Namkaran or naming ceremony is the Indian practice of naming a baby in Hinduism. ‘Nama’ means name, and ‘Karana’ means to do; thus ‘Namkaran’ means to name a child. This ceremony is held at home or in a temple in the presence of a priest who carries out the appropriate procedures, after which the father of the child or the maternal uncle whispers the child’s name into his right ear, to bring the name into effect. Apart from the priest and family, even relatives and friends are invited to celebrate the Namkaran ceremony. The naming of the baby is done with lots of enthusiasm and ordeal because the new life brought into a home brings immense joy to the complete household. You can book a MakeMyPuja Pandit to have your baby’s naming ceremony done in the most auspicious and appropriate way so as to seek blessings from all the Gods and deities for a healthy and prosperous life ahead for your child.
The Namkaran ceremony is the first real ceremony held for the newborn child. It usually takes place on the 12th
day after birth because it is considered that the first ten days after a baby’s birth are a period of impurity; and the Namkaran cleanses the baby and the mother by giving them an oil bath. For any possible reason, if the ceremony cannot take place on the 12th
day, it can be held anytime after that, but before the completion of one year of the baby.
The Namkaran is followed by a few Hindu rules known as the ‘Samskaras
’ that are several in number, revolving around a Hindu’s life. The priest prays to Agnidev – the lord of fire, the Pancha bhoothas – the five elements, and to the Pitru – the ancestors who are considered present in spirit form. He invokes all their blessings for the child and requests them to protect the newborn.
Different cultures and religions follow different practices when it comes to naming their child. Some people name the child according to the deity the household believes in. There are others who name the first child after his grandfather, or even his father. However, according to the Grihyasutras, there are five fundamentals for selecting a baby’s name that depends on the culture, religion, education, and caste of the family. These five fundamentals are –
The name of the baby should begin with his particular Nakshatra, and must contain a specific set of syllables and vowels.
The name of the baby should indicate the sex of the newborn.
The name of the baby should sound pleasant, and be easy to pronounce.
The name of the baby should indicate the caste of the family.
The name of the baby should signify power, wealth, and fame.
However, in this modern age, not everybody believes in following these rituals. People name their baby as per their wish, and try to make their name sound modern and unique. However, for those who are still completely Hindu at heart, you must name your child as per his/her Nakshatra, and make sure it identifies his caste, and holds a meaning.