Sunday, June 20, 2021




The Merriam Webster dictionary defines Namaste as under:-

" The Sanskrit phrase namaste is formed from namaḥ, meaning “bow, obeisance, adoration,” and the enclitic pronoun te, meaning “to you.” The noun namaḥ, in turn, is a derivative of the verb namati, which means “(she or he) bends, bows."

About Namaste, Dr S.S.Tosahkhani, the well known Scholar says this:-

" The etymology of the word is simply ‘namas’ (नमस्), meaning bowing, salutation, obeisance + ‘te’ (ते) meaning ‘to you’. ‘Namas’ changes to ‘Namah’ (नम:) and ‘namo’ (नमो) in composition.  The word ‘namaste’ is not found in any Sanskrit dictionary because Namaskar is the standard form of salutation."

So , namaste literally means ‘I bow to you.’ However  ,there is a broader and divine meaning and interpretation of  the word Namaste.This interpretation comes from the Hindu belief that God resides in everyone. 

Accordingly to  B. K. S. Iyengar,

" Namaste is a sincere gesture from somewhere deep within  the soul. It is  acknowledgment of the soul in one by the soul in another."

The Upnishads say that the light within one  individual acknowledges the light present in another as both reflect the light of the same  supreme soul. Thus while Namaste  is a form of greeting, it is essentially  an acknowledgement of  the all pervading presence of  the supreme reality. A person saying Namaste also conveys to the other person that they are the parts of the same reality. Some scholars have also given below listed interpretations of Namaste:-

(1) I  bow to the place in you that is love, light, and joy.

(2)When you and I bow to our true nature, we are one.

(3) My soul recognizes your soul

(4) We are the same, we are one.

(5)  I honour the place in you that is the same as it is in me.


Sadhguru Jaggi  Vasudev says this :-

 " When you see a person, whether it is in your workplace, on the street, at home or anywhere else, the nature of human intellect is such that the moment it sees, it will make a judgment – “This is okay in that person, this is not okay in that person. He is good, he is not good, he is beautiful, he is ugly” – all kinds of things. You do not even have to consciously think all this. These assessments and judgments happen in a moment, and your judgments may be completely wrong because they all are coming from your past experiences of life. They will not allow you to experience something or someone the way they are right now, which is very important. If you want to work effectively in any field, if someone comes in front of you, it is most important to be able to grasp them the way they are right now. How they were yesterday does not matter. How they are this moment is important. 

The moment you place your hands together, and say namaskar ,  your dualities, your likes and dislikes, your cravings and aversions, are all leveled out because you recognize the source of creation within them. This is the intention behind doing Namaskar."

Both namaskar and  namaste have the same root word in Sanskrit: namas, which means “bowing or homage.” Namaskar is made up of the root words namas and kara, meaning “doing".

In the US, I observed that the religious and secular culture come together with the increasing use of  word Namaste.


(Avtar Mota)

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