What is Namaste ?
What signifcance does it have ?
Is it Religious ? or is it Universal ?
These are questions that are part of the minds of readers who would associate this as a Religious Hindu thing when seen with judeo-christian worldview lens.
Namaste means the Self within me salutes the Self within you. Two folded Hands ideally with index finger touching the Forehead or both the thumbs at the heart is how Namaste is done.
When 2 hands are brought together, the left and right brain , the left nostril breathing and right nostril breathing tend to come in balance. When they are in balance, the Central Nervous System called Sushumna in Yogic Science is active. This is when we trascend physical differences like Race of White/black, Man/Woman, Rich/poor, Educated/ Uneducated, old/Young, even Human/Other life forms.
One living Self interacts with other living Self. This state of Being is Yoga or Universal consciousness. So greetings are done by Namaste means an unconditional presentation of meeting the Self of another person/group.
Is it Religious linked to Hindhuism ?
Namaste is as Indian as BMW is German. Just because an Indian or american driver of BMW does not reduce the performance of the vehicle, the usage is Universal and does not discriminate between any religion or sect. But at the same time a indian user does not mean that BMW becomes a Indian Brand, similarily Namaste is definitely Indian.
India before 10,000 years or even for that world before 10,000 years did not have a religious concept once geographical natives. We have the concept of Abrahamic religions only in the last 2000-2500 years. By that Indian becomes Hindu. But Hindu religion as it is called today cannot be compared to Christian/Islamic/ judaic traditions , since there is neither founder nor it is organised religion with Church like structures.
Its simply discovery of mechanisms and secrets of nature like nature of Breathing that constitutes the core aspect of Hindhuism, hence it is compatible with Critical analysis, science, research, agreeing to disagree.
The roots of Namaste definitely has to be attributed to now called Ancient Hindhus only but with above understanding