Significance Of Namaste (August 2005)
We greet each other with Namaste. In Sanskrit it means namah + te, That is I bow to you.”Nama” Signifies reducing ones ego in front of another, a gesture of friendship and humility. The life force in all of us is the same. Recognizing the oneness with folded palms; with our head bowed down we salute the divinity in the person in front of us. May our minds meet indicated by the folded palms placed before the chest. Namaste represents the belief that there is a Divine spark within each of us that is located in the heart chakra.
To perform Namaste, we place the hands together at the heart charka, close the eyes, and bow the head. It can also be done by placing the hands together in front of the third eye, bowing the head, and then bringing the hands down to the heart. This is an especially deep form of respect.
We bring the hands together at the heart chakra to increase the flow of Divine love. Bowing the head and closing the eyes helps the mind surrender to the Divine in the heart. One can do Namaste to oneself as a meditation technique to go deeper inside the heart chakra; when done with someone else, it is also a beautiful, albeit quick, meditation.
For a teacher and student, Namaste allows two individuals to come together energetically to a place of connection and timelessness. If it is done with deep feeling in the heart and with the mind surrendered, a deep union of spirits can blossom.
Ideally, Namaste should be done both at the beginning and at the end of class. Usually, it is done at the end of class because the mind is less active and the energy in the room is more peaceful. The teacher initiates Namaste as a symbol of gratitude and respect toward her students and her own teachers and in return invites the students to connect with their lineage, thereby allowing the truth to flow—the truth that we are all one when we live from the heart.
It is said that in namaste the hands are put together like a knife so that people may cut through all differences that may exist, and immediately get to the shared ground that is common to all peoples of all cultures