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Why Do We Say Namaste?

Why Do We Say Namaste?

  • Have you ever wondered what ‘Namaste’ actually means? Why do we greet each other with our palms folded? More on that.

Folding our hands and greeting someone with a ‘Namaste’ is something all of us do out of habit. Ever wondered how did this habit form? More importantly, why do we say Namaste? Although deep-rooted in Indian culture, Namaste’s origin is a mystery. Here, we decode that.

Namaste is a greeting practiced all over the country, in Nepal, Bangladesh and the south and south-eastern parts of the continent. The greeting is a salutation where you join your palms together to resemble the position of prayer and bow your head slightly. It is used to welcome guests, greet strangers, express courtesy and even honour. In short, it is the Indian way to say ‘Hello’ to someone when you meet them.

Namaste is also a part of the 16 upacharas, which means, it is a part of the ritual of Puja that is performed in temples or any other place of worship. Hence, it is used to pay obeisance to God as well.

Any Indian traditional dance performance starts with a Namaste as also a yoga session.

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The meaning

Namaste is not just a word; it has a deep meaning. It is derived from two Sanskrit words, ‘Nama’, which means to bow and ‘Te’, which means you.

Literally translated it means, ‘I honour the spirit in you, which is also in me’. It signifies that the spirit of the person greeting and the one being greeted is the same. Hence, there is no difference between the two people. Another significance is that it recognises the power of divinity that resides in the heart of the other person.

Spiritual aspect

Namaste is not merely a greeting but it also has a spiritual meaning. It connects the right and left hemispheres of the brain. This means that it combines your activity as well as accepting nature. The gesture of the greeting connects the energy to the centre of your heart. This energy is a strong origin of electric energy in our body. Besides, it is believed to negate or reduce the ego as it bows to the spirit in the other person.

Since we bow slightly when we greet someone with a Namaste, the gesture is connected to the Brow Chakra. This is the third eye or the centre of the mind. Hence, it also signifies the meeting of the minds, which is spiritual.

Namaste is not only a gesture of respect but also love for the other person and friendship. It’s not just about some old custom or tradition but has a deeper meaning. Adopt this beautiful gesture as a form of greeting and see your world change for the better.

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