NAMASTE is a Sanskrit word that means “I bow to you.” It is pronounced “na-ma-stay.”
A customary warm and respectful greeting in India and Nepal, it is usually spoken when people meet or say good-bye. It is common among relatives, guests and strangers alike. Namaste is often said with a smile and slight bow towards the other with hands together, palms touching, fingers pointing upwards and thumbs held reverently close to the chest (heart chakra). In some places, the spoken word is common. In other places, the gesture without the word is more customary.
Within Hindu religious tradition, Namaste has evolved to mean:
“I bow to the Divine in you.”
“I recognize and I revere the God I see in you.”
“I honor the place in you which is of love, truth, light, and peace.”
“We are one…we are all connected.”
“I recognize the sacredness we share.”
Namaste is a profoundly rich acknowledgement that we all share the same One Divine Consciousness. I use Namaste as a greeting, a farewell and an interfaith blessing.