"Namaskar symbolizes the state of the ego's readiness to lose itself." - Sri Babuji

Excerpt from Rose Petals - Dec 2011

GURUJI: Namaskar means “na-ma” or “no-me”, plus “askara”, or “scope”. So it means no scope for “me” or “mine”. A state where there is no scope for me or mine is namaskar. Not, “Did that fellow do namaskar to me?” Or, “He hasn’t done namaskar to me today.” That is quite the opposite of namaskar! Do we not pray that our ego, our sense of me and mine, should be “crushed under the feet of the Sadguru”? So every time we do namaskar, the emotion and feeling of humility should come, and these should be strengthened to enliven the experience of namaskar. That is the ritual purpose behind doing namaskar, pada namaskar, or sasthanga namaskar, whatever form of namaskar you do. 

DEVOTEE: What are the different namaskars you mentioned? 

GURUJI: [Anjali] namaskar is touching the palms together in front of the heart. Pada namaskar is touching the feet of a respected or holy person. Sasthanga namaskar is touching all eight parts of the body to the ground so no part is elevated; not only the head, but all parts of the body are flat. As in English they say, “He fell flat in front of him.” It means nothing remains [of his pride] because everything has gone. That is what is wanted, but in a positive way. And once we want this [humility], once we have that desire, where is the question of how many times? Actually, it should be done perpetually, so one is in perpetual namaskar. That is why the Muslims, when they do namaz, they put a piece of cloth on their heads to symbolize their being under their god [Allah], whose divinity is above their heads. That is also why Baba wears a turban, for the same reason. 

DEVOTEE: They put something on the head? 

GURUJI: Yes, some covering to make them feel humble. That is why, while doing namaz, they cover the head. And a fakir is one who is perpetually doing namaz, not only four or five times a day, but he is always in the state of namaz, so he always keeps his head covered.

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