Kuttu Varisai Salutation (Mariyāthai Seluttuthal)


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Anjali is Sanskrit for "offering", "a gesture of reverence", "benediction", "salutation", and is derived from anj, meaning "to honour or celebrate".

Mudra means "seal" or "sign". The meaning of the phrase is thus "salutation seal".

The gesture is also known as hrdayanjali mudra meaning "reverence to the heart seal" ( from hrd, meaning "heart" ) and atmanjali mudra meaning "reverence to the self seal" ( from atman, meaning "self" ).

The gesture first appears c.4000 years ago on the clay seals of the Indus Valley Civilization.

Namaste is derived from Sanskrit and is a combination of two words, "Namaḥ" and "te" ( a shortened variant of "tubhyam" ). Namaḥ means 'bow', 'obeisance', 'reverential salutation' or 'adoration' and te means 'to you' ( dative case of 'you' ). Therefore, Namaste literally means "bow to you" translated as "I bow to you".


Anjali mudra is performed by pressing the palms of the hands together. The fingers are together with fingertips pointing up. The hands are pressed together firmly and evenly.

In the most common form of anjali mudra, the hands are held at the heart chakra with thumbs resting lightly against the sternum. The gesture may also be performed at the Ajna or brow chakra with thumb tips resting against the "third eye" or at the crown chakra ( above the head ). In some yoga postures, the hands are placed in anjali mudra position to one side of the body or behind the back.

Anjali mudra is normally accompanied by a slight bowing of the head.

Symbolic meaning

Anjali mudra has the same meaning as the Sanskrit greeting Namaste and can be performed while saying Namaste or Pranam, or in place of vocalizing the word.

The gesture is used for both greetings and farewells, but carries a deeper significance than a simple "hello" or "goodbye". The joining together of the palms is said to provide connection between the right and left hemispheres of the brain and represents unification or "yoking". This yoking is symbolic of the practitioner's connection with the divine in all things. Hence, performing anjali mudra is an honouring of both the self and the other as the gesture acknowledges the divinity of both practitioner and recipient.

Physical benefits

Anjali mudra is performed as part of a physical yoga practice with an aim to achieving several benefits. It is a centering pose which helps to alleviate mental stress and anxiety and is therefore used to assist the practitioner in achieving focus and coming into a meditative state.

The physical execution of the pose helps to promote flexibility in the hands, wrists, fingers and arms.

Meanings and interpretation

"vanakkam / namaste / namaskar" will be accompanied with Añjali Mudrā ( Athma Anjali Mudra - if palm joint at center of chest ) / Pranamasana hand gesture together with a smile which is practiced in Asia, can also be performed wordlessly and carries the same meaning. It is used as a sign of respect and a greeting in India and amongst yoga practitioners and adherents of similar traditions. The gesture is incorporated into many yoga asanas.

As it is most commonly used, namaste is roughly equivalent to "greetings" or "good day," in English, implicitly with the connotation "to be well". As opposed to shaking hands, kissing or embracing each other in other cultures, Namaste is a non-contact form of respectful greeting and can be used universally while meeting a person of different gender, age or social status.

The gesture Namaste represents the belief that there is a Divine spark within each of us that is located in the heart chakra. The gesture is an acknowledgment of the soul in one by the soul in another. In Sanskrit the word is namah + te = namaste ( Devnagari / Hindi : नमः + ते = नमस्ते ) which means “I bow to you” - my greetings, salutations or prostration to you.

Namaskār ( Devnagari / Hindi : नमस्कार ) literally means "I bow to [ your ] form".


Namaste / Namaskar is a friendly greeting in written communication, or generally between people when they meet. When used at funerals to greet the guests, the verbal part is usually omitted. When the hand position is higher, it usually means reverence and / or worship. The expression with hands placed on top of one's head is usually the sign of utmost reverence or respect. When the gesture is performed with hands in front of the chest, it is usually considered as aayushman.

The Brāhmiṇs of Tamil Nadu ( India )

use the Sanskrit word Namaskaram ( नमस्कारम् ) for the gesture. The usage of the same is also found across other Brāhmiṇ people in southern India.

Tamil culture

The gesture is known as Kumpiṭu ( கும்பிடு ), which is composed of two words Kumpu ( கும்பு ) meaning 'to coup hands' and Iṭu ( இடு ) meaning 'to do'; while an equivalent of the salutation would be vaṇakkam ( வணக்கம் ) which is roughly translated as 'greetings'.

In Telugu culture

the gesture is known as "Namaskaramulu" or simply "Namaskaram", which are probably derived from Sanskrit.

In Kannada culture

the gesture is known as Namaskara or Sharanu. Namaskara is derived from Sanskrit.

In Sikh scripture

Namaste, Namastung or Namastvung is referenced as salutation to the Primal being, the One God. The salutation is followed by an attribute respecting a quality of the creator of all religions, Akal. Sikhs also fold their hand as in Namaste, but their greeting is Sat Sri Akal.


The aayubowan ( meaning : wish you a long life ) gesture is also a cultural symbol of Sri Lanka and Sri Lankan hospitality.


the Sindh culture in Pakistan, the añjali mudra, though extremely rare, is still maintained even by Sindhi Muslims.


Namaste is performed when a younger family member meets older relatives. It also varies depending upon social status and prestige. The person with lower status or prestige performs namaste first to show respect for the higher station the other person has achieved.


the Namaste hand gesture is used in prayer and healing sessions and is called Gasshō.

Bowing Greetings

Bowing ( also called stooping ) is the act of lowering the torso and head as a social gesture in direction to another person or symbol. Bowing to Earth, Guru, and Weapon on Ground is an integral part of traditional martial arts of Silambam / Kuttu Varisai / Varma Kalai. Bows are used to begin and end practice, sparring bouts and competitions, and when entering and leaving the dojo, or practice room. It's an act of getting Blessed from Respected Parents, Guru, God & Elders.

Some martial arts bows are different in terms of the position of the arms and hands. For example, in Silambam ( Kuttu Varisai ) bow are performed with the hands together with hands and arms in front ( this is called "Atmanjali Mudra" also known as Prayers hand ), while a karate bow is performed with the arms at the sides. In the Hindu religious tradition, people show deference by bowing or kneeling down and touching the feet of an elder or respected person. It is a tradition which originated in the western states of India, but spread to the rest of the Indian states.

It is most prominent in Asian cultures but it is also typical of nobility and aristocracy in many countries and distinctively in Europe. Sometimes the gesture may be limited to lowering the head such as in Indonesia. It is especially prominent in several countries in Asia Continent where it may be executed standing or kneeling.

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    COURTESY : Above salutation is called "Anjali Mudra" also known as Prayers hand ( demo by the students ). Specifically called "Athma Anjali Mudra" as the palm joint at center of heart (Athma means 'soul')

Salutation in Silambam ( Kuttu Varisai ) Trainings

Salutation definition in Tamil ( Transliterated ) as Vanakkam ( or; Namaste in Hindi ). Silambam students will be taught to pay respects to everyone and also to everything surrounding them from beginning of training. Learning to respect is essential and prominently applied in Silambam / Kuttu Varisai trainings, such as respects towards (arranged in chronological order from primary focus onwards) :

Respects Purpose Approach in Kuttu Varisai

Mother & Father


as a respect for great morale support and hardship to make us become human (good characters) in life

by prone / kneeling / forward bend
- by using both palm
- touch at the parent's feet

Guru / Aasan ( Instructor )


as a respect for hardship & proper guidance given in the years of trainings

by prone / kneeling / forward bend
- by using both palm
- touch at the instructor's feet

Supreme God / Deities


as a respect with thanks for blessing our body with vital energy and for everything else in life

by prone / kneeling / forward bend
- with anjali mudra
- infront of deities

5 Nature Elements


as a respect for creation of God (the elements) and to request good nature elements in success of training/displays/battle

by forward bend
- by using both palm
- touch at the ground
- either in arena / training floor



as a respect and energy for weapon to achieve maximum impact while wielding the weapon and to prevent ownself harm / injury caused by own weapon.

    Guruji Murugan Chillayah

Methods of retrieve the weapon from ground

(if close distance with opponent)

1) in standing position; tossing-up the weapon by using feet and grab /
2) in acrobatic move; with summersault to grab the weapon before stand for fight

(if good distance away from opponent)
1) in forward bend (with head tilted-up looking at opponent) and reach the weapon with hand /
2) in kneeling (with head tilted-up looking at opponent) and take the weapon ; from this kneeling position, you may subsequently make forward rolling to better distance before standing

- DO NOT retrieve weapon with body fully bend with head tilted down / turn your back towards opponent / kneeling at close range of opponent; as these positions is exposing prone target at body/head, and also vulnerable for imminent attack

- in standing position, as weapon already at hand, touch the weapon on the forehead (for blessing) before begin wielding / attacks

    THE END :
    Essential "methods of retrieve the weapon from ground" must be followed with good cautious to prevent 'careless' mistakes or self-inflicted injuries.

Team member / Club members


as a respect and encouragement given as a teamwork to succeed

by standing
- with athma anjali mudra (pranamasana)
- with bowing
- towards 1 prime direction


in competitions

as a respect for judgement accepted with sincerity

by standing
- with athma anjali mudra (pranamasana)
- with bowing
- towards 1 prime direction


in silambam arena

as a welcome & respect for encouragement / support

by standing
- with athma anjali mudra (pranamasana)
- with bowing
- towards 4 direction


in competitions / silambam arena

as a welcome & respect for good fighting spirits

by standing
- with athma anjali mudra (pranamasana)
- with half bowing with eyes looking towards competitive opponent


in battle

as a welcome & respect for good fighting spirits

According Purana Scriptures:
Karna/Karnan (the son of Sun -Lord Surya) gave this respect with sincerely towards his opponent before commence his Yuddha (battle)

by standing
- with athma anjali mudra (pranamasana)
- with half bowing with eyes looking towards combative opponent


Use in full body asanas

While anjali mudra may be performed by itself from any seated or standing posture, the gesture is also incorporated into physical yoga practice as part of many full-body asanas including :


anjaneyasana ( lunge )

with arms overhead

hanumanasana ( monkey pose )


malasana ( garland pose )


matsyasana ( fish pose )

an advanced variant

prasarita padottanasana ( wide-legged forward bend )

an advanced variant with hands behind the back

tadasana / samasthiti ( mountain pose )

a variant of the pose used during sun salutation sequences

Urdhva Hastasana ( upward salute / extended mountain pose )

arms overhead

virabhadrasana I ( warrior I )

arms overhead

vrksasana ( tree pose )