The hands joined together, and a warm smile on the face and spreading positivity of life is our very own Namaskar. The entire world now in the time of the pandemic has turned to the most important cultural greeting of our Sanatana Dharma which is the Namaskar and following it, thus accepting and following the cultural greatness of our country.
The Namaskar called by different names like, Namaste, Namaskaram, Pranaam, Vandana t and many more is a simple, yet profound gesture of welcoming guests, relatives, friends and also acknowledginf 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 namas meaning to bow and te meaning to you and on the whole depicting “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 Namskar 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. The Namaskar is the first and the foremost ritual which marks the start of a lifestyle inviting all positive aspects of life, and where the world is suffering with a pandemic this ritual helps us follow the most important norm of social distancing, yet keeps the friendship and affection between people intact.