Episode # 322 – Why should we “STAND UP” and respect elders? An important discussion!!!

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In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of an important discussion as to why is Bhagawan taking all the pains to perform all the vital tasks and “Dharma” that a normal human being should perform in this world. As an overwhelmed Sage Naarada asks Bhagawan Krishna for the reason behind this, Bhagawan clearly states that if He’s not going to perform any of these, people in the world are going to start taking cues from His actions only. People would start arguing thus, “Oh! Bhagawan Krishna Himself did not do anything, yet He was very happy and contented. Why should we do?” In order to avoid this, Bhagawan Krishna makes sure that He performs all what is prescribed in the Vedas and Upanishads and serves as a role-model for people like us to follow.

Upon seeing all this, Sage Naarada exclaims further! He’s more and more overwhelmed with what he’s seeing. He is summarizing here as to what all he is seeing. He says that apart from the “Pancha-Maha-Yagnyas”, Bhagawan Krishna is regularly performing the “Sandhyavandana”, chanting the Gayatri Mantra, performing the “Argya-Pradhaana”, etc. as part of the daily routine spiritual practices. Moreover, He’s also performing “Goo-Puja” (Spiritual offerings given to the holy cow), “Vipra-Puja” (Performing all respects for Brahmins who are scholarly in the Vedas and Upanishads), “Devata-Puja” (Performing all respects for the various “Devatas” or “celestial beings), “Vriddha-Puja” (Performing all respects for people who are aged), “Guru-Puja” (Performing all respects for the “Guru” or the “Teacher”) and “Bhoota-Puja” (Performing all respects to all sorts of living beings in this world).

We can see here that Sage Naarada here stresses upon the “Bhoota-Yagnya” and “Bhoota-Puja” repeatedly because, it is extremely important for us to take care of all living beings equally, without harming them. Even if it is a small fly or a dog or a cat or a hen or any bird or animal, etc. we should make sure that we exhibit our love and affection towards them at all times, and not to harm them in any way. If we happen to harm them, Sage Naarada emphasizes that Bhagawan is never going to like us for the “Himsa” that we do. Afterall they are poor animals who cannot talk and express themselves like us. Moreover, we do not have any right to take away another living being’s life. It is only Bhagawan who has the right to do so. If we’re involving ourselves in what Bhagawan has to do, He’s obviously going to get angry upon us, isn’t it? Hence, as far as possible, we should try and avoid hurting or killing other animals and living beings around us. Rather, we should take good care of them and ensure that they’re well fed and happy.

Apart from all of these, Sage Naarada explains one more important point here – If a guest (Atithi) is coming to pay a visit to Bhagawan Krishna at Dwaaraka, even if he / she is walking towards Him a mile apart, He would immediately stand up, run towards the guest, greet him / her with a beaming smile, wash his / her feet with clean water, pay all the respects to him / her, hold their hands and take them inside His palace! Such was the respect that Bhagawan Krishna gave to His guests, who had come to visit Him all the way. Bhagawan Krishna understands the amount of pain that people are taking to come all the way to visit Him. Hence, He honors them with all possible respect and comfort.

In this context, we’ve to learn and understand a very important point – If for instance, an elderly person is walking towards us, we should stand up from our seat and give respect to that person. This is an extremely important practice that our “Sanaatana Dharma” preaches. Many of us might know about it, and might be doing it as well. But there is a science behind this gesture. If an elderly person is walking towards us, our “Praana-Vaayu” (Inhaling oxygen) would rise up and urge us automatically to stand up and pay our respects to that person. If we’re getting up along with the push and the flow of our “Praana-Vaayu”, it would stay up at the level of our chest and heart and would not move further upwards towards our face and head. If on the contrary, we’re not getting up and paying respect to the elderly person, the urge of the “Praana-Vayu” would take it above our neck, to our face and head and exits out of our body through the porous openings at the top of our head. As a result of this, we become totally tired and energy-less! We would lose all our strength completely.

This is why we emphasize that if we see an elderly person in front of us, we’ve to stand up and give respect to him / her. The reason behind this practice is that, if we’re moving towards the direction of our “Praana-Vaayu”, it is going to sustain and establish normalcy in our body functioning. If we’re going against the direction of our “Praana-Vayu”, it is going to affect our physical and mental well-being. This is why we see many people who are disrespecting elders, suffering from various forms of physical and mental problems and diseases. Hence, we should understand this important point here, and make sure that we stand up from our seats and respect elders when they’re walking in front of us. Of course, this is a form of respect that we pay to them, but at the same time, we’re taking care of our own health too.

So for today, let us focus on this point and let us make sure that we put it in practice. In the next episode, we shall discuss why we prostrate in front of elders. This is also an extremely important discussion. Stay tuned! 🙂

Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham in Kerala, India. A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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