NAMASTE TO YOU ALL.....the meaning of it from around the world......
Posted by Vishva News Reporter on July 23, 2009


Namaste.jpg namaste image by electronictribe
The word Namaste, which comes from Sanskrit means: "I respect that divinity within you that is also within me" or "The light within me honors the light within you."

It confirms that we all have the divine in us and that we are from the same source which is 'light' itself!

Can you imagine what the world would be if everyone practiced this philosophy of treating others with such reverence?

We are all blessed with a light inside. However, due to bad influences, the light in some of us extinguishes. This leads to bad behavior by some people, causing people to lose trust in others.

The way to restore the trust and illuminate the light is to begin with close ones -- family, work colleagues & associates, and then extend it to strangers. Also, we can make Namaste a reality by feeling oneness with everyone and everything around us -- people, animals, nature (trees, ocean, sun). This leads to inner peace and tranquility.

Namaste to you -- what a beautiful and powerful greeting!

(Azim Jamal - Corporate Sufi Inspiration)

Please click on the next line to go the next page to read more takes on the meaning of Namaste in the current world of diversity of all life aspects we live in on this planet earth......



Namaste....I honour the place in YOU
Where the entire universe resides...

Namaste....I honour the place in YOU
of love, of light, of truth, of peace...

Namaste....I honour the place in YOU where
if you where in that place in YOU
and I am in that place in ME,

........FROM HAVE A NAMAS DAY......


I teach three lovely women on a Thursday lunchtime. They are all spirited and game and they dive in no muss no fuss. I know it’s not easy for them sometimes and hell, they could be out having lunch with a friend rather than working up a sweat in the boardroom at their law firm. I’m impressed by their dedication.

I was finishing up with them this afternoon with my usual bow and “Namaste” and one of the ladies said “Did you just say ‘Have a Nice Day‘?”. I laughed. I either have appalling annunciation (so much for 3 years of drama school) or she misheard. Thinking about it afterwards you really could be forgiven for thinking that’s what it means if you’ve never been told. 

It’s important that teachers do remind their students what words like Namaste mean so that it doesn’t become mechanical like “see you” “have a nice day” “take care” or whatever slips off the tongue when you say goodbye.  

Breaking it down Nama means bow, as means I and te means you. A literal translation could therefore be something like: I bow you, you bow me.

However, beyond the literal there is a much deeper significance to the salutation. One translation I like is this:

namasteWhich delivers a lot more than our watery “Have a Nice Day“. 

One of my teachers gave a translation recently that I really liked and that is: ‘I bow to what is alive in you and you bow to what is alive in me.’

For me, that meaning seems to touch the root of our human existence – our aliveness, the fact that we are alive and that whatever is alive in us in the here and now, this moment, is worthy of acknowledgment.

We are alive and our existence has meaning and truth.

That’s definitely worth remembering and bowing to.



Namaste - The Significance of a Yogic Greeting
from website exoticindiaart

Chir - Harana (The Stealing of the Garments of the Gopis)

Chir - Harana (The Stealing of the Garments of the Gopis)


In a well-known episode it so transpired that the great lover god Krishna made away with the clothes of unmarried maidens, fourteen to seventeen years of age, bathing in the river Yamuna. Their fervent entreaties to him proved of no avail. It was only after they performed before him the eternal gesture of namaste was he satisfied, and agreed to hand back their garments so that they could recover their modesty.
The gesture (or mudra) of namaste is a simple act made by bringing together both palms of the hands before the heart, and lightly bowing the head. In the simplest of terms it is accepted as a humble greeting straight from the heart and reciprocated accordingly.

Namaste classical pose



Namaste is a composite of the two Sanskrit words, nama, and te. Te means you, and nama has the following connotations:

To bend
To bow
To sink
To incline
To stoop

All these suggestions point to a sense of submitting oneself to another, with complete humility. Significantly the word 'nama' has parallels in other ancient languages also. It is cognate with the Greek nemo, nemos and nosmos; to the Latin nemus, the Old Saxon niman, and the German neman and nehman. All these expressions have the general sense of obeisance, homage and veneration. Also important here is to note that the root 'nama' is a neuter one, the significance of which will be elaborated upon later.

The word nama is split into two, na and ma. Na signifies negation and ma represents mine. The meaning would then be 'not mine'. The import being that the individual soul belongs entirely to the Supreme soul, which is identified as residing in the individual towards whom the namaste is directed. Indeed there is nothing that the soul can claim as its own. Namaste is thus the necessary rejection of 'I' and the associated phenomena of egotism. It is said that 'ma' in nama means death (spiritual), and when this is negated (na-ma), it signifies immortality.

The whole action of namaste unfolds itself at three levels: mental, physical, and verbal.

It starts with a mental submission. This submission is in the spirit of total surrender of the self. This is parallel to the devotion one expresses before a chosen deity, also known as bhakti. The devotee who thus venerates with complete self-surrender is believed to partake the merits or qualities of the person or deity before whom he performs this submission. There is a prescription in the ancient texts known as Agamas that the worshipper of a deity must first become divine himself, for otherwise worship as a transaction would become invalid. A transaction can only be between equals, between individuals who share some details in common. Hence by performing namaste before an individual we recognize the divine spark in him. Further by facilitating our partaking of these divine qualities, namaste makes us aware of these very characteristics residing within our own selves. Simply put, namaste intimates the following:

'The God in me greets the God in you
The Spirit in me meets the same Spirit in you'

In other words, it recognizes the equality of all, and pays honor to the sacredness of all.

Garuda in Namaste pose


Translated into a bodily act, namaste is deeply rich in symbolism. Firstly the proper performance of namaste requires that we blend the five fingers of the left hand exactly with the fingers of the right hand. The significance behind this simple act in fact governs the entire gamut of our active life. The five fingers of the left hand represent the five senses of karma, and those of the right hand the five organs of knowledge. Hence it signifies that our karma or action must be in harmony, and governed by rightful knowledge, prompting us to think and act correctly.

By combining the five fingers of each hand, a total of ten is achieved. The number ten is a symbol of perfection, and the mystical number of completion and unity. It is true for all ancient traditions. Ten is the number of the Commandments revealed to Moses by God. In the Pythagorean system, ten was a symbol of the whole of creation. Ancient Chinese thought too thought of ten as the perfectly balanced number.

Another significant identification of namaste is with the institution of marriage, which represents a new beginning, and the conjoining of the male and female elements in nature. Marriage is a semi-divine state of wholeness - a union between the opposite principles of male and female necessary to crate and protect new life. The idea of human divine association was often expressed in terms of marriage, as in the description of nuns as "brides of Christ". Thus in the exhaustive marriage rituals of India, after the elaborate ceremonies have been completed, the new husband and wife team perform namaste to each other. Wedding customs, full of symbolic meanings, attempt to ensure that marriages are binding, hence fruitful and happy. Namaste is one such binding symbolic ritual. The reconciliation, interaction and union of opposites is amply reflected in this spiritual gesture. It is hoped that the husband and wife team too would remain united, as are the hands joined in namaste. By physically bringing together the two hands, namaste is metaphorically reconciling the duality inherent in nature and of which the marriage of two humans is an earthly manifestation, a harmonious resolution of conflicting tensions. Thus namaste, which symbolizes the secret of this unity, holds the key to maintaining the equilibrium of life and entering the area where health, harmony, peace and happiness are available in plenty.



In this context, namaste is equated with the image of Ardhanarishvara, the hermaphrodite form symbolizing the marriage of Shiva and Parvati, or the coming together of the parents of the universe, for the purpose of creation. In this form Shiva has his beloved spouse engrafted in his body. It is conjectured that by wresting from her husband one half of his body as her own, and herself commingling in his physical frame, Parvati has obtained an ideal, archetypal union with her husband. Indeed which couple could be more devoted than the one which finds completion only by merging into each other? By merging her creative aspect with him, Parvati balances Shiva's destructive urge. Similarly when Ardhanarishvara dances, the dance step is itself believed to be a combination of two principal and antagonistic styles of dance. 'Tandava', the fierce, violent dance, fired by an explosive, sweeping energy, is a delirious outburst, precipitating havoc. On the other hand is 'lasya', the gentle, lyrical dance, full of sweetness, and representing the emotions of tenderness and love. It is in the lasya of the goddess that death is annihilated and turned into transformation and rejuvenation, rebirth and creation. The image of Ardhanarishvara is thus the perfect master of the two contrary elements in the manifested universe. Such an ideal, perfect marriage is the message of namaste. Thus is 'nama', the root of namaste, of neuter gender, as is Ardhanarishvara, the androgyne.

Shiva Ling

Shiva Ling

Namaste recognizes the duality that has ever existed in this world and suggests an effort on our part to bring these two forces together, ultimately leading to a higher unity and non-dual state of Oneness. Some of these dual elements which the gesture of namaste marries together and unifies as one are:

God and Goddess
Priest and Priestess
King and Queen
Man and Woman
Heaven and Earth
Sun and Moon
Solar bull and Lunar cow
Sulfur and Quicksilver (Alchemy)
Theory and Practice
Wisdom and Method
Pleasure and Pain
Astral body (consciousness) and Etheric body (sensation)
Mind and body
Pneuma (spirit) and Psyche (mind)
Hun (spiritual soul) and p'o (material soul) (Chinese)
Conscious and Unconscious
Animus (unconscious male element in woman) and Anima (unconscious female element in man) (Jung)
Objectivity and Subjectivity
Extraversion and Introversion
Intellect and Instinct
Reason and Emotion
Thought and Feeling
Inference and Intuition
Argument and Experience
Talent and Genius
Silence and Cacophony
Word and Meaning
Schizophrenia and Epilepsy
Depression and Mania
Sexuality and Anxiety
Katabolism (breaking up) and Anabolism (building up)
Ontogeny (individual evolution) and Phylogeny (race evolution)
Right side of body (warm) and Left side (cool)
Front side of body (positive) and Rear side of body (negative)
Brain and Heart
Sahasara Chakra and Kundalini
Insulin and Adrenalin
Pingala (yellow solar channel in body) and Ida (white lunar channel)
Hot breath and Cold breath (Yoga)
Exhalation and Inhalation (Yoga)
Linga and Yoni

There is indeed no sphere of our existence untouched by the symbolic significance of namaste.

Finally, the gesture of namaste is unique also in the sense that its physical performance is accompanied by a verbal utterance of the word "namaste." This practice is equivalent to the chanting of a mantra. The sonority of the sacred sound 'namaste' is believed to have a quasi-magical value, corresponding to a creative energy change. This transformation is that of aligning oneself in harmony with the vibration of the cosmos itself.



At its most general namaste is a social transaction. It is usual for individuals to greet when they meet each other. It is not only a sign of recognition but also an expression of happiness at each other's sight. This initial conviviality sets the positive tone for the further development of a harmonious relationship. Namaste as a greeting thus is a mosaic of movements and words constituting an intimation of affirmative thoughts and sentiments. In human society it is an approach mechanism, brimming with social, emotional and spiritual significance. In fact it is said that in namaste the hands are put together like a knife so that people may cut through all differences that may exist, and immediately get to the shared ground that is common to all peoples of all cultures.

In this context, a comparison with the widely prevalent 'handshake' is inevitable. Though shaking hands is an extremely intimate gesture, namaste scores over it in some ways. Primarily is the one that namaste is a great equalizer. You do namaste with God (and not shake hands!). A king or president cannot shake hands with the large multitude they are addressing. But namaste serves the purpose. It is the same gesture one would have exchanged with a king when with him alone. So no incongruity arises. In the absence of namaste, those facing a large audience will have to make do with a wave of the hands, a much less congenial greeting, and indeed which does not state the essential equality of all people, but highlights the difference even more. But on a parallel level it has been conjectured that both the namaste and the handshake developed out of a desire on the part of both the parties to show themselves to be unarmed and devoid of malicious intention. The outstretched hand, and the palms joined together, both establish the proponents as disarmed and show that they come in peace.

Eleven Headed Thousand Armed Avalokiteshwara

Eleven Headed Thousand Armed Avalokiteshwara

As much as yoga is an exercise to bring all levels of our existence, including the physical and intellectual, in complete harmony with the rhythms of nature, the gesture of namaste is an yoga in itself. Thus it is not surprising that any yogic activity begins with the performance of this deeply spiritual gesture. The Buddhists went further and gave it the status of a mudra, that is, a gesture displayed by deities, where it was known as the Anjali mudra. The word Anjali itself is derived from the root Anj, meaning "to adorn, honor, celebrate or anoint."

According to Indologist Renov "Meditation depends upon the relationship between the hands (mudras), the mouth (mantras) and the mind (yoga)". The performance of namaste is comprised of all these three activities. Thus namaste is in essence equivalent to meditation, which is the language of our spirit in conversation with god, and the perfect vehicle for bathing us in the rivers of divine pleasure.

References and Further Reading
Cooper, J.C. An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Traditional Symbols: London, 1999.
Nambiar, A.K. Krishna. Namaste; It's Philosophy and Significance in Indian Culture: New Delhi, 1979.
Prabhupada, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami. Krishna The Supreme Personality of Godhead: Mumbai, 1996.
Rao, S.K. Ramachandra. Bharatiya Pranama Paddhati (Respectful Salutations in India): Bangalore, 1997.
Sivaramamurti, C. Nataraja in Art, Thought and Literature: New Delhi, 1994.
Sudhi, Padma. Symbols of Art, Religion and Philosophy: New Delhi, 1988.
Tresidder, Jack. The Hutchinson Dictionary of Symbols: Oxford, 1997.
Walker, Benjamin. Encyclopedia of Esoteric Man: London, 1977



from WIKIPEDIA....the free encyclopedia....

FFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Al Gore does a Namaste, while responding to the standing ovation at TED for his slide show.

Namaste, Namaskar or Namaskaram (Sanskrit: ?????? [n?m?s'te?] from external sandhi between nama? and te) is a common spoken greeting or salutation in the Indian subcontinent. It is derived from Hinduism, and in India and Nepal it has multi-religious or else common usage where it may simply mean "I bow to you." In religious formulation, the meaning can be explained as:

  • "I bow to that inherent in you" ("That" refers to divinity, or that which is divine')
  • "I respect divinity within you that is also within me." (Here, "that" refers to divinity, or that which is divine.)
  • "The light within me honors the light within you." (in yoga)

The word is derived from Sanskrit (namas): to bow, obeisance, reverential salutation, and (te): "to you".[1] Namaskar is considered a slightly more formal version than namaste but both express deep respect. It is commonly used in India and Nepal by Hindus, Jains and Buddhists, and many continue to use this outside the Indian subcontinent. Namaste and Namaskar are used commonly in Northern India. However, Namaskara and Namaskaram are used in Southern part of India, instead of Namaste.

When spoken to another person, it is commonly accompanied by a slight bow made with hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointed upwards, in front of the chest. This gesture, called Añjali Mudra, can also be performed wordlessly and carries the same meaning. In Indian and Nepali culture, the word is spoken at the beginning of written or verbal communication. However, upon departure only the wordless hands-folded gesture is made.



[edit] Uses in South Asian culture

In the word namaste there is sandha or coalescence between the two Sanskrit words - namah + te - meaning " I bow (reverentially) to you." Also common is a polite form using the imperative astu meaning "let there be": namo 'stu te literally means "let there be a salutation to you."

In everyday life, namaste can be necessarily considered a religious salutation. However, namaste is salutation that is a Sanskrit term which can be understood to mean, "I respect that divinity within you that is also within me".[2]

Also when greeting a peer, a namaste can be said together with hands in front of chest and a slight bow. To indicate deep respect, one may place the hands in front of the forehead, and reverence for a god or the holiest of persons may be indicated by placing the hands completely above the head.[2] Namaste is also used as a friendly greeting in written communication, or generally between people when they meet.

In some parts of India (for example, Punjabi-speaking areas, Maharashtra), namaste is used not only to greet Hindus but everyone. The proper greetings for Muslims are As-Salamu Alaykum and for Sikhs Sat Sri Akaal respectively. The gesture is used to greet (as well as a parting remark) people with the verbal "Aayubowan", hence it is called Aayubowan. Aayubowan roughly means 'may you live long'. When used at funerals to greet the guests, the verbal part is usually omitted. The aayubowan gesture is also a cultural symbol of Sri Lanka and Sri Lankan hospitality. This is also the means used by Sri Lankan air hostesses to greet passengers, and is used in other hospitality settings. When the gesture is performed with hands in front of the chest it is usually considered as aayubowan. When hand position is higher it usually means reverence and/or worship. The higher the hands, or the expression with hands placed on top of one's head, is usually the sign of utmost reverence or respect.

In Sindh, the gesture of namaste is still maintained by Sindhi muslims .

[edit] Symbolism in Hinduism

A sadhu performing anjali in Madurai, India.

The gesture used when bowing in namaste or gassho is the bringing of both hands together, palms touching, in front of the person—usually at the chest, or a higher level such as below the chin, below the nose, or above the head.

This gesture is called Añjali Mudra, a well-recognized symbolic hand position in eastern religions. One hand represents the higher, spiritual nature, while the other represents the worldly self. By combining the two, the person making the gesture is attempting to rise above his differences with others, and connect himself with the person to whom he bows. The bow is symbolic of love and respect.

Particularly in Hinduism, when one worships or bows in reverence, the symbolism of the two palms touching is of great significance. It is the joining together of two extremities—the feet of the Divine, with the head of the devotee. The right palm denotes the feet of the Divine and the left palm denotes the head of the devotee. The Divine feet constitute the ultimate solace for all sorrows—this is a time-honored thought that runs through the entire religious ethos.

[edit] Meanings and interpretation

Namaste is one of the few Sanskrit words commonly recognized by Non-Hindi speakers. In the West, it is often used to indicate Indian Hindu culture in generalNamaste is particularly associated with aspects of Hindu culture such as vegetarianism, yoga, ayurvedic healing, and other cultures that are derivatives of Hinduism such as Buddhism and Jainism.

In recent times, and more globally, the term "namaste" has come to be especially associated with yoga and spiritual meditation all over the world. In this context, it has been viewed in terms of a multitude of very complicated and poetic meanings which tie in with the spiritual origins of the word. Some examples:

  • "I honor the Spirit in you which is also in me." -- attributed to author Deepak Chopra[3]
  • "I honor the place in you in which the entire Universe dwells, I honor the place in you which is of Love, of Integrity, of Wisdom and of Peace. When you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, we are One."[4][5]
  • "I salute the God within you."
  • "Your spirit and my spirit are ONE." -- attributed to Lilias Folan's shared teachings from her journeys to India.[citation needed]
  • "That which is of the Divine in me greets that which is of the Divine in you."[6]
  • "The Divinity within me perceives and adores the Divinity within you."[7]
  • "All that is best and highest in me greets/salutes all that is best and highest in you."
  • "I greet the God within."

That said, these are all arguably simply attempts at translating the same concept, which does not have a direct parallel in English, although Aloha would be a good attempt. In Buddhism, the concept may be understood as Buddha nature. Also used as Namo Buddhaye.

[edit] References

  1. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, Draft Revision June 2003.
  2. ^ a b Sivasiva Palani (November 1991). "Never Shake Hands With God". Hinduism Today. 
  3. ^ Chopra, Deepak (2007). Buddha: A Story of Enlightenment. Harper Collins. ISBN 978-0-06-087881-8. 
  4. ^ Yoga Heals Us (2007). "Yoga Philosophy - Namaste". Yoga Heals Us. Retrieved on November 10 2007. 
  5. ^ Dass, Ram (1976). Grist For The Mill. Unity Press. ISBN 0913300179. 
  6. ^ TEDTalks (2005). "Rev. Tom Honey: How could God have allowed the tsunami?". Video Podcast. TED Conferences. Retrieved on November 10 2007. 
  7. ^ Finnegan, Dave (1993). Zen of Juggling. Jugglebug. ISBN 9780961552152. 

[edit] External links

[edit] See also

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