Namaste(ನಮಸ್ತೆ/ನಮಸ್ಕಾರ) pronounced /ˈnɑːməsteɪ/ is a customary greeting when individuals meet, and a valediction upon their parting in India.
Namaste is both a physical gesture and a spoken spiritual salutation. The gesture can also be performed wordlessly and carries the same meaning, which is usually the case while parting. It is commonly accompanied by a slight bow. It is a non-contact form of respectful greeting and can be used universally while meeting a person of different gender, age or social status.
The gesture Namaste represents the belief that there is a Divine spark within each one of us. The gesture is an acknowledgment of the soul in one by the soul in another. Derived from Sanskrit words namah and te, it literally means “I bow to you” i.e. the Spirit in me honors/bows to the Spirit in you .It has a spiritual significance of negating or reducing one’s ego in the presence of another. One more interpretation is “I greet that place where you and I are one”.
Namaste could be just a casual or formal greeting, a cultural convention or an act of worship. During prayers, Hindus not only do namaste but also bow and close their eyes, as it were, to look into the inner spirit. Also, when the hand position is higher, it usually means reverence and/or worship. It is also used during meditation to go deeper inside the heart chakra.
Namaste has many different interpretations, no matter which interpretation you choose you should think of it as a divine blessing that honors sacredness and equality in everyone. Although often used to greet others, the meaning behind Namaste is beautiful and whichever meaning you connect with it brings us all to one place where we all are divine,pure and one.
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