नामकरण nAmakaranNa ” means the ceremony of naming the child after birth. This is the second samskAra performed for the new born child, first one being jAtakarmA.
It is also called ” नामधॆय करणम् nAmadhEya-karaNam “
The kartA of this samskAra is the father of the child. The priest initiates this karmA.
The nAmakaraNa can normally be performed on the 11th day of child’s birth after the 1st 10 days of impure period has passed.). But considering the health of the child and the mother, shAstras have given other options too.
1. ShAnkhAyana gruhya sootram, (rig vEdA) AdhyAy 1, kANDa 2
After 10 nights have passed, the mother should get up from the child bed.
2. gObhila gRuhya sootraM, (sAma vEdam), khanDikA 8
जननाद्दशरात्रे व्युष्टे शतरात्रे संवत्सरे वा नामधॆय करणम् |
When ten nights have elapsed after the child’s birth, or a hundred nights, or one year, the “nAmadhEyakaraNa” for the child, is performed.
3. Manu smriti 2.30 says:
नामधेयं दशम्यां तु द्वादश्याम् वाऽस्य कारयॆत् ।
पुण्ये तिथौ मुहूर्तॆ वा नक्षत्रॆ वा गुणान्वितॆ ॥
The nAmadheya ceremony should be performed on the 10 th day or the 12 the day after birth . Alternatively, it can also be performed on a lucky lunar day or on a shubha moohoorta (auspicious day) or on an auspicious star.
It is performed in the house where the parents of the new born child live as it is a gruhya smArta karma.
The following is the procedure described in the Apastamba sootram, PaTala 6, khaNDa 15.
1. सू.८ – दशम्यामुत्थितायां स्नातायां पुत्रस्य नाम दधाति पिता मातेति |
On the tenth day, after the mother has risen and taken a bath, a name has to be given to the son. The father and the mother should be the first ones to pronounce that name. The sootikAgni and the water-pot in the sootikAgruham is removed and the room is cleaned.
(In practice, the ceremony is not performed on the 10th day, only on the 11th because of the impure period of first 10 days).
- PrasootikA PuNyAhavAchanam: First, A shuddhi punyAhavAchanam is performed to purify the mother and the house.
A sankalpa for naming the child is done uttering the name of the star (nakshatra) and the rAshi (zodiac sign).
2. The father utters the decided name of the child slowly into the right ear of the child. Then the mother utters the name into the right ear of the child.
3. Then, another puNyAhavAchanam is performed with swasti vAchanas, as an anga of nAmadhEyam to purify the child after the name has been given to him.
2. सू.९ – द्वयक्षरं चतुरक्षरं वा नामपूर्वमाख्यातोत्तरं दीर्घाभिनिष्ठानान्तं घोष-वदाद्यन्तरन्तस्थम्
1. The name should be of two or four syllables for a boy child. The first part of the name should denote a noun and the second part should denote a verb.
2. The name should have atl east one long vowel (दीर्घ स्वर) or visarga (विसर्ग)- the symbol ” : “
3. It should start with a consonant ( घॊषवत् ) ghosha consonants (ga, gha, nga, ja, jha, gnya, da, dha, na, ba, bha, ma) and have the antashtha consonants -semi-vowels ( अन्तस्थम् ) in the middle of the name. Semi-vowels are य, र, ल, व – ya, ra, la va sounds.
4. सू.१० – अपि वा यस्मिन्स्वित्युपसर्गस्स्यात् तद्धि प्रतिष्ठितमिति हि ब्राह्मणम्
It is said in a “brAhmaNa” that the name that has the syllable ‘su सु ” brings respect, longevity and austerity to the child named thus.
Example :- Sudarshana:, SulOchana:
5. The baby can be named after the names of the ancestors, rishis or Gods.
Ancestor names – yagya sharmA, sOma sharmA
Rishi names – nArada:, vashishTha:
God names – ViShNu:, shiva:
6. सू.११. – अयुजाक्षरम् कुमार्याः
A girl’s name should have an odd number of syllables.
Example : bhAratee, kamalA, kamalEkshaNA
3. पुण्याहवाचनं puNyAhavAchanam :-
4. A nAndee shrAddham may be performed as part of this ceremony.
5. bruhaspati sambhAvanA: – The presiding priest is seen off with due gifts.
- Cradling Ceremony (thottil)
This is the ceremony to make the child sleep in a cradle for the first time. Cradling ceremony takes different forms according to the sampradaayam of the family. A few commonly seen customs are listed here.
- In the evening, the cradle is set with soft quilt and decorated with flowers.
- The baby is also dressed up with new clothes, kAjal, bindi, bangles, chains and anklets.
- Some paddy is spread on the floor. The baby’s name is written with a finger on the paddy. If three names are given all the three are written.
- The baby is then placed on the paddy just for a few seconds and taken back.
- A girl is asked to first keep a stone inside the cradle and take it away. This is to signify that the child’s health must be as strong as a stone.
- The mother then places the baby inside the cradle and rocks the cradle gently.
- The relatives gift bangles (kaappu) or anklets for the child, dearly call the baby with his/her name and rock the cradle singing lullabies.
- Taamboolam is offered to the ladies along with some paddy or a morsel of fried cereals called ‘kaappu arisi”. In those days, all the guests were given a gift of paddy seeds (viLai nel) in a ceremony called bheeja daanam praying that the baby brings prosperity for all.
The following is the procedure according to ShaankhAyana gRuhya sootra of Rig vEda Adhyaaya 1 khanDa 25:
१. मातापितरौ शिरःस्नातावहतवाससौ
The father, mother and child must wash their heads and wear new clothes which have not yet been washed.
२. कुमारश्चैतस्मिन्नेव सूतिकाग्नौ स्थालीपाकं श्रपयित्वा
The father then uses the fire that has been kept from her confinement, to cook a mess of food.
३. जन्मतिथिं हुत्वा त्रीणि च भानि सदैवतानि
He should make oblations to the “birth tithi”of the child. He also makes oblations to three constellations with their presiding deities.
४. तन्मध्ये जुहुयाद्यस्मिञ्जातः स्यात् पूर्वं तु दैवतं सर्वत्र
The oblation to the constellation under which the child is born is placed in the middle. Always the deity precedes the corresponding nakshatra.
५. आयुष्टे अद्य गीर्भिरयमग्निर्वरेण्यः । आयुर्नो देहि जीवसे । आयुर्दा अग्ने हविषा वृधानो घृतप्रतीको घृतयोनिरेधि । घृतं पीत्वा मधु चारु गव्यं पितेव पुत्रमिह रक्षतादिममिति त्वं सोम महे भगमिति दशमी स्थालीपाकस्य
He makes the two other oblations with the above quoted verses:
“May Agni, the excellent one, give thee life today for our prayers, may agni give us a long life. May the havis make the life-giving agni strong, may thy face and seat be full of ghee, drinking ghee, the sweet honey of the cow, protect as a father protects his son”.
६. नामधेयं प्रकाशं कृत्वा । ब्राह्मणन्स्वस्तिवाच्यैवमेव मासिमासि जन्मतिथिं हुत्वोर्ध्वं संवत्सराद्गृह्येऽग्नौ जुहोति ।
The child’s name is pronounced aloud. The braahmaNaas say auspicious words. In the same way the sacrifice is made every month to the tithi of the child’s birth. After one year, he makes the following sacrifices on the ordinary domestic fire.
१. अग्नये कृतिकाभ्यः २. प्रजापतये रोहिण्यै ३. सोमाय मृगशिरसे ४. रुद्रायार्द्राभ्यो
५. अदितये पुनर्वसुभ्यां ६. बृहस्पतये पुष्याय ७. सर्पेभ्योऽश्लेषाभ्यः ८. पितृभ्यो मघाभ्यो
९. भगाय फल्गुनीभ्याम् १०. अर्यम्णे फल्गुनीभ्यां ११. सवित्रे हस्ताय १२. त्वष्ट्रे चित्रायै
१३. वायवे स्वातय १४. इन्द्राग्निभ्यां विशाखाभ्यां १५. मित्रायानुराधाया १६. इन्द्राय ज्येष्ठाय
१७. निर्ऋत्यै मूलायाद् १८.अप्योऽषाढाभ्यो १९. विश्वेभ्यो देवेभ्योऽषाढाभ्यो
२०. ब्रह्मणेऽभिजिते २१. विष्णवे श्रवणाय २२. वसुभ्यो धनिष्ठाभ्यो २३. वरुणाय शतभिषजे
२४. अजायैकपदे प्रोष्ठपदाभ्यो २५. आहिर्बुध्न्याय प्रोष्ठपदाभ्यः २६. पूष्णे रेवत्या
२७. अश्विभ्यामश्विनीभ्यां २८. यमाय भरणीभ्यः
To agni, to the krittikaas, to prajaapati, to rOhini, to sOma, to mrigashiras, to rudraa, to the Ardraas, to aditi, to the two punarvasus, to brihaspati, to puShyaa, to the serpents, to the AshlEShaas, to the Manes, to the maghaas, to bhagaa, to the two phalgunis, to aryaman, to the two phalgunis, to savitaa, to hasta, to tvaShTar, to chitraa, to vaayu, to svaati, to indraa and agni, to the two Vishaakhaas, to mitraa, to anuraadhaa. to indraa, to jyEShThaa, to niRRuti, to moola, to the waters, to the aaShaaDhaas, to the vishvEdEvaas, to brahman, to abhijit, to viShNu, to shravaNa, to the vasus, to the dhaniShThaas, to varuNa, to shatabhishaj, to aja Ekapad, to the prOShThapadaas, to ahi budhnyaa, to pooShan, to rEvati, to the two ashvins, to yama and to the bharaNees. (i.e. to all the 28 stars – 27 regular feminine stars plus 1 rare masculine star abhijit).