What does Namaste mean?

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Namaste’ or ‘Namaskar’ is the Indian way of greeting one another. Namaste is the habitual courtesy greeting to start with and often to finish with. It’s not a shallow gesture or a mere word. It is used amongst friends or strangers and no matter age or gender. The greeting Namaste is a way of expressing respect for the person to whom you are speaking as well. In some cultures, persons of lower standing perform namaste first to be able to show respect for someone who is of higher status. Additionally it is used in prayer and worship.

In Sanskrit the word is namah + te = Namaste which means “I bow to you”. The term’namaha’ can also be literally interpreted as”na ma” (not mine). It’s a religious importance 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.

How to Namaste:

Bend the arms from the elbow upward and confront both palms of the hands. Place the two palms together and maintain the folded palms in front of the chest. In addition you gently close your eyes, as it were, to look into the inner spirit – theirs and yours. As opposed to shaking hands or a kiss on the cheek in other civilizations, Namaste is a non-contact type of respectful and religious greeting.

Why Namaste:

However, there is far more to it than meets the eye. The real meeting between individuals 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 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 adopt the divinity within our self and another.

So, Namaste to you!

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