Namaskar Meaning: Definition and How to Pronounce It

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Namaste has become very popular in Western culture. But do you really know what that means?

The word is associated with Hinduism and yoga. It comes from Sanskrit and means “bow to you” or “I bow to you”.

Both Namaste and Namaskar are used for greetings. Both are from Sanskrit.

Sanskrit is an ancient, classical written language of Hinduism. Today, it has become the language of study and lingua franca for scholars. The word “Namaste” is formed from “namah” and “te”. “Namah” means “bow, prostrate, worship”. “Te” means “for you”.

But Namaskar is a little different.

Namaskar is a combination of “namah” and “kar”. “Kar” is derived from the verb “kri”, which means “to do”.

So “Namaskar” means “I salute or bow”.

Namaskar and Namaste refer to the same expression of respect. It can be used interchangeably. Both are Indian ways of greeting and showing respect. It is also accompanied by placing the palms upright in front of the chest.

What does Namaskar mean?

What does Namaskar mean?

Namaskar is a respectful greeting or farewell. It is used in Hindu and Yoga traditions. The root word “namaha” also means “not me”. It refers to bowing respectfully. Namaskar is sometimes considered a synonym for Namaste. But there are subtle differences in their meaning.

Namaste is more popular. This is an informal term that translates as “greetings” or “I bow to you with respect”.

Namaskar is more formal. The translation is “I greet”.

Mentally, there is another difference between the two.

In Namaskar, the object of greeting is the supreme consciousness of the other person. Namaste is used to bow to divine entities.

On a spiritual level, the “you” you salute refers to the divine. The meaning of these words varies by region and tradition.

In this way, Namaskar merges the sacred and the earthly. It takes Namaste a step further by acknowledging the divine nature of those around us.

disassembled word

disassembled word

Let’s break down this term further.

“Nan” means “bend”.

“As” means “to be” or “to be”.

“Kar” means “doing” or “one who does”.

Translated together, Namaskar means “I bow respectfully”.

By announcing the bow, they further increase their reverence. They declare that they recognize the divine nature of another human being. Do something to honor her memory. They don’t just respect her. You are doing something about it.

The Great Idea Behind Namaskar

The Great Idea Behind Namaskar

Great yogi sages once defined realization. They describe it as seeing and experiencing the true nature of the universe. This realization allows us to know that everything that exists is universal consciousness. It exists only in its manifested form.

This means that you, me, trees and rocks are all one. Some things are easier in theory than in practice. But Namaskar reminds us of our connection.

More importantly, Namaste reminds us to slow down. It brings us to a place that is centered and grounded. Here we can see our oneness with our environment. We can acknowledge the divinity of all things and ourselves.

Part of the Namaskar greeting

Part of the Namaskar greeting

The Namaskar greeting consists of three or four parts.

1) Verbally say “Namaste”.

“Namaste” generally means “hello”. The root of the Sanskrit word “namaskar” is “nama”. It means “honored” or “respected”. “Kar” is the same as karma. Both karma and namaskar mean action.

Namaskar is the act of paying homage to another person. It also serves as an acknowledgment of the sacredness of that person.

2) Put your palms together in front of your heart.

Anjali Mudra puts his hands before his heart. Anjali is a powerful gesture. When you bring their hands together, they create a union of opposites. Anjali brings together the right and the left, the good and the bad, us and them. It acknowledges the inner unity of all people.

3) Bend the head towards the heart.

The mind is good at seeing differences. In practical matters, we must rely heavily on this ability. But supreme wisdom does not lie in our ability to share.

A part of Namaskar bows to the heart. This is intentional to smooth out differences of opinion. It allows us to experience the oneness of existence with others.

4) Think about the meaning of gestures.

Notice how the meaning of your gestures makes you feel. What did it bring you? How does it make you feel more connected?

When it comes to greetings, we often become all too familiar with spoken language. But Namaste reminds us to look inward when greeting others. Greeting others is a way of acknowledging them. And admitting they go a step further with Namaste.

experience unity

experience unity

The biggest part of our daily lives is separating ourselves from each other. We see ourselves differently than our neighbors, family and friends. We consider who is right and who is wrong. We consider which option is better than the other. We use value judgments to assess behaviour, character traits and livelihoods.

But Namaskar is an opportunity to back out of the divide.

We put our hands together and participate in the gift of coordination. We tune into the sameness in each of us. We bow our heads and accept this gift. We set aside perceptions and judgments.

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