Namakaran puja or naming ceremony of the child is the first ceremony for the newborn child. It is usually conducted on the 12th day of the child’s birth. Usually, it can be performed on any day after the 10th day and before the 1st birthday. In several parts of India, Namkaran is conducted during 3rd or 5th or 7th or 9th month for girls and during 6th or 8th month for boys. The Rig Veda mentions the procedure of giving a name to four components. This includes nakshatra name, the name of the deity of the month, the name of the family deity, and the popular name by which the child will be known. This system is rarely followed these days.
NamKaran Puja Ritual:
On the day of Namkaran ceremony, the child and mother are given a ritual bath. The baby is dressed in new clothes. Mother applies kajal to its eyes and makes a beauty mark on the cheek. The baby is then put in the father’s lap. The priest performs puja followed by a havan and offers prayers to all the gods, to the five elements, the spirits of the forefathers, and invokes them to bless and protect the child. The priest then places a sheet on which betel leaves, turmeric, lentils and moong daal are kept on a piece of red cloth along with the child’s horoscope in front of the image of the deity. The father whispers the chosen name in the right ear of the baby using a betel leaf or its silver imprint, or Kusa grass leaves. After the naming ritual is over, friends and relatives bless the child and touch some honey to its lips.
Namkaran Puja Mantra:
This Mantra is chanted by the priest while drawing a child’s horoscope and during the naming ceremony.
Om Medhate Devaha|
Significance of Namkaran Puja:
Namkaran ceremony is an important ritual which is performed for every Hindu child. It is a practice of initiating a child into a religion and reminding the parents their duties and responsibilities towards their baby. Namkaran Puja is very important as it helps in shaping the character and upbringing of a child. As per Vedas and Sutras, certain guidelines are needed to be followed while naming the newborn. As per Grihya Sutra, a child should be named on the following basis. A name should be pleasant and easy to pronounce. It should indicate the sex of the child and signify the social standing of the family. The name must contain a specific number of letters as per the sex of the child. The naming ceremony has its own significance as it is an attempt to instil culture at an early stage with blessings of god so that the child can live happy, prosperous and fulfilled life. Namkaran puja signifies bestowing Sanskar on newborn which is performed with a joyous celebration. Namkaran Puja enhances the auspiciousness of the baby’s name. It brings good luck, fortune, prosperity and success in baby’s life and nullifies negative effects.