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Significant Expression

To Namaste or not to Namaste- that is the Question
By: Jean Harper

 “I  honor the place in you

where the entire Universe resides.

 I honor the place

of love, of light, of truth, of peace.  

I honor the place within you where

if you are in that place in you,

and I am in that place in me,

there is only one of us.”

~Baba Ram Das

The very first time I heard the word, "Namaste" was about 5 years ago.  I was moved by the sound of this word and the associated gesture in which it was presented.  No, I am not talking about "Namaste" the ninth episode during the 5th season of ABC's  TV-show, Lost, I am speaking of "Namaste" the Indian approach of greeting one another.  Commonly written "Namaste", it is pronounced as "Namastay".

The following paragraphs were extracted from:  About.com: Hinduism , by Subhamoy Das

Namaste and its common variants ‘namaskar,’ ‘namaskaara’ or ‘namaskaram’, is one of the five forms of formal traditional greeting mentioned in the Vedas. This is normally understood as prostration but it actually refers to paying homage or showing respect to one another, as is the practice today, when we greet each other.

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.

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.  Read More from About.com.

These days I use the word, Namaste, when I want to pay respect to someone;  to let them know that I understand, honor and see them as they are, in light and love.  It truly feels good when someone sends that greeting back to me.  Namaste to you.


View Video Below for More on this Significant Expression-Namaste:




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