Hinduism

What is Namaste?

Hindus greet each other with the gesture known as ‘namaskar’ or ‘namaste’. Strangers and friends, old and young, all use this gesture, whether on the road or inside the house. It is not a superficial greeting, or one done as a fad or the ‘in’ thing. This traditional greeting is mentioned even in the vedas. Namaste literally means “I bow to you”. The greeting is spiritually significant as it negates one’s ego while one is in another’s presence.

How to do Namaste

Bring your palms together with the fingers facing upwards. Bend the elbows and bring the folded palms to the front of your chest. Say the word ‘namaste’ and bow your head slightly towards the person you are greeting.

Why Namaste?

This gesture could be casual, formal, cultural or a way of worship. Greeting another person with ‘namaste’ means that your two minds are meeting. Bowing your head signifies an act of humility, respect and love.

Spiritual Significance

There is a deep spiritual significance to this gesture. ‘Namaste’ recognizes the divinity in the other person. It instills the belief that god is in all of us. By honoring the other person with the greeting ‘namaste’ we recognize and honor the divinity within him or her.

Namaste while Praying

When Hindus pray, they fold their hands, close their eyes, and chant their favorite mantra. By closing eyes, we try to delve within our inner spirit. So, ‘namaste’ is an all-encompassing gesture to kindle friendship and good feeling with all those we meet each day.

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