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A commenter on the NewBuddhist blog claimed that one should not say Namaste in a Tibetan Buddhist event (in this context).

I remember one time saying "Namaste" while at a Tibetan Buddhist event, and someone quickly pulled me aside and said, "Oh, no-- do not say 'Namaste!' Say, 'Tashi Delek!'"

I'm not entirely sure why I brought that up... perhaps because I'm still confused as to why it was wrong to say Namaste.

-- SillyPutty

I'd like to make a disclaimer that I am not from a Buddhist country so I'm confused. I never even read from anywhere that The Buddha even says this, or is the phrase really Buddhist -- you can imagine my confusion.

Is this a modern phrase? What is its connection to Buddhism?

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Namaste is a greeting in the Hindu custom and does not have a context in Buddhism.

Namaste (/ˈnɑːməsteɪ/, Hindi: [nəməsteː] (About this sound listen))), sometimes spoken as Namaskar, Namaskaram is a respectful form of greeting in Hindu custom, found on the Indian subcontinent mainly in India and Nepal and among the Indian diaspora. It is used both for salutation and valediction. Namaste is usually spoken with a slight bow and hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointing upwards, thumbs close to the chest. This gesture is called Añjali Mudrā or Pranamasana.

In Hinduism it means "I bow to the divine in you".The greeting may also be spoken without the gesture or the gesture performed wordlessly, carrying the same meaning

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    Then why do Buddhists say this purposely if its not connected to Buddhism in the first place? – Bwrites Jul 10 '17 at 2:41
  • Buddhist do not say it as far as I know. It is the Hindus who say it. – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Jul 10 '17 at 2:42
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    buddhism.stackexchange.com/search?q=namaste try this link. People in this sub even use it as a greeting – Bwrites Jul 10 '17 at 2:43
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    These are from Indian users of the site. Culturally they say Namaste as a westerner would say good morning. This is cultural thing in dominant Hindu countries. – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Jul 10 '17 at 2:46
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    @Bwrites: you misunderstand. It is a language thing. Being asked to say 'Merci' in France instead of 'Thank you' is not a cultural thing, it is because people in France speak French, not English. Likewise, people in Tibet don't speak Hindi. – reinierpost Jul 10 '17 at 12:48
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My impression from travelling in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand & Nepal is 'namaste' is Indian & Nepalese & not related to Buddhism.

Namaste, sometimes spoken as Namaskar, Namaskaram is a respectful form of greeting in Hindu custom, found on the Indian subcontinent mainly in India and Nepal and among the Indian diaspora. It is used both for salutation and valediction. Namaste is usually spoken with a slight bow and hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointing upwards, thumbs close to the chest. This gesture is called Añjali Mudrā or Pranamasana. In Hinduism it means "I bow to the divine in you". The greeting may also be spoken without the gesture or the gesture performed wordlessly, carrying the same meaning.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Namaste

  • So it's more of a cultural(on a country level) thing, and not a Buddhist thing? – Bwrites Jul 10 '17 at 2:44
  • I think so. I have only observed internet Buddhists use the phrase. – Dhammadhatu Jul 10 '17 at 3:28
  • I have seen it between Osho-disciples/-sannyasins and inheritants, and learned it in courses in the 90 ies here in my hometown (Neo-tantra & relatives). I liked the sentiment with it much and accustomed myself to it. Surprising - but good to know now, that it is not common within buddhism and I can avoid possible discomfort... . – Gottfried Helms Jul 10 '17 at 6:16
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Namaste means that the good in me recognizes the good in you. It is generally an Indian greeting and I agree with the sentiment. In fact, I agree with many things expressed by various hindu doctrine. Probably because I spend a lot of time with the Upanishads.

The fact that some may find the term's use distasteful in some other context merely reiterates its' beauty. The GOOD in me ... the part of me that exists beyond all the political smatterings and social claptrap ... recognizes and appreciates the GOOD in you ... whether I disagree with your opinions or life et al.

It is truly a remarkable sentiment and impervious to such trivial attacks. You have found some common ground or commonality between the two of you despite all other things. You have connected.

protected by Lanka Jul 10 '17 at 12:45

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