Article in Kannada by: Tharodi Suresh
English Rendering by: Dr Srinivasan
It is common practice for an individual to be known by a name affirmed in a ceremony as a child; or when gets hooked during the life time may be as an adolescent or adult. The name becomes an essential means of identity for communication of an individual, animal, plant, residence, community or occupation, based on features, living area or even a visible trait. Examples are abundant like Techie, Analyst, Blondie, Blacksmith, Touch me not, Haunted House, Dollars Colony, etc
William Shakespeare proclaimed "what is there in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet". This did not just apply to fragrance alone, but the name gets associated with its common identity of the various colours, beauty, fragrance or its thorns. It is easy to identify rose in any part of the world irrespective of its colour, size and even shape. Thus, the name is the tool for transactions. Name is not just an iIdentity for dealings alone but for connecting with the purpose of existence also.
Though our mundane transactions get tagged with a name, our revered Sages attributed the
name as an identity to have bearing or relevance not only for worldly transactions but also to
get connected to Divinity. Thus naming is not just a formality but also a means to connect
with pleasure, performance and all round reverence.
There are innumerable examples in our Puranas and Ithihasa about the power of addressing the sacred name which even lead to attain salvation. Ajamila calls out for his son who was named Narayana and made his way for the blessings. Our tradition and culture haves valued naming as an auspicious and important event, considering the positive impact it would make during and beyond the entire life and beyond. Shruthis and Smruithis have a doctrine that when Parathattva (Supreme Being Divine) opted to be part of the creation, the Names rhyming with sound and vibrations were articulated, which resonated with all other matters, creatures and environment while assuming a form, body and identity. This view has been expressed by our revered Sages after experiencing the Divine revelations.
With the profound knowledge of matters and materials which existed in creation, it was customary to connect the individual’s name with Nature. These were logical, scientific and reflected the wisdom. Sri Ranga Mahaguru had explained, the Name of the individual resonates with the audio (Sound) form of the Divinity in the Selfsoul. Many Divine names and their connections to nature could still be experienced while chanting Vedas and other scriptures. An individual is an embodiment of life, mind, senses and accomplishments of past deeds. The Atmansoul is enlightened with the Parathattva (Divine). Wise parents, in the past, were following the practice of naming the child in consultation with scholars, who through meditation realized the appropriate name which rhymed and resonated with nature. This unique way of exposition of the name had all its essentials. The sound of the name itself whenever expressed vibrated and resonated with Divinity. The greatest Indian epoch writer- (poet-, dramatist) Kalidasa had said, when the name is expressed (the words and sound), its meaning should be in unison (inseparable) like the inseparability combination of Divine couples (Parvathi Parameshwara, Laksmi Narayana). In addition, any name, applicable to male or female, individuals, Deities or any offerings made to them, would instill a sense of encouragement in the path of realization. This is how the depth of thoughts of our Sages used to be. The names used to be pristine in terms of Meaning, Expression and Recitation which could help surpass all the boundaries to unite with the Divinity.
To summarize, an individual’s Name is like the seed, representing Divinity. It is the culmination of the Word, the Form, and their evaluation, developing to a Dharma (a discipline) which becomes the culture and foundation for the individual’s uplift. It‘s a great wonder, how the recitation of Name itself becomes a tool to practice in the process of achieving realization.
Note: The Kannada version of this article can be viewed at AYVM blogs
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