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July - September 2023

Joining Hands, Connecting Souls – The Significance of Namaskaram by Deepa Karthik

Namaskaram! Have you ever wondered why we greet people by joining our hands together and bowing our head? Well, that’s Namaskaram also called as Namaskar or Namaste, a traditional way of greeting that has been passed down through generations.

In India, this gesture of respect and humility is commonly used to greet people, and it holds a special place in the country’s rich cultural heritage. The word “namaskaram” derives from Sanskrit, the ancient language of India, and it means “I bow to you.” Namaskaram is not just a way of greeting; it is a beautiful and meaningful tradition that has been a part of Indian culture for thousands of years.

The Namaskaram gesture involves bringing your palms together in front of your chest, with your fingers pointing upwards and your thumbs touching your heart. You then bow your head slightly and say “Namaskaram” or “Namaste” to the person you are greeting. The gesture is often accompanied by a smile, and is a sign of goodwill and respect. The entire gesture exudes a sense of warmth and kindness, making it a beautiful and meaningful way of greeting in India.

The tradition of Namaskaram has been a part of Indian culture for thousands of years, and is deeply rooted in the country’s spiritual traditions. It is believed to have originated as a way of showing respect to the divine, as well as to fellow human beings. In Hinduism, the gesture is often used in worship, meditation, and other spiritual practices, as a way of acknowledging the divine presence within oneself and in others.

However, Namaskaram is not just a religious practice – it is also a way of showing respect and courtesy in everyday life. In India, it is common to use the gesture when meeting someone for the first time, when greeting elders or people in positions of authority, and when thanking someone for their help or kindness.

The Namaste gesture is also known as Anjali Mudra because “Mudra” means “seal” or “gesture” in Sanskrit, and “Anjali” means “offering,” or “salutation,” When you bring your palms together in the Namaste gesture, it is like making an offering or a salutation, which is why it is called Anjali Mudra.

The Namaste gesture or the Anjali Mudra is a way to show respect, kindness, and thankfulness all at once. When you do it, you can feel calm and grateful too.

There are many good things about doing the Namaste gesture. It can help you think better, breathe better, and feel more intuitive. It can also help you concentrate, relax, and feel less stressed. It can even make your arms and wrists more flexible.

Doing the Namaste gesture regularly can help you deal with emotions better and remember things more easily.

Namaskaram can be a valuable way of learning about Indian culture and traditions, as well as developing habits of respect and courtesy towards others. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. It promotes humility: By bowing your head and bringing your palms together, you are acknowledging that the person you are greeting is important and deserving of respect. This can help cultivate a sense of humility and respectfulness towards others.
  2. It is inclusive: Namaskaram can be used to greet people of any age, gender, or social status. It is a universal gesture of respect and can help promote inclusivity and
  3.  It fosters a sense of community: By using Namaskaram to greet others, you are acknowledging your connection to them and the larger community. This can help foster a sense of unity and belonging.
  4.  It can be a sign of gratitude: In addition to being a greeting, Namaskaram can also be used to express gratitude or thanks. By saying “Namaskaram” while bowing your head and bringing your palms together, you are acknowledging the person’s kindness or help.