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Namkaran Sanskar (Naming Ceremony)


Name is also one of the means which distinguish the merits and demerits of a thing. It is, therefore, an ancient custom that a thing or person is given such a name that is capable to show, to a great extent, the merits and demerits of that thing and person. Name is, in a sense, a form of the spirit and every transaction in the world is carried out by name. All the learned people authors, writers, poets and scientists give it a serious thought how to run the name of their product. They also wish the name the choose, with minimum of letters, could amply reflect a respected and desired meaning. It is perhaps, not needed to tell our learned readers that our ancestors had attempted and developed such as organised custom for nomenclature that still astounds us. Names of characters in epics like Ramayana and Mahabharat are so peculiar that they clearly speak about the specially of their bearers.
Rama is an ideal abider of high morals, hence he lives in the heart and mind of everybody. Ravana too clearly reflects the speciality of its bearer that is the one who causes the others to weep. Yudhisthar had be stable during the fierce battle of Mahabharat. He did not let his religion go out of his hands, even on many critical occasions. Duryodhana was too, a great fighter as per his name Yodhana (fighter), but liked wars more for injustice. It is also difficult to find another brave men like Bhima who causes fear in others, and Arjuna who had a superb quality of winning of others. And no rule (Shasana) is worse than Dushshasana who found it a glorious task to undress a respected woman like Draupadi.

All it means that there was in vogue a custom of naming the children in ancient Aryan culture and it involved a lot a consideration and thinking before naming a child. But now the situation is totally different. People with names like Vidyasagar, Vidyahomkar, Vedprakash etc. are absolutely fool, while Bahadur singh is found to be highly coward. But in ancient time, the principle of it is all in the name was greatly emphasised. People expert in astrology, used to analyse the position of stars and basing on them, assess the traits of the child and accordingly suggest a name for him. Examples cited above clearly point to accuracy off the method that those people followed.

The effect of the name or the word that is coined as name is more miraculeous them electricity. It is often seen that a person develops such a traits that truly or exactly match with the name by which he is usually addressed. Such as a person, on being repeatedly called as "Lazy', indeed becomes lazy, similarly, a person called Darevedil indeed sacrifices his life in battle just to keep his name.


From the above discussion, it becomes clear holy nomenclature as a custom is necessary and how can we remove the evil tendencies in a man. But a new question arises now, that the parents naturally name their child. Why an elaborate custom is needed then for this purpose?

Describing this consecration, great sage Manu Says:


Meaning : 1) For lengthening of life and increasing the glory and
2) for the purpose of usefulness of name in mundane transactions.


This custom must be carried out when ten nights have passed after the birth of the child.


This is the opinion of Paraskar Girhya sutra. Gomil Grihya Sutrakar Puts three options in this subject as follows:




Means, Namakarana (nomenclature) must be done on the eleventh days, hundredth day or when one year has passed after the birth.



Means - O child, at the moment you take your first step out of your home, may the sky and the earth benedicting, comforting and glorifying. May the sun shower on you, his blissful rays, may pure air fill your heart, may the holy rivers like the Ganga and Yamuna flow with clean and delicious waters for you.

Thus hymn, full of prayer and heartily wishes points to those elements in universe, with which a human being becomes a human. Though this hymn may appear insignificant for a child just three or four months old, but for the parents, Whose all the ambitious are centered at their child, these boons of the God, have great significance.

It is told in this Vedic hymn that the baby must live or he brought up, in such a place where there is plenty of open sky and the sun, and where he could get unbound pure air and water. But nobody pays due attention to this suctom. It comes to notice only when the baby falls is, and then, as per the doctors advice, the child is kept in open air, given boiled and filtered water, and plenty of basking as well.

Activities involved in NISHKRAMANA custom are all aimed at improving the health of the child. This custom is carried out in the fourth month when all the motor and sense organs of the baby are strong enough to tolerate the sun, the wind etc. By formalizing this custom, the authorities meant that the child must be taken out for little stroll everyday so that his body can become strong to tolerate cold and hot weather and he could become healthy.


The aim of the rituals like showing of the baby to the sun, the moon and to the gods, is just to pray for the boon of vitality from the sun who gives life; the moon who governs the mood, and to generate a feeling of respect in the baby for these natural powers. These also teach the parents that they should no confine their baby within the walls of their home, and let him breath in open sky instead.



Meaning : O child may the barley and rice be bracing and nourishing for you, because these materials prevent every kind of tuberculosis and being the cereal of the gods, free the human from every kind of sin.

In the above-cited hymn of Veda, light is casted on the significance of ANNAPRASHANA SANSKARA. It is carried out when the baby is six or seven months old and his digestive system is strong enough to easily digest the cereals. This capacity usually develops after 6 months. Teeth also begin to emerge. To facilitate teething alkaline materials are needed in the body. If this necessity is not supplied by the wise parents through salty cereals, the baby may be begin to meet his requirement through soil, hence parents must pay their attention to this fact before hand.

Annaprashan custom indicated that by the age of 6 months, baby must be fed with small quantity of cereals while breast-feeding must be slowly weaned out. This custom also tells that the natural food for human being is cereal and not the meat etc.
But, today's man has totally forgotten this fact and the rule of edible and non-edible, and abandoned the behaviour that fits behaving in demon like ways. It's influence can be clearly seen on man today. He is now a days inflicted with different kind of sorrow, all of which an outcome jealousy, hate, distrust doubt fullness, disturbance etc. There is tension even between spouses, father and son, neighbors. People of a village or town of one district are doubtful of those of another district, Similar mentality can be seen in people of one state or country for the people of another state or country. It is all an evil effect of food that not fit for humans.


At the time of Annaprashan Sanskar, many things like books, pen, toys, confectioneries, arms etc are placed before the baby and he is left free to touch anything from them. An idea is formed, by the thing a baby touches about his future inclination and tendencies and interests. And with time, arrangements are made to reinforce the talents of the child, so that he can grow like an expert in field of his studies.
Hence, it is important for us to know about the interests of the baby through this custom to that we could inspire and encourage the child to develop his faculty.




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