Why do we follow Traditions and Rituals?


Sadhna School: Sadhana of Indian Traditions, Culture and Values

Why do we do bow down or prostrate before parents and elders?

 Indians bow down before their parents, elders, teachers and saints by touching their feet. The elders in turn bless us by placing his or her hand on or over our heads. Prostration can be done daily, when we meet elders and particularly on important occasions like the beginning of a new task, birthdays, festivals etc.

 

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 and the sacrifices they have made for our welfare.  This tradition reflects the strong family ties, which has been one of India’s enduring strengths.

 

The good wishes (Sankalp) and blessings (aashirvaad) of elders are highly valued in India. We prostrate to seek them. When we prostrate with humility and respect, we invoke the good wishes and blessings of elders, which flow in the form of positive energy.

 The different forms of showing respect are:

 

        Pratuthana:     Rising to welcome a person.

        Namaskaara:   Paying homage in the form of namaste

        Upasangrahan:Touching the feet of elders or teachers.

        Saashtaanga:    Prostrating fully with the feet, knees,

stomach, chest, forehead and arms touching the ground

in front of the elder.

        Pratyabivaadana:     Returning a greeting.