For N, I decided to explain the phrase Namaste. Not a hard explanation, but one that a lot of people don’t understand or know the full meaning of. The above picture is what Namaste means. It is a greeting letting others know that you honor them.
‘Namaste’ or ‘namaskar’ is the Indian way of greeting each other. Wherever they are – on the street, in the house, in public transport, on vacation or on the phone – when Hindus meet people they know or strangers with whom they want to initiate a conversation, namaste is the customary courtesy greeting to begin with and often to end with. It is not a superficial gesture or a mere word, and is for all people – young and old, friends and strangers.
The Meaning of Namaste
In Sanskrit the word is namah + te = namaste which means “I bow to you” – my greetings, salutations or prostration to you. The word ‘namaha’ can also be literally interpreted as “na ma” (not mine). It has a spiritual significance of negating or reducing one’s ego in the presence of another.
In Kannada, it is called Namaskara and Namaskaragalu; in Tamil, Kumpiṭu; in Telugu, Dandamu, Dandaalu, Namaskaralu and Pranamamu; in Bengali, Nōmōshkar and Prōnäm; and in Assamese, Nômôskar.
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. Utter the word namaste and while saying the word bow the head slightly.
Namaste could be just a casual or formal greeting, a cultural convention 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 minds. When we greet one another with namaste, it means, ‘may our minds meet’, 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.
Namaste in Prayers
During prayers, Hindus not only do namaste but also bow and close their eyes, as it were, to look into the inner spirit. This physical gesture is sometimes accompanied by names of gods like ‘Ram Ram’, ‘Jai ShriKrishna’, ‘Namo Narayana’, ‘Jai Siya Ram’ or just ‘Om Shanti’ – the common refrain in Hindu chants. This is also quite common when two devout Hindus meet – indicating the recognition of the divinity within ourselves and extending a warm welcome to each other.
(( all taken from: http://hinduism.about.com/od/artculture/p/namaste.htm ))
Another explanation on how to do the Namaste gesture:
How to make the Namaste gesture
To perform Namaste, we place the hands together at the heart charka, close the eyes, and bow the head. It can also be done by placing the hands together in front of the third eye, bowing the head, and then bringing the hands down to the heart. This is an especially deep form of respect. Although in the West the word “namaste” is usually spoken in conjunction with the gesture, in India, it is understood that the gesture itself signifies Namaste, and therefore, it is unnecessary to say the word while bowing.
We bring the hands together at the heart chakra to increase the flow of Divine love. Bowing the head and closing the eyes helps the mind surrender to the Divine in the heart. One can do Namaste to oneself as a meditation technique to go deeper inside the heart chakra; when done with someone else, it is also a beautiful, albeit quick, meditation.
For a teacher and student, Namaste allows two individuals to come together energetically to a place of connection and timelessness, free from the bonds of ego-connection. If it is done with deep feeling in the heart and with the mind surrendered, a deep union of spirits can blossom. (( http://www.yogajournal.com/article/beginners/the-meaning-of-quot-namaste-quot/ ))
It is used universally, not just by Hindus or Yoga teachers. Everyone using this is telling the other that not only do they honor them, but that they see the Divine in them…God in them…showing there is a oneness between them and that they see goodness in the other.
Those of you that know me and have been keeping up with my blog see that I use it when I sign off and I use it regularly on FB. This is because I am a very spiritual person and I see the spiritual connection we all have and I have always done my best to see the goodness in everyone I meet, even if I have been told otherwise.
I hope you enjoyed this and as always, thank you for reading!
~Namaste and Blessings to all ~