Many of us know, the term “Namaste” as a greeting that is practiced by those hailing from the Indian Subcontinent, Nepal and parts of Asia.
Originated from the Sanskrit language, this ancient form of greeting has its essence and philosophy based on goodness and universal acceptance. The word, “Namaste” is coined from three terms. “Nama” means “bow”, while “as” means “I” and “te” meaning “you”. While its meaning is simple, i.e “I bow to you”, as a greeting it conveys the belief in the existence of harmony and peace. The greeting also acknowledges the intrinsic integrity of the greeted individual.
It is the respectful recognition of one individual by another. It is alsoacknowledging the beauty of humanity and a universal oneness – we are all one and part of the same universe. The greeting also symbolizes equality along with respect.
In the profession of teaching, the greeting, “Namaste” conveys a relationship that is free from the burden of ego and self importance. It is an establishment of the respect and understanding that is critical for the process of education in a classroom or coaching class to be a success – that of the relationship between the teacher and the student.
As a greeting that is conveyed at the start and the conclusion of the class, it is often the teacher who initiates the greeting. The teacher’s role here is significant as this is not only conveying the reverence for the pupil but also recognizes the teacher who has imparted knowledge to the teacher. A beautiful remembrance of a teacher who has imparted wisdom to the student that this teacher once was.
On a personal level, this gesture can also be a initialization process to meditation. By closing the eyes, while bringing our hands together and bowing our head, we can focus on ourselves, As a soothing and serene step to meditation, this is one way of preparing our mind for the process of meditation.
By greeting another “Namaste”, we are conveying our appreciation and gratitude to the other. It is also a reflection of the importance of humility when conveying thanks. After a task has been concluded due to the harmonious efforts of two people, both the people concerned can eloquently acknowledge the value and the contribution of the other through this simple gesture.
As a gesture, this greeting may appear simple, but practiced with a sincere goodwill for others, it is powerful in its capacity to make the person who makes the gesture be a more positive member of society.
A person who respects the philosophy behind “Namaste” would indeed be appreciative of their own existence, people around them and their environment. Their respect for the world, including nature is also spoken for as they utter “Namaste”. The sense of gratitude that arises for what they have and who they are in the vastness of universe is conveyed with profundity too.
This discovered gratitude and happiness is a state of mind that evolves from humility. A humility that makes them kinder and tolerant. The state of mind is affected by the level of confidence, self esteem, awareness of ones shortcomings, ability to laugh at ones mistakes, compassion for others and our ability to handle stress.
The Namaste greeting, when truly meant, transcends people to a state that neither is affected by negative thinking or outside influences. It is a celebration of a state of being that revels in the joy of being merely alive to lead a worthy life.