Friday, September 8, 2017

Touching feet, a celebrated ritual of Indian culture :Vanam Jwala Narasimha Rao

Touching feet a celebrated 
Ritual of Indian culture
Vanam Jwala Narasimha Rao
An article written by a so called political and social scientist in a Telugu daily   finding fault with Chief Minister KCR for touching the feet of former President Pranab Mukherjee and State Governor Narasimhan but not that of PM Modi or Ramnath Kovind the present President or Venkaiah Naidu the Vice-President, is simply nauseating and is against all norms of decency. It is also not in conformity with the rationality, justice and traditional dharma as well as against all the time tested traditional customs and reasonable thinking. It is aimed at hurting the sentiments of a large section of the society. In other words, the article is far from the balanced thinking.
On one hand he questions KCR touching the feet of some and in the same breath advances an issue as to why KCR did not touch the feet of so and so? He has argued that KCR touched the feet of Pranab and Narasimhan just because they happened to be Brahmins whereas he did not do the same to others, since they are non-Brahmins. He also made an extraneous remark that KCR touched the feet of Professor Jayashankar believing that he was a Brahmin! This sounds as if except him no one knows who is a Brahmin and who is not! The same social scientist took this opportunity for the umpteenth time to spread venom against the Brahmins and Brahmanism, as he is accustomed to. In between he has garnished his ‘Khichdi” with some political comments.
In the recent past, some self-styled intellectuals and self-proclaimed social scientists have been talking against the practice of touching the feet of elders in reverence and worshiping gods. Though it is a waste of time to discuss or think about these persons, certain meaningful themes are to be necessarily conveyed to a larger audience. Lest it will be construed as whatever they said would become the Gospel truth! It is a fact that those lacking the philosophical wisdom and having intellectual bankruptcy will find fault with those worshiping stones trees, idols etc.

There is no atom or matter without the existence of Lord Vishnu. Only God Almighty is omnipresent and only HE is all pervading and omnipotent. Hence everything is the manifestation of HIM. So, whoever pays salutation to anyone, it ultimately belongs to HIM and for HIM. Paying salutation to God Almighty is the quality of a person with wisdom. Paying salutations without any knowledge is the quality of persons with mediocre wisdom and it is the characteristic of fools to oppose it without any reasoning. The way God Almighty is present in ourselves, HE is also present elsewhere. We are saluting to the God Almighty who is present everywhere. Hence the salutations to fire, plantation, earth etc. are abundantly relevant.

It is the prerogative of any individual and his or her personal choice to decide whom to salute, whom to worship, whose feet to touch while saluting and what to do and what not to do! Others poking the nose is nothing but crossing the limits.
In the book titled “Adhabhivadanam” it is clearly explained about the methodology of salutations. If one reads this book or any other such books related to the matter, then only he or she will be able to understand the intricacies of our ancient wisdom, traditions and basic culture and their rich heritage. The book tells us about whom to offer salutations, when and how? It says while offering salutations to the Sun, Stars, Brahmins, one’s feet should firmly on the ground. One should offer salutations to father, mother, teacher and a sacred Brahmin. One should offer salutations to those three years elder to us, to the maternal and paternal uncle though he is younger in age. Vedic scholars though age wise younger to us deserve the salutations.

India has a rich culture and heritage and is an integral part of the great tradition. Touching the feet of elders is one of the oldest and most celebrated Ritual of our culture. Indians are proud of their traditions. Touching elders’ feet is not only tradition but also it involves science!
The social scientist who twisted KCR offering salutations to the Governor and the then President, is known for pouring his vitriolic verbosity especially against Brahmins, Brahmanism and he often refers Brahmin as “Bapanodu” an insulting way of referring in his illogical, baseless, disgusting writings and books. He launches a tirade against anyone who points out to his crime. On a regular basis, he talks ill of Hinduism in obscene language with no understanding whatever on the subject. A person offering his salutations to others will not think whether the opposite person is Brahmin or not, he only thinks whether he deserves such an act.

Offering salutations is a way of showing reverence to the other persons for his love, affection, the sacrifices he did for the society, his knowledge etc. but not based on caste credentials. Offering salutations on a regular basis or on some occasions is very much part of our culture. When we offer our salutations with reverence, the positive vibrations from the other persons will connect with us and will help us to fulfill our desires. This tradition of offering salutations will enhance relationships, mutual love and respect in the society. Hence, it is not correct to link this matter with the Brahmins or Brahmanism.
For this detractor, who claims to be a social scientist, highly educated and social reformer, everything that is against his perspective is a great blunder. If any one writes in a filthy manner against his writings or his caste, will he ever tolerate? To Satya Saibaba of Puttaparthi, thousands of devotees from India and abroad including late Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao used to do touching the feet salutation. And Satya Saibaba was a non-Brahmin! He was believed to be a Godly Man-God in the form of human being!

Another insipid and frail argument that was attempted was salutation by way of touching the feet is not KCR’s personal matter. This clearly indicates that the person has not understood the difference between a person’s personal feelings and his official position. KCR had the habit of offering salutation by touching the feet, to several people who in his view deserve reverence, even before he became the CM.

Unfortunately, over a period the Brahmins have become the targets of self-proclaimed intellectual morons like this critic on a regular basis. Brahmins, who strived to keep the society united by their sacrifices from the time immemorial, have now become soft targets by many. Majority of them are still living in abject poverty conditions. The regular, unwarranted onslaughts against Brahmins have made their daily lives miserable. Economically they are in crisis. The lands once owned by them have lost due to several Acts and policies. Their traditional professions like agriculture, Priestly duties, practicing of Ayurveda have been displaced. They no longer are respected like in the ancient times. Under the pretext of some injustices the Brahmins said to have meted out to some sections of the society, thousands of years ago, the present-day Brahmins are subjected to untold suffering. Is it reasonable? The generations that are said to have exploited have merged in the history. Under the Constitution, every citizen has an equal right and justice. Is it justified to shame and name the Brahmins just because they are Brahmins? They never demanded for any special rights or treatment. They are only asking for to be treated like equals.  They say they are also financially backward. It is the society’s responsibility to treat them as equals.

It is a fact which everyone should realize that KCR has launched several welfare schemes and development programmes for all the communities and sections of the society- Brahmins, Yadavas, Kuruma, most backward classes, SC/ST/ Minorities, single women, fishermen, Beedi workers, handloom and power looms artisans and workers, Naayi Brahmins, Vishwa Brahmins-and the list is endless. Let true wisdom and good sense prevail over poor intellectuals that KCR never discriminates persons based on Brahmin or non-brahmin! END

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