What’s in a name!

In topic

Indian Culture / Parenting


What is the importance of naming a baby, based on the time of birth and place of birth?


Duration: 7 min


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4 min read

What’s in a name!

The following is an unedited transcript of Sadhguru's video. For better readability, breaks and highlights have been added by the editors.

Questioner: Pranam Sadhguru. What is the importance of naming a baby, based on the time of birth and place of birth?

Sadhguru: The Sanskrit alphabet comes from a certain understanding of creation itself, because the language was not created for communication. The language is not a made-up language for the sake of communication. It is a language that people deducted from the existence. It is a language that evolved out of observation, not out of imagination.

In many ways, the sounds that you utter, and the forms that you use these sounds to refer to, are connected. This is what a Mantra means. A Mantra means a sound, a pure sound. A yantra means a corresponding form.

To understand this, if you know something about physics, at least in high school if you studied physics, you definitely, have at least a chapter, two pages on sound. If you feed a sound into an oscilloscope, a sound measuring instrument, depending upon its frequency, amplitude and other dimensions of the sound, it will give out a specific form every time. So a sound has a form attached to it. Similarly, a form has a sound attached to it.

Now when a child is born, depending upon the geometric situation of the solar system, there is also a way of considering the larger universe but that is too complex, at least considering the geometric situation in the solar system, people decide that this sound would be best, for somebody who is born at this time on this day. This has a certain scientific basis, but there is a certain leeway because Sanskrit alphabet has fifty-four alphabets. These alphabets can be broken into a few hundred minor sounds. It’s very complex to name people through those minor sounds.

When it comes to renaming them, in case they take brahmacharya or sanyas, when we are renaming them we take little more care, not by birth but by looking at certain aspects of who they are, and how they take to the initiation, accordingly we will adjust the name so that, that name or that sound will match that. Not the meaning, meaning is irrelevant, because meaning you can make it up.

Now, we must name your child in such a way that every time you call that name, something within him should loosen up. But, if you name him Anirudh, he will go either outside the country or even in the country now if you go to Bangalore, they will call you Andy, okay? If you name him as Janak, they will call him Jack. So we don’t know how they’re going to rename him. It will happen. It is important to a certain extent. If you are in pursuit of liberation, the name that you utter, the sound that you utter becomes important.

Because, in Indian societies a lot more care was taken to name the male child rather than the female child because, not because, this is not a sexist bias, because you have to live with that guy. The girl is somebody’s problem. Because he is going to be around till you die. Now, when you are dying, if you want to call your son, you call him Shiva – nice. If he is Sam, what to do? So the parents are concerned, we will be going on – because he himself may not use his own name often, but we will have to utter this name again and again – what works for the geometry of the family.

With a girl they don’t know what to name her, because they do not still know who she will marry. So usually when the girl got married, they used to change the name at the wedding. You know this? Till about twenty-five years ago, for most women they changed the names at the wedding, looking at the husband’s name, looking at the characteristics of his whatever, celestial geometry, they would change the name to suit. Now that is considered derogatory. “Why should I change my name, not necessary!” Because this has come – because everything has become exploitative, because of that resistance will come for everything. If it is conducted in a proper manner, everybody would accept. When it’s not conducted in a fair and proper manner, then it becomes a problem.

So always naming the male child was an important process because you have to live with that fellow. He will not… these days they go away, it’s okay. But at that time they would be with you till you die. So it was important that the name that you utter, fits into the geometric equation within the family.

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