“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.
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.
– Stray Dog