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The Science Behind Hindu Greeting Namaste or Namaskar

If you are accustomed to the South Asian side of the world, or with yoga that is spreading across the world, then you will realize that ‘Namaste’ or ‘Namaskar’ is a common form of greeting. The culture dates back billions of years ago, according to Hinduism, where even the gods and demigods used the kind of salutation to greet each other. It is used on a daily basis in countries like India and Nepal as a kind of standard greeting, especially amongst the Hindus.

Image Credit – Bidhan Rajkarnikar

But it is more than just a greeting; it has a deeper meaning and a deeper significance to humans.

You are acknowledging the other person

Hinduism is all about soul and not the body. So, when you say ‘Namaste’ or ‘Namskaar’ to someone, then you are acknowledging the soul and paying respect and deference to the soul of another. It’s like saying, “I bow to the God within you” or “The Spirit within me salutes the Spirit in you”. You might have read this definition in word porn:

Namaskar: My soul recognizes your soul. I honor the light, love, beauty, truth and kindness within you because it is also within me. In sharing these things, there is no distance and no difference between us. We are the same. We are one.

There is a subtle difference between ‘Namaste’ and ‘Namaskaar,’ however. You are greeting the source of all when you say ‘Namaskaar,’ and with ‘Namaste,’ you are greeting the form of Soul.

You are developing connection in spiritual dimension

When the person acknowledges back your salutation with a ‘Namaste’ or ‘Namaskaar,’ you are developing a spiritual connection with the other person. According to Hinduism, this spiritual connection boosts the positive aura and the relationship with the formless soul.

You are in Spiritual Path of Growth

The etymology of the words comes from Sanskrit word, ‘Namaha,’ which is defined in the Science of Justice as “a physical action expressing that you are superior to me in all qualities and in every way.” This modest definition, when acknowledged during the moment of greeting, helps in developing an attitude of surrender and gratitude towards fellow human beings.

When the greeter thinks the other person is superior to him/her, then it helps in reducing the ego and developing a sense of humbleness from within, common traits of becoming truly ‘human.’

You are transferring only positive energy

The greeting is commonly done with both hands pressed together with palms and fingers in a vertical position, placed in front the chest, bowing the head, and uttering the word ‘Namaste’ or ‘Namaskaar.’ This gesture is known as the ‘Namaskaar’ mudra.

In Hinduism, it is believed that a living body is made up of five different elements:

  1. Agni – Fire
  2. Pruthvittattva/Bhumi – Earth
  3. Pavan/Marut – Air
  4. Jal – Water
  5. Akastattva/Sunya – Vacuum

and there is a constant flow of energy in the human form of the soul. The element ‘Vacuum’ cannot be harmed even though the entire Universe is destroyed. So, by joining hands with the ‘Namaskaar’ mudra, you are relating to the ‘Vacuum’ element of the universe, and you are absorbing a level of ‘Divine consciousness’ into your body. By uttering the word, you are connecting to the Earth element in the universe. When these two elements of energy connect, other elements also start connecting with the person. As a result, there is an inflow of spiritual energy into the individual through the cosmic universe.

By shaking hands, there might be the transfer of either positive or negative energy. But with ‘Namaste’ and ‘Namaskaar,’ there is only a transfer of positive energy.

You are going to remember the person for a long time

While there are spiritual benefits, the gesture also has pros in terms of physical science. Joining both hands and joining the tips of all fingers together activates the pressure points in the ears, eyes and the part of the mind that associated with memory. So it helps to remember the person at the opposite end for a long time.

Since there is also no physical contact with the greeting, there is less chance of germs and diseases being transferred.

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