“A salutation of Hindu origin, the Namaste is a ritualized way of greeting people. Reverential in nature, it is both a gesture of equality and an expression of good will. It is also a sign of respect, designed to acknowledge the divinity in each of us.
Practicing the Namaste is a simple way to honor our fellow men and women. This gesture, consisting of a prescribed combination of physical movements, was crafted centuries ago to embody spiritual principle. It is accomplished thusly: with a slight nod and bow directed towards the person being greeted, we clasp our hands, thumbs against the chest while voicing this most precious of words. In so doing, we are also honoring the Creator, reflected in the individual now standing before us.
A form of spiritual shorthand, the Namaste is primarily soul-centered which is as it should be. Of course, the personality is also to be acknowledged, but at the same time it is well to remember not to become blinded or bedazzled, either by its glamour or a lack thereof. To practice Namaste is to see beyond the personality, to see the God within.
Namaste is the sort of greeting that we would all do well to think about adopting even though our corresponding custom, the handshake, is also tangible evidence of mutual acknowledgment. Given that in many parts of the world the handshake is a long-held practice, it is likely, at least for the foreseeable future, to continue being the thing to do when people meet or greet each other. In the shaking hands, a brief sharing of energy also takes place, at times a very powerful experience. That said, however, the fact remains that a handshake is not the fuller kind of expression that Namaste tends to be.
In our roles as fair witnesses to each other’s lives, the Namaste speaks to the footprints we all make in the sands of time. Some might go so far as to define its practice as royals greeting their peers, the implication being, of course, that we are all royalty. Truth is, my friends, we are! A Namaste to the East then ~ out of respect for that part of the world having conceived of this most perfect of gestures. Also to you, from my heart to yours.
During the shoot of “The Young Rajah,” I sometimes practiced Namaste, mostly as a way to stay in character. Then it was but an atmospheric device, a nod, if you will, to the script. Now I see it for what it really is, a splendid way for us to honor each other’s presence.” ~ Rudolph Valentino