Aashirvad means ‘blessing’. An age old tradition in the Indian culture where the younger ones bow down to touch the feet of their elders as a mark of respect. In return, the elders bless them with their good wishes.
It was only recentlythat I realised the unique power that this simple custom holds in shaping our society. It’s not just an action, but a mannerism that within seconds teaches us some very important lessons of life. Every time you bow down to touch the feet of your elders, it instils two important attributes in you :
First, humbleness. You are made aware that you still have a lot to learn and your elders have much more experience than you.
And second, love. There is someone above you who really cares about you and will always be there to help you in times of need.
At the same time, it also makes the elder giving the blessing realise two things :
First, that they are bound to behave responsibly to maintain that respect.
And second, they are being continuously looked up at by someone who values their presence.
The important part is, that this tradition is not only useful for parents and children but is an excellent way to strengthen the bond between siblings. In a society where we continuously feel embarrassed about sibling rivalry and heartbroken parents, if the kids are taught to respect and care for each other from the beginning, they would not come to that end.
HOW TO USE THIS TRADITION FOR SIBLING BONDING
I have recently started encouraging my younger son to touch the feet of my elder daughter. For him currently its just a fun exercise as he is still too small. But for my elder one, its a great lesson. I am using this tradition to teach her to be more responsible, kind and caring towards her younger brother. This mark of respect from him greatly boosts her confidence and lights up her face as she struts around to help instantly. I am hoping that this little ritual that we have started practicing will eventually make them feel more connected with each other and create a sense of belonging amongst them.
The important thing to remember is that the younger ones always emulate their older ones. If the elder one cares, the younger one too will in most likelihood develop that same love and care. Also, the earlier the practice instated, the better. Because as they keep growing up, they might not be that receptive to this technique.
Go ahead and give it a try! And perhaps this small blog of ours will make a remarkable difference in the lives of many.