A greeting representing purity, honour and dignity – The Namaskar

Honouring the culture of our own land is the prime duty of any person. But when a way of tradition becomes a worldwide tradition and is given a respectable and a honourable status, then it is a matter of pride. Our Sanatana Dharma is known to have spread such traditions which were warmly accepted by the entire world, and our very own gesture of greeting through a Namaskar is one among them.

The Namaskar called by different names like, Namaste, Namaskaram, Pranaam, Vandana and many more is a simple, yet profound gesture of welcoming guests, relatives, friends and also acknowledging strangers when meeting for the first time. The Namaskar denotes hospitality, honour, courtesy, politeness and gratitude towards the other person. The word is derived from naman meaning to bow depicting the respect given to a person by saying I bow to you
The Namaskar is also called as the Anjali mudra, wherein the fingers are pointing upwards, thumbs inside and palms facing the chest and head lowered with reverence. This is also called the Pranaamasana in the Yogic language and also a prominent hasta used in all the arts of India, especially dance. This gesture makes the meeting friendlier and also gives a feeling of importance to the other person and marks a cordial friendship between the two.

The most significant aspect of the gesture is that it does not include any touch of the body of the other person. The human body is the most significant carrier of both good positive and negative aspects of the world. The Namaskar greeting avoids all the transmission of such negative aspects which may harm man in form of viruses, infection and contaminations, but in turn spread out positive and friendly gestures in a healthy way of greeting. In today’s times, where social distancing is the norm of life, The Namaskar comes in tune with it and not only India, but the entire world has adapted it as a way of greeting and display of respect. This only proves how far sighted our ancestors were in developing customs which were good for health and also for the society.

The Namaskar is not only a friendly gesture, but also one of the sixteen Upacharas or rituals performed to the Almighty. Hence, one is always in the Namaskar gesture in front of God denoting the respect and surrendering to the creator and protector of the Universe.

The Namaskar has a spiritual connection too. When one does a Namaskar, it implies bowing to the divine in the inner self. This is because our Sanatana Dharma sees divinity in every life of the Universe. The Namaskar hence signifies bowing to the divinity in each other’s’ minds and wishing that these minds collectively work for the well-being of each other. This spiritual connection adds friendship and love to the greeting thus denoting respect to the divinity of life too.

Since times immemorial, our Sanatana Dharma has given us ways of life which are beneficial in terms of health, wealth, peace and prosperity and our culture has stressed upon the importance of the same. Inviting and bringing positivity, health and friendship into our lives starts with a Namaskar and it is indeed a pride factor that the entire world embraces this gesture as one of the important means of friendly and positive communication.