Namkaran Puja is of utmost importance amongst Hindus. It is one of the first religious Puja that everyone participates as a child. The word Naam means Name, and Karan means to make or to effect; hence, the word Namkaran means to decide and effect the name of a new born child. The ceremony is presided by a priest in which all the family members get together for a joyous celebration to welcome a new member in the house.
Importance and Significance of Namkaran Puja
Namkaran is the naming ceremony performed for every Hind child. It is a religious practice of initiating a child into a religion and at the same time reminding the parents of the newborn child their duties and responsibilities. Namkaran Puja is a ritual of providing Samskaaras to the child, which is considered to be of utmost importance in shaping the character and upbringing of a child. Vedas and Sutras provide certain guidelines which are to be followed while naming a child. For e.g, Grihya Sutra states that a child be named as per following
A name should be easy to pronounce and sound pleasant
Should indicate the sex of the child
Should signify the stature and social standing of the family
Should contain specific number of vowels and letters as per the sex of the child.
The ceremony is a reaffirmation of the importance of a human life form that a baby is born with and an attempt to instill Samskaaras at an early stage of the child’s life with blessings so that he can live happy fulfilled life, following the lineage of his ancestors.
Benefits of Namkaran Puja
Namkaran signifies bestowing Sanskaar on a child that is performed with a joyous celebration to welcome the baby. The Namkaran Puja includes naming the child as well. Its benefits are -
Increases the auspiciousness of the name selected for the child.
Brings good luck, fortune and success in life.
Nullifies negative effects of the name.
To wipe off any sin generated from ovum and passed on to the fetus.
Increases the lifespan of the child.
Occasion to do a Namkaran Puja
Namkaran Puja is performed upon the birth of a child in the family to bestow both Sanskaars and blessings of everyone upon him. The sanskaars are said to bestow both happiness and longevity to life.
Namkaran Puja Vidhi
Namkaran Puja can be carried out either at Temple or even at home in a small private ceremony that includes the presence of family members. The ceremony is carried out by a Pandit
Baby is given a bath and dressed in fresh new clothes and placed in either the father’s or a maternal uncle’s lap.
The Puja begins with a Pandit chanting the mantras. He also draws out a child’s horoscope while praying to Lord Ganesh for his well-being and long and happy life.
The father or the maternal uncle then whispers the select name into the baby’s ears, while holding either a real or silver betel leaf, or Kusa grass to guide the whispers in the child’s ear.
There are certain guidelines followed while naming a child. For e.g. Rig Veda advocates naming a child which imbibes three components - the letters which are favourable as per nakshatra, the name of the deities of the month in which the child was born; and the name of the Ishtdevta of the family.
Once the name is announced to guests, the relatives place a few drops of honey and curd on childs lips while reciting the name. It is considered a good omen when the child licks his lips hearing his name. Women of the family also sing songs while gently swinging the cradle after naming the baby.
Sweets are distributed amongst the guest and they shower the baby with their blessing and gifts before the ceremony concludes.
Mantras to Chant During Namkaran Puja
Specific Mantras are chanted by the priest while drawing a child’s horoscope and naming him.
"|| Om Medhate Devaha ||"
O beloved son, May god bless you with sharp acumen and intellect to study the Vedas and prosper in life.