Matru Devo Bhava,
Pitru Devo Bhava,
Acharya Devo Bhava,
Atithi Devo Bhava
These are the preachings handed down to us by Taittirīya Upanishad. It means “Regard the mother as God, the father as God, the teacher as God, and the guest as God”.
We should show love & respect to our parents, and take care of them as much as we take care of our children. Any amount of prayer to Lord will not please him if we forget our parents. We should have the same gratitude for the teacher(acharya) as we have for the god. The importance and the role of a teacher is well emphasized in many of the sanskrit verses (see my earlier posts). Taking good care of our guests and honoring them has been a part of our ancient culture, and is well expressed in this verse.
To our dismay, we often find people fight with the mother, argue with the father, look down upon the teacher, and insult the guest. Lets try to educate them, and make sure we are not one among such people.
Bowing down and touching the feet of elders and teachers has been an integral part of Hindu culture. It is a gesture of respect. Greater is the act of prostrating full length with the fingers touching the Guru’s/elder’s feet and half prostration by women shown in this photo of devotees of a Guru.
Offering oblations to the feet like in the first picture which shows flowers left by devotees and touching the feet of or prostrating before respected ones, like in the others, are very much part of Indian culture and tradition.
It is said in Hindu Culture that if someone touches your feet, you are obliged to bless that person
IN THE WORLDLY WAY, YOUNGER PEOPLE FALLING TO
ELDERS FEET & GETTING BLESSINGS IS A VERY GOOD CUSTOM.
— CHILDREN FALLING TO THE FEET OF PARENTS,
A SHISHYA (DISCIPLE) FALLING TO GURU’S FEET,
A HOST FALLING TO THE FEET OF GUEST IS VERY VERY IMPORTANT.