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I understand this hand sign is to respect and say hello to Buddha or greeting to monks.

Ques 1: Where is this written in Sutta exactly what the hand sign means?

Ques 2: Can non Buddhist bow to Buddha when they visit temple? Most articles says no.

If no, then what other hand sign more standard or more acceptable widely to greet Buddha or Monk from Buddhism perspective?

Post note: Buddha is not for Worship

  • 1
    I don't think the meaning is described in a Sutta. Wikipedia's Thai greeting article says that it's derived from the Añjali Mudrā.
    – ChrisW
    Commented Oct 14, 2020 at 7:29
  • @ChrisW Buddha or Monk is not a God. --> Nameste - The term namas is made of 2 words na meaning “not” and mamah meaning “i” or mine. It is therefore “not I”[citation needed]. This implies being open to the person being greeted and sometimes when “namaste” is said to God it refers to bowing or adoration. Commented Oct 14, 2020 at 8:13
  • respectful & sincere, re clergy, maybe depend on venue & region & situation; eg, in English, ~Hello/ wave, etc, respectful & sincere, just as for anyone; could also depend on the ranks/ titles
    – M H
    Commented Oct 20, 2020 at 11:19

3 Answers 3


Then the monks, delighting in & approving of the Blessed One's words, rose from their seats and — bowing down to the Blessed One and circumambulating him, keeping him to their right — went to Ven. Sariputta. On arrival, they exchanged courteous greetings with him. After an exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, they sat to one side. https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.002.than.html

Perhaps it was a very old tradition to respect the elders and worthy people or even people with power.

  • This answer appears to be about Buddhists bowing to Buddha rather than non-Buddhists. Commented Oct 14, 2020 at 7:35

Hands on heart seems appropriate and more general for non-Buddhist


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He's just a sattva standing there falling all over himself... either kick his butt and tell him to renounce his sattva vow or prostrate yourself before him and say have a step or a seat.

If he tames you like an ox he wins if not off to sit under another tree.

Is that a plum under your butt or are you just happy to see me? Would make a nice meme :) I've met another incarnation of him in this very life; I wonder if they know about each other?

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