In today’s article we will take a deep dive into what does Namaste mean!
Believe it or not, your yoga teachers are not simply saying “goodbye” when they end their lessons with a friendly Namaste. Find out what beautiful meaning actually lies behind the Sanskrit word and how you can incorporate Namaste into your daily routine!
Namaste Meaning and Definition – Indian to English
Namaste (nah–mas–tay, Sanskrit: नमस्ते) is not merely a greeting gesture, it is much more! It is a beautiul and deep representation of respect and spiritual acknowledgment towards the other person. But that is not all! By saying Namaste to another soul you are embodying the belief that deep down in our cores there is a spark of divinity in every single one of us.
Namaste is composed in two parts:
- Namas (the sandhi form of namah) – meaning bow
- Te – meaning to you
This translates to “I bow to you”.
Other translations include:
- My divinity bows to the divinity that lies within your soul.
- I respect your joyous and enlightened spark.
- When we bow to one another our souls connect and we are one.
The Spiritual Meaning of Namaste
By greeting someone with the word Namaste, you are representing the idea of harmony. That despite all the distinctions you might see on the outside, you and the other person are more the same than you are different. It means that when you look inside and focus on your souls, you share the same core values.
The gesture is located in the heart chakra, which rests in the middle of the chest. This acknowledges the divine spirit inside of the other person’s core: their heart, their soul. It is said that heart chakras connect during the divine saying, while passing positive energies to the receiving person.
By truly meaning Namaste you are showing the other person not only respect and modesty, but also unity and thankfulness.
When to Practice
When greeting someone with a Namaste, you are acknowledging the other person’s inner spirit. It is a form of courtesy and politeness.
These are the most common situations where Namaste is said:
- Greeting an elderly person – To show respect.
- Greeting a mentor or professor – To show respect.
- Someone goes out of their way to help you – To show thankfulness.
- Someone has been kind to you – To show thankfulness.
- Greeting someone special into your home – To show hospitality.
In short: You use Namaste when greeting someone you look up to or when you want to show your gratitude and admiration to the receiving person.
How to Correctly Make the Namaste Gesture
Although its meaning is profound and amazing, it does not take much to perform Namaste. To do so, bring your palms together and let all ten fingers softly touch one another pointing upwards while slightly bending forward. Make sure not to clap your hands as this can be interpreted as somewhat rude and disrespectful.
You can place your hands either directly at the heart chakra or in front of the third eye while slowly bringing them down to the heart. This is done to increase the stream of energies to the other person. To even further enhance this flow, you typically also close your eyes.
In India saying the actual word “Namaste” is unnecessary since the gesture itself is usually enough. However, in the West you should opt for saying the Sanskrit word to ensure that there are no misunderstandings.
Namaste vs. Namaskar: Is There a Difference?
Both Namaste and Namaskar are forms of greetings and showing respect with the gesture mentioned above. They both embrace the idea that deep within us lies beautiful light and spirituality.
Namaskar (in Sanskrit “Namaskara” is also composed in two parts:
- Namas (the sandhi form of namah) – meaning bow
- Kāra – meaning to do/action
Namaskar means similarly to Namaste “I do the bowing to you”.
Above all, the main difference is that with namaskar you are not saluting the divinity inside a person, but rather the Supreme Consciousness. Namaskar is seen as being more spiritual and more polite.
Another difference is that Namaste is used one on one, while Namaskar is frequently practiced when greeting multiple people.
Yoga and Meditation
Meanwhile, most of us know Namaste from our yoga or meditation class, but the message the teachers want to pass to you is much more beautiful than you might have ever thought.
At the beginning of the class Namaste symbolizes the teachers’ gratefulness and respect towards their students for joining their class. However, the Sanskrit word is heard most at the end of a lesson to enhance the spirituality, the energies and the peacefulness in the room.
Although Namaste is usually said to another person, you can also say it to yourself as a form of self-appreciation. By doing this meditation method, you are allowing yourself to go deeper into your heart chakra.
3 Inspiring Namaste Quotes
“Peace begins with a kind gesture and Namaste.”
― Debasish Mridha
“Eternity will not be nor has it been, it is.
Spirit is the we that is I or the I that is we.”
“I honor the place in you of Light, Love, Truth, Peace, and Wisdom. I honor the place in where when you are in that place, and I am in that place, there is only one of Us.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
Do You Have Any Related Questions or Stories?
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If you liked our article, you can also check our Hatha Yoga Guide or the 10 Twin Flame Signs You Might Be close To Meeting “The One”!
Thank you for being you – Hope to see you around!