September 03, 2008


(Giving a Name to the child)
Nama karana, or name giving, in which the father officially and publically declares the name of the child for all to know and use. The ceremony of naming a child. Nama literally means 'name' and karana means 'to make, to effect'.

The child should be named on the tenth, twelfth, hundred and first day, (101 st), or one full year from his birth.
It may be convenient to also do the Niskramanam ceremony at this time. (If the Niskra)

Then the house is cleaned and purified, and the child and mother ceremonially bathed. Friends and relatives are invited to see the child and participate in the celebration. The puja involves, other than the child and priest, the father, mother, and sometimes the paternal grandmother. First the mother covers the child in a new cloth. She wets the child's head with water, symbolically bathing him, and then gives the child either to the father or the paternal grandmother. Next, the priest invokes the blessings of Agni, the planetary bodies, and other gods.

The mother, holding the child covered in clean cloth, should be situated on the husband's right side.
She should give the child to her husband and pass behind him and come to his left side. She should sit facing east on kusa grass with tips facing northamanam is included then do the Nama Karanam in the home first and then take the child to the temple, alternatively take the child to the temple and do both Niskramanam first then Naama Karanam .That day to the ceremony, the house is given a proper wash and purified with some rites. The child and the mother are given a ceremonial bath. The child, covered with clean cloth, is held by the father during the ceremony. Symbolic offerings are made to various deities and a proper name is chosen as per the prescribed convention. This name is uttered by the parents in the child’s ear three times. The child is blessed by the elders and the brahmins present and they call the child by the new name.The name of a child may be derived from the star constellation of its birth, the deity associated with the Hindu month in which it was born or the family deity. Apart from the tradition, the child’s name may be chosen depending on a popular choice in the household, which is the norm in today’s society.
The Hindu scriptures also prescribe a set of inauspicious names belonging to constellations, tree, plants and rivers, which should be avoided. Some names which may seem to belong to a servant or other similar lower status person and the names that may sound fearful are also not recommended.

The Nakshatra name:

This is given according to the constellation, or Nakshatra, (the stars. see Panchangam) the child is born under. Each constellation has a name, and several letters of the Sanskrit alphabet are also assigned to it. The Nakshatra name could therefore be the name of the constellation itself, or begin with any of the letters assigned to that constellation.
The name of the deity of the month:

Each month of the Hindu calendar is associated with a particular deity, which usually has several names. The child's second name is one of the names of the deity of the month in which it is born.
The name of the family deity: Every Namakarana family has one deity who has been worshipped for generations. The name of this deity is given to protect the child from evil.
The popular name:

This is the name that the child is known by. It depends on the culture and education of the family, and should be auspicious.
The name should be easy to pronounce and sound pleasant;
It should contain a specified number of syllables and vowels;
It should indicate the sex of the child;
It should signify fame, wealth, or power; and
It should be suggestive of the caste of the family. A priest making a child's horoscope during the naming ceremony. Namakarana meanings in the belief that this will frighten away diseases, and evil spirits and influences
Nowadays, this ceremony usually takes place on the twelfth day after birth. It is not a formal ceremony, but more of an opportunity to invite family and friends to celebrate the baby's arrival. There is usually a havan, and then the child's name is announced to the gathering. Usually only a Nakshatra name and a popular name are given.
The priest makes an astrological calculation according to the time and date on which the child is born. On this basis, he prescribes a letter of the alphabet with which the child's Nakshatra name should begin. If the family is agreeable, this name doubles as the popular name as well. Usually, however, the nakshatra name is not used, and the child is given another name by which he is commonly known

This ceremony is performed, normally, on the tenth or twelfth day after birth. If there are inconveniences it is taken to the end of the first year. The appropriate day for this function is the 10th, 12th or 16th day of the childs birth. Failing to perform it on any of these days, an auspicious day, say the Vedas should be chosen for the purpose  after the 16th day of the childs birth.
After preliminaries the parent gives the offering to gods, touches the breath of the child symbolizing the awakening of its consciousness and says in its ear: Your name is.. thrice. The Brahmins and elders are asked to follow, calling the child by that name and blessing it. A personality is sought to be given.

The Namakaranaceremony was performed on the tenth or the twelfth day after the birth of the child with the single exception of the secret name whichwas given, in the opinion of some, on the birth day. But the lateroptions range from the tenth up to the first day of the second year.One authority says, "The naming ceremony should be performed on thetenth, twelfth, hundredth day or at the expiry of the first year."This wide option was due to the convenience of the family and healthof the mother and the child. But the option from the tenth up tothirty second day was due to the different periods of ceremonialimpurities prescribed for different casts. In the opinion of Brihaspati, "The naming ceremonies should be performed on the tenth,twelfth, thirteenth, sixteenth, nineteenth, or thirty-second day after the birth of the child." But according to astrological workseven these dates were to be postponed if there was any naturalabnormality or lack of religious propriety. "If there be a Samkranti(the passage of the sun from one zodiac to another), and eclipse orsraddha, the ceremony cannot be auspicious." There were otherprohibited days also which should be avoided.

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