Ever since men evolved a language, they have tried to give names
to things of daily use in their life. Not only humans, gods also
use to put names. with progress of social consciousness men were
also named because without particular names of individuals it
was impossible to carry on the business of a cultured society.
Name is the primary means of social intercourse. From Name man
attains fame. Therefore, Naming ceremony is very praiseworthy. दशम्यामुत्थितायाग्ं स्नातायां पुत्रस्यनामदधाति
Names of objects and persons are found in the vedic literature. Other peculiar names suggested in the SUTRAS and The SMRITIS are also found in the Vedic and the BRAHMANA LITERATURES. The RIGVEDA Recognizes a secret name, and the AITAREYA and the ŠATAPATHA BRAHMAŅAS refer it. but the practice as given in the sutras, of giving name a secret name, and the after the Nakshatra –Name, is nowhere instanced in the vedic literature. The adoption of a second Name is assumed for success and distinction in life. From the study of the BRAHMANAS it is evident that there was a system of naming in Vedas also.
The composition of the Name
.The composition of the Name. According to the SŨTRAS the Name should be of two syllables, four or of six. Beginning with SONANT, with a semivowel in it. With the long vowel or the VISARGA at its end. With a KŖT suffix, not with TADDHITA. In the opinion of BAIJAVAPA there is no restriction of syllables. The father should give a Name to the child contain one syllable. Two syllables, three syllables, or an indefinite number of syllables. But VASISHŢA restricts the number to two or syllables. The AŠWALAYANA GŖHYASŨTRA attaches different kinds of merits to different number of syllables. One who desirous of fame, his name should consists of two syllables, one who desires holy luster, his name should contain four syllables. For boys even number of syllables were prescribed Naming a Girl. The Naming of a Girl had a different basis. The Name of a girl should contain an uneven number of syllables. It should end in a and should have TADDHITA. BAIJAVAPA says, The name of a girl should contain three syllables and end in a. Manu gives further qualifications of the name of a girl. It should be easy to pronounce, not hard to hear, clear meaning, charming, auspicious, ending in a long vowel and containing
some blessing. अयुजाक्षरं कुमार्याः The social status of the person to be named was also a determining factor in the composition of the name. the name of a BRAHMAŅA should be auspicious, that of KSHATRIYA should denote power, that of VAIŠYA wealth and that of ŠŨDRA contempt Fourfold Naming. There was current fourfold Naming according to asterism under which the child was born, the deity of the month, the family deity , and the popular calling.
The GŖHYASŨTRAS knew the NAKSHATRA name and the popular Name. the rest were unknown to them. The system was fully worked out by the later SMRITAS and the astrological works. This development was due to the rise of religious sects and astrology. To begin with the NAKSHATRA name. it was a name derived from the name of a NAKSHATRA. The father or and elderly member of the family should give the child name. The following are the names of the constellation and their names.
Ašwini-Ašwi, Bharaņi-Yama, Krithika-Agni, Rahiņi-Prajapathi, etc. another method of naming the child after constellation was also current. The letters of the Sanskrit alphabets are believed to be preside over by different constellations. But as there are fifty two letters and only twenty –seven constellations. Each constellation has more one letter under its influence. The first letter of the child name should begin with one of the letters ruled over by a particular asterism. A child who was born under AŠWINI, which presides over the letters CHU-CHE-CHO-LA was named “chũdamaņi” “chńakešava” “Chaļadeša “Lakshmaņa”, according to the different steps of the constellations. According to the BAUDHAYANA the name derived from the constellation was kept secret. It was the second name for greeting the elders and was known to the parents only up to the time of the UPANAYANA. मासनाम्न, नक्षत्रनाम्ना, व्यवहारिकनाम्नाच संस्करिष्ये
Name of month deity: The second mode of naming was based was on the deity of the month in which the child was born. According to GARGYA the names of the deities of months beginning from CHITRA MASA. Are KŖSHŅA, ANANTA, ACHYUTA, CHAKRI, VAIKUNŢA, JANARDANA, UPENDRA, YAGNYA PURUSHA, VASUDEVA, HARI, YŎGIEŠA, and PUNDARIEKAKSHA. Naming of month deity for girl: This time month name will begin from MARGAŠIRA are VAGDEVI, PADMaVATI, ŠRIDEVI, SaVITHRI, BHŨ, KAĻYAŅI, SATYABHAMA, PUŅYAVATHI, RŨPAVATA, and INDUMATHA द्वक्षरं चतुरक्षरंवानामपूर्व माख्यातॊत्तरं दीर्घाभिनिष्ठानांतं घॊषवदाद्यंतरं तस्थम्
Popular Name: The last mode of naming was popular. The popular name was meant for general use in the society and was very important from the practical point of view. The rules of the composition given above were consulted in framing this name. The formation of this name mainly depended on the culture and education of the family. This name was desired to be auspicious and significant. The principles followed in naming were the following. First of all the name should be easy to pronounce and sweet to hear particular letters and syllables were chosen for this purpose. Secondly the name should indicate
the sexual difference. प्रवासादॆत्य पुत्रस्यॊत्तराभ्यां अभिमंत्रणं मूर्धन्यवघ्राणं दक्षिणेकर्ण उत्तरान् मन्त्रान् जपॆत्