One gentle man asked, “Why do we pray to god with the hands clasped and also greet a fellow human being in the same way.”
She said, “The five fingers represent the five sheaths or the shells that envelope the real self of a person. In Sanskrit, the five sheaths are called as
- Annamayakosha – The Physical sheath – It is the gross physical body that is sustained by food
- Pranamayakosha – The Energy sheath – It is the subtle body that is sustained by pranic force.
- Manomayakoshsa – The sheath of mind – This is the perceptual body, a covering which is the result of the mind where all the impression and knowledge obtained from the external factors reside.
- Vigyanamayakosha – The sheath of consciousness – This is the covering which is finer than the mind, where intelligence, instinct and intuition are dominant
- Anandhamayakosha – The sheath of bliss – This is the transcendental body which is beyond reason and logic. This is where the subtle ego resides, on breaking which the self is realized.
Through the five fingers that represent the five sheaths, we reach the palm which represents the Self. When we clasp both the hands and greet, we say that I greet your real self from with my real self. Beyond these sheaths all of us are Gods and hence, we greet our fellow beings just as we greet our Gods.”
This purest for of greeting had however lost its significance with all these politicians blindly greeting the rising their clasped hands at the vote banks. This traditional way of greeting only exists during the marriages and at other domestic functions. The mere understanding will help us appreciate the divinity of our being, the profoundness and virtue of these practices and save them as treasures for the generations to come.