Namaste is the customary courtesy greeting to begin with and often to finish with. It is not a shallow gesture or a mere word. It is used amongst friends or strangers and no matter age or sex. The greeting Namaste is a method of expressing respect for the person to whom you’re speaking as well. In certain cultures, persons of lower standing play namaste first to be able to show respect for a person who is of higher status. Additionally it is used in prayer and worship.
In Sanskrit the word is namah + te = Namaste which means “I bow to you”. The word’namaha’ is also literally interpreted as”na ma” (not mine). It has a religious significance of dissolving one’s self in the presence of another being. It is in humbling oneself in the presence of the others that one’s spiritual essence can shine through.
How to Namaste:
Bend the arms from the elbow upwards and face both palms of the hands. Place both palms together and keep the folded palms facing the chest. In addition you gently close your eyes, as it were, to look into the inner spirit – theirs and yours. Rather than shaking hands or a kiss on the cheek in different civilizations, Namaste is a non-contact form of respectful and spiritual greeting.
Namaste could be just a casual or formal greeting, a cultural courtesy 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 higher consciousness or true selves. When we greet one another with Namaste, it means,’may my higher consciousness be united with your higher consciousness’, indicated by the folded palms placed before the torso. The bowing down of the head is a gracious form of extending friendship in love, respect and humility.
Spiritual Significance of Namaste:
The reason we do Namaste has a deeper religious 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. By doing Namaste we adopt the divinity within our self and the other.
So, Namaste to you!