“My foot” a slang often used by some people is an is an “Expression of disbelief.” Here people are not honoring the foot much by using such a slang.
If by mistake someone touches another person with foot, immediately they would say sorry and also fold their hands or take one hand towards forehead as an expression of respect. One should not touch or kick the valuable things like food, books, stove, etc.
Lord Krishna in the Hindu Mythology lost his life as his first finger of one of his foot, was hit by the arrow of a hunter in the jungle.