‘Namaste’ or ‘Namaskar’ is the Indian way of greeting one another. Namaste is the customary courtesy greeting to begin with and often to end with. It is not a superficial gesture or a mere word. It is used amongst friends or strangers and regardless of age or gender.
The Meaning of Namaste:
In Sanskrit the word is namah + te = Namaste which means “I bow to you”. The word ‘namaha’ can also be literally interpreted as “na ma” (not mine). It has a spiritual significance of dissolving one’s ego in the presence of another being.
How to Namaste:
Bend the arms from the elbow upwards and face the two palms of the hands. Place the two palms together and keep the folded palms in front of 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 – yours and theirs.
Namaste could be just a casual or formal greeting, a cultural courtesy or an act of worship. However, there is much more to it than meets the eye. The real 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 united with your higher consciousness’, indicated by the folded palms placed before the chest. The bowing down of the head is a gracious form of extending friendship in love, respect and humility.
Spiritual Significance of Namaste:
The reason why we do Namaste has a deeper spiritual significance. It recognizes 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 in the person we meet. By doing Namaste we embrace the divinity within our self and the other.
So, Namaste to you!