A long time ago, there lived an entity whom we shall call No-thing because words cannot express that entity's essence. No-thing was the only thing that existed. Humans, planets, aliens, universe, sun, birds, microbes, animals - whatever you can think of did not exist. To look at it another way, No-thing was every-thing too.
For a while, No-thing happily enjoyed its solitude. It did not have thoughts as there was no need for them. There was no fodder to generate thoughts. All it had was itself. But something was not right. Since it's inception, it had always felt a sense of loneliness. And at some point (as time did not exist either), that loneliness became boring. So, No-thing decided to do something. And it could do something only with itself. So, No-thing decided to explode into millions of No-things to see what would happen.
For a while, the feeling of loneliness went away. No-thing and No-things existed together. But you see, it wasn’t that different. Bigger No-thing and smaller No-things existed just like before. Soon, the sense of loneliness returned. No-things also got lonely. They were restless too, as they did not like the separation from No-thing. So, No-thing decided to do something.
It made the little No-things forget that they were a part of itself. The forgetfulness changed everything for the No-things. Now they were separate entities and had a choice. They started experimenting with their looks, shape, size. They started interacting with other No-things - breaking, bonding, fighting, making up. They had their own self-image, which had emotions, wants, desires. And as they gained experience, their separateness became more complex. No-thing settled in to enjoy the show. This whole experience was entertaining to No-thing, just pure enjoyment.
No-things might have forgotten their oneness with No-thing, but they were all the same.
Namaste - I See You
Now, we will talk about the No-things that evolved into humanity as we know it. Even though it looked as if humans had forgotten their true origins, they were still one at the core. So, they kept coming up with rituals, words that tried to lead them back to the source.
Namaste is one such word. The word has its origins in Sanskrit. There are different ways it is understood. It is made up of two words - Namah (I bow respectfully to you) and aste (let there be). The original intent or the basis of Namaste was ‘salutations to the (divine) child (in your heart)’. Another way to look at it is, ‘the sacred in me recognises the sacred in you’. The word Namaha can also be literally interpreted as “na ma” (not mine). It has a spiritual significance of negating or reducing one’s ego in the presence of another. In essence, it points to oneness.
There is an action associated with the word as well. With a long breath, bring your palms together, place them near the heart with fingers straight upwards. The thumb is placed close to the chest. As you bow your head, close your eyes and utter the word - Namaste. It is believed that with this posture, the tension is reduced and human feels comfortable. This series of hand movements is supposed to increase flexibility in the wrist, fingers, thumbs.
Today the word has been reduced to an ordinary - ‘Hello’. Just like the no-things came from No-thing, Namaste evolved from being a pointer to oneness to ordinary Hello.
What Does Namaste Point To?
Have you ever seen a caterpillar at the end of its phase - it is dysfunctional. A caterpillar cannot function as a caterpillar anymore. In fact, it releases enzymes that digests itself into a cocoon and what emerges is an entirely new life form - a butterfly. The dysfunction is a sign that change is about to come.
The same is valid for humanity. Our minds/egos and separateness have evolved to the point of being dysfunctional. At least for some of us in human society. We are tired of repeating the same story day in day out. We all grow up, get a job, get married, get kids and die. And in that lifespan, we struggle with different life situations. For some humans, ‘this’ is not working. The mindlessness of our routines is beginning to crack. We want to break from the separateness based on looks, caste, birthplace. What started as experimentation has turned into a prison where we categorise people as US vs THEM.
Imagine if a raindrop started complaining about its life. “All I do is get evaporated from a larger water body into clouds. And then I condense from clouds into the rain - back to a larger water body. Is this all there is to life?” Imagine if the raindrop realised that it is the water body - will it still view its life as a chore or bliss?
The question is, will No-things merge back into the No-thing or evolve into those who remember their source?
Namaste - the divine in me sees the divine in you. Do you?