Do you know what the significance of namaste is? Namaste is a word used commonly across the country and even the world. Aren’t you curious as to what is the meaning of namaste and what it holds? Many of us may have applied bindi, tilaka, and tripundra on our forehead with Kumkum (vermilion powder), cancan (sandalwood powder or bhasma (sacred ash). So, is there any significance of Bindi? Or if they are just mere symbols?
Significance of Namaste
One does Namaste by folding the palms at the chest, with fingers pointing upwards, thumbs on the inside near the chest, and humbly bowing the head. It is a form of prostration and salutation, done in deep and solemn respect. There is also a spiritual significance of Namaste.
What is the Meaning of Namaste?
Now let’s jump to understanding the meaning of Namaste. In Sanskrit, namaḥ + te = namaste. It means, ‘I bow to you; my prostrations and salutations to you.’ Namaḥ can also be literally interpreted as na mama, meaning, ‘not mine’. The purpose of saying Namaste is to neutralize one’s ego, which is a sense of separateness, and recognize the divine in every person we greet.
The life force, Self or Lord in me, is the same in all. The meaning of Namaste is also that “I bow down to the divinity is within you.” When you honour the divinity in someone at the same time, you are observing it within yourself.
The joining of the palm depicts Oneness. It reminds us that we all come from the same source of life. When we know this significance of Namaste, our greeting paves the way for a deeper, divine communion, complete with love and respect.
Significance of Bindi, Tilaka and Tripundra
Other than the significance of Namaste, the significance of bindi is also important. What is a bindi? The bindi is a dot between the eyebrows. At the same time, a tilaka is a vertical line between the eyebrows. It symbolizes the third eye of wisdom or enlightenment. Only when the spiritual seeker purifies his mind can he have the understanding and enlightenment. He has to also go beyond the relative existence or merge into pure Consciousness. It also reminds us that all the things we are doing, in the end, lead us to the achievement of this goal of self-realization
Just like the significance of Namaste, tripundra is also significant. The tripundra is the three horizontal lines applied across the forehead. It represents the various triads the seeker has to transcend. It includes Om’s syllables, which represent the planes of the waking, dream, and deep sleep; the gunas of sattva, rajas, and tamas. Along with Om and the gunas, it also symbolizes the instruments – gross body, subtle body, and causal body, signifying the experience, experience, and experience.
When one wears the bindi, tilaka, or tripundra, it acts as a constant reminder to the seeker of his ultimate goal of self-realisation. While the significance of Namaste is in helping us remember that no matter how different our walks of life may be, we all come from the same divine One.