Palms together, Namaste
On the street, in the office, at University and Supermarkets, Namaste is a common courtesy greeting in India, around in Asia and all over the globe for young and old, friends and strangers, to begin or to end a meeting with.
Also in Hatha Yoga classes we place the folded palms in front of our chest expressing the word Namaste while bowing the head slightly.
Why? And what is actually the meaning of Namaste?
Namaste is used as a casual or formal greeting, as a cultural convention or an act of worship. And there is more about the kind salutation then meets the eye. It implies the belief that the real meeting between people is the meeting of their minds and spirit. When we greet one another with Namaste, it means, ‘may our minds, may our spirit meet’, symbolized by the folded palms placed before the chest. Next to extending a warm welcome to each other and "the meeting of our minds", Namaste includes the recognition of the divinity within ourselves and the person we meet, acknowledging this oneness with the meeting of the palms. The bowing down of the head is a gracious form of extending friendship in love, respect and humility.
Namaste is the gathering of the Sanskrit words namah translated as "to bow" and te translated as "you". Namaste literally can be render as “I bow to you” - my greetings, salutations or prostration to you. The word ‘namaha’ can also be literally interpreted as "na ma" translated as "not mine". It has a spiritual significance of negating or reducing one's ego in the presence of another.
Because we are one
Namaste can be used as a greeting for all ages, all genders, all races given to friends, family members, and also strangers. We are all one when we live from the heart. Namaste.