How To Namaste

Hindi Salutation or Greeting

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Namaste. Martin Harvey / Getty Images

The word Namaste is a combination of the two Sanskrit words: nama, and te. Basically, nama means "to bow" and te means "you." The Namaste salutation was transmitted from ancient India to the countries of South-east Asia, and has now traveled virtually all over the globe. In Japan the Namaste hand gesture is called Gassho and is used in prayer and healing sessions.

Interpretation:

The God/Goddess Spirit within me recognizes and honors the God/Goddess Spirit within you.

Mudra of Namaste:

Hands are held together at the palms in front of the heart or brow chakra. Head is bowed slightly downward. Eyes are sometimes closed.

A Yogic Thank You:

Yoga students often repeat "Namaste" at the end of each class as a thank you, honoring their instructor.

Equalizer:

Namaste is significant because it is a humbling gesture. Namaste is done as a recognition that we are all on equal standings, all of us are children of divinity. We are one.

Who Can Namaste?

Namaste can be used as a greeting for all ages, all genders, all races. Namaste greetings can be given to friends, family members, and also strangers.

Written Notation:

The word "Namaste" is often used as a closing notation (without the accompanying prayerful hand and bowing head gestures) in written communications similar to "sincerely," "best regards" or "love."

More Interpretations/Translations of Namaste

There are several variations of wordings which describe what Namaste means. Meanings and definitions of Namaste  What does this sacred gesture mean to you? Below are suggested meaning shared by our readers.

The light and divinity within me bows to the light and divinity within you and all around you, always. ~Ashley L

Namaste means Namoh+Stute. It means in Hindi "Main tuj me stuti karne yogya vastu ko naman karta hun" It means in english " I bow to that thing in you which is worth praying and that is glimpse of god within you ." NAMASKAR means: Namoh +Sanskar. It means in Hindi ," Main tuj me jo achhe sanskar hai usko naman karta hun. It means in English I bow to good (godly) qualities within you." As Hindus always see +ve sides of others & each person has some good qualities in him. ~prakap

One of my favourite interpretations for Namaste is to simply 'honour the peace within' ~Lori

I respect the light within me and honour and respect the light that shines within you. ~highlandlass

I was taught as a young Japanese Martial Arts Student, that although there are several interpretations from different cultures through time, that the True Meaning & Intent of the word Namaste` is: "The Divine Wisdom In Me, Recognises & Acknowledges The Divine Wisdom In You"! ~Jan

"Na" means "No"or "Not"."MaH"means "For me"."Te"means, For you "Whatever I possess on this earth belongs to you(God) I don't have any thing to claim on this earth.(na+maH+tE)"maH"is in the Genetive case. ~iragavarapu narasimhacharya

Namaste as I have learnt means to bow to the light within. ~Sharon

Because I see yoga as a way of being one with body mind spirit and I also see meditation and honoring other religions as so too, I see Namaste being relevant in tying all of mentioned above. For example, Namaste in yoga: I honor the higher self in you. In Buddhism: i honor the Buddha nature in you. In Christianity: I honor the Christ-like self in you:) Whatever we can achieve as being great, including creativity, kindness, selflessness and we see it in someone else: Namaste would mean: I honor YOU, the greatness, individual specialness in You, because most likely there is some of that in Me too! So we could learn to first honor ourselves, then we can easily honor others. Appreciate them, bow to them, feel a loving presence for who/ all they are. ~liz

When I realize the creator of the world dwells within me and you recognize that the creator of the world dwells in you, and when we both realize he has an unconditional love for us, then we are truly one. Not because we say it so, but because that creator created us to be one. He created us for this very moment when we realize that we are ONE. ~Guest MarA good friend said to me that she thought it meant "all sacred in me greets all sacred in you." ~Guest Ryan

iMy interpretation is that if there is such a thing as a spark of divine in me- it humbly bows to that spark in you---- just back from first trip to Nepal and India, hard to digest......... ~vickilander

Namaste ~ We are all one energy & greater consciousness ~ I bow to your physical presence within our common reality ~ Blessed journeys to you on your path in life.. ~Ironman

The definitions are soulfully fullfilling and in the way we Rastas say INI the I in HIM Haile Sellassie I, is the I in me and You, which means we recognize the God in all.. Namaste ~Empress

The meaning of Namaste to me is simply, "The light in me recognizes the light in you. ~Rose

My interpretation has been: The light within me honours the light within you. However, I do like some of these others very much! ~Debra

We are all embodiments of the divine. AS such when we meet and greet each other by doing namaste we are asking the God in us to bless the other person and vice versa. ~Chella

I honor the Divine within you. I honor the place in you that is of Light, of Love, of Truth and of Peace. When you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me... We are one. ~Reiki by Rickie

I honor and respect and thank myself for where my life is right now and in turn I honor, respect and thank you for being in my life at this time.~Susan

I bow to you. Being Hindu--we do Namaskaar/Pranaams and touch ppl's feet that we honor/respect--elders, Guru, Husbands etc. etc. ~Nanda

I  have always thought it to mean "the God in me recognizes and acknowledges the God in you. However, my teacher, Wendy Sue Wahl, adds the totality- Namaste Iammu- with Iammu meaning "yielding into Truth". This seems to allow the greeting to reach its highest height. ~Kimberly McCarty

According to Hindu philosophy My Self and Higher Self both are one. ~Ashok Kumar Sharada

I run an holistic keepfit class and the first thing we do is close our eyes and say namaste to ourselves to honour and recognize our own self worth. Then we say namaste to our internal organs individually. It's lovely now because members have also started to say namaste --------- whatever they feel I've missed out or they particularly want to thank and appreciate ..Namaste mind, etc.. We always back it up with something positive... Then we say a group namaste to let each other know we honour and accept each other as we are here and now. We drop the ego and we are equal. We honour each other. It's safe to be yourself and only do what you can. I believe this session of the class is powerful as honouring your self increases self confidence which helps with all aspects of life. Namaste! ~valerieom

All that is good and true in me recognizes and honors the goodness and truth in you. ~Ellen

When greeting a group of even a thousand people, or ten thousand,or more - your one Namaste gesture connects you to everyone instantly with deep personal feelings. ~vmkapuria

I bow to the Divine in you. My soul is one with yours! ~Anu

Also see: Gassho

 
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