The feet of anyone perceived to have wisdom or knowledge of the truth are revered by others who bow to touch their feet. Eka Pada Koundiyanasana II Pose Yoga The feet represent the path to the truth or to knowledge. Eka Pada Koundiyanasana II Pose Yoga As in many Eastern religions, the emphasis on an enlightened being is not grounded as much in historical accurateness as in symbolic or mythological significances. Before the time when Buddhism became established, there w'ere two possible destinies one could have: that of a renunciate, or of a householder. A renunciate, or sadbu, was one who relinquished his worldly responsibilities to follow a spiritual path in solitude, surviving upon the kindness of strangers.
A householder maintained his familial and professional obligations while simultaneously pursuing a spiritual life. Many householders in the East choose to renounce their obligations toward the end of their lives.
When traveling in India, I always look into the faces of these sadhus, who are often barefoot and dressed in tattered orange robes, walking on the side of the roads carrying their small tins for food and water at their sides.