Namaskar is a customary greeting when two people meet. It signifies non-arrogance or negation of ego. Namaskar is made of three words:  Namah + Om + Kar.

  • Namah means Not Me. It is a negation of one’s identity and hence of one’s ego or arrogance. It signifies that I am nothing.
  • Om is the sound of life, the primordial sound of nature. In Vedic language it signifies soul, the spirit or the God.
  • Kar means shape/form of or manifestation of. Omkar therefore signifies manifestation of Om; the Universe, the cosmos, Brahma, Shiva or God.  Omkar is omnipresent and omnipotent.

Namaska therefore indicates that I am nothing while the Omkar is every thing. Saying the word Namaskar also gives respect to the other person. That I am nothing and you are God. Vedantic text teaches us to give respect to athithi (Guest) “Atithi Devo Bhava”

When you bow to say namaskar and try to get angry, you find that you cannot do so. The body posture does not allow you to do so. For an angry posture, there must be an expansion of the chest wall and not flexion of the chest wall.

Other School of Thought: Namaskar = Nam + As + Kar

  • Nam is the root form of Namah and has the same meaning as Namah - Not Me (I am nothing).
  • As means “To be” or “To exist”; a word derived from Astitva which means existence.
  • Kar means doer or one who makes or creates. For example, Kar can be seen in the words Kalakar, Chitrakar, Karmkar, Charmkar. In the above words, the suffix kar leads to the meaning of one who creates work.

Askar therefore means the creator of all that exists i.e. God.  Namaskar therefore has the same meaning: I am nothing every thing is the God.

Some people interpret Namah to mean “I Bow to”. Ultimately, the deeper meaning remains the same: “I bow to God.” Here you are considering the other person as God, which is one of Mahavakyas from Chandogya Upanishad in Sam Veda, “Tat Tyam Asi” (you are that).

“I salute the Almighty within you.”

Namaskar is done with hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointed upwards, in front of the chest. This gesture is called Anjali Mudra (or Pranamasana).

The true Namaste gesture is accompanied by bowing the head and shoulders slightly. This is a gesture that lessens our sense of ego and self-centeredness, requiring some humility to do it well — whereas shaking hands can be quite an arrogant event. It’s a sign of respect and peace.

Blogger PostEmailFacebookGoogle GmailShare