Namaste is made of two words, namas and te. Namas comes from the verbal root nam which means to bow and so namas is a bow or salutation. “Te” means, to you. And so namaste literally means, "bowing to you". There is a variation of this in the form “namaskara.” The Sanskrit word “kara” means, doing. So namaskara literally means, doing salutations.

When we do namaste we are bowing to the atma (Inner Self) and paramatma (Absolute God) within and not to the body without. Hence, namaste is made with two hands held together at the heart where the atman (Inner Self) is said to reside.



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