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You Get To Choose The Name

Subject: You Get To Choose The Name
Date: Tue 07 Aug 2012 21:31:37
From: Pashupati@osha....


"Toma'ke ka'che peyeo cena' da'y..." (PS 2288)


Baba, O' my Dearmost, You are mine - You are very close to me [1]. Baba, often I think that I have understood You completely; but when I contemplate more deeply I realise that I know not. To understand You fully, the unit mind must lose its individual identity. As long as one is cognizant of their own unit existence, then You cannot be realised. So, in spite of having You very close, it is still not possible for me to fully realise You. Baba, by Your grace You are my very intimate and closest One: You smile softly and say You love me. Yet when I long for You and yearn to have You in a more intimate way, You are not coming that close. Then I think that I do not properly understand Your mind - Your desire. Otherwise surely You would come deep into the depths of my heart. Baba, alas I do not know how to satisfy You completely.

Baba, just when I think I have completely understood You, and just when I think I have truly come to know You, then with Your divine liila You shower even more of Your divine love and I become restless to get You more and more close.  Baba, I feel so much love for You in my heart that my eyes constantly rain tears when I think of You. It is Your grace.

Baba, due to Your infinite compassion I have understood that only You are the Essence. You alone are the Cosmic Nucleus of this vast universe. Baba, by Your grace I have forgotten all those transitory expressions. I no longer run after the ephemeral things of this mundane world. Baba, I have accepted the greatness of Your divine liila. I understand that Your liila cannot be understood [2]  Now I only think and sing: O' Lord, please forgive me for my wrongdoing and sinful deeds by showering Your causeless grace on me.

Baba, You can only be attained through surrender and love. O' Lord please grace me; please fill me with Your divine compassion...


[1] "Toma'ke ka'che peyeo cena' da'y": The central theme of the first line of this Prabhat Samgiita is expressed by this people shloka.

Baba says, "Tadiha'ntike ca: some people think, "No, Parama Purus'a is not far from me. He is quite near. He is everywhere." In Sam'skrta, iha means "here." But even if you say iha or "near," there remains a slight gap. To those who perpetually think that Parama Purus'a is very, very near to them, He becomes so close that nothing closer can even be imagined. In such a circumstance, people realize that pashyatsvihaeva nihitam' guha'ya'm: those who have the vision to see, realize that He is not in the east or the west, in the north or the south, but He is lying hidden in the innermost cavity of their minds, in their own existential "I" feelings. Hence no one should wander about searching for Him in the external world. Make your existential "I" feeling pure and holy: if you purify your mind through virtuous deeds, through meditation and contemplation, and through kiirtana, you will be able to realize Him." (Subhasita Samgraha - 12)

[2] "Toma'r liila'y ha'r ma'niya'chi": This phrase from the third stanza of the above Prabhat Samgiita is neatly represented by this below paragraph from one of His divine discourses.

Baba says, "Surrender yourself to His will. Shake off your load of self-conceit. Lighten the burden of your life and float yourself on the waves of His will. It is He who is teaching you the sa'dhana' in the guise of a Guru (preceptor); it is He who is strengthening your knowledge and faith in the guise of a philosopher. You are plundering His mercy in everything day and night. Go on working as a machine, leaving the doership to Him. How little can your poor intellect comprehend or analyse His unfathomable sport (liila')! So, instead of trying to comprehend or analyse keep the bearing of that inscrutable juggler aglow before your eyes." (Ananda Marga Ideology and Way of Life - 4)


In our Ananda Marga, we spiritualize each and every aspect of life - from birth to death: That includes selecting the name of the new-born.

Baba says, "The Naming of and First Feeding of Solid Food to an Infant: When an infant is six months old (or any time between six months and one year of age), at least five members of Ananda Marga will gather together on a convenient day, and the infant will be laid before them. The a'ca'rya/a'...will recite the following verse first,.." (Caryacarya - 1, chapter 1)

In His above guideline, Baba begins describing the baby naming ceremony (ja'takarma). A key point is that Wts / acaryas should offer or suggest multiple names for the baby whereby the guardians or parents can select which one they like best. This should all be done in a convenient manner in the months or weeks or days before the baby naming ceremony. But the main thing is that the final selection of the baby's name is done by the parents / guardians. The acarya's duty is to provide them with a proper selection of names. This is Baba system.


Unfortunately, nowadays, it is quite common for the acarya or Wt to select only one name. And that single name is then presented to the family. In that case, the margii parents often feel compelled to accept that name. Yet, Baba's rule is that the immediate family members should always be able to choose a name they like best - based on the suggestions of their acarya.

Baba has graciously given such a detailed yet dynamic system that many, many different names are appropriate for any baby - depending upon the day and time of the child's birth. So there are many options and those who are true acaryas present a wide array of names to the family. Then the family can select the name they prefer.

In contrast, those Wts who are unaware of Baba's system might try and impose one single name as if the acarya's choice is the only option for naming the child. Intentionally or not, the acarya should not take it upon themselves to make the final selection about the name. Those who are reasonable and rational acaryas will always give the family a choice of several names. That is Baba's system.

Throughout that process, the acarya must clearly explain the meaning of the name(s) to the parents so an educated decision can be made by the family. Then the parents will be more inclined to use that name in their day to day life and encourage the child to do the same. That is Baba's stated instruction.

Baba says, "The Samskrta name should be used in all worldly dealings." (Caryacarya - 1, The Process of Initiation)

Thus it should not be that the Samskrta name is shelved or put in storage, and the child is called some nickname instead. This is not our system. Baba wants the selected Samskrta name to be used. And that is most likely to happen when a family fully understands the meaning of that name and its spiritual significance.

Furthermore, the Samskrta name should be highly devotional and used in our AM scriptures. That is best.


Nowadays, in some aspects of Indian society, it has become the fashion amongst a small percentage of the population to use rare and obscure Samskrta words & even make-up words as names. But these names are often devoid of any real spiritual meaning. They might select Samskrta words for worldly stuff; when translated that Samskrta name might be something like birds, chili (as in spicy pepper), seller etc. This is the trend in various states like Gujurat and other places. The vast majority of people are doing fine, only some are naming their kids in this trendy fashion.

Then, in a different section of society, there are some educated people who carefully select rare Samskrta words for names - regardless what the word means. Their total intention is to give the baby a unique name which is completely new like Hasanti, meaning laughing or smiling. This is an example of a Samskrta verb being used a name; this is highly unusual. Yet names should be a proper noun with spiritual meaning. Thus, naming a child Hasanti would be totally unique - unprecedented. It would be similar to an American or westerner naming their child Shooting Star.

In certain villages some uneducated people give Samskrta names based on plants, spices, or grains etc. And in other places they use names based on dogmatic, mythical gods and goddesses. But again this is not our system. The Samskrta names in our AM system should be highly devotional and spiritual in meaning - not mundane or dogmatic.

In Bengal they pronounce the words and names differently and thereby distort the original Samskrta names. They change Vishvadeva to Bishbadeba, and vivek to bibek, and sanatan to Shanatan. In short they turn v's into b's and the letter "s" into "sh'.

Still in other places, they append "das" to their name such as Ram Das, Kabir Das, Krsna Das, Bhagavan Das, Shiva Das etc. In this case, Das is not their family name, but rather an optional name. Often people choose the name of gods and goddess and then add -das. Das itself means "slave." In our Ananda Marga no one is anybody's slave; hence, Baba has specifically told that the -das suffix should not be used.

Finally, a name should not just be some sound like in western nations - i.e. sounds that have no meaning like Iko or Keedo.

In all these circumstances, these are cases of the baby naming process gone awry. Most are not falling prey to these trends - yet we should all be aware of what is going on and be vigilant to maintain the standard of Ananda Marga. The name selected for the new born should be a Samskrta name full of devotional and divine meaning. This holds great import on many levels.


When an infant is small they do not feel connected with this world. Their nerves are not developed and their thoughts are mostly related with the memories of their past lives. Baba has described this in-depthly in His discourse: "Cerebral and Extra Cerebral Memory."

Baba tells us that sometimes when an infant of a few months closes its eyes and smiles - and there appears to be no external cause for that smile - the baby is recalling a memory from its past life. Likewise, sometimes a baby is crying and parents cannot figure out what is wrong, then in that circumstance the baby may just be reliving a painful memory from its past life. Similarly, sometimes a toddler says something that appears to be nonsensical to the parents, in that case the young kid may be recalling a scene from its previous life.

Here the point is that up to the age of 5 or so, babies and young kids are not well adjusted with this present world. A new born needs to be given a name so it has an identity related with its present life. If it does not receive a name in a timely manner, then there is the possibility for a a dual-personality to develop. That means although the baby has a new body its mind is more preoccupied with past life experiences.  The child associates more with its past life. If in the past the baby was named Krsna and in this life it has yet to receive a name, then the baby may identify itself more with its previous birth as Krsna. Whereas if the baby quickly receives a name - like Ranjan - for its present life, then the baby will identify more with its present birth.

That is why Baba recommends that a name be given within 6 months to help develop a new personality for that new-born. And the baby should be called by that Samskrta name.


Depending upon exactly when the baby is born, so many names are available. The exact timing of the birth is a key aspect in our Ananda Marga system for selecting a name.

Baba's baby naming system is quite complete and offers a wide array of selections. So no family should ever think that they have to accept any particular name. Rather they should have a choice from dozens of options. Nobody should feel stuck; if any particular acarya is not being helpful then simply seek help from a different WT or family acarya-- or even a senior margii.



The day of the birth is key in selecting the correct Samskrta name. In our AM system, we follow the tantric calendar. That means the day begins at sunrise, not at midnight like the western calendar. So if a child is born just before sunrise on Tuesday morning according to the western calendar, then according to our tantric system that child was born on Monday, not Tuesday. And if born after sunrise on Tuesday, then the day or date of birth is the same for both the western and Tantric calendars: Both will assign Tuesday as the birthday.

Everyone should keep this in mind during the baby naming process.

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