Namaste!!!


“Hi Jerry, How are you? How was your air journey?” I greeted Jerry, the expert in Application Interfacing who came here to Bangalore. I had met him when I had visited Tucson. He is a very knowledgeable person. He has 35 years of experience in the same subject and in the same company. He knows in and out of the module. After a long discussion and email exchanges we could get approval for his travel to India. He will stay here for 3 weeks. 2 weeks for training the team members here and last one week, he will go for Bharat Darsan. I took him to cafeteria and we discussed on various subjects over coffee. He showed me a book on Bharat that he had read before coming here. He clarified some doubts that he had after reading books. I was pleasantly surprised to see someone who is not Bharatiya but taking so much interest in Bharat.

At 10:30 AM IST, I had booked the first training session. He had already mentioned in agenda that first session will be introduction session. So we all went and sat in the training room. All were quietly seated. he entered the room and sat in his chair. He waited for few minutes and then asked me if all have come. I acknowledged affirmatively.

Then he got up from his chair and joined both palms, bent forward and said “Namaste”. There was a silence in the room for few seconds and one girl sitting in the left corner made a strange noise.  On repetition of such noise I could understand that she was giggling. Some other joined her in that act. Jerry, expected some response but as he got some unfavorable responses, he continued introducing himself, the team members in Tucson and about the product. I was ashamed of my inaction at that moment.

Later Jerry asked me over dinner, whether he did something wrong while saying Namaste. I said “Not at all. As we expected a ‘Hello’ or ‘Hi’ from you as US citizen and heard something unexpectedly so was not sure how to react when you said ‘Namaste’”. I know it was a dumb excuse but the truth is, even if I start my meeting saying Namaste to all, I will not be surprised to hear some giggles.We do say Namaste or Namaskar but mostly with elderly people. Now a days even if you do Namaste to somebody, you may see a hand coming towards you expecting to handshake.

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Although I have used Namaskar or Namaste since I got my sense but never understood its real meaning. Association with some great souls made me think more about my existence and the richness of Bharat. Hence I tried to understand the meaning of it.

Namaste or Namaskar has one part common i.e. ‘Namah’. ‘Namah’ literally means ‘Not me’. It is a negation of one’s identity and hence of one’s ego or arrogance. The second part is ‘As – Kar’ or ‘Te’. Which means doer (god or almighty).

Namaskar and Namaste are not just greetings to draw somebody’s attention like ‘Hi’ or ‘Hello’. They are a denial of one’s ego and are an affirmation of one’s faith.

When I say Namaskar to you, I am respecting you, denying all my ego. When you respond back to me, it means two great souls are meeting leaving their ego behind. Don’t you think if we leave our ego before any decision-making exercise we will always take the right decision.

When Jerry with 35 years of experience stood up, bent before we novices and said Namaste, he meant, he is denying all his ego (Which might exist due to age or experience) so that he can train all of us better. But we fools could not understand this. We should have stood up and returned Namaste back to make him. This would have made him believe, ‘Yes whatever is written in book is true and people follow that’. What a great opportunity miss. I hope I will never miss this opportunity ever.

Namaste

– Stray Dog

15 thoughts on “Namaste!!!

  1. Sakti, such a beautiful, thoughtful story showing “namaste” in action, where the author was able to put his ego aside, and admit his mistake. Another exceptional piece!

  2. This article is a lesson to all who donot understand what respect is. Jerry may not know what namaskar meaning is, but he knows this the way of greeting in India and definitely he expects a greetings in return. That’s why he asked whether he does any mistakes. But why we are lacking in giving respect to others ????? EGO

  3. Generally people understand the culture and traditional values of the country and people, which they are going to visit and respect their values and culture. Thank You and Sorry are the two words I heard many times in London. We all used Namaste by knowing meaning or without knowing the meaning many times. After reading Namaste Blog I came to know the meaning of Namaste. Jerry must have expected, Namaste in return as per his understanding about Indian culture. Unfortunately he could not get it. It is unfortunate too, that may create other impressions. When someone wish us giving proper reply to them is a common sense. Recently from a philosopher I heard that when we say Namaste to someone it goes to God.

  4. Really well written Sakti. I totally agree, this has happened in other occasions too, it goes to remind how much of our culture (dont mean religion) we have forgotten. My visit to Nepal the last year was a eye opener into how much we have forgotten our etiquette and culture, as they truely practice most of them even today.

    Just a correction here, and i agree with Madhu here. Namaste(नमस्ते) in Sanskrit could be broken into namaḥ, to bow, to give obeisance or reverential salutation, and te, “to you.”

    “let there be a salutation to you”

    The God/Goddess Spirit within me recognizes and honors the God/Goddess Spirit within you.

    Reference
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Namaste
    and a couple of friends who knew Sanskrit.

    • I am so happy now for writing this post. I was searching for a drop of water and I found a river. Your website has so much information in it. I can not thank you much for sharing this. I am glad that you found my blog significant.

  5. Nice one Sakti… It was nice trip down the memory lane… Greatness is lost and becomes ordinary when it is assumed and accepted. The same happened with Indians brought up in the same environment.

  6. In the rat race we have forgotten our value, culture and root. We seem to celebrate Christmas more than what we celebrate some of our Indian festival. The MNC culture is some thing which has asked us to change our thing and the way we interactive in office, we need to be more profession is what they call it. All of us have accepted the western culture so much that we have forgot our own culture thanks to all the cable TV and other things…It is a great story which you have brought up just acting as a mirror to our life style.

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