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Quicklook at India by Aline Dobbie

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Chapter Four: Indian culture

Namaste and Namaskar

For India the Hindu greeting of choice is Namaste. The hands are pressed together and held near the heart with the head gently bowed as one says “Namaste”. Thus it is both a spoken greeting (“mantra”) and a gesture (“mudra”). The prayerful hand position is a mudra called Anjali, from the root Anj, “to adorn, honour, celebrate or anoint.” The hands held in union signify the oneness of an apparently dual cosmos, the bringing together of spirit and matter, or the self meeting the Self. It has been said that the right hand represents the higher nature or that which is divine in us, while the left hand represents the lower, worldly nature.

In Sanskrit “Namas” means “bow, obeisance, reverential salutation.” ...

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