Namaste is a very popular way of greeting people not only in Bharat but in Nepal, Bangladesh , Thailand, and some parts of South East Asia…
Derived from Sanskrit, Namaste means ‘I Bow Down To You’, Namaste has a Spiritual connotation too… we believe that the Divine and the Soul is the same in everybody… so by saying Namaste… ‘Namah’ meaning ‘bow down’ and ‘te’ meaning to you….’I bow down to the divine in you’!
One of the common translations of Namaste is…’ The divine light in me bows down to the divine light within you’. Sanskrit is truly a magical language… there is no one word in English language to describe Namaste. The concept can be understood and felt, but to pack the philosophy behind this greeting in one word is difficult.
‘Anjali’ in Sanskrit means To Offer or To Salute. ‘Mudra’ means A Sign or A Token or A Seal.
One of my favorite explanations of Anjali Mudra was given by the great Yoga Guru, Sri T. Krishnamacharya. He said and I quote …’ This gesture signifies the potential for an intention to progress to greatest spiritual awakening. When done properly, the palms are not flat against each other, the knuckles at the base of the fingers are bent a little, creating a space between the palms and the fingers of both hands resembling a flower yet to open, symbolizing the opening of our hearts.
When we perform it with our hands at the center of the heart chakra, it is meant to denote balance and harmony between the left and the right sides of our body which unite at the heart center. This balance is not only physical but mental and emotional too.
Namaste honors the goodness, the inner light in other person.
Anjali Mudra honors the Sat Guru… the Divine Light within.
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