‘Namaste’ or ‘Namaskar’ is the Indian way of greeting one another. Namaste is the customary courtesy greeting to begin with and often to end with. It is not a superficial gesture or a mere word. It is used amongst friends or strangers and regardless of age or gender.

The Meaning of Namaste:

In Sanskrit the word is namah + te = Namaste which means “I bow to you”. The word ‘namaha’ can also be literally interpreted as "na ma" (not mine). It has a spiritual significance of dissolving one's ego in the presence of another being.

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. Say the word Namaste and while saying the word bow the head slightly. You also gently close your eyes, as it were, to look into the inner spirit – yours and theirs.

Why Namaste:

Namaste could be just a casual or formal greeting, a cultural courtesy 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 higher consciousness or true selves. When we greet one another with Namaste, it means, ‘may my higher consciousness be united with your higher consciousness’, 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. By doing Namaste we embrace the divinity within our self and the other.

So, Namaste to you!

Author's Bio: 

Richa Badami believes that everyone is here for a purpose and has dedicated her practice to helping people discover their true self. As founder and CEO of Anahatha, Richa helps people on their path of transformation and spiritual growth so they may live their life to the fullest potential.

Born in India, Richa began her own spiritual journey at age 5 learning Yoga, Mantra Chanting and meditation. Over the past 16 years, Richa has studied both eastern and western energy healing and bodywork techniques including: Ayurvedic Siddha Marma, The Melchizedek Method, Reiki, Bach Flower Remedies, Magnified Healing, Core Empowerment, Massage, Medicine Dharma Reiki and Fire Walking. Richa started Anahatha in India in 1996, bringing her practice to the US in 2002. Anahatha holds weekend retreats, one day and half day workshops and seminars, the I AM Consciousness™ 21 week meditation course as well as Reiki Level 1 and 2 Classes.

Richa lives in Ashburn, Virginia with her husband and three beautiful daughters. She loves to dance, play tennis and read.