Namaste in Mother India:
learning Namaste in Mother India
     The following excerpt is from
ROOTS AND WINGS: adventures of a spirit on earth, by Jack Haas, "The Kerouac of the new millennium." (FW)
    ...And so at thirty years of age I was in Old Delhi, India- Mother India- and had been there for three months, unable to leave, because I was going mad on loneliness, Old Monk Rum, freedom, torpor, and words.
     India, Mother India, a land of madness and miracles, where nothing is reasonable, and everything belongs, because in India there is no norm, no paradigm, no structure, nor concept upon which to base any idea of right or wrong, for the Mother accepts all, and is all. If you go to India and try to fit in, you never will, because no one fits in there, not even Indians. And that, I suppose, is why the Indians greet you as if you were a deity- as one for whom there is no duplicate, because to be unique is to be eternal, as eternal as God- which is why they greet you with namasté: I bow to the God within you.
     At the time of writing this book I have been to India a number of times, and yet to this day the only word I have learned which I continue to use, besides chai, is namasté. It is a word I am still learning, and perhaps a word I will never finish learning. Namasté, I bow to the God within you.
     It is a word which has no similarity with any salutation from the occident, and its closest approximations are the Hawaiian word Aloha, and the Alaskan Upik word Chamai, both of which have also been pathetically mistranslated into the banal English word 'hello'.
     Namasté; it is a word which destroys this world, and creates another. In an instant. For, the moment we greet or part in this way, the entire fabric of the universe is re-woven and becomes an infinitely unpatterned unity where entropy and order, the sacred and profane, and the spirit and flesh are no longer opposites, for there are no opposites, and everything is singular, secular, and sacred, and all blemish is honored as a unique addition to the gyrating, cornucopic menagerie flung out from the fecund womb of ruleless creation. ...

Jack Haas is a wilderness explorer, world traveler, and independent researcher and writer. He is the author of four highly acclaimed books:
THE WAY OF WONDER: a return to the mystery of ourselves, ROOTS AND WINGS: adventures of a spirit on earth, THE DREAM OF BEING: aphorisms, ideograms, and aislings, and IN, AND OF: memoirs of a mystic journey.
To see more about ROOTS AND WINGS

All books by Jack Haas,
Iconoclast Press home page.





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