Importance of Namaste in Corona Kaal/time

‘Nahm-es-tay’

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Namaste: the traditional Indian way of greeting gone global during pandemic

Greeting is essential for communication and it is a kind of spiritual care we show for each other (Smith, 2020).

We all remember as a child, we learnt to greet each other and especially our elders by saying ‘Namaste’ with a slight bow of head. This way of greeting existed since ancient Vedic times but lost its importance since we started to adapt and projecting ourselves as one in the modern society and started the culture of saying hi, hello and doing handshakes. Though handshakes are good too, as the touch is important to achieve a sense of emotional and psychological wellbeing (Smith, 2020).

Namaste is an expression of goodwill and welcome to each other. The other person too, responds in a same manner.

The term ‘Namaste’ is a Sanskrit word and means “I bow to the divine in you” (Cotton, 2011; Zayats & Triput, 2012). It is a combination of ‘Namah – to bow’ and ‘te – to you’, blending of matter with spirit. It is a way to unite two persons spiritually (Singh, Singh, & Singh, 2020).

The proper way of doing ‘Namaste’ is as given below:

Press hands together

Thumbs to heart

Say namaste meaning ‘I honour the spirit in you’

Many versions have been described in different texts “be well”, “my light greets your light”, “the divine in me greets the divine in you” (Beaman, 2016). Namaste is also a pose in yoga, it is also a way of praying in many cultures (Raub, 2002). In Western countries, ‘Namaste’ is often used and said at the conclusion of yoga classes (Oxhandler, 2017).

In this time of pandemic, we should adopt this noble gesture and balance the energy between both the hands as well as both the individuals (Bhattacharya & Singh, 2019).

A touchless, safe, hygienic practice of greeting each other.

References:

  1. Beaman, L. G. (2016). Namaste: The Perilous Journey of ‘Real’ Yoga. In L. G. Beaman & S. Sikka (Eds.), Constructions of Self and Other in Yoga, Travel, and Tourism: A Journey to Elsewhere (pp. 101-110). Cham: Springer International Publishing.
  2. Bhattacharya, S., & Singh, A. (2019). Namastey!! Greet the Indian way: Reduce the chance of infections in the hospitals and community. CHRISMED Journal of Health and Research, 6(1), 77.
  3. Cotton, C. (2011). Namaste: A spiritual approach to grading. English Journal, 100(6), 108.
  4. Oxhandler, H. K. (2017). Namaste theory: A quantitative grounded theory on religion and spirituality in mental health treatment. Religions, 8(9), 168.
  5. Raub, J. A. (2002). Psychophysiologic effects of Hatha Yoga on musculoskeletal and cardiopulmonary function: a literature review. The Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, 8(6), 797-812.
  6. Singh, R., Singh, G., & Singh, V. (2020). Namaste: The traditional indian way of greeting goes global during coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Journal of the Anatomical Society of India, 69(2), 65-66. doi:10.4103/jasi.Jasi_76_20
  7. Smith, A. P. B. (2020). Russell and the Handshake: Greeting in Spiritual Care. Journal of Pastoral Care & Counseling, 74(1), 33-41. doi:10.1177/1542305019898476
  8. Zayats, Y., & Triput, A. (2012). GREETING CUSTOMS AROUND THE WORLD.