Everyone who’s ever done a yoga class or meditation has said namasté at some time. And if not, maybe you’ve heard someone say it. The word namasté is a greeting in ancient Sanskrit. It’s a beautiful, humble word that can be translated to mean ‘the divine spirit within me recognises and respects the divine spirit in you’. The gesture of namasté (or Anjali Mudra) is the act of bringing together the palms of the hands in front of the heart, and gently bowing the head. It is a humble greeting, straight from the heart.
OUR INNER SPIRIT
Namasté has a deeper meaning, too one that is rooted in spirituality. Closing your eyes and bowing your head is a symbol of your mind’s submission to the divinity of the heart to look into the inner spirit.
Namasté is rich in symbolism. Doing it correctly means that we need to merge the five fingers of the left hand with the five fingers of the right hand. The five fingers of the left hand represent the five senses of karma, and those of the right are the five organs of knowledge. It symbolizes that our karma or action must be in harmony, and governed by rightful knowledge, prompting us to think and act correctly. By combining the five fingers of each hand, a total of 10 is achieved. And the number 10 is a symbol of perfection the mystical number of completion and unity.
NAMASTÉ IS EVERYWHERE
While some version of the namasté greeting is popular in many countries of the world, actually shaking hands can be seen as taboo. In India, for example, children are taught to politely say namasté to their elders from a very young age, which works towards creating an environment of love and peace in society.
THE LIGHT WITHIN YOU
We see namasté as more than a word it’s a way of life. It’s a way of showing respect: for yourself, for others, for our world and for nature. Think of it as a way of connecting with everything outside of ourselves. It’s not a religious idea, but more an approach to living. It’s a way of elevating yourself above your own ego and values, so that you can be open to showing compassion and empathy to others in every aspect of your life.
The beauty you see in me is a reflection of you
ACCEPTANCE GROWS FROM AWARENESS
Respect is acknowledging someone’s feelings, wishes or rights. It’s all about awareness and acceptance that while we might be at odds with each other, we should always be respectful.
It’s not always easy to respect the people we disagree with, or those whose beliefs are so different from our own. ‘How could you think that?’ we say. ‘What’s wrong with you?’ But if we close ourselves off right there and then to people who are different to us, there’s no way forward. We don’t grow, and worst of all, we stop ourselves from becoming more empathetic.
LIVING THE LIFE
Living a namasté life means living with and showing compassion, care and respect, every single day. If we always try to interact with others with an attitude of honor and appreciation, we’ll automatically treat them with kindness.
But let’s be realistic: this doesn’t mean we have to be passively accepting of everything and everyone. Challenging different opinions and points of view is part of what makes life interesting. It’s not about convincing others that you are right or about them convincing you that they’re right, but simply trying to understand each other, and perhaps agreeing to disagree. It’s all about being respectful while being able to acknowledge our differences.
True beauty consists of purity of heart
BELIEVE IN GOODNESS
Namasté is our constant reminder to be aware of others outside of ourselves. Because we think that if you believe in the goodness in others, then you are likely to treat them with compassion and respect. This respect then flows throughout your whole life rewarding you with a more soulful way of living.