Namaste’ or ‘Namaskar’ is the Indian way of greeting one another. Namaste is the customary courtesy greeting to start with and often to end with. It’s not a superficial gesture or a mere phrase. It’s used amongst friends or strangers and no matter age or gender. The greeting Namaste is a way of expressing respect for the individual to whom you are speaking as well. In certain cultures, persons of lower standing play namaste first in order to show respect for a person who is of higher status. Additionally it is utilised in worship and prayer.
In Sanskrit the word is namah + te = Namaste which means “I bow to you”. The word’namaha’ is also literally interpreted as”na ma” (not mine). It has a spiritual significance of dissolving one’s self in the presence of another being. It’s in humbling oneself in the presence of the others that one’s spiritual nature can shine through.
Bend the arms from the elbow upward and confront the two palms of the hands. Place the two palms together and keep the folded palms facing the chest. Say the word Namaste and while saying the word bow the head slightly. You also gently close your eyes, as it were, to look into the inner spirit – theirs and yours. Rather than shaking hands or a kiss on the cheek in different cultures, Namaste is a non-contact form of respectful and spiritual greeting.
Namaste could be just a casual or formal greeting, a cultural courtesy or an act of worship. However, there is far more to it than meets the eye. The actual meeting between people is the meeting of their higher consciousness or true selves. When we greet one another with Namaste, it means,’may my higher consciousness be combined with your higher consciousness’, indicated by the folded palms placed prior to the torso. The bowing down of the mind is a gracious form of extending friendship in love, respect and humility.
Spiritual Significance of Namaste:
The reason we do Namaste has a deeper religious significance. It admits that the belief that the life force, the divinity, the Self or the God in me is the same in all. Acknowledging this oneness with the meeting of the palms, we honor the God from the person we meet. By doing Namaste we embrace the divinity within our self and another.
So, Namaste to you!