Namkaran Sanskar is an important rite which falls under Hindu religion. Naming a baby is considered to be sacred and therefore is an important Hindu tradition. It involves the immediate families and also close relatives and friends. Traditionally known as Namkaran or Namkaran Sanskar, this ceremony is conducted in an elaborate form on the 11th day after birth.
The Namkaran Sanskar is usually held after first 11 nights of a baby’s delivery. These 11 post-natal days are considered inauspicious and the mother and child are considered to be unclean. Traditionally mother and child are separated from the rest of the family during these 10 days where no one except a helper is allowed to touch the baby or the mother. All festivals and events in the family and extended family are postponed by 11 nights. After those 11 nights, the house is cleaned and sanctified for the ceremony. The mother and child are bathed traditionally and are prepared for the ceremony. This is most likely to avoid infecting baby or mother and allowing mother some time to recover after delivery. Relatives and close friends are invited to be a part of this occasion and bless the child. Priests are called and an elaborate ritual takes place.
The people involved in the baby naming ceremony are the parents of the newborn, the paternal and maternal grandparents and few close relatives and friends. In Maharashtra, Bengal, and amongst the Rajput’s of Gujarat the paternal aunt has the honor of naming her brother’s child. The child is dressed in new clothes and the mother wets the head of the baby with drops of water as a symbol of purifying the child. In some communities, the baby is then handed over to the paternal grandmother or the father who sits near the priest during the ritual. Where the paternal aunt names the child, she whispers the new born his or her name in the ear and then announces it to the gathered family and friends. In some Communities or families, the sacred fire is lighted and the priest chants sacred hymns to invoke the Gods in the heaven to bless the child.
Election of the name:
- A. The name should be selected using the following rules : The first letter should consist of any of the nineteen alphabets viz. g (ग), gh (घ), nh (ङ), j (ज), jh (झ), yan (ञ), d (ड), dh (ढ), n (ण), d(द), dh (ध), n (न), b (ब), bh (भ), m (म), y (य), r (र), l (ल), v (व), excluding the first two alphabets of the pentads in the Devanagari alphabets which are k (क), kh (ख), ch (च), cha (छ), t (ट), th (ठ), t (त), th (थ), p (प) and ph (फ). These alphabets being dominant in the pruthvi (absolute earth) and apa (absolute water) elements as well as in the tama component, the first letter of the name should not begin with them. [Refer ‘Science of Spirituality : Chapter 9 – Path of Chanting The Lord’s Name (Namasankirtanyoga )’.]
- B. The last letter should be prolonged (dirgha) or should have the visarga [namaha is the visarga (the soft aspirate)]. The less prolonged letters (rhasva) are predominant in Energy (Shakti) while the more prolonged (dirgha) ones or those containing visarga are predominant in Shiv (Brahman). Since the motive in Spirituality is union with the Shiv principle, this rule is followed.
- C. A boy’s name should consist of two or four letters, for example Bhadra, Dev, Devdatta, Bhava, Bhavanath, Nagdev, etc. while a girl’s should consist of an odd number of letters that is 3, 5 or 7. Letters in odd numbers predominate in Energy (Shakti) while those in even numbers are Shiv predominant.
- D. The first letter in a girl’s name should not be double, for example Florence should not be spelt as Fflorence. Women predominate in Energy (Shakti) while the conjoint first letter is dominant in The Absolute Being (Purush). Thus this conjoint first letter can have an undesirable effect on the girl.
- E. If one desires that the child be famous then its name should consist of two letters.
- F. If one desires excellence in Spirituality, learning and conduct then a name consisting of four letters should be selected. The four letters represent Dharmacharan">Righteousness (Dharma), wealth (artha), desire (kama) and the Final Liberation (Moksha), the four objectives (purusharthas) of human life.
- G. The name of a Brahman should suggest auspiciousness, that of a Kshatriya strength, that of a Vaishya wealth and that of a Shudra reproach. (Manusmruti 2.31). Formerly the practice of prefixing the name with ‘Sharma’ in a Brahman (priest), ‘Varma’ in a Kshatriya (warrior), ‘Gupta’ in aVaishya (businessman) and ‘Das’ in a Shudra (labourer), was prevalent. Thus from the name one could perceive the class to which one belonged.
Naamakaran Samagri (Ingredients):-Provided by us:-
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