Sadhguru explained significance of touching the feet of a guru(master).
Questioner: In India, it is a tradition to bow down at the feet of a realied being or a guru. Is there any significance behind this?
sadhguru: In yoga, there is something is called pada shastra. “pada” means “the foot”, particularly the soles of the feet. In many ways, all the switches to turn on almost everything in you are there in your feet, if you know how to do it.
When it comes to receiving, your hands are powerful instruments. If you are sensitive, if you touch anything with you hands, you will immediately know what it is. If you touch it with your shoulder or your back or the back of your head, you will know what it is immediately, not just in terms of feeling and sensation- much deeper perception happens with your hands.
But if you want to give your energies to something, feet are very powerful instruments. At once time, we were teaching people how to manipulate the feet to create different states of experience- where to press if you wants to relax somebody, if you want to make somebody blissful, if you want to make somebody loving. All the seven different chakras are manifest in your feet. If you know how to handle the feet, you can do many things with the whole system. today, they call this Refloxology, but they are talking about health. Because we are interested in life, we talk in terms of experience.
About touching or holding feet, first of all, the one whose feet you are touching should have something to give, they should be in a certain level of energy, If you ask a pauper for a loan, it is no good. If you want to ask for a loan, you must ask somebody who has cash to dispense. If you go and ask for a loan from a bankrupt or a kanjoos, there is no point. You know what a kanjoos means? less ”juice.” You don’t ask somebody who is juiceless or who is stingy. You only ask somebody who is plentiful and willing to give.
You don’t go and hold somebody’s feet when he himself is bankrupt. If he is bursting with energies and he is willing to share, there is a certain way to connect, like a plug point. Plug points come in different ways, If you want to connect to that particular plug point, you need a particular kind of plug.
In many homes, you have a tradition or habit of touching the feet of your elders, Probably in south India it is gone, but in north India is it still very much there because of the vedic culture. when they see a father, a mother, uncle. or anybody elder to offer your respects to them, not to receive yours uncle’s energy! When you see a deity, there is another way of doing it. If you do namaskar or prostration to a powerful being, not spiritually evolved but powerful in his own way, there is another way of doing it. I don’t want to go into these technologies. I can tell you the other three, but I don’t want to tell you how to bow down to a Guru. Whichever way you feel, you do it that way because I don’t want my legs pulled and held all the time!
Where the receptivity is in your hand and where the giving nature of the feet is- if these two things are connected you may achieve in a moment what you can not achieve in a years of sadhana. It is with that hope that everybody is diving for the feet all the time, hoping that somewhere they may connect. probably in western society people understand failing at somebody’s feet as a kind of subjugation or slavery. In the yogic tradition, we never thought feet were any less than the hands. It was never seen that one part of the body is less than the other. Whatever it works, that is how you do it.
When people from certain traditions come to me, I am amazed that these things have been tought them from their childhood; they know exactly how to do it. Most other people are just doing by their emotion. sometimes they may get it right. so some people, just so that they don’t make a mistake, touch all the parts! They know they have missed the technology, so they wants to somehow connect. They will put their hands under the feet, it does not matter if the guru falls and breaks his head- whatever it is, they want to get it. It is a treasure hunt.
That is the reason why whenever crowd increased, the guru always created an energy form and said, “go bow down to that,” to save their own feet. We can create an energy form to which you can bow down and receive, which is better. These are walking feet, but the energy forms cannot walk away from you. You can bow down as many times as you went per day, they cannot resist and it is okay.
source: from the sadhguru’s book “body and mind”