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You will often see Hindus great each other by saying ‘Namaste’ or ‘Jai Swaminarayan.’ That greeting is not simply a replacement for the word ‘hello’ to welcome an individual. The Hindu ‘Namaste’ is a sign of respect for the other person’s atma. It is bowing down to the the Paramatma or God inside everyone’s atma. Hindus believe that God resides in each person and should be treated, respected, and greeted accordingly. Namaskãr (Namaste) comes from the Sanskrit word ‘namaha,’ meaning to bow. During the namaskãr, we press our palms together and then bow our head and upper body to the person we meet. Also known as pranam, this is Hindu Sanatan Dharma’s modest ritual of greeting. Performing namaskãr naturally makes one humble. Humility has an immensely benevolent effect on the opposite person, instantly making them feel comfortable. The ancient rishis were experts on human psychology. They advocated this ritual of namaskãr because it effectively established a rapport with the other person. Moreover, the ancient rishis noted that performing namaskãr protects us from any undesirable vibrations of the opposite person. In the early 1980s, scientists at the University of British Columbia in Canada observed that performing namaskãr also protects us from the transfer of bacteria and viruses commonly associated with the Western tradition of shaking hands.  

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