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How to greet | A spiritual perspective on greetings around the world

1. Introduction

All over the world, regardless of race or culture, people greet one another. The purpose of greetings around the world can vary and the reasons behind them generally include:

  • Showing attention to and acknowledgement of  the other person’s presence
  • Intentionally making one’s presence known formally or informally
  • Suggesting the closeness and type of relationship between people or groups

However, customs underlying greetings are highly specific to the culture and situation and may change depending on social status and relationship. Greetings can be expressed silently, audibly or physically, and often involve a combination of them. At the Spiritual Science Research Foundation, we undertook spiritual research into the types of common greetings around the world to understand their impact on us at a spiritual level. At a broader level, we have also conducted spiritual research using biofeedback machines to understand the changes that occur to the chakras of a person when greetings are exchanged. This is particularly while

  • being in the company of certain people or
  • when making eye contact on meeting and greeting them or
  • while making physical contact when conversing with or
  • reaching out and touching another person as in hugging, depending on their individual spiritual state. (‘Spiritual state’ has been defined  later on  in this article.)

2. Background information

Before we share the findings of our research, it would be pertinent to refer to a few spiritual concepts that we have discussed in detail in other articles. All of us differ in our spiritual capacities or spiritual levels. Accordingly, depending on whether our spiritual level is higher or lower, we become either less or more prone to attacks by negative energies from the spiritual dimension. As a result, our spiritual states may differ. By ‘spiritual state’, we mean whether a person has been taken over by an entity (demonic possession) or not. A person at a lower spiritual level becomes highly prone to being affected, if not possessed, by negative energies or departed ancestors.  Our spiritual research indicates that in current times, approximately one third of the world’s population are possessed by negative energies. We have gone into considerable detail explaining this phenomenon in our section on Ghosts (demons, devils, negative energies, etc.).

2.1 Transmission of black energy

People who are possessed or badly affected by negative energies are covered with black energy. This black energy affects not only them but other people in their vicinity as well. People who have the subtle-ability of sixth sense can pick up on this black energy by perceiving the spiritually negative vibrations. People who have a sixth sense of vision can actually see the black energy emanating from a possessed person or a person affected by negative energies.

Black covering around society related to greetings around the world

Depending on the strength of the possessing entity, the black energy covering around a person can extend out to a considerable distance. Needless to say, people in the vicinity of the affected person are at an increased risk of being affected when they actually come into physical contact with the person.

Black energy is more easily transmitted through directly looking into a possessed person’s eyes, by touch, consuming food that the person has cooked, etc. Almost everyone at some stage in their lives will have some level of black covering either from being affected or possessed by negative energies or by departed ancestors.

Black energy is Tama-predominant and instigates many impediments in a person’s life, which include various problems in life and obstacles in spiritual growth. Please refer to the article on Sattva, Raja and Tama – the three subtle-components of the Universe.

A black energy covering can be minimised by spiritual practice or some spiritual healing methods.  Regular spiritual practice, however, is the most reliable way to reduce the covering of black energy.

3. Spiritual research into various greetings around the world

3.1 Factors affecting the spiritual efficacy of a greeting

The main factors in deciding the more spiritually appropriate greeting is based on the spiritual vibrations generated, and the level of contact between the two people.

  • Greetings from around the world that are more likely to generate Raja-Tama vibrations are considered spiritually harmful to us. We have elaborated on this in section 3.3.
  • Greetings that are less likely to generate RajaTama vibrations and are more likely to attract sāttvik vibrations are spiritually beneficial to us.
  • Greetings that involve physical contact increase the risk of a flow of subtle-energies between two people. As most people do not do regular spiritual practice, they are more prone to be affected by negative energies and black energy, and hence can affect others too.

  • Greetings that are delivered with sattvik thoughts such as genuine love, affection and goodwill towards the other person increase the spiritual positivity of a greeting. However, these are at a psychological level. When the thoughts are at a spiritual level, such as “May this person progress spiritually” or “I am paying obeisance to the soul (ātmā) within you”, then the spiritual positivity of a greeting increases manifold.

3.2 The effects of greetings given by specific people

People in society can be affected by negative energy to varying degrees. For the purposes of our study, they have been categorised as follows:

  1. Possessed person: The person’s consciousness is controlled by negative energies.
  2. Affected person: The person is affected to some extent by negative energies however the negative energy does not have control over the person’s mind and intellect. The average person falls under this category.

  3. Positive person: The person is spiritually positive and is not affected by negative energies. This is generally quite rare in today’s world. In almost all cases, this person would be doing regular spiritual practice and will be above the 60% spiritual level.

  4. Saint: A person above the 70% spiritual level. This is extremely rare in today’s world.

When the above types of people greet each other or interact with each other various subtle-energy flows are generated. Depending on the type of people who are greeting each other and by what method, the energy transfer will differ.

For example:

  • Possessed with Affected: If a person possessed by negative energies hugs a person who is affected by negative energies, there is a strong likelihood of negative energy transfer from the possessed person to the person affected.

  • Possessed with Positive: If a person, possessed by a lower level negative energy, shakes hands with a positive person of the 60% spiritual level, then there could be a healing effect on the person possessed.
  • Saint with Affected: If a Saint wishes an average affected person well, a healing effect will be experienced by the affected person.

In almost all cases, people cannot perceive this energy exchange as they do not have the subtle-ability or sixth sense to perceive it. However, you may have experienced a feeling of being drained whilst in another person’s company or after shaking a person’s hand. This is an indication of one being negatively affected by another person.

3.3 Greetings around the world covered through spiritual research

Whenever we communicate with or greet another person, we are at risk of being affected by the subtle-energies associated with that person. The table below gives an overview of the types of greetings we have conducted spiritual research into.

Type of greeting1 Spiritual risk2 Spiritual benefit3
Namastē Least High
Bow Less – medium Less
Handshake Medium None
Hug Medium to high None
Kiss High None


  1. Click on the hyperlinks in the column ‘type of greeting’ to find out more.
  2. By ‘spiritual risk’, we mean the risk of generating distressing spiritual vibrations (which are detrimental in nature) and their transfer between the two people greeting each other, as well as into the immediate environment.
  3. By ‘spiritual benefit’ we mean does the greeting generate sattvik vibrations

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