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Paying Obeisance to elders

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by PushpavalliSrinivasan, Nov 27, 2007.

  1. PushpavalliSrinivasan

    PushpavalliSrinivasan IL Hall of Fame

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    Paying obeisance to
    I am afraid paying obeisance to elders is slowly disappearing. When we were young, we were taught to do namaskaram (prostrate) if any elderly person visited our house. On festival days like deepavali, karthikai and pongal we used to visit our relatives houses and seek the blessings of elderly people.
    According to our Vaishnava sampradayam dils should seek the blessings of in laws whenever they go to the parent’s house and again when they return home. Even when some elderly relatives of the in laws visit our house we have to do namaskaram. In those days at evening times after lighting the lamp we were following this custom.
    North Indians are observing this custom even now. I have seen them paying obeisance to elders even at railway stations. When they come to receive or see off in laws or any elderly person at railway station they touch their feet and seek blessings. Even at home if they see elderly people they cover their head and touch their feet.
    Nowadays younger generation feels shy or feels that it is below their dignity to prostrate and do namaskaram. Of course on occasions like wedding and other functions they observe this custom. Previously we used to prostrate before each and every relative, but now I have seen the couple prostrating before group of relatives. During the thread ceremony the new born brahmachary is taught to do pranam quoting his vamsa parampara, acharya and his name as dasan so and so.
    When hugging and kissing the forehead is accepted as a sign of showing the love, paying obeisance is also to be encouraged as a sign of showing respect though not at public places, at least in the private.At least if we prostrate before the God once in the morning and once in the evening it would help us to keep our joints in good condition!
     
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  2. Anandchitra

    Anandchitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Pushpavalli
    Cannot agree with you more that paying obeisance to elders is fast disappearing. Maybe has disappeared too. I have thought about it. One reason could be that joint families are also a disappearing trend. And youngsters dont hav to interact with other elders as much anymore. Also we need to teach them by setting examples. Even here I see north indians observing it. It mainly because the parents observe it and set an example. And you rightly said about the joints. Maybe in our homes we can set an example and hope others would follow.
     
  3. Vidya24

    Vidya24 Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Mrs Pushpa,

    Good one, keeping us grounded! I dont mind doing namaskaram to any elder and especially love doing it to my parents, in-laws. Have never done namaskaram for my husband, I guess he would be more embarassed than me, if I started something like that. But these days, I find many elders dont want to be offered a namaskaram. They say, 'Swamikku pannidu, enakkum serthu'. I concede to their desire and never offer another namaskaram to them. Maybe they dont want to be portrayed as elder, maybe they dont want to accept my share of papams when I prostrate, maybe they just dont want it. I especially love doing namaskaram to my Guru and Josiar mama. My Guru blesses me 'vaay niraya' ' Avan ungala kshemamaa veppan'. Avan here is MahaVishnu. My Josiar mama has a fond, 'Sarvaaa bhishtha siddhirasthu'. The sarva is elongated for a second to include almost everything in the universe. As a child, I used to get one rupee everytime I did namaskaram for my patti. we children found that lucrative!

    Good one;Mrs Pushpa. Love all your blogs.
     
  4. PushpavalliSrinivasan

    PushpavalliSrinivasan IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear AC,
    In our family we always practised this without fail. My children follow this till today. They have also taught our grand cildren. They never fail to solicit our blessings on their birthdays ond other auspicious days through phone. Before the children leave for school they woudl call us and offer their namaskarams. If we were with them they would prostrate and seek our blessings. Till now ( though I have become a grandmother myself) whenever I meet my sil and my mil's sister and other elderly people of the family, I seek their blessings by prostrating at their feet.
     
  5. PushpavalliSrinivasan

    PushpavalliSrinivasan IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Vidya,
    I am very glad to hear that you love my blogs.You seem to be an odd man ( rather woman) out, following the age old custom of paying respect to elders.
    :queen My mother lived upto 93 years and people flocked to get her blessings. The people who do not like others to pay obeisance to them might be hypocrites! Do not bother about them. Those who reaaly love to bless others are the blessed!
     
  6. Vandhana

    Vandhana Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Ms Pushpa,

    Yes it is indeed true that this tradition is going out . I still do my namaskarams to any elder person who comes home or we visit. May be not in public places, but yes no rhyme or reason needed . As AC pointed out, we parents should set an example for the younger generation, and i think it is working in my case. Both my kids will do namaskaram to all elders who come home.

    Nice article. Like all the topics you cover.
    Vandhana
     
  7. Anandchitra

    Anandchitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Pushpa
    After reading Vidya's reply I am reminded of an incident.. A few years back when my nephew got the upanayanam ceremony done he used to get 1 rupee for every namaskaram.. Seeing this my son ...very young then. started prostrating before all and sundry...and then demanded the 1 rupee..not sure if he remembers it now.. so very amusing...
     
  8. ish_nalini

    ish_nalini Senior IL'ite

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    Dear Pushpa,
    That was a eye opener post..Though I am very eager to do so some times I feel awkward in prostrating elders.I have a opinion like"mariyatha manasula iruntha pothum(Its enough if we have respect in our heart)".But usually on my B-days I will prostrate my parents and get their ashirvatham.When I do so I have noticed a happiness in their eyes,that would be a wonderful moment to start my day.That was really a wonderful post keep blogging.
     
  9. sunkan

    sunkan Gold IL'ite

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    dear pushpa,
    even now we have this sampradayam, my mom 76 is good enough to bless us so diwali or any good day we all go over and wish her, and on vishu day all the kiddos come to my place as they dont follow that and a 5 rupee coin has to be ready, my sis daughter sandhya would say, perimma oru ruva yenda moolaikku...sk
     
  10. Shanvy

    Shanvy IL Hall of Fame

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    hi pusphamam,

    Good blog..We follow it. Our kids also follow the same. My DD and DS they ask for our blessings before going to school on and off but if they are competing in something, they will definitely come and ask maa, please bless me. We take the blessings of all elders, when they come home, we ensure to take it 10-15 minutes before their tentative leaving the house. if we go to other's place, then also we do it. veda's patti will have a dabba of vibuthi..with her..so whenever any one does namaskaram she will put some vibuthi and bless..

    Veda's guru, when he blessed he would put both his hands on top of our head, and then say narayana narayana..nothing more...but we could feel the love and good will that would flow from his hands...

    When there is a 60th,70th,80th kalyanams we definitely go for their blessings as people say it getting blessings from god itself.

    on the lighter part we have friends who used to come home to do namaskaram because they will be very well rewarded...
    In the same vein we have niece and nephews, who don't and their parents also feel it is not needed.
     

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