I'm told the image above represents the salutation, "Namaste." I don't know that it does. It would be a fine joke if it didn't.
It also represents the sacred sound AUM or OM, but let's stick with the salutation on this page.
It's correctly pronounced nah-mas-tay, the first two vowels are short. Intentionally mispronouncing it by saying only two syllables, with the second "a" long as in, nah-maste, can be very entertaining.
You can find quite a bit of ego-mind generated left-brain analysis about the word. My simple interpretation is that as extensions of one God, we are not separate but part of one God, and there is then a condition of Universal Divinity which is acknowledged by the salutation, "Namaste."
It's very normal and totally okay for people who are just becoming more aware of their spiritual nature to take it very seriously and behave pretentiously. This is just another ego-mind joke.
People feel very special that they are perceptive enough to acknowledge the Divine in others by saying it. It's sort of a not-so-secret password among westerners who are on the spiritual path.
That's so very nice and so often is reinforcing ideas of separation because of that old ego-mind tool, pride.
Prideful feelings are very persistent and can assume subtle disguises. They can be amusing to watch in ourselves and others.
Here's the thing.... In India and Nepal it is common to say "Namaste" as a greeting or salutation upon departure. In other parts of the world it is not a commonplace greeting or salutation. Using it outside of India and Nepal tends to be a prideful act.
I put it at the bottom of this site as a way to express the literal concept that I am acknowledging your Divinity and also that I am as you are, an inseparable part of God.
Ego-mind wants us to feel special and in feeling special we feel separate. Feeling separate contributes to judging and criticizing. It's easy to self-identify with ego-mind when we are feeling separate.
It is your God-Self is which is being acknowledged by the salutation, "Namaste." When you use the salutation or hear it used, imagine an aspect of God is speaking to another aspect of God.
When you habitually observe your experiences, thoughts, feelings, sensations, etc. nonjudgmentally and identify as your God-Self, the use of the term gets to be an obvious point and seems redundant.
Everything and everyone is part of God. The processes our ego-minds use to define characteristics of god or various gods, energy beings, angels, etc. manifest these entities which are then also all part of God.
It's easy to miss this point as we each become more aware of our spiritual nature and get caught up in the wonder of it.
Ego-mind creates many beautiful spiritual concepts, scriptural passages, and rituals to distract us and keep us from recognizing our God-Self. It's just a stage we go through... Growing pains.
I spent decades in a state that could be described as prideful separation. It's nice to be in a state that recognizes the foolishness of pride, not that I'm proud of it, or am I?
Ego-mind is still always active, and God-Self watches it nonjudgmentally with infinite patience. I am no holier than thou.
The "Holier than thou" thing is a common part of most religious belief systems. Leaders and some members of religious belief systems are thought to be holier than others often just because of seniority. They are organized like labor unions.
Swami Brahmananda and others have said spiritual life begins after achieving nirvikalpa samadhi, which is complete identification of the soul with God. How's that for putting things in perspective?
This holierness stuff exists only in our mutually agreed upon ego-mind created "reality" where all is separate, measured, and judged.
It's clear that there are people among us who are very spiritually aware in comparison with regular folk. Deepak Chopra has estimated there are about six persons of a Christ-like awareness level on this planet at any given moment. I don't know how he got that number.
The important thing to remember is we are all part of one God and have a Christ-like level of awareness waiting to be recognized.
When we watch our ego-mind's antics nonjudgmentally we facilitate our spiritual awakening. Our fellow beings always have lessons to teach if we're willing to be taught, even the ones who seem so ignorant.
Everything and all beings, incarnate or disincarnate, "real" or imagined, are inseparable parts of One God existing eternally in eternity.
You're welcome to download the lotus blossom picture below as a larger file, which is just under one megabyte. Click here to get it for your Self. May it facilitate you in your spiritual journey. Namaste.