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Day in the life of a Sanatani: “Khush Raho”

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Rajani Choudhary
Rajani Choudhary
Software Developer, avid reader.

After a long and tedious eighteen hour flight I landed in my hometown; my uncle and aunt were waiting for me outside the airport. I was coming home after two long years. I bent and touched their feet. They touched my head and uttered “Khush Raho”. Loosely translated it means “Stay Happy”. The stress of work, life and the long flight was gone. I felt positive energy emanating from me and encompasing me. All seemed good in life and world.

My parents were tied up at home and could not come to the airport. On reaching home, I bent and touched their feet. They touched my head and uttered “Khush Raho”.

As kids we were taught to touch elders‘ feet and ask for blessings. Whenever we traveled to relatives‘ places or when relatives came to our place, it was imperative that we touch their feet if they were our elder and utter a respectful “Pranam”. We did the same on our birthdays or special occasions like Holi, Diwali, Saraswati Puja and the many special celebrations we were part of. Salutations were offered regularly to elders, teachers, SwamiJi, PanditJi; essentially everyone elder to us– in age or stature.

We did this very often and the blessing we got most commonly from my elders was‚ ‘Khush Raho‘. Under the heavy influence of the sophisticated vocablury of the popular television serials like Ramayan, Mahabharat and other shows, I had wanted to hear fancy blessings like “Ayashman Bhava”, “Bhagyawan Raho”,”Saubhagyawati Raho” and so on. But never once did anyone say anything other than “Khush raho” to me. Small town people of my home state are rather simple folk, not used to fancy expressions as one heard on television in the magna opi of the time.

Now many years later, traversing through the vicissitudes of life, I am aware and appreciative of the beauty and purport of the simple blessing I receive all the time. We all know that staying happy and content is one of the hardest things to do.

Our ancestors knew what the important things in life were. We might not have enough time to learn about the source and inspiration of their realizations. However, what they did for our benefit was to device everyday rituals, mannerisms and instructions to make our life meaningful and blissful.

When we touch someone’s feet, we let go our ego. The person whose feet we touch normally stretch their hands and touch the upper head of person touching their feet. This connection forms another circuit transferring energy and blessings.

Simple mundane things like these make one realise the depth of knowledge held by our ancestors and constructed in simple everyday customs for our well-being. Every custom has a deeper meaning. Are we always congnizant of it? Certainly not, but does our ignorance make it meaningless and purposeless? When we subject our customs to judgement and ridicule without having an understanding of it, we are doing a great disservice to our ancestors.

Friends of mine from the Indian state of Punjab tell me that the blessing they got most commonly is “Jeete Raho”; loosely translated meaning “Have a long life”. On the north west border of India attacks from Central and West Asians tribes were common. Men were fighters and soldiers. The general populace was also often endangered. For them to stay alive was the greatest blessing at the time.

With the challenges of everyday life, do we have time and mental capital to unlock and decipher the rationale behind every single ritual built into our daily life? Eventually we have to come up with a trade off- reap the rewards of thousand years of profound knowledge or spend our precious resources questioning everything.

I, for once and forever, choose to surrender to the sagacity of our saints for they were the ones who knew that there is no higher blessing than being alive and “Khush“.

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Rajani Choudhary
Rajani Choudhary
Software Developer, avid reader.
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