What is the universal language of Namaste?

“I honour the place in your where the entire universe resides… a place of light, of love, of truth, of peace, of wisdom. I honour the place in you where when you are in that place and I am in that place there is only one of us.”

-Mahatma Gandhi

Hinduism is known for its elaborate set of practices. Let us start with the basic practice of the Namaste and what it signifies.


Namaste is a simple gesture. One has to fold their hands in front of their heart and bow their head and the action is complete. The meaning behind it, however, is deeply significant. The word Namaste has its roots in Sanskrit, which roughly translates to ‘I bow to you’. When we fold our hands and bow in front of the other person, we are basically humbling ourselves in front of them, and extending an invitation for friendship.

Hinduism is a way of life that believes in the concept of divinity in everyone. When we greet someone with a namaste, we are bowing down to that person’s soul and we remind ourselves that everyone is equal; everyone has a soul and everything is interrelated.

In Hinduism, it is believed that the 5 fingers of the left hand signify the five senses of karma and the 5 fingers of the right hand signify the five organs of knowledge. When we fold our hands together, we unify these elements, thus signifying that our karmic actions must be done by using our organs of knowledge and we must act correctly.

The simple act of Namaste can also be associated with duality. It can symbolize the union of man and woman, heaven and earth, pleasure and pain and basically every dual element that exists in this universe.

While the most common form of greeting someone with a Namaste is by folding our hands in front of our hearts, one can also fold their hands in front of their forehead (in between the eyebrows, where the third chakra is situated) and then bring it down to their hearts, thus symbolizing even deeper respect for the other person.

To greet someone with a Namaste is one of the highest forms of respect that one can offer. The act of humbling ourselves in front of the other person destroys the ego of the other person as well and communicates that we are all equal. It brings them to a common ground, eliminating all other factors that society considers superior or inferior. It recognizes the higher power in each person and communicates more on a spiritual level that goes beyond basic human understanding. It is universally unique.


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