The word Namaste literally means “I bow to you“. The roots come from sanskrit and breaks down as follows: bowing (Namas) + to you (te). It is meant to be a greeting of respect and gratitude as you acknowledge and welcome another person, whether friend, family or stranger. It can also be used as a goodbye or acknowledgement of departure.
A person is not simply saying “hello” or “goodbye” when greeting another with “Namaste”. It is an extension of the Hindu belief that God resides in everyone. Saying “Namaste” means you are respecting the divine in another and “bowing” to the divine in that person.
By placing your hands together by your heart, and bowing to the other person, you are spiritually connecting your heart chakra to theirs, the divine in your heart to the divine in theirs.
One thing you may be asking: “Is it appropriate for a non-hindu or someone outside the culture to use this wonderful word? Is It Cultural Appropriation to Say ‘Namaste’? That is a good question and one posed in the blog namaste.com. Due to the nature of the word, as a greeting, blessing and acknowledgement of the divine, it is ok to use and not considered offensive, as long as you use it with the respect it deserves.
I close out my blog posts with Namaste because I believe it is a beautiful and powerful word and tradition. It is my way of acknowledging you, your soul and your divinity. I believe whole heartedly in the Pierre Teilhard de Chardin quote:
We are not human beings in search of a spiritual experience, but are spiritual beings having a physical experience.Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
How better to respect another person, and their spiritual being, then to say “I acknowledge the divine in you.”
Have a beautiful day my friends.