Namaste is the traditional Indian form of salutation. This is a very graceful and modest form of greeting. It is also a greeting with deep spiritual and symbolic significance. It means “ I honour in you the divine, that I honour within myself and I know we are one”. When a Hindu meets a friend or acquaintance, or when introduced to a new person, he or she greets the person with palms joined together in front of the chest and says “Namaste” or “Namaskarah”. Some even bend slightly before saying these words. The joining of the palms shows the oneness of the people. The two hands though different belongs to the same person. Similarly the two persons belong to the same source, the Lord. So he or she looks upon the other person as non-separate from oneself and this is a Vedic vision. Namaste is also known by the beautiful term “ anjali”. Joining the two palms also means that we are attempting to synchronise our straying thoughts. Since the heart is compared to a lotus bud, this anjali symbolically represents the beautiful thoughts arising from the heart. We always use this method to greet people, younger than us, of our own age, those who are elder to us, friends and sometimes even strangers. It can be a casual or a formal greeting. The word namaste can be interpreted in 2 ways. First is namasya (namaha) + te, which means obeisance to you. I bow to you or greet you is the literal meaning. But the deeper meaning is, I am aware of the Lord residing in you and also aware that the same Lord resides in me. Both are one and the same and deserve namaskara. Accepting this oneness is the deeper meaning. Second is na + ma + te The word nama is split into two: naand ma. Na signifies negation and ma represents mine. The meaning would then be 'not mine'. The import being that the individual soul belongs entirely to the Supreme soul, which is identified as residing in the individual towards whom the namaste is directed. Indeed there is nothing that the soul can claim as its own. Namaste is thus the necessary rejection of "I" (ego) and the associated phenomena of egotism. We also mean “ may our minds meet “, by folding the palms and placing them before the chest. We also bow our heads in a sign of humility and graciousness. When we do this in the temple or in the prayer room, we close our eyes, as if to look within. We develop communion with God. So namaste is not a superficial gesture, but almost a communication of love and respect to the other person. Finally, the gesture of namaste is unique also in the sense that its physical performance is accompanied by a verbal utterance of the word "namaste." This practice is equivalent to the chanting of a mantra. The sonority of the sacred sound 'namaste' is believed to have a quasi-magical value, corresponding to a creative energy change. This transformation is that of aligning oneself in harmony with the vibration of the cosmos itself. Thus this is both a spoken greeting and a gesture, a Mantra and a Mudra. The prayerful hand position is called Anjali, meaning "to honour. " Simply put, namaste means the following: The God in me greets the God in you The Spirit in me meets the same Spirit in you. In other words, it recognizes the equality of all, and pays honour to the sacredness of all. Love & regards, Chithra.