In eastern spiritual traditions, the phrase Namaste is used for both greeting and saying goodbye to each other. Along with saying the word, many will also perform a gesture in combination with the word Namaste. This signal of respect usually involves one or both the greeter and receiver(s) putting their palms together in front of their hearts and then bowing slightly towards the other person as they speak the phrase Namaste.

Before I had truly delved into the ancient wisdom traditions, I really didn’t understand this powerful word or the accompanying expression. To be honest, I just thought it was some new age thing that people did to show their spirituality. As I encountered the phrase more-and-more, I decided to check it a little further and try and find out why it seemed so important to so many. It was during this research that I finally started to understand its meaning and importance.

While there are many translations for the meaning of the word, my personal favorite is “The divine light in me bows to the divine light within you”. Some other interpretations for Namaste include the following:

  • I honor the place in you where the entire universe dwells.
  • I bow to the place in you that is love, light, and joy.
  • When you and I bow to our true nature, we are one.
  • My soul recognizes your soul.
  • We are the same, we are one.
  • I honor the place in you that is the same as in me.

As you read each of these translations, a pattern of oneness and unity seems to be the main theme.

This special unity between individuals is in fact one of the main tenets found within all ancient wisdom traditions. At its core, all of creation is part of an all encompassing whole. We are literally of the same source. The word Namaste and the accompanying gesture helps each person to convey this powerful truth to each other. How great is that!

Just wanted to talk a little about this dynamic word and it wonderful meaning. If you were like me before I learned what it meant, I hope my explanation helped you to appreciate its use by so many people in spiritual traditions.

Namaste, James