Updated: Jan 31, 2021
Now a days, no-contact greetings are getting more popularity and considered hygienic also. 'Namaste' the Indian greeting has also become popular because of its gesture and respectful meaning.
Namaste, Namaskar and Namaskaram are greetings of salutation in India. These words are derived from Sanskrit language. To understand a word and its root in many languages we break the word. Here also I am going to break these words to understand their meanings, their degrees of respect and uses.
Nam + as + te = to bow to + to exist (divine soul) + you (informal)
" I bow to the divine in you "
* 'te' is used in other languages also for you.(Informal)
Namaste is more common and popular now a days because it is the shortest one, quick and the pronunciation is easy to remember but initially it was used among same age group of people, closed ones and friends as a common greeting like 'Hi' and 'Hello' now a days.
Nam + as + kara = to bow to + to exist (divine soul) + one who does for you (formal you)
" I bow to the divine in you with my full conscious "
Namaskar is considered same like Namaste now a days but according to our ancient texts, Namaskar is the salutation of elders and commonly exchanged among elders to give them more respect. Namaskar is more respectful and formal greeting than Namaste.
Nam + as + karam = to bow to + to exist (divine soul) + one who does with the highest respect.
" I bow to the divine in you with my full conscious and highest respect "
Namaskaram is the greeting which is considered the most respectful way of salutation in India. Namaskaram is the respectful salutation for the enlightened, awakened, scholars, and God.
In some parts of South India and Tamil language still some religious families greet with Namaskar and Namaskaram.
The beauty of this greeting is that it can be used for many occasions like for meeting someone or before parting ways. It can be used as day greetings, hi, hello, goodnight and bye also. One greeting is enough to handle all the occasions.
`To perform Namaskar we join our palms together in front of our chest and bow the head. This gesture is called Anjali mudra. If you don't know what to say in return ? Then please put a smile on your face and repeat the same gesture :)