Namaste – My Soul Recognizes your Soul
Namaste is an Indian, Nepalese and Tibetian respectful greeting or farewell, represented by a gesture performed by joining two palms directly in front of you at the level of the vishuddha chakra (in the physical plane, the region of the neck at the level of the jugular fossa or thyroid gland). You need to slightly bow your head as well.
In a broad sense, the greeting connection of the palms in front of the heart means: “The divine in me welcomes the divine in you and unites with it.” “Namas” or “Namah” means readiness to serve, and “Te” means you. In addition, the word “Na-mas” can also be interpreted as “not mine.” In this sense, the namaste gesture is understood as what I have, I am ready to offer to God concentrated in you. Such a sincere offering from the heart convinces the one you greet that you are open and ready to share.
Another context for such a gesture is humility before the Almighty and complete worship of Him. At the moment of greeting, the gesture contributes to the disclosure of the inner world of the personality both before God and the welcomed person. The boundaries between people are softened, harmony is achieved because how can you be hostile to someone who is a part of God just like you?
Have you ever thought about why it is customary for Eastern people to address both God and each other with folded palms, while Western people refer exclusively to God in this way? This can be explained by the fact that in Western culture they separate the human essence from the essence of God, and in Eastern culture they recognize their unity, since in every living being there is a particle of the Divine.
Everything that exists is sacred, everything is God. Namaste promotes the expansion of consciousness. Having closed our palms, we come into contact with His essence, connecting the spiritual with the material. This is the only way to know ourselves, to feel this inseparable connection.
The meaning of namaste according to the teachings of yoga has two aspects:
The personification of humility, and humbleness. In a materialistic person, the ego dominates the whole being. It makes one crave power and glory. Having thrown off the bonds of the oppressive ego with the help of humility, the personality opens to the Divine principle.
A method of concentration. Along with physical calmness comes spiritual concentration. If you pacify the body, the consciousness expands and mental resources are released.
In yoga practice, there is the same hand position as Namaste. Yoga practitioners call this Anjali mudra. Anjali means “prayer”, and the word mudra means “seal”. Yogis believe that the energy flowing throughout the human body goes beyond it and interacts with the energies of the Universe, escaping through the palms and other parts of the body. Trying to stop this process, yogis close their palms in Anjali mudra, believing that such a gesture is a protective action against negative manifestations of the external environment
How to perform the Namaste greeting:
To perform Namaste, put your palms together at the level of the heart chakra, which is located in the chest area, close your eyes and bow your head. To express respect for a revered person or an older person, fold your hands in Namaste at the level between the eyebrows. This suggests that you bow before him with your whole body, mind and heart. And if you show respect to the Guru or God, then you need to raise your hands above your head, as if to say “I give myself to you”.
Namaste as a yogic posture:
Human energy circulates throughout the body and is concentrated in the palms, solar plexus and feet. From these points, energy gradually flows out and, in order to balance the flows and harmonize the circulation, during the performance of spiritual practices, the yogi takes the lotus position and puts his hands in Namaste.
This posture has a protective effect on both the aura and the nervous system, contributing to the concentration of energies and internal resources of a person.
Secondly, with the help of Namaste, you can achieve a meditative state: the body gradually relaxes, thoughts subside, and observation comes to replace activity. But most importantly, this gesture teaches humility, because this quality is one of the most important aspects in spiritual practices, the concept itself lies in pacifying or “taming” your ego. Curbing the ego, a person dedicates the labors of their activity to the Almighty, and not to some temporary whims and changeable desires.
Guru – disciple connection:
We join hands at the heart chakra to increase the flow of Divine love. Bowing the head and closing the eyes helps the mind surrender to the Divine in the heart. You can do Namaste for yourself as a meditation technique to get a deeper sense of the heart chakra.
For teacher and student, the Namaste gesture allows two people to join energetically together in connection and timelessness, free from the bonds of ego-connection. If this is done with a deep feeling in the heart and with a calm mind, a deep union of spirits can blossom.
Other meanings of the word Namaste:
One of the most common translations of Namaste is
“The divine light in me bows to the divine light within you.”
However, a simple Internet search yields many excellent meanings and translations of namaste, such as:
I honor the place in you where the entire universe dwells.
I bow to that place in you that is love, light and joy.
When you and I bow to our true nature, we are one.
My soul recognizes your soul.
We are the same, we are one.
I honor that place in you, which is the same as in me.
TODAY’S TIP: Folded hands are a particularly high form of respect. In the West the word “Namaste” is usually used with a gesture. In India, however, they understand that the gesture itself means Namaste, and therefore there is no need to pronounce this word during the bow.