The true meaning of namaste is to greet the divinity residing in everyone. At the same time, it is also a form of ‘Mudra‘ or a gesture done during the time of prayer or while performing certain yoga postures.

What does it mean to say namaste?

Namaste is a form of greeting which in a sense means, “I bow down to the divinity within you”. In the Hindu culture, it is a gesture of great respect for greetings as well as for goodbyes since ancient times.

Meaning of Namaste
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Why Do You Do Namaste?

In the world of diversified cultures and ways of living life, people have various means to communicate with each other. While verbal and written communication has surpassed all others, there are more ways of communicating that are subtle yet equally or even more powerful.

Body gestures, including mudras, are one of those means of expressing ourselves beyond words. People welcome, love, and respect each other and these emotions are expressed differently as per different cultures. In the Hindu way of living, people convey this cultural expression as “Namaste“.

Is Namaste a Physical or a Verbal Gesture?

At the same time, there are two aspects of doing ‘Namaste’, the first one is done as a gesture placing both hands together and the other one is said along with the verbal greeting by pronouncing it.

Both as a physical and verbal gesture, ‘namaste’ can be performed as a prayer to the divine, while practicing Yoga poses, or to greet someone with respect.

The Significance of Namaste

The essential nature of life prevailing within is all-inclusive and conscious. The meaning of Namaste is to devote ourselves to inclusiveness, awareness, and wholeness. When we practice devotion to the divine, we surrender and let go of all our identifications and feelings of separateness to that consciousness, with a Namaste.

The joining of both hands together represents unity and integrity and that we all are one family. It resembles “The Divine and The Self is the same in you and me”. Placing the hands in the heart region signifies that when we seek our true nature and look in our hearts, we find the rays of inclusiveness that make us realize that we are one with everybody and oneness is the ultimate reality.

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Both hands come from a different direction but eventually, when they meet, they go in the same direction, together. Pertinent to the hands, whatever paths we may choose we are ultimately in the realm of oneness.

The Power of A Contactless Connection

While doing Namaste there are no physical contacts made between two individuals, as the physical contact may transfer negativities too. The negativities can be both in the form of spirituality, as a form of individual energy or karmic energy. And also in the form of physical negativity, in the form of germs and diseases.

Above all, in the Yogic tradition, it is not the physical contact that makes one realize the connection between them. It is believed that the true connection between individuals is much subtler in the form of emotions and spirit.

Meaning of Namaste
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There are Various Meanings of Expressions In ‘Namaste’

Namaste is not just a word, not just a common term, it is an outlet of one’s emotion to the other in a manner that makes them conscious about the connection they hold within themselves with each other.

It is a behaviour that one practice to welcome somebody or something into relation with regard and integrity. It is the way of bowing down to the divine energy residing as life within all of us, which connects everybody in one thread. It shows a sense of acceptance, honour, and politeness of an individual being.

It is also used as an expression of gratitude and thankfulness to what we have got and achieved in our life, to all the blessings and all the experiences that help us grow in this life journey. It is used during worship and while praying to God and even while asking for help from somebody.

Namaste is truly an amazing, as this one gesture has the capability to deliver multiple forms of powerful expressions.

How Do You Say Namaste?

While doing Namaste, one should join their hands with palms open, facing and touching each other and finger pointed upwards to the sky. The joined hands should be placed just where the heart is located in the body so that the hearty and the exuberant emotions get into it.

Then one needs to close their eyes, bow down and say Namaste filled with the feeling of fullness within one and can also touch the forehead with the tip of the palm.

Meaning of Namaste
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The Origin of Namaste

Namaste comes from a Sanskrit word, “Namah”, and “te” which we can often see in ancient Hindu scriptures and mantras. “Namah” means “I bow to”,  and “te” means “You” in Sanskrit, as a whole it means, “I bow to you”

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The roots of origin to ‘Namaste’ dates back to ancient Sanskrit tradition, which is found in the Vedas. Today Namaste is a Hindi as well as Nepali word; therefore, it is used extensively in Nepal and India. Also, it is widely used in the culture of Buddhists as well.

Other words similar to Namaste are Namaskaar, Namaskaaram, and Pranam. These are forms of traditional greetings, which also mean an act of bowing down concerning something or someone, according to the ancient Hindu texts.

The Spiritual Meaning of Namaste

The spiritual meaning of Namaste essentially is the pouring of the sense of togetherness, oneness, and love, acceptance, and gratitude from one mind to the other mind or the environment.

From youngsters to elders and friends, relatives to a stranger, people say Namaste to each other. It is used to show respect to the elders, parents, and teachers, love and connectedness to friends and relatives, and to start a conversation with a stranger.

(Last Updated On: January 1, 2022)