When we put the palms together in front of our heart, and say ‘Namaste’ to greet somebody, it also symbolizes the Dharma about respect all beings as they are, and there’s no differences nor separateness between us and all beings.
‘Respect’ in the path of yoga and meditation, is seeing the true and pure nature in all beings, and able to accept everyone as they are, beyond all the different qualities of names and forms that generate separateness and distinguish everyone from one another.
We respect all beings even though we might not agree with their thinking and beliefs, nor support their actions or behaviors.
When we think we need to show ‘respect’ to those who are elder than us, who are smarter or better experience than us, or who are higher ranking or higher social class than us, who are more important or superior than us, who had helped us and be kind to us, and at the same time we expect ourselves to be respected by those who are younger than us, who are less smart or less experience than us, or those who we think they are lower ranking or lower social class than us, who are less important or inferior than us, and we cannot respect anyone who had not helped us nor be kind to us, who we think and believe they are bad or evil, then this is not the same type of ‘respect’ that we are talking about in the path of yoga and meditation.
In the path of yoga and meditation, the act of ‘respect’ is free from superiority and inferiority, likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements, nor being influenced or determined by the qualities of names and forms, as we see the same universal consciousness in all and everyone.
We show respect to all and everyone as they are, whether human beings or non-human beings, whether good behavior beings or bad behavior beings, whether we agree with them or not, whether we like them or not, whether they are older or younger than us, whether they are higher or lower ranking and social status than us, whether they are richer or poorer than us, disregard what are their race, caste, sect, culture, work, achievements, physical condition and appearance, gender, family and educational background, religious background, nationality, personality, beliefs, friends or not friends, those who like us or dislike us, those who love us or hate us, those who are kind to us or unkind to us, those who praise us or criticize us, and etc.
Only when we know the real meanings of ‘respect’, we then can be truly compassionate, as there’s no more the sense of separateness, superiority or inferiority in us, and this will allow us to be able to be kind and compassionate towards all beings, without being influenced by the different qualities of names and forms that our ego likes and dislikes, agrees and disagrees with. It is being free from egoism, attachment towards the qualities of names and forms, pride and arrogance, judgment, expectation, discrimination, hatred, violence and fear.