Dr. Vijai S Shankar MD.PhD.
Published on www.academy-advaita.com
The Netherlands

20 November 2017



Every human being greets each other. They greet each other by using words such as good morning, good afternoon or good evening at the appropriate time of daily life. They greet good night when each retires for the day to rest in the night.

The greeting has significance because it expresses pleasantness and friendship to each other, though misunderstanding may be present. When a human being dislikes the other for some reason, such greetings are usually absent.

In Hindu tradition human beings also greet each other by using the words ‘Namaste’, irrespective of the time of the day. This greeting has greater significance than the usual greetings that refer to the time of the day.

The greater significance needs to be understood by every human being. If it is understood, then every time they meet anyone, only love will be present and neither dislike nor misunderstanding will be present.

The word ‘Namaste’ means I bow down to the God in you. Folding the hands together while greeting Namaste also indicates a forgiveness that the other was not recognized before as a form created by God.

When one deeply understands these greetings, he or she has a deep reverence to the other. The reverence is the same as the reverence one has while in a temple. The greeting also indicates that God is present in front of them. Every religious man or woman prays to be close to God.

Human beings, however, do not realise that God can come to you in any form. One of the forms in which God comes to anyone is in the form of humans, who you know or may not know. This indicates that God is always close to you.

The Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita all exhort us to perceive God or Divinity in all creatures, which includes humans.

This signifies that whoever we meet at any time of the day or night is a form of God. The greeting ‘Namaste’ reminds man or woman that God is everywhere in all forms.

When the greeting is just understood as knowledge and not wisdom, the greeting is just behaviour. He or she will dislike, misunderstand or disrespect someone in the family. This is equal to disliking, misunderstanding and disrespecting God. Their prayers never reach God.

When the greeting is understood as wisdom, each member of the family will live in love and understanding and will respect the other in a family. He or she will neither dislike, misunderstand nor disrespect anyone in the family nor anyone.

Author: Dr. Vijai S. Shankar
© Copyright V. S. Shankar 2017

Editor’s Note:
The utterance of a greeting between two or more people has evolved to become a social etiquette. The sound of the greeting may be warm-hearted or it may be muted. Either way it recognizes, with respect, the presence of the other human being or beings.
Recognizing the presence of God, however, in the form that is present in front of you and is being greeted is a solemn reminder, gifted by the wise in this article, of the power of the word when deeply understood. Such a word is Namaste.
Julian Capper, UK.

German Translator's Note: 
Namaste as a greeting has become popular all over the world, especially in spiritual circles. It is oftenly just a spiritual behaviour and seldom deeply understood. Dr. Shankar, originated from the Indian culture as well as a wise man, explains the true meaning of this tradition. This article helps the reader to really meet God in every creature every moment of the day and night. 
Marcus Stegmaier, Germany.

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