At the end of each yoga class, we sit facing the instructor, palms together at “heart center.” “Namaste,” she says, bowing to us, bringing her hands and forehead all the way to her mat. “Namaste,” we respond with the same gesture.
Namaste. “I bow to you.” Or “The divine light within me bows to the divine light within you.”
Or, as Gandhi is reputed to have explained to Einstein, this traditional Hindu greeting and farewell means,
“I honor the place in you where the entire universe resides. I honor the place in you of light, love, truth, peace and wisdom. I honor the place in you where, when you are in that place, and I am in that place, there is only one of us.”
It seems that in the holy traditions of the world, there is a common thread of God encouraging us to recognize Himself in each other.
I imagine the word itself would not be well understood in the checkout line in the grocery store or over the phone to a customer, but I also imagine the attitude of honoring the Divine light in the other would probably be well understood and could spark transformation, at the very least in my own heart.