Symbolic meanings in Global Culture – an excerpt by Nischala Joy Devi

The word and gesture, Namaste expresses respect to all we meet. It is a typical greeting in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and throughout most of Southeast Asia.It is honored by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists alike. “Namaste” is an expression and gesture used in everyday life. It is an affirmation of spiritual oneness acknowledging a shared divinity within each of us.

The physical posturing (or mudra) for Namaste is reminiscent the placement of the hands during prayer. It is a poignant symbol made by aligning the five fingers of the right hand with the five fingers of the left hand. Symbolically, the gesture of joining both hands expresses oneness.

In many traditions, each of the hands are relegated to various meanings and duties.  Often the right hand represents masculine qualities of reason, and intellect, which draws forth the power of the sun.  Conversely the left hand represents the feminine qualities of intuition, emotion, the power of the moon and represents mundane or worldly duties. By uniting the two, the person offering Namaste, rises above her differences with others, and identifies herself with the spiritual aspect of the person whom she greets. The modest gesture emits an aura of love, respect and oneness.  In the simplest of terms it is accepted as a humble greeting straight from the heart and reciprocated accordingly. The gesture can also be accompanied with or without the spoken word.  When we bring the right and left hand together in a gesture of oneness at the heart center, we act, live and experience the whole world as love.

 My latest book, The Namaste Effect, suggests a way to bring two opposing forces together, ultimately leading to a state of Oneness. The gesture recognizes equality in all and honors the sacredness inherent in all beings.

We are part of the whole body of humanity, yet we tend to live in our own little milieu surrounded by life’s dreams and dramas. To touch and embrace another allows us to feel the rhythm of our own heart.

My hope is that The Namaste Effect reignites your heart to experience boundless love. Within this powerful energy lies the experience of universal love. It is present and available to all you meet in the vastness of this universe.

Namaste’  Nischala Joy Devi

NISCHALA JOY DEVI is a masterful teacher and healer. For many years she has been highly respected as an international advocate for her innovative way of expressing Yoga and its subtle uses for spiritual growth and complete healing. Her dynamic delivery and deep inner conviction empower each individual, allowing the teachings to expand beyond boundaries and limitations of any one tradition enabling her to touch people’s hearts.