Namakarana: The Hindu Name-giving Ceremony

Everyone has a name. That name is generally given by parents or elders members of our family members. Hindus celebrate this event of giving name to the child as

Nama-karana samsakara.

Let us know about the factors about Nama-karana and the ceremony celebrations.

Namakarana: The First Ceremony of the Newborn

Naming of the child is a great occasion in the life of the child and parents. Parents like to give their best to the child. They bless them with a good name so that in future the child spreads their good name and fame.

Namakaran ceremony is usually done on the 12th day of the child’s birth. But it can be done any time after the 10th day. Sometimes people may delay the name giving till the first birthday of the child. But it is not given before 10 days as first ten days are considered as ‘impure’.

One more important thing is horoscope of the child. On the 12th day of the child parents and elders invite priest to draw horoscope of the child. According to the date and time of child’s birth the first word of the name is decided. The priest tells the ‘Akshara’, the first sound of the name. Then elders decide for some name that starts with that sound.

The Ceremony Rituals

On the 12th day the child is given a holy ritual bath along with mother. The mother swathes the child in a piece of new cloth. She applies kajal to the eyes of child and draws a beauty mark on the cheek of the child. Seeing the child very beautiful in the lap of parents, elders bless the child. The priest is invited to offer prayers to the demigods. Agni sacrifice is offered to purify the spirits of forefathers and get their blessings on the child.

Then father or eldest member of the family leans towards to child’s right ear and whispers the chosen name to the child. This is not done directly. A betel leaf or silver imprint is used to direct the sound to the child’s ear. All rejoice the occasion and clap their hands with loudly shouting the name of the child. The deity of the house is worshipped elaborately after that. When the ritual is over relatives and friends who came for the ceremony bless the child by touching his lips with honey. Then lunch is served to everyone with great joy.

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