;The word Namaste has been in existence for a very long time. It has recently become famous after the attack of the deadly Coronavirus where people were forced to stop shaking hands due to Social Distancing norms. Namaste is an ancient way of greeting people in personal, social, and even business gatherings.
The word Namaste has been derived from two Sanskrit words “namas” and “te” which means “bowing” and “to you”. Thus the literal meaning of Namaste is bowing to you. Namaste is used as a very common and cultural practice to greet people in the country of India.
The word Namaste belongs to the Devangiri form of posture that involves the folding of the right hand with the left hand. This term can also be pronounced as namaskaram or namaskar or nomoskar and is widely used in the Indian subcontinent; Southeast Asian people, and also Indians residing in different parts of the world.
The form and pose of the Namaste gesture belong to the Anjali Mudra. This is a very famous mudra that is usually found in the Indian classical dance form, Bharatnatyam. However, there are differences between the Anjali Mudra and Namaste in the sense that while the Anjali Mudra is a non-verbal gesture; Namaste is can be said irrespective of the gesture.
The word Namaste has a very deep meaning in the sense that it has links in a variety of places and forms. It has been widely used by great people over the years, as a sign of blessings; as mudras in various dance forms, and even in yoga asanas.
Origin of Namaste
The origin and use of Namaste can be traced back to ancient times. It has found its mentions in the ancient Vedic culture and Sandhi form. The term Namas-Krita; another term of Namaste has found its appearances’ in the Vivaha Sukta verse 10.85.22 of the Hindu Scripture Rigveda.
One of the earliest mentions of the Namaste posture has been seen in archaeological findings dated between 3000 BCE to 2000 BCE. This includes the excavations of the great and oldest Indian Civilization, the Indus Valley Civilization. Many male and female terracotta figures of the since discovered civilization have been seen to use the Namaste posture.
Since then this posture has been observed in various civilizations throughout the world. This includes the Namaste pose in a Thai temple, Namaste status in Bali, Indonesia, etc. Furthermore, it has also been seen in 100 BCE statues in Satna, Madhya Pradesh, and artworks of 6th to 7th century CE Rajivalochan Vishnu temple in Rajim area of Chattisgarh.
Namaste and Yoga
The art forms of Yoga and Namaste have their meanings and purposes often intertwined. It is a very common and typical view to see yoga students in a yoga class sit folding their hands in the gesture of Namaste. It is very common; and thus has become almost like an unsaid rule to be performed before the commencement of any yoga class.
Yoga students usually sit in a cross-legged manner in front of their teacher, guru, or trainer. Once the guru folds his or her hands, takes a deep breath, and says Namaste; the students reciprocate the same and bow down to reply Namaste in unison. If you are interested to become a certified yoga instructor then 300 hour yoga teacher training in Rishikesh is the one which you need to opt for. If you are beginner and want to learn from the beginning then you can take up the beginner level 1 of 100 hour yoga teacher training in Rishikesh.
Some yoga practitioners believe and endorse the fact that the true meaning of Namaste is that “The Divine in me honors the divine in you”. This interpretation is derived from the Hindu traditional belief that God is resident inside every individual; and that the divine power within an individual deserves respect.
Another meaning can also interact as the gesture of greetings between souls. This means the person who is bowing down in Namaste is greeting the soul of the other person from his soul. This concept is very similar to the meaning; and purpose of yoga which aims to unify or connect the external with that of the external.
Many famous and acclaimed yoga schools in the world not only understand but also teach; and propagate the linked importance of Namaste in yoga. One such school is the Yoga School in Rishikesh that has incorporated the meaning, uses, and importance of Namaste in their various curriculums.
Some yoga practitioners believe that using the gesture of Namaste during yoga or even generally in everyday life not only helps to increase empathy but also increases the horizon of understanding of the individual. When practiced with yoga it increases mutual respect; and belief resulting in a better effect of the respective yoga asana or poses on the body, mind, and soul.
Many tourists visit many parts of India and especially Rishikesh; the yoga capital of the world to seek spiritual awakening and Namaste forms a very important part of the same. It is often said that when an individual folds their hands in Namaste the tip of their fingers point towards their heart chakra and strengths the same.
Thus it can be seen that Namaste has a very wide set of scope and deep meaning in the sense that it has been used in a wide variety of places over the years. Therefore, if this ancient Sanskrit gesture is practiced with true intention and from the heart; a very effective unison of the spirits can be achieved.