Why do we do namaskar instead of shaking hands when we meet somebody?
Why do we do namaskar instead of shaking hands when we meet somebody? Ans: Namaskar comes from the word namaha in Sanskrit, meaning ‘to bow’. In namaskar we press our palms together and then bow our head and upper body to the person we meet. Also known as pranam, this is Sanatan Dharma’s lofty ritual of greeting. It naturally makes us humble. And humility has an immensely benevolent effect on the opposite person. It instantly makes him comfortable. He will feel like talking to us. Even if he is egoistic, angry or in a bad mood, he will calm down for a few moments.
Our ancient rishis were experts on human psychology. So they advocated this ritual of namaskar because it effectively connects us to the person opposite. More important is that this method protects us from any undesirable vibrations of the opposite person.
So by doing namaskar instead of a handshake, we gain respect, humility and health. Namaskar to our rishis for giving us this wonderful ritual!
(14) What is Abhivadan?
What is Abhivadan? Ans: Abhivadan is also namaskar, except we utter a sacred mantra or phrase at the same time. For example people utter such phrases that praise the name of god: ‘Jai Shri Ram’! ‘Jai Shri Krishna’! ‘Jai Swaminarayan’! ‘Jai Ambe’! ‘Jai Jinendra’! (to Jains), ‘Jai Julelal’! (to Sindhis).
(15) What is bhakti?
What is bhakti?
Ans: Bhakti is devotion to God. Bhakti can be simply listening to discourses, having darshan, massaging God’s holy feet, or staying in the company of God and having a friendly conversation. Another type of bhakti is das bhav. That is, one becomes God’s servant and carries out His commands without hesitating. For example, when Shri Ram instructed Hanumanji to go to Lanka, without thinking twice, he set off alone. However, the highest form of bhakti is atmanivedanam – surrendering one’s self at God’s holy feet. After that we consider all our possessions to be His and offer them to Him before using them ourselves.
(16) What is Satsang?
What is Satsang?
Swamishri : Affinity with God, who is the eternal truth, with scriptures and dharma, and with the Satpurush. If one can find such a Satpurush, automatically one attains the other three - he installs faith in God, nurtures love for the scriptures, teaching one the true interpretations of the holy texts. And he’ll inspire one to live according to dharma.

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