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कृण्वन्तो विश्वमार्यम्


By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
William Shakespeare, the bard from Stratford-on-Avon, did not give much importance to a name, be it of a person or place. In his popular romantic play, Romeo and Juliet, the heroine, Juliet Capulet makes an emphatic point when she asks:
“ What’s in a name? That which we call a rose;
By any other name
Would smell as sweet.”
Romeo Montague, Juliet’s lover and hero of the famous play was ready to change his name to be as close to his darling Juliet when he declared:
“ now baptized as Juliet’s lover..”
Thus Romeo was ready to jettison the name given to him by his parents at the time of his baptism and just be known as his sweetheart’s lover. Mind you the romantic unmarried couple was neck deep in love, notwithstanding the recorded history that their families were warring with each other as sworn enemies ever ready to draw blood at the drop of a hat. They gave a damn to both their respective Christian name as well as the family name. Juliet had questioned the importance of a given name by her challenging words “ What’s in a name?”
The scene and the time change. Shakespeare wrote his ringing words in England and based the locale across the English channel in lovelorn land where a Romantic Tragedy was read and appreciated across the seven seas both in the old world and the new world.
Bharat is the country where a Reformation movement is launched by a learned Rishi named Dayanand Saraswati. Perhaps he had not heard of Romeo and Juliet and being a Bal Brahmachari who had entered the Sanyas Ashram direct from the Brahmacharya Ashram, he cared a two-pence for time-wasting romance and stolen love and kisses. The Sanyasi from Gujarat became a household word in the entire northern, western and parts of eastern India. He is known in the annals of history as Swami Dayanand Saraswati, a great socio-religious reformer and interpreter of the divine VEDAS. It was he who made the concept enshrined in Vedas a popular one that went by the name Vedic Dharma.
Rishivar, a man known for his erudition and propagator of Vedic Knowledge gave tremendous importance to an individual’s name. He wrote three important books that transmitted the Vedic knowledge from generation to generation even after his sad demise in 1883 at the early age of 59 years, and these are:
1) Satyarth Prakash or Light of Truth,
2) Rigvedadi Bhashya Bhumika or an introduction to the Bhashya or interpretation in Sanskrit and Hindi of the Ved mantras of the four Samhitas,
3) Sanskar Vidhi or manner and method of solmnising sixteen sanskaras from Garbhadhan to Antim Sanskar or Cremation.

Right now we are with exposition of views of Maharishi Swami Dayanand Saraswati on naming a new born baby in about 101 days of its birth or as early as possible thereafter. It is here that Swami Dayanand lays an emphasis on giving a meaningful name to the new-born baby with performance of Havan as laid down in the Vedic tradition from ancient times and followed by the faithful followers of the Arya Samaj even now.
“ Naam sarthak ho”, “ Sunder naam dharein” – these two sentences are being quoted from Swami Dayanand’s Sanskar Vidhi. I am of the opinion that those who abide by the thought of Swami Dayanand Saraswati rejoice all along in life. Those who ignore, do so at their own peril. May I reiterate Swami Dayanand’s saying in English; he writes, “ the name of the baby should be meaningful” and further he writes” Name the baby with a beautiful word”. Indeed, a thing of beauty is a joy forever, so wrote John Keats, a poet of the Romantic era, and the line is a much quoted one in the annals of English literature.
Naam Karan Sanskar is a religious ceremony where the social structure is involved deeply. Indeed parents of the new-born baby organize the Naamkaran Sanskaar but participation of loved ones, near and dear ones, friends and acquaintances is equally important. It is a socio-religious ceremony and the baby will be known as an individual when friends and foe address him or her as such. No individual is an island. All human beings live as members of a social order and, therefore, the social order is intimately involved in the major Sanskaras from the time of conception to the cremation. NO wonder Swami Dayanand Saraswati mentions that family and friends be invited, received with respect that they deserve and remain intimately involved with the progressive growth of the baby.

Swami Dayanand Saraswati has written that some names are forbidden. In case of baby girl, names recommended are: Shrih, Yashoda, Sukhda, Gandhari, Saubhagyawati and so on. The names forbidden are: Rohini, Revati, chandali, hansa, sarpini, Kinkari, Bhayankari, Chandika etc.
In case of baby boy Varun, Bhadrasen, Devdutt, Rudradutt, Haridev etc. It5 goes without saying that no sane father or mother would like to name the baby boy as Ravana, Kansa, Kumbhkaran, Jarasandh etc. Names that have an adverse historical background are always avoided in the Naamkaran Sanskar.

It is the duty of parents of the baby to ensure that guests invited for the Naming ceremony are well looked after. In other words, suitable food and drinks, vegetarian and teetotaler, be served to all guests and then they give AASHIRVAD or their blessings to the baby before departing. The Sanskrit words for blessings as given by Maharishi Swami Dayanand Saraswati are:


In simple English the blessings mean:
O baby! May you have a long life, be Knowledgable, dharmatma or one who follows tenets of Dharma, hard working, serve society and earn to spend on social good.

It needs no emphasis that blessings given by members of the social order go a long way to protect the baby from the ills of environment and evil designs of criminals. Like a meaningful name inspires the baby boy or girl in the growing age and impressionable period of life, blessings of elders protect the baby equally well.
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