There are many interpretations of this word. Maybe it’s most common, if not its most beneficial use, is as a greeting- hello and goodbye. The prefix ‘nam’ has it’s roots from a Sanskrit word meaning ‘I Bow.’ The latter half of the word opens up into a plethora of possible interpretation.
We need to understand it as a sign of respect; an equality that puts no one above or below anyone else. It involves seeing with spirit; that your spirit recognizes my spirit and bows to the common source of each. Our minds see race and religion, class and creed, which ultimately divides and establishes assumed hierarchy. That’s why we must cultivate the ability to see with our spirit all of the world around us that we may experience the spirit within all things.
I have a recent interpretation that I’ve been using in class that is in line with the Circle Philosophy that I teach. We sit in a circle and face inward at the center. We are like spokes on a wheel joined by the hub. The hub is what we have in common and what holds us together. This center is Namaste.
Namaste……… Given, received, and deserved