“Namaste”: what does that mean exactly?

If you have the privilege of being someone immersed in the world of relaxation and practicing certain disciplines like yoga, you may have noticed that instructors often use an intriguing word: Namaste.

Likewise, it is also very common that you have never heard the same term in some spiritual deepening environments and in some cultures in Asia. But what is the meaning of this word?

What does the word “Namaste” mean?

Namaste (you can also find it written as ‘Námaste’, with an emphasis on the ‘a’) is a term that comes from the Sanskrit language (the classical language of India), And its meaning is unknown to most people precisely because of this: the term Namaste originates in and is far removed from any Spanish-speaking region.

Thus, in today’s text, we will be in charge of discovering the history and applications of this beautiful word.

The origin of Namaste

the etymological roots of the word Namaste are found in Atavistic culture Hindu. One of the many languages ​​spoken in Indian and Nepalese geography is Sanskrit, which is considered a sacred language for practitioners of Hinduism.

The term Namaste is therefore used as a traditional form of greeting, both at the time of the meeting and during farewells, and is usually done. gesture of joining the palms of the hands in front of the chest when spoken (A gesture called mudra). It is also used to give thanks or to ask for something, and always as an unequivocal sign of respect for the interlocutor.

The meaning of Namaste

The etymology of the word Namaste reveals that there are two roots that make up the term. The first of them, to lodge, Is a neutral noun meaning something like “ greeting ”, “ reverence ” or “ courtesy ”, and is a particle derived from the root Male, The meaning is: “to bow” or “to reverence”.

The second line of Namaste is formed by the pronoun a, Which is the second person singular of the indirect complement: “to you”. For this reason, an exact translation, etymologically speaking, of Namaste could be: “I greet you” or “I bow to you”.

Currently, the Hindi language and many of its dialects use the term regularly, being one of the many greet or say goodbye from someone.

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Feel the meaning of Namaste something so concrete, Why is it so often used in the oriental disciplines of relaxation and meditation?

The spiritual and philosophical significance of Sanskrit gives Namaste a character that escapes its purely semantic definition. Buddhism incorporates this word into its spiritual tradition.

According to experts, the particle “namas” can take the meaning of “nothing from me“Believing that the ego of the one who utters the term is reduced to nothing, this being a sign of the attitude of absolute humility towards the interlocutor. When the Namaste greeting is made of the authenticity of the soul, they say: a real bond is created between the two people, beyond interests, expectations and social roles.

Divine essence: Buddhism and purification of the soul

Another interesting feature of the spiritual meaning of this word is the belief that there is a divine essence in every person. So, according to the religious traditions in which this term is rooted, when one pronounces the word Namaste while it is accompanied by mudra (the hands united in the position of prayer and a slight tilt of the trunk forward, the cultural meaning was born from Eastern religions), we witness to the presence of the essence of God in oneself and in the other person. The divine essences are recognized and greeted.

Although Namaste is often used in yoga sessions as a farewell, at the end of the class the truth is that it is more of a greeting than a way of saying goodbye. In reality, professionals in the eastern disciplines of self-knowledge recommend that Namaste be used in the introduction and the first exercises of each session, in the manner of mantra (Although there is no scientifically based reason why the word Namaste should be used in one context and not in another). This phrase is often used in the western world to express good wishes to one another.

However, yoga teachers prefer to use the mantra at the end of the class, as this is the time when each student’s environment and psyche is in a situation more prone to benefit from. Namaste.

The secular use of this term

Of course, you don’t have to believe in the Buddhist faith to use this term. However, it should be kept in mind that since the practice of many forms of meditation usually occurs in environments associated with Buddhism, it can be an element that helps to fix the sessions and increase its power of suggestion.

We must not forget that in tasks related to the regulation of attentional concentration the aspects associated with the suggestion are very important, so it is worth taking advantage of its potential to achieve the desired effect and facilitate the work of those involved in these experiences.

Bibliographical references:

  • Borges, Jorge Luis with Alicia Jurado (1976). What is Buddhism? 2000. Madrid: Editorial Aliança.
  • Gethin, Rupert (1998). The foundations of Buddhism. Oxford University Press.

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