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Ways of worship

Most religions tend to use a formalised and codified body language when it comes to worship.

india Updated: Dec 02, 2006 19:32 IST

Most religions use formalised body language when it comes to worship. These may be safely categorised as ‘classical dance’, because its essence is a codified set of movements conveying a specific message.

In Sikhism, it is the humility of ‘mattha tekna’ when a devotee approaches the Guru Granth Sahib and kneels in worship, forehead to the ground.

In Islam, it is the solemn flow of the namaz sequence, which the Natya Shastra would call a ‘karana’.

In Christianity, it is the symbolic hand gesture of crossing oneself.

Jains have their spin on the Namaste and also wave chauris (flywhisks) in both hands very gracefully before the main shrine of a Jain temple.

In Hinduism, the open palm is called Pataka Hasta. Brought together in the Anjali Mudra, it is Namaste.