Wednesday, December 21, 2016

920. What’s in a Name???

“What’s in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” writes William Shakespeare in his epic drama Romeo and Juliet. But I need to mention the name “William Shakespeare” here to indicate that it was his statement. When I ponder upon the question from that great play writer, I can conclude that name is nothing from personal point of view but it is everything from general point of view.

Rose called in any name is still a fragrant flower but if I say that “Romeo & Juliet” was scripted by Christopher Marlowe I will definitely be corrected for the error made. Rose is a rose because the fragrance emitted by any of its kind is the same but the thought scripted by William Shakespeare cannot be similar to that from Christopher Marlowe.      

Namkarna (Naming Ceremony) is one among the Shodasa Samskara (16 sacraments). It is the first tangible award a Jeevatma (Individual Consciousness) gets when it takes the human birth. Name provides the identity and individuality. We have this gusto to name our kids on Gods and Goddess. Some consider the names of the Historical or Puranic characters, while a few want the names of Gurus and Saints. Though the infant will not know about the character it is named after, as it grows it will know and in some cases try to emulate the character.

In Hinduism it is common to look for names starting with the Aksharas (syllable) pertaining to the Rashi. The Rashi of the child is determined by the presence of Moon in that particular Zodiac. Each Rashi has a few ordained syllables which are preferred to be the starting of the child’s name.

Why is it important to name the child using the Rashi-Akshara???            

Sanskrit is Deva-bhasha, the language of Gods and is also the mother of all languages. Its Aksharamala (Garland of Alphabets) contains 13 Swara (Vowels), one Anuswara, one Visarga, 33 Vyanjana (Consonants), one Avagraha along with the Primordial syllable “OM.” The Maharishis of ancient times had found through their intuition that the Aksharas have different influences on the energy centres called the Chakras. 6 Chakras are placed along the length of our Spinal Cord. Each Chakra has a particular number of petals. Each petal corresponds to a Sanskrit alphabet. In all the 50 Aksharas are said to be distributed to the 6 Chakras with 50 petals. Each petal vibrates with the utterance of that particular syllable; it was not mere visual experience but the experience of Nada, sound of cosmos.

These vibrations control various parts of the body and various aspects of our personality. The six energy centres are well connected through the nerves spreading throughout the body carrying the messages from the Sahasrara (Brain). When an Akshara is pronounced repeatedly, it heightens the influences of these Charkas. Hence it is important to have the name of the child which starts from the syllable pertaining to that Rashi.

Name does not decide the nature of an individual. A woman with the name Sowmya can be seen to be rude and arrogant and a man called Ugrappa can be calm and composed. Naming a child after a malicious character will not make it evil nor naming it after a magnanimous character makes it good. Naming a child is very personal. In Srimad Bhagvatham we have the story of Ajamila who was granted “Vishnuloka” for calling out the name of his son “Narayana” at the eleventh hour. Sri Krishna tells Arjuna in Bhagavad-Gita “Whoever, at the time of death quits the body remembering Me, at once attains My being.” Ajamila had named his son Narayana and when on death bed kept on calling out his favourite son’s name. Sri Krishna, the epitome of compassion did not even bother to look if the chanting was unintentional. He granted Ajamila His abode........All for naming his son after Him.        

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