- Increases auspiciousness of the selected name.
- Nullifies negative effects of the name.
- Brings good luck and success to the child.
- Bestows the baby with positive effects of Sanskar.
- Blesses the household with prosperity and happiness.
- Blesses the family with fame, wealth, and fortune.
Namkaran Puja, also known as the naming ceremony, is exceptionally important for a baby as it is their first ceremony. Naam, when translated, means name and Karan means to make or to effect. Although the ceremony usually takes place on the 12th day or 101st day after birth of the baby, it can be done any time before the end of the baby’s first year.
The Namkaran Puja is done either at home or in the temple, where either the father or the pandit wets the hair of the baby lightly to signify washing away impurities before they whisper the name of the child in their right ear. This generally happens after the baby is 2 to 3 weeks old at least. Since welcoming a new life in the household is celebrated lavishly in India, the naming of the baby is done with good cheer and enthusiasm.
Mantras are chanted for the baby’s well being. Grah Shanti Puja and Havan are also performed to bless the child with a healthy, happy life and for the blessings of power, fame, wealth and happiness of the household.
The first 10 days after a baby’s birth are considered to be impure, so Namkaran Puja is said to be cleansing for both the child and the mother. In some cultures, the mother and child are given a good traditional bath. The gods which the family prays to, and the guests present in the ceremony, bless the child with happiness and prosperity.
Legend Behind the Namkaran Puja
Namkaran Puja is followed after a series of Pujas and events, varying differently according to culture and religion. According to folklore, it is a belief that the Goddess of Destiny arrives on the 12th day in the house of the newborn. She would enter quietly in the night time around 10 to midnight and write the baby’s destiny.
Hence, to ensure she writes a good and bright future for the child, the mother of the newborn lights a traditional diya (lamp) and places it on a wooden plank or writing desk. A red pen and paper are placed alongside the lamp to make sure that her handwriting is visible and legible to the Goddess of Destiny.
This is done to make certain that the future of the child is bright and with direction, so that they can succeed later in life without being aimless. The mother, with the baby in her arms, kneels before the placement of a wooden plank or writing desk to gain blessings from the Goddess of Destiny, for both her child and herself.
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