Namaste is a gesture of greeting. It is used at both times; when you meet someone or when you are giving farewell to someone. This gesture is usually shown with slight bow; hands pressed together, palms touching each other, finger pointed upwards and thumbs closed. This gesture is called Anjali Mudra. Namaste is both spoken greeting and gesture, Mantra and Mudra. The hands held in union symbolize the oneness of the dual characters- spirit and matter.
The origin of Namaste
Namaste sometimes called Namaskaram or Namaskar is a customary Hindu greeting since the ancient Vedic period. To dig the exact meaning of Namaste we can break it down into two words namah and te. Namah means bow and te is a second person pronoun (you). Both words when combined mean I bow to the divine in you.
While Namaste and Namaskar are considered as synonyms in general there is a spiritual difference between these two words. Namaskar is considered to be more pure. When we know this significance, our greeting does not remain just a superficial gesture or word but paves the way for a deeper communion with another in an atmosphere of love and respect
The reason behind doing Namaskar
Namaskar is understood as a kind gesture but it actually refers to paying homage as we greet each other. Namaskar is done as it means you are bowing down to the spiritual within a person rather than physical aura. When a person greets another with the feeling that “I am paying obeisance to the soul in the other” then a ring of spiritual emotion is created within him. Namaskar also reduces the superiority of a person as bowing down to other person symbolizes “ I know nothing, I am a learner and you have a higher level of hierarchy than me.”
Types of Namaste
There are 3 types of Namaste; Samanya Namaste, Pad Namaste and Sastanga Namaste.
Samanya (Common) Namaskar – It is a simple way of greeting when we meet people. Every day we at least meet few people with whom we exchange greeting and Samanya Namaskar is a way of doing that.
Pad Namaskar- In Sanskrit foot means Pad. This type of Namaste is an act of showing respect to the elders of our family by touching their feet and taking blessings.
Sastanga Namaskar- A sashtanga namaskar is one of the many types f Namaskar, where all the body parts touch the ground. This type of namaskar is also commonly known as the “dandakara namaskaram” and “uddanda namaskara”. This namaskar is done only in temples or holy places with bare feet.
The benefits of doing Namaste
Namaste done with good thoughts enhances purity. Purity enhances positivity. The practice of doing Namaste leaves a good trace of a person in the heart of other person. Thus Namaskar is beneficial in both philosophical and practical ways. It gives rise to the feeling of respect and kindness when we show this gesture to people around us and gives rise to a feeling of thankfulness when we show this gesture to god which makes our mind and soul calm.
Translated By Archeesa Aryal
For nepali virson :नमस्कार शब्दको परिचय