Definition and meaning of Namaskar (Namaste)

Background Information

We encourage you to familiarise yourself with our article, a spiritual perspective on greeting. It provides important background information in order to understand this article.

1. Introduction to meaning of namaste or namaskar

Namaskār, also known as namastē, is a form of greeting practiced most in the Indian Subcontinent. It is used both while greeting and upon parting company. When a person greets another with namaskar, the greeting is accompanied by a slight bow made with hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointed upwards and closely positioned in front of the chest. Along with this, the word ‘namaskar’ or ‘namaste’ is said to the person who is being greeted. The hand position is known as the Namaskar Mudra. (Mudra means a particular hand gesture or position.)

While it is a popular non-contact form of greeting along with the Japanese bow and the hand-wave, its spiritual basis is what sets it apart from any other greeting we have researched. In this article, we will explore its spiritual meaning along with its benefits to us at a spiritual level.

2. The meaning of namaste or namaskar

Namaskar‘ is a Sanskrut word which is derived from another Sanskrut word ‘Namaha’, which means paying obeisance. In our articles on ‘What are we comprised of’ and ‘Life after death’, we have stated that within each of us there exists the Divine (God Principle) known as the soul (ātmā).The greeting of namaskar is when the Soul in one person acknowledges and pays obeisance to the Soul in another.

While the words namaste and namaskar are synonymous there is a spiritual difference between them. Namaskar has more sāttviktā than the word namaste.

3. Spiritual research into meaning of namaskar (namaste)

3.1 Spiritual benefits of namaskar (namaste)

When we conducted spiritual research into the meaning of namaskar (namaste), we found it to be the most spiritually beneficial and sāttvik way to greet another person. These findings were found using the sixth sense. The reasons for this are:

  1. The intention behind the greeting:
    • As this greeting is about acknowledging the Divine in another, it enhances the spiritual potency and attracts Divine consciousness (Chaitanya). When done with the spiritual emotion (bhāv) that one is actually paying obeisance to the soul in the other, it inculcates the attitude of surrender and gratitude. This helps spiritual growth.
    • While doing namaskar, when one thinks, “You are superior to me; ‘i’ am the subordinate one. I do not know anything, You are omniscient”, it helps in reducing one’s ego and increasing humility.
  2. The actual hand gesture:
    • By doing the namaskar mudra,a greater level of Divine consciousness is absorbed into the body. By saying the words namaste or namaskar, the Absolute Ether Principle (Ākāshtattva) is invoked. However when the words are said along with the mudra, a second element that is the Absolute Earth Principle (Pruthvītattva) is also invoked. This is because the mudra by itself is associated with the Absolute Earth Principle.When a higher number of the five Absolute Cosmic Principles are invoked, more spiritual positivity is attracted.
  3. The lack of physical contact:
    • Physical contact enhances the ease of flow of subtle-energies between two people. With this greeting as there is no physical contact, the ability for one person to affect another negatively is minimised.
    • The impact of negative vibrations affecting the individuals greeting one another is further reduced due to the rise in the Sattva component due to the spiritual context of the greeting.
    • Having said this, even this greeting can emit negative vibrations particularly in the case of a possessed person greeting another person with namaskar. The possessing entity can spew negative vibrations from the persons’ finger tips at the person being greeted and into the environment. However, compared with a greeting that involves physical contact, the impact of the negative entity is substantially limited. The spiritual emotion with which the greeting is done further minimizes and potentially eliminates the negative vibrations altogether

3.2 Spiritual frequencies generated from namaskar (namaste)

The drawing based on subtle-knowledge below shows the spiritual frequencies generated when two people greet each other with namaskar. In this example the person greeting is at the 30% spiritual level while the person being greeted is at the 50% spiritual level.

This drawing based on subtle-knowledge has been drawn by Ms.Priyanka Lotlikar through an advanced sixth sense of vision. It has been verified and authenticated by His Holiness Dr. Athavale. When checked through advanced sixth sense, the drawing based on subtle-knowledge was found to be 80% accurate. (To be able to attain 80% accuracy in a drawing based on subtle-knowledge is a very high accomplishment. Unless intense spiritual practice is undertaken subtle-artists are not able to attain anywhere near this percentage of the Absolute Truth in a drawing based on subtle-knowledge.)

Meaning of Namaskar(Namaste)- Spiritual Research

The table below provides the details behind each of the aspects in the above drawing based on subtle-knowledge. Refer to the article on chakras to acquire a better understanding of the table below.

Sno. Explanation
1 When a person greets another with the feeling that “I am paying obeisance to the soul in the other” then a ring of spiritual emotion is created within him
1A Where there is spiritual emotion there is Communion with God and one is better able to access God’s thoughts
1B As a result there is a ring of spiritual emotion that is created around the person who is being greeted
2 This in turn attracts a flow of the Divine Principle or God’s power
2A A ring of the Divine Principle is created and activated
3 Wherever there is Divine Principle,a flow of Bliss (Ānand) is attracted. Bliss is a type of subtle-energy that brings about supreme happiness which is not dependant on any stimulus.
3A This creates and activates a ring of Bliss around the person greeting
3B The person being greeted also imbibes this flow of Bliss
3C As a result there is a creation and activation of a ring of Bliss around the person being greeted
3D There is an activation and emission of particles of Bliss into the environment
4 A flow of Divine consciousness is also attracted to the person who initiates the greeting
4A Thereby creating and activating of a ring of Divine consciousness around him
4B The Divine consciousness is emitted into the environment
4B2 The person being greeted too imbibes the flow of Divine consciousness from the person greeting him
4C A flow of Divine consciousness is also attracted directly to the person being greeted
4D There is creation and activation of a ring of Divine consciousness around the person being greeted
4E There is activation and emission of particles of Divine consciousness and the environment is benefitted spiritually

3.3 Points to remember while doing namaskar (namaste)

  • Eyes should be closed while doing namaskar: By keeping the eyes closed while doing namaskar to God or any person, it facilitates the process for one to ‘see’ within and have the vision of God within us or focus on the soul (God) within a person.
  • Do not to hold any object while doing namaskar: While doing namaskar, if any object is held in the hands, usually the fingers and their tips are not straight. As a result, the flow of the Sattva component is restricted from entering the tips of the fingers. The Sattva component emitted towards the person doing namaskar strikes the object held and bounces back. Additionally, if the object in the hand is Raja or Tama predominant and if it is touched to the forehead or chest while doing namaskar, then the Raja-Tama components from it may enter the body of the one who is doing namaskar.

4. In summary

  • Out of all greetings, the Spiritual Science Research Foundation endorses the namaskar (namaste) as the most sattvik form of greeting and should be adopted as far as possible.
  • Even if it is not the cultural norm to greet a person in this manner, one can still greet another person mentally with namaskar.
  • To do namaskar (namaste) with spiritual emotion, it is important that one should do regular spiritual practice. It is because of spiritual practice that one is able to generate spiritual emotion and live in alignment with the spiritual purpose of life.
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