Tradition

Namaskaar,Namaste or Namaskaaram is still the most preferred way of saying ‘Hi’ in a Pan-Indian geography. Although the gesture associated with it is losing its popularity in the e-era, it is important that we know how the old-school ‘Namaste’ beats the trending ‘Hi’ hands down.

Etymology

Namaste originates from Sanskrit split term – “Namaha te” which translates to “I bow to you”. Apart from the literary translation, the words “I bow to you with greetings, respect and salutations” are embedded with it. Spiritually, when one says Namaste, he/she is negating his ego in front of the person whom he/she is wishing.

The gesture

Bend the arms from the elbow upwards and keep the palms face each other so that corresponding points in each palms meet each other. Place the two palms together and keep the folded palms in front of the chest. Utter the word “Namaste” and while saying the word bow the head slightly. The gesture attains its zenith if you say Namaste with your eyes closed for a second accompanied by a smile on your face.

obama_namaste

Significance

The “Namaste” has both physical & spiritual significance. When we press our palms together, we are activating the pressure points in our fingers which activates our eyes, ears and mind. This makes sure that the person we are greeting stays in our memory for a longer duration.

The spiritual significance of Namaste is even deeper. 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 honour the god in the person we meet.

So, next time you say ‘Namaste’, understand that you are spreading the philosophy which refers to “Tathvamasi” itself.