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Namaste
General salutation that is used to welcome somebody and also for bidding farewell. While doing it, both the palms are placed together and raised below the face to greet a person. It is believed that both the hands symbolize one mind or the self-meeting the self. While the right hand represents higher nature the left hand denotes worldly or lower nature.

Tilak
A ritual mark on the forehead. It can be put in many forms as a sign of blessing, greeting or auspiciousness. The tilak is usually made out of a red vermilion paste (kumkum), which is a mixture of turmeric, alum, iodine, camphor. It can also be of a sandalwood paste (chandan) blended with musk. It is applied on the spot between the brows, which is considered the seat of latent wisdom and mental concentration and is very important for worship. This is the spot on which Yogis meditate to become one with lord Brahma. It also indicates the point at which the spiritual eye opens. All thoughts and actions are said to be governed by this spot. Putting of the colored mark symbolizes the quest for the opening of the third eye. All rites and ceremonies of the Hindus begin with a tilak with the index finger or the thumb.

Arati
Is performed as an act of veneration and love. It is often performed as a mark of worship and to seek blessings from God, to welcome the guests, family members on auspecious occasions or to welcome newly wedded couple. For performing arati five small lamps called niranjans are filled with ghee or oil and arranged in a small tray made of metal. A wick is made out of cotton wool and placed in the lamps. A conch- shell filled with water, auspicious leaves or flowers, incense or lighted camphor are also placed in the tray. The lamps are lit and the tray is rotated in a clockwise circular motion in front of the deity or the person to be welcomed. The purpose is to ward off evil effects and the malefic influence of the evil eye.

Garlanding
Flower garlands are generally offered as a mark of respect and honor. They are offered to welcome the visitors or in honor to the Gods. The garlands are made with white jasmine and orange marigold flowers. They are weaved in thread tied in the end with a help of a knot.


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