• By Jnana Prabodhini
  • April 2001

The Naming Ceremony Begins

Priest and the Participants:
 Harih  Om

Priest: On this auspicious day, we are celebrating the naming sacrament of the son / daughter of Shri …………….. and Shrimati …………………….

The child that is born in this house is a manifestation of Divinity itself. By what name shall we acknowledge it? As we see it, so will it be. Shall we call it Agni, the fire god and see divine luster in it? Shall we call it Indra, the King of Gods and see valor in it? Shall we call Varuna, the water-god, and wish that it would be a benefactor of the world? May we call it Saraswati and see wealth of knowledge in it? Thus, we can call it by a number of names and see it in various forms. Let us select the one, which is pleasant, one that is noble and beautiful. Let us declare it before the near and dear ones.

Now the ceremony commences with the veneration to Shri Ganesha.

Priest and the Participants:

Priest: O Shri Ganesha, leader of heroes, learned among the learned, of incomparable fame, of divine luster, protector of our mantras, we bow before you. Please listen to our entreaties and reside in our house with all your protective powers.

Now we seek blessings of gods and elders for this child and request them to make this day auspicious for the sacrament.

Priest and the participants:

Priest: O Gods, we should hear and see only that which helps us to be better persons. We will lead the life given by you with health and vigour.

Priest and the Parents

Priest: We are performing the sacrament of naming this child. Please bless it.

Priest and the Relations:

Certainly, our blessings are with you.

Priest and the Parents:

Priest: We are performing the sacrament of naming this child. Please say that it will be accomplished.

Priest and the Relations:

Sure, it will be accomplished.

Priest and the Relations:

Our mind is the flow of knowledge. That mind which is dynamic, resolute and of undying lustre, the mind that is a driving force of all actions, may have pure thoughts alone.

 On this auspicious day, with pure mind, we sprinkle water on the materials that are used for the rites, on this child and on his mother, as a purifying gesture.
Priest and the Participants:

Priest: A person may be impure, pure or in whatever state, if he recalls God, he becomes pure inside out.

Now we will felicitate the mother who has given birth to this child. Right from the Vedic sages to the poets of today, all have sung the glory of the Mother. She carries the child in her womb for 9 months. She feeds it, nourishes it, looks after it and brings it up. Its body, mind and soul are built up her alone. So the Taittireeya Upanishad says Worship your mother!

Priest: A preceptor is greater than ten priests. A father is greater than hundred preceptors, and a mother is greater than thousand fathers. She is the greatest among the imparters of knowledge.

 So we felicitate this mother by applying Haldi & Kumkum. May her mother-in-law offer her a coconut (indicating desired progeny.) May her father-in-law give her new clothes. Let her father give her ornaments and the mother may give her nourishing food. Husband may offer her a flower-garland. Other relations may congratulate her and give her blessings and gifts.
(Father takes the child in his lap.)

Since we wish that the child should have radiant health, sound mind and sharp intellect, we feed it with honey and ghee mixed together by a gold ring. This is very good preventive and tonic. Feeding this to the child is feeding him life-energy itself.

Priest and the Participants:

Priest: My dear child, I feed you with honey and ghee mixed, with gold. This will give you life-energy and vitality. May this strengthen your divine powers? Little darling, may this give you a life of a hundred years?
  (The child is fed with a trace of honey and ghee.)

Priest and the Participants:

Priest : My dear child, have this money and ghee. This is your food. It is life; it is elixir itself.

Priest and the Father: (To the child)

 Your real name is Veda i.e. knowledge.

Priest: This blissful child has the real name, Veda. But for our convenience, we will give him a name of our liking.

Priest and the Father:

Priest: Who are you? You are the immortal soul. With the energy of the Supreme enter the world by name ………………. We tell you thrice
   Your name is ………………..
   Your name is ………………..
   Your name is ………………..

By this name you understand your real nature. Understand your mission in this world. Attain fame by this name. May your name reach the remote corners of the worlds.

 Let us felicitate this child by the name ……………….. May this child be known to the world by this name.

Priest and the Father:

Little darling, I give this new garment to you. I wish you a long life. Even the oblations are to be offered to the fire in 3 parts of altar. Any declaration is trusted by Gods when it is uttered thrice.

Priest and the Paternal grand-parents:

We put these Anklets in your ankles so that you will have strength to overcome the evil forces.

Priest and the Maternal grand-father:

My little beloved, you are the child of my daughter. As if you are my own child. Bring fame to both the families. I adorn your forehead with sandalwood paste.

Priest and Paternal grand-mother:

I put this ornament in your ears so that your hearing will be clear. I apply this Collyrium to your eyes so that you will have sharp sight.

 Now the mother puts the child in the decorated cradle. The traditional cradlesongs are sung at this juncture.

Priest and the Participants:

Priest : May Savita – the God of light, Saraswati – the Goddess of knowledge, and twin-gods Ashwinikumar wearing lotus garlands give you penetrating intellect.

Priest and the Father:

Priest: O my dear child, when fire comes in contact with herbs, its luster increases. In the same way I enhance your luster, and give a long life to you.

Priest and the Father:

Priest: O sweet darling, herbs are supposed to enhance the radiance of the Moon. In the same way I enhance your radiance and give you along life.

Priest and Father:

Priest: My little child, elixir gave a long life to gods. In the same way I give you a long life.

Priest and Participants: (To the newborn son) our little darling, have a long life, Be a hero and a savior like Lord Krishna and Rama. Be a noble soul like Shankaracharya, Ramdas and Vivekananda. Be a leader like Vikramaditya and Shivaji. Be a patriot like Lokmanya Tilak, Gandhiji and Veer Savarkar. Have an inventive genius like Jagadishchandra Bose and Homi Bhabha. Earn wealth, name and fame. Attain self-realization. These are our blessings to you.

 (To the new-born daughter-) Our sweet little darling, have a long life. Be a learned woman like Gargi and Maitreyi. Have a character like Seeta and Savitri. Be a devotee like Meera & Mukta. Show Valour like Queen of Jhansi. Be an administrator And just ruler like Ahilyadevi. Be a researcher like Mary Curie. Be a patriot like Sister Nivedita. Be a Mother like Shri Sharada Ma and Mataji of Pondicherry. These are our blessings to you.
    Brahman is the only Reality.
    Brahman is the only Reality.
    Brahman is the only Reality.

(With these blessings the naming ceremony is over. Sweets are distributed to all while declaring the name. )
Please note that the ceremonies are verbatim from the books of Jnana Prabodhini.

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