Namaste is a popular term that is commonly used in Hindu, Buddhist, and even western cultures. The correct and only spelling of the word is “N-A-M-A-S-T-E”.
The American English pronunciation is ‘nah-mah-STAY’ where the ‘a’ sound is shorter, and the stress is placed on the last syllable. However, the original pronunciation of Namaste is ‘nuh-MUH-stheh’. In southeastern Asia, they emphasize the second syllable, and the letters ‘a’ are pronounced with the short ‘u’ sound.
The literal interpretation of the word Namaste is ‘I Bow To You,’ but it has a deeper spiritual application in Hinduism.
Keep reading to learn more about Namaste's definitions and its significance in yoga!
What Is The Origin Of The Word Namaste?
The origins of “Namaste” can be traced down to old Indian culture from the traditional Hindu and Buddhist belief systems.
Although it is commonly used in European culture, Namaste does not have a western background. It is an old Sanskrit word from the Vedas (ancient religious texts that influenced Hinduism and Buddhism) and is relevant to Indian culture.
While many people assume that it is merely a form of greeting, Namaste is a special expression that means ‘the divine in me honors the divine in you.’
You have to know what Namaste means so you can understand the true purpose of the word.
The literal translation of Namaste
In Sanskrit, ‘Namas’ means bow, while ‘te’ means to you. Thus, the literal translation of Namaste is ‘I Bow To You.’ And the saying is often accompanied by the Namaste gesture.
However, the use of the word varies depending on the context used. In some translations, ‘Te’ means your soul, which changes the translation to ‘I bow to your soul.’
Namaste definition in English
In casual English settings, Namaste is used as a form of greeting. For instance, in hotels or holiday resorts, workers might greet you Namaste to welcome you. Here, there is no spiritual connotation, and it doesn’t show the true cultural heritage of Namaste.
In addition, it is popularly associated with yoga in non-Asian-speaking countries. Namaste is not an official English language word, and its uses are reserved for unconventional settings. Also, some people can sometimes abuse it and disrespect its Hindu origins.
Namaste meaning in Hindi
The Hindus in India interpret Namaste as ‘Divine in You’. It teaches that the spirit of God dwells in every head.
So, the understanding according to Hindu belief is: The Divine light in me bows to the divine light within you. It is meant to acknowledge the divinity of all human souls.
Other translations of Namaste
Besides ‘I bow to you’ or ‘the divine in me honors the divine in you,’ Namaste could also mean;
- My spirit bows to your spirit
- I honor the place in you that's the same as it is in me
- I honor the place in you that's love, light, and joy
- I honor the place in you that the whole universe abides
- I am paying obeisance (respect/submission) to the divine deity in you
What Is The Spiritual Meaning Of Namaste?
While the word ‘Namaste’ is casually used in secular expressions, it is mainly used to represent divine adoration and worship in Hindu. The spiritual practice of Namaste is also relevant in Buddhism and several urban spiritual practices.
It represents the idea that we are all connected beneath our outer appearance. It shows that although we appear differently, we belong in one Divine consciousness. Deepen your meditation with Namaste and crystal energy to connect to the Divine.
When properly used, Namaste connects your heart chakra with your heart center.
The meaning of Namaste in yoga practice?
In many yoga classes, the teacher says and gestures Namaste to signal the class has ended. Also, in many yoga studios, the owners decorate their walls and buildings with Namaste artwork. Some yogis even name their studios Namaste. As yoga is evolving, so is the use of Namaste.
In yoga, it is a divine greeting to send the message of oneness and respect. Many yogis claim that in practice, Namaste represents the idea of the spiritual connection among all beings. Similar to crystal healing, it’s also meant to transfer positive vibrations to the person receiving the gesture. You can also incorporate cleansing crystals with Namaste to remove negative energy during your yoga practice.
In addition, the teacher uses it at the end of the class to acknowledge that each member has put their best effort into their yoga practices. Namaste also shows gratitude in yourself and your yoga journey. The yoga teacher may also use it to offer warm greetings of endearment to the receiver.
Namaste Vs. Namaskar Meaning
Namaskar is a widely used variant of the word Namaste. Both words are often used interchangeably as they have similar roots.
Namaskar is a formal way of respectfully greeting a prominent figure. When people say Namaskar, they’re showing reverence for a higher authority. It is a combination of the words, ‘namah’ and ‘kar’ to mean, ‘I do the act of bowing with respect.’
Yogis use Namaste to sense and pay salutes in a divine entity. However, Namaskar focuses on the object of superconsciousness that is within you. Therefore, it’s only in yoga that you’ll see different meanings in these words.
Is Namaste A Greeting Or A Closing?
When yoga instructors want to end the class in some yoga practices, they say Namaste with the gesture. The students also respond with the Namaste greeting and perform the gesture as well. It is also casually used as a salutation and to greet hello or goodbye.
Many people assume that Namaste is the Indian form of saying hello or goodbye, like Aloha in Hawaii. However, they forget that it is more profound than an ordinary greeting. Namaste signals a deity and is a divine chant. So, it’s wise to know the purpose and translation to use it effectively.
What does it mean when someone says Namaste?
When you say Namaste, you mean that you see yourself in the other person and the other in you. You’re saying that you’re choosing to be divine conscious and aware of the true nature of reality.
Namaste is an intentional decision to leave ego and see yourself as equal with other people. It means you’re choosing to become more self-aware in who you are and everything you do. You can also use it as a salutation for a respected body.
How do you respond to Namaste?
If someone tells you Namaste, the proper response is to say Namaste to the other person. You should also say it while you bend your head with a small bow and join your hands.
Namaste Day Meaning
Namaste day is used in yoga, and it means bowing to you. It means to show endearment and respect for a kindred soul. It can also mean ‘I bow to your divine spirit,’ and it’s a kind of prayer.
When do you use Namaste day?
You can say Namaste day anytime you feel a connection with a divine being. You only need to join your hands together and bow slightly while saying it. Then you’ll receive a return Namaste in response.
However, some people just give a slight bow without joining their hands, while some only gesture but do not do the word.
How And Why To Use Namaste?
There are several ways to say Namaste, especially in yoga practice. Yogis use it to close yoga sessions and offer salutations for the efforts of all their students. Two parties can use it to express and exchange gratitude or respect.
It is also possible to convey what Namaste means without having to say the word. If saying the word doesn’t feel natural or comfortable, you should forgo using it.
You can incorporate Namaste translation into your yoga journal and get a new outlook on the world. It links your heart chakra to the center of your heart and the calmness of your spine.
Namaste helps you remain in a constant state of self-awareness as you go about your daily meditation with crystals. It shows you that we’re all One, and the divine uses us to express itself differently.
What’s the Namaste Gesture?
The Namaste symbol is known as Anjali Mudra, and it originates in India. You need to do a slight bow and join your hands in the prayer position to perform the Namaste gesture properly. You can also say Namaste and tilt your head slightly as you join your palms.
When you perform the Anjali Mudra, it connects your center with your inner body. It centers you and fills you with a peaceful awareness of the world. You can note that the Anjali Mudra follows the word and shows its true nature.
Incorporate Namaste In Your Life
Now that you know the whole idea of Namaste and its variant Namaskar, you can adopt its uses as a teacher in your yoga class. It’ll help you in your mindful lifestyle to be more self-aware and improve your wellness state. You can also incorporate stones on spiritual guidance for your meditation journey.