धर्मो रक्षति रक्षितः। Dharmo Raksati Raksitah.

Dharma protects those who protect it.

– Veda Vyas, Mahabharat

No Child’s Play: How Not To Name Your Child — A Talk By Nityananda Misra

A lot of parents turn to the Internet these days to pick up Sanskrit names for their children. As it turns out, a lot of name websites deceive parents by inventing non-existent Sanskrit names or giving dubious meanings. This talk with real-life examples is an eye-opener for parents wishing to give a Sanskrit name to their children

About Speaker: –

Nityananda Misra is an IIM Bangalore graduate and a finance professional. He is a scholar of Sanskrit and Hindi and a well-known author. He has edited/authored eleven books, including Read More…

Transcript: –

Good afternoon everybody. So this talk will be especially useful for parents and who are about to become parents or who’s family, have somebody in the family with. I will briefly tell you why, I am speaking here today, I will talk about historical names in our country, Bharat, I will talk about modern quotes and quotes Sanskrit name, house of the Sanskrit name or so called Sanskrit names end up being given to children, and the main section of this talk is how not to name you child.

Ideally the talk should be how to name your child right. You teach people about how to play chess, but then if a lot of people play chess, and they play miserably, then a book is need how not to play chess. So if a lot of people are giving names, which are funny or ludicrous or too many scene, then a talk like this is necessary, how not to be name you child, that’s the main section of the talk and then the small section on how to name your child or what you can do. So we come to that later and we look on the small portion, alright?

So why this talk? Four pictures worth four thousand words. So I am essentially the fighting the disease of misinformation, which make the child say “what do you mean by facts are wrong, I copied everything from internet, how can it to be wrong” and then somebody saying, “when there is a link to a websites right, so on that web page there was a link or there was a citation, so it has to be true, I saw It on facebook, it has to be true or oh you know”, it’s on internet, so it’s true, so that’s why, when I started writing about names,  this was on face book and twitter about a year ago”. I had met with so many people who were misinformed and so badly misinformed that I decide that something should be done about it. so that’s why I started writing and then people took notice, Swarajya magazine wrote a story on it and then, I got invited for this talk. So what bring, we hear in this misinformation, nothing else, there is no drive, so look, I am not driven in this cause like, if I were curing cancer or scaling the Mount Everest or studying  Sanskrit or dong Swadhyaya. No, there is no passion for this cause, I am just simply fighting misinformation that all, that is what brings behave and hopefully that will help dispel some misinformation on there.

Now, let’s speak in with how name use to be in Bharat, a long time ago. There is mantra in the Rigveda- Samhita, which talk about four names and its says “Turiyam Nama”. Turiya as you know, is fourth, the fourth state of consciousness is called Turiya, Turiyavasta. so Turiya means fourth and what the Rishi says is that, when we give the fourth name the Yagya or the Yajniya names, they talk about, when we are given the fourth name to your child. So Sayanacarya, the great scholar who commented on all the four Vedic samhitas, he explains that, the first name is the ”Naksatra nama, Nakshatra nama, Guhya nama, Prakasa nama, ithi treeni namani”. The first name of the child was the Naksatra nama – it was based on the naksatra and even today you will have that tradition of giving names as per the Janma Naksatra. The second name was Guhya nama or a secret name; this was known only to the parents. So this was like the personal name, called inside home, the name only use by the parents and the close family. The third name was the Prakasa nama. Prakasa means manifest or which is visible. So this was the name which was known to everybody. They had two names, one was the Nakshatra name, one was the public name or the Prakasa name and the fourth name, Sayanacharya says, is like the Somayaji.  You have people name with the last name Somayaji even today. Nilakanta Somayaji was a great astronomer in the Kerala School of mathematics. So, in the Vedic samhita a Mantra talk about four names of the same person and mind you these are personal names, these are not a surname or a patronym or matronym. These are all four personal names.

So, in Vedic times people had up to four names and in the puranas, you see many Sahasranamas – Vishnu Sahasranama, Lalita Sahasranama or Shiva Sahasranama. So from the Vedic times people had four names, in the Puranas we have thousands of names of deity and  India is, Bharat is a land which had a very rich culture of naming, we had several  types of names, for example we had a given names  or there is another mantra in the Rigveda which talks about three names of the  same person. It’s a Trasadasyu, Paurukutsa, Gairikshita, three names of the same person and they are three types of names, the given name Trasadasyu, he from whom the dasyus have fear, he of whom the dasyus are afraid, that is Trasadasyu. That was the given name of the person.

Similarly, Rama the hero of Ramayana is a given name, then people had patronym, the name which means son of such and such person for example Paurukutsa. So Trasadasyu is the son of Purukutsa hence he is called Paurukutsa and Rama as you know the son of Dasarath and he is called Dasarathi, that’s the patronym. Then people had another name which was the Gotra name, for example Gairikshita or Vatsayana. Vatsayana means a descendent of Vatsa, Vatsasya gotravathyam, Vatsayana, a descendent, not the son, but later descendent of Vatsa is Vatsayana. Similarly, Katyayani. Katyayani is the name of Durga, as you know, and Katyayani means she who ‘s born in the linage of Rishi Kath, so these are Gotra name.

And then, there were also matronym. So, we had a society which took pride in its mothers, we had a society where the mother was considered greater than the father and people were known by the name of their mother also. I think some time back, I don’t know when it was, but, early some years ago, when Indian team played a cricket match, they had their mothers name in their jersey or something like that. So, we have that culture of being named after the mother. We had Sanjay Leela Bhansali who takes pride his middle name from his mother and had this for long time. So, Rama was also known as Kausalyeya, the son of Kausalya. Similarly, Shathrughna and Lakshmana were both known as Saumitra, son of Sumitra.

So we had several types of names, and in the Grihya–sutras there are elaborate rules given on how to given name. Some of them are summarized as a name should have, even number of syllables for a boy. So, there could be 2/4/6. For example, Dhaksha had two syllables; Bhrahmadatta has four syllables and for girls the recommended number syllables was odd, 3/5 and they also said, how a name should start, what all should contain and how should end. It was said, in the Grihya sutras, that is said the name should start with the sonant, or a voice constraint; it should contain one semi vowel, one or more semi vowels sounds. For examples, Ya,Ra,La,Va and it should end in the Visargha or a long vowel sound, for example, my sons name is Niramaya, in Samskritam it would be Niramaya, for syllables, Ni,Ra,Ma,Ya begins with  N a sonant, ends in a Visargh Ya, and my daughter name is Nilaya, odd number of syllables three, ‘Ni, La, Ya’ starts with N, again a sonant and both of them contain semi vowels, Niramaya has ra and ya and Nilaya has ‘ya’. So if I were living the time of the Grihya sutras, my name could have been complied or you can see that has been complied as per the Grisha-sutras.

Interestingly deity names were not directly to give a name to your child. So people would not name somebody Shiva or Rama, but they called the person Shivadatta, given by Shiva or Devadatta, Devadatta is very popular name in the Mahabhashyam, or Yajnadatta. We had a great polymath scholar, unfortunately many of the Indians know about him, his name was Ambikadatta Vyasa. His name was Ambikadatta given by the mother, Ambika name was the goddess. So deity name was usually not given directly, but somebody would say this is given, he as a boy  and she as a girl  is given by Rama, Shiva or Deva.

And then we come to Upapadas or what is call so names today, what we call upakya, or upahawa the four Upapada for the four varnas , Sharman –Sharma, Varman- Sarma. Gupta and Dasa these was added later, these were not in the original. When the Grihya sutra was written, these was not the part of  name, and this a very good paper by Mahamahopadhyaya P V Kane naming a child or a  person, in the Indian Historical quote.  So anybody interested in more detail the scholarly details can refer to this publication of very, very informative publication in fact most of the, a lot of material on this slide, is from this publication.

So that was how names used to be. But now times change in. So what do we see now, so what  do I see, this is the general trend of Sanskritization of names, in the past two or three generation and you can see this in names of some prominent political families of India. So now it is difficult to find somebody who will be giving the name like Lalu or Rabri, which was the norm in parts of India two or three generations ago. So the next generation is named Tej Pratap, Tejashwi we also have a Misa, but will not talk about right now,and also Deve Gowda and Chennamma, the types of names we had in the south, the next generation is Kumaraswamy and Anitha and next generation is Nikhil. So now, we had the vice president B D Jatti, Basappa Danappa Jatti, Its difficult to find such names we given to children now.

So there is a general trend of Sanskritization, in the past two or three generations, especially in Hindus and more and more people want Sanskrit name for their children. Of late, some parents also moving to exotic names or Arabic, Persian or Greek names. However, they still have a need of Sanskrit connection, so even if they give an Arabic name, Persian name or Greek names, they like to believe that, it has the meaning in Sanskrit. Now I come across many such people in my interactions, ‘yes, it may be an Arabic word but doesn’t it have this meaning in Sanskrit’.  So there is a need to identify, or there is a feel good factor about, so whether, they are going for Sanskrit names or exotic names from Arabic, Persian or Greek they have a feel good factor about, if the name has the meaning in Sanskrit. So there is an example Haroon is a famous Arabic name, it was the name of one of the Khalif and this, Astrology web site, Pro Kerala its one of the most popular websites in India, on I like say franks, among the top a few 2000 in the world, and says the Sanskrit word meaning ‘hope’, which completely false. But they go and Arabic name is also given a Sanskrit meaning.

What I also saw is, nuclear families rarely acts have vary access to gurus and to Pandits of Sanskrit. So what they do is, they try the easiest method, which is to turn to the internet, they turn to all  sort of sources. we turn to the internet and search sources. unfortunately, very unfortunately in a full of misinformation, as we showed on one of the previous slides, you had a horse and a shark together and  “oh, I saw it on  internet, so it must be true, and well I am a right, so there is no, nothing wrong in saying this even IIT, I am falling in this trap and they have best age in occasion and  they have smart. but when they come to baby name, somehow they seems to trust everything on the internet.

So that’s how time out today, and I will talk about some of the modern Sanskrit names. so before we start about names let me have something to say about the pronunciation, the way we pronounce and spell our names, lot of them are wrongly pronounce and spell some of these are linguistic reason, some of these are because of other reasons. So schwa deletion as you know the name is Rama, not Rama, not Ram but  Rama and in the Adhyatma Ramayana as you would know  Valmiki is  giving the Mantra, Mara, Mara, so he says Mara, Mara, Mara, Mara, and this become Rama, Rama, Rama, Rama. So somebody ask how to pronounce Rama, I says the same Mara, Mara, Mara, Mara, Mara, Mara and you will end up saying Rama, Rama, Rama. now because of ‘Schwa deletion phenomenon’ in a lot of northern and western Indian languages, its ubiquitous to pronounce as Ram and again spelt as Ram, but now see this is also treating its way in the east and the south. So if you have, if you see The Hindu editor N Ram, he spells his name as N Ram, not Rama, there is in the olden days people in the south could usually spell it as Rama. so this on the rise, this is still ok. we have a historical linguistic reason for it, so the way it pronounce in Hindi, Marathi , or Bangali that how the spell it, fine.

The phenomenon I see is a lot of people had Sanskrit names, which have the ‘ph’ sound and they are spelt and pronounce as ‘f’ somehow, it make the small , it makes them feel most civilized, if we have the  f pronunciation, not blaming anybody, but which is, see some of the popular names so Shephali is the Sanskrit word, it’s a popular name, if you search on LinkedIn, you will see  8500 results with the f spelling and only 400 with the ph spelling, which is correct, because its Shephali that’s the name.

Similarly praphulla. the Hindi word phul comes from phull. so somebody says fulo ka tharah sabka kehana he, fulom ka nahi hai, if you say fulom ka kehana he, its likes fools you know. so phulom ka kehana he, so the name is praphulla. but nobody says its ph spelling is all f and similarly, we have the jh spell is being spelt as z and or Zee as saying the you as. So we have a name called Jhankar which means Jingling / clanking and the number of spelling are, well, in this case it’s still Jh is more. In Maharashtra and Gujarat, a name popular among girls, Jhalak means the glimpse. we have the so calls Jhalak diklaja a dance show right so. But its spells z a leke by many people Zalak. So we are not even spelling them properly and then the pronunciation of Anuswara is wrong also. So, in the south if you see, in fact, in the name of author of “autobiography of a yogi”, it is spelt Paramahamsa, ‘h a m s a’, that’s how it should spelt. but more or less you spell it’s as ns. So some common sense on spelling and pronunciation.

And even brands, so it is actually the word Saphal which means successful, but we can’t spell it correctly, we can’t pronounce it correctly and its Safal and somehow it feel very polished about saying Safal and somebody says Saphal, I don’t know, some people looked down up on it, it must be restrict man saying Safal, can’t say Saphal, its Safal.

Now we talk about gender abuse, say not to gender abuse, yes, absolutely, say not to gender abuse everywhere including in names. if we want Sanskrit names then let’s not abuse gender in Sanskrit, that’s one of my request. I see many masculine Sanskrit words are used as name for girls, we have Garima, we have Mahima, we have Madhurima, these all are masculine word in Sanskrit, the suffix there is imanic. so, yes, they are used, but in Sanskrit the word in masculine.

So as from Sanskrit point of view, it is not correct. Then we have about Nidhi, Vidhi, Samadhi. Well I know people, some people in close friends and family circle also have these names. Nothing personal. I am just saying these words are masculine in Sanskrit. That’s why, you have, we know a person name is Karunanidhi, Nidhi is masculine word and Karunanidhi means somebody who is full of Karuna, who is full of compassion, Nidhi means Treasure or abodeand we have Kalanidhi, Kalanidhi maran. So Nidhi being a masculine word, Kalanidhi and Karunanidhi and even Shrinidhi make perfect sense as names for man. But somehow nidhi is almost entirely used for women only now. These words end in dhi and also do Riddhi, Samriddhi but they are feminine because the suffix there is different.

So, one cannot blindly say that something that ends in this sound and this consonant could be masculine or feminine. It depends on what the suffix is. Then we see the words like Tejasvi, Manasvi, Yashsvi these are masculine in Sanskrit. so, we have Tejasvi surya, young member of Parliament from Bengaluru, Tejasvi is a man or is a boy, the feminine version would be Tejasvini or similarly Manasvini or Yashsvini. but we see Tejasvi name for girls also similarly Manasvi or Yashsvi as a name for girls and women also. Kiran is masculine in Sanskrit, we see Kiran More, we also see Kiran Bedi and Kiran Mazumdar-shaw.

We have quite a lot of gender abuse quote and quotes in modern names. Many neuter words are used as name for boys. So we have Vyoma, Akash, Ambar., all these words are neuter in Sanskrit. If somebody comes, people come to me for checking the gender for the name also, as I say, if I come across such a suggestion, I say look this is a neuter, it’s your decision, it’s a neuter word in Sanskrit, if you want to modify to masculine word, you can easily change it, say to Vyomakesh, which is the name of Shiva. Similarly Akashadeep which is the masculine word in Sanskrit and sometimes people change a feminine word and make it a name for a boy. For example Isheekaa, it’s a Sanskrit word which had three meanings, the eye of an elephant, reed, which is used to write earlier, which had reed pencil, reed calligraphy and a type of grass. In the Mahabharath, Ashvatthama makes an Arrow from an Isheekaa grass, Isheekaa blade. So that’s a feminine word, but then people change in to Isheek and say ok,  I used this name of a boy. we will come to such example. Similarly Thejas and Ojas is very popular name especially in Gujarat. Thejas and Ojas are both neuter in Sanskrit, can be easily modified to Tejasvi and Ojasvi which would be masculine and Tejasvini and Ojasvini would be convey. Sampat is the name, I know people with the name Sampat who are, who are man and Sampat is actually a feminine word in Sanskrit.

So that’s one phenomenon we see and then people think a lot of name as Sanskrit names, they are actually not, people have name Tejendra, Tejesh which are in Prakratise version, but not Sanskrit. Similarly, Ashish and Manish, there are actually no such word in Sanskrit. Ashish in feminine word, I recommend Ashishik which means somebody who has Ashis, and similarly Manisha is a feminine word, there has no such word as Manish. Manishi means somebody with Manisha somebody who is the sage, one of the name, name I see is Aikantika and people say it means somebody who is devoted to one person. I know a person who is name as Aikantika, there is no such word, the correct word is Aikantiki which means something that is absolute and necessary and our foundation, Srijan, there are 7500 people LinkedIn in this name, it’s not a word in Sanskrit. So, the correct word is Sarjan, it is neuter. So, in fact Srijan is closed to the Prakritise version you know, there is sirjan, Sirjan har, somebody who creates. So, it can be considered as Prakrit name, it’s not a Sanskrit name. So out of quotes, we had let the foundation know, so bety bachao, bety ko in namom se bachao.

So, all sorts of modern name which have, no meaning or ridiculous meaning in Sanskrit and people have claimed all sorts of meanings, and most of these are people I have come across in life, either in  real life or on social media, was said I know somebody who’s name is, oh my name is this. The Saanvi, one of the popular names these days, it’s says the name of Lakshmi. There is no such word in Sanskrit. Ishanvi people clime it to be the name Parvati, no such word, it’s the Ishana or Ishani, Shanaya from the very sound of it, sound form to be. But there are people clime on the internet, it means the first ray of sun. In Sanskrit there is no such word. Somebody ask me I think, Swati Goel Sharma ask me, does it have a meaning in Sanskrit. I said I can attempt, Sana means slow, aya means income. So, somebody who earns very slowly, that’s means Shanaya. But that has attempted me.

Similarly, Anaisha, somebody ask me what is Anaisha mean I said there is no such word in Sanskrit. Nisa means the night. So the naisa means the nocturnal, anaisa means diurnal, somebody who comes out in a day, but the feminine would be Anaishi, not Anaisha. Similarly Sumira, sumeera name of  Lakshmi and I surprised how people took up these meanings and its invariably the Lakshmi or Parvathy or the first ray of the sun one of these three. Similarly, Aira, there is no such word, people says it means Saraswathi, ira Is a word. So, we have iravan and airavath, ira means ocean or water. So aira means something that comes from water. So you can have airi, that’s as per the Sanskrit grammatical rules, it would be airi, which could mean found in water and found in or born in the earth, can you can say, it can be referred to Lakshmi or Sita, if used in the Arshgrandhe or an authority devoted, but aira there is no such word.

Now why are we bias towards bety, beta bhi bachao. So now we have to save our male children also bêta ko in namom se bachao! Vivaan that’s one of the famous name these days, almost every third person in a classwe nameVivaan. People said it mean lord Krishna, rays of morning sun, for a change it happens to a word in Sanskrit, it’s used in the Srautasutra, I think the Latyayana Srautasutra, if I remember correctly, and it used, the word comes from the root weeng, it means to weave and it refers to woven chair or a woven stool. So it actually means a moda, it doesn’t means lord Krishna, doesn’t means rays of morning sun. I am sorry.

Aarav this has become popular since, Akshay Kumar played a character with this name in the movie, Blue, and he also named his son Aarav. So somebody told me that in India people learn Hindi from Amitabh Bachchanand I can say they also learn how to name children from Akshay Kumar and Kareena KapoorKhan and also, Aarav is very popular these days. If you  ask people or look up the name websites, they say it means peaceful or in high regard of. It is the Sanskrit word, it means a howling cry.

Reyansh, ray of light, part of Vishnu, no such word, Haroon, Haroon now its… there is something which happened in my office. One of my x colleague Susen IT and IIM graduate,he said I am considering giving my child Haroon, you know it’s an Arabic word, it’s a muslin name, it’s a common name of Muslims. So do you know that I just asked him, and nothing personal against, then do you know it’s a Arabic name, and he said, no, but somebody said it has also has a meaning in Sanskrit which means hope. I said you can’t be, you can’t be serious. So I Google and found out yes, it is the website prokerala.com, one of the most popular Astrology websites which says that the word Haroon is the Sanskrit word, which is completely wrong.

Nivaan, no meaning in Sanskrit, but there is a Hindi word called Nivaan which come from Sanskrit Nimne, which referred to low land area, where water fills during rains and there is a swamp and you know and its means the swamp in Hindi. Kiaan, grace of god, royal, king, Lord Krishna, that’s what name websites says. It means ‘how much’ in Sanskrit.  Kiaan, how much, Kiyathi how much. So ya, does it make sense of the name? Of course not.

Atiksh, now this is actually a different beast.Athiksh you ask somebody, they will actually believe its a Sanskrit name. Athiksha the sound is very Sanskritic, its ksha, it has the sound ksha. So it must be, but and they will say it means by its intelligent. I know a person who claimed in my presence, Athish means Bhudhiman. It means intelligent. There is actually no such word in Sanskrit, and finally one of most fallacious ones Aveer. So veer means  brave, Veer Savarkar, Aveer means somebody who was not brave,  Aveer means unmanly and these are all entries from on your brilliance, unmanly, effeminate, coward, without a son, without any help., these are the meanings of Aveer and people actually claim it means brave or peace warrior. This is what the websites claim.

Now this the mount of misinformation available on the internet and people are getting mislead. Yes, we can laugh about it, but it is the fact that the people are getting mislead, smart people are getting mislead and even marketing managers are getting mislead. If you bring out a Jewellery brand for man and give it a name which means unmanly, if it happy with me, out fire me by marketing manager, just joking. This is Tata, this is not some small business. This is Tata, this is Tanishq, so they have jewellery brand for man which means unmanly.  So, can you get any more ridiculous I don’t think so, anyway.

So, we come to the section how not to name your child and these are some rules of  thumb. Again this not science about, this is not rocket science, this is just common sense  and I came up with these rule of thumb is from common sense only. So, the first Rule: Don’t change the gender of a Sanskrit word. This is the report from the ‘Mathrubhumi’ website. It’s a publication in Kerala. I don’t fix a newspaper or not, I think it’s both from the Malayalam and in English. This is from the English website, and they have a great article which says, Baby name and these are unbeatable baby name, and then they have an example where, a couple had plan a for a baby girl, they settled for Isheeka, which means eye ball for an elephant or a reed or a type of grass. So, because it means reed, it also means a pen in Malayalam. So they were a literary family and they wanted a literary name so they settled on Isheeka and they had a boy and they said, ok, let’s change it to Isheek. Please don’t do this, there is no such word in Sanskrit, don’t change the gender of the name, no gender abasement. So I mentioned Isheeka is being, was used  by Ashvatthama. That’s was the reference on the Mahabharath, Jagrahacha cha Saraisikam dhronehi savyena paninam; Dronehi son of Drona, Dhrone is the patronymic name of Ashvatthama, Dhronasya pathyam puman ithi Dhroni. So there is  an example a name, which we talked about earlier,  and that is Saraisikam, which that means an arrow made of Isheek, a type of grass.

Second, don’t try portmanteau, please don’t, often parents try a portmanteau, of the name of the father in the mother, and sometimes they get meaningless result, sometimes they get horrible results. For examples and I am not taking these all, there is a name called Krishiv, somebody came with the combination of Krishna and Shiva and made it Krishiv with different spellings and named sites clime it feels Lord Krishna and Lord Shiva companied. It is a meaningless name, there is no such word in Sanskrit. Still probably, ok. 

The next example is when, I don’t know what to say, this is shared by Prof. K S Kannan on the BharatiyaVidhya Parishad naming list a few months ago from his real life, and come across the person named Vandhya, and Prof. Kannan actually asked, is it Vandhya, because Vandhya is the Sanskrit word, which means somebody who is deserving worship or respect. Vandya, Vanduthom Yogya Vandaya is a Vande matharam. So somebody who deserves Vandana is vandya, or Vandhya if it’s a female. So he asked is it Vandya or Vandhya and she confirm, ‘no it is Mahaprana sound it is Vandhya. Vandhya as you know means a Childless woman in Sanskrit. Now why would somebody want such name to a person, and it was the portmanteau of her parent’s name Vandan and Sandhya.

So well, this actually happen and do want to portmanteau and if you know, if somebody in your family does want to portmanteau, then consult to a scholar. It’s not very difficult to find. I will give you a recent examples, a couple name Ashish and Ankita came to me, recently they said ‘we want a name which is a portmanteau of the two sounds’, it combination, it can correct have both name, both parents name and suggested and one was the option I suggested was Ashrita. So I added in r, Ankitha, ita from Ankitha, ash from Ashish, and put in r with me, and I made Ashrita, which is a Sanskrit word, which means somebody who taking shelter or somebody in home people shelter.

So, try the basic well, try checking a dictionary or go to a scholar who would know Sanskrit. Don’t blindly believe Google. So, this is actual screenshot from 16th of June for the name Ishanvi. Google Ishanvi for Sanskrit name meaning and you see the feature snippet which the Google shows which has the wrong meaning, and also the first result the second and third results, a lot of people do this, they just search the meaning of name on Google and Google sorts its information from web sites which are popular. Web sites which are popular are usually the name websites which have a lot of usage-oriented content, which is more of them are not correct, and Google shows up incorrect results, which are not to be trusted.

Next Wikipedia, so the Wikipedia kids are smarter than Google kids, because we believe on Wikipotter Wikipedia. We don’t believe in Google, which is not higher, so I, but when I say, don’t trust Wikipedia because except for protected article, Wikipedia can be edited by anybody. This screenshot was taken on 1st of June for the name, for the Article name Kiara, given name. We have a famous actress by this name already. Look at what it says, Hindi mem ‘Kiara’ meaning god’s precious gift, which is completely wrong. There is no such word in Hindi. In fact the word kayrri, kyaari means people would know, kyari me pouthe lagathe he, right. So that’s Kyaari not kiara, so this is wrong, Wikipedia not to be trusted.

This happened with me. A parent came to me and said I have named my daughter Rujula and its the name of Lakshmi and you confirm, if it is true and I said where did you read it and he said it was on Wikipedia and I said ok, let me check it out and I looked at Article on Lakshmi for Wikipedia which I believe would get at least few thousand hits per day, if not a  few thousand,  at least hundreds. So kiara is although a misleading name, this is something more misleading because the parents who is  apparently a worshiper of Lakshmi, he want to honor Lakshmi by giving Lakshmi’s name for his daughter is misled by Wikipedia into thing in that Rujula is one of the name of Lakshmi. Interestingly you see there is a citation at the end of the sentence, you see the number ‘39’ there I looked the citation I bought that book and the name was not there in the book, it was the book on hundred and eight name of Lakshami, and Rujula was not there in the book. So this is somebody writing some random content and people fall in for it, by trusting Wikipedia.

Again, common sense, this is common sense, this is not rocket science, this is just common sense, completely avoid name websites. They are mushrooming all over the internet. Hindu names you have kidpaw, bachpan, there is a name website named pithrow, very good name for a name website. So, they name the websites very well, but the name that’s they contain are not as correct. Moonastro, Hindu names and all these are screen shots, we have Vivaan, we have Hothravahana is the name for Agni, Hothravahana means the carrier of oblations, Hothranam vahana, Hothravahana. It is a masculine word. Agni is masculine in Sanskrit, Hindi mem Aag or Agni is still in there, in Sanskrit Agni is masculine. So Hothravahana is name for a boy and its means Agni, and look at this what this web site says it says, it’s a name for a girl and that means celestial beauty. Its completely wrong.

I can go on, you know there is Upanishadic statement presented in two Upanishads – andhenaiva niyamana yathandhah, as the blind being let by the blind, that is the case with these name web sites, by enlarge and the people who trust on them. Don’t blindly believe what is published as news. We had Hemamalini’s daughter Esha, who had baby recently and she said Miraya is her name Radhya, is when Krishna worships Radha. Miraya is when, Miraya means the devotee of Krishna well. Both are wrong, although Radhya is a Sanskrit word, Radhya means somebody who is deserving of Aradhana or worship or even something that is to be proved Radha samsidhaw, Radhaya  but Miraya there is no such word in Sanskrit.

And finally, I have to said this with a lot of sadness, don’t blindly believe name books also and look at where they have come, we can’t even believe books which have sold more than 50000 copies on Penguin by Menaka Gandhi, and I will give you three example on a single page. So, this is names, Sanskrit name with H and in this book, when M stands for Masculine or Male and S Stands for Sanskrit. So, Menaka Ghandi says Hurditya means joys or happy there is no such word. Hulas… she says it’s a Sanskrit word which means jubilation. This is also wrong; Hulas is the Hindi of Ullas. It’s the Prakrit form of Ullas; its means jubilation. So Hulas is a Hindi word it’s not Sanskrit word. And Hriman, Hri means modesty, it has both positive and negative Quantitation, modesty has been modest, modesty is also have in ashamed. So Hriman means somebody who is modest or somebody who is ashamed. Hriman does not mean dispeller of sorrow or wealthy. In fact I believe the word is Sriman which was mistaken for Hriman and Menaka Gandhi ended up writing up this in a  book.

So there is misinformation, please don’t blindly believe name books, now this is another  book which I have mentioned which had the name Rujula. I bought it to see Rujula exists and I saw this, and its by Vijay, forget the name of the author, Vijaysankar or not Vijaysankar, Vijayakumar, I am sorry, Vijayakumar In his book says, well, he is giving the Chathurthyanth form Bhuvaneshvaryaya namaha, which is correct. So he is giving the name as Bhuvaneshwarya which is not the right name, the right name is Bhuvaneshvari. we had this name Bhuvaneshvari was one of the princesses of Rajasthan/ If I remember correctly, no Rajasthan or Kerala. So, Bhuvaneshvari is the correct name. So what , what I am essentially saying is don’t blindly believe in content, and especially for  parents or people in your family or friend circles who expecting a child please ask him, please advising him not to blindly believe this content and do some basic due diligences.

So, we come to the end, almost the end now. We saw all about, we see all these things about how not name the child. So how do we name children? My best suggestion, my first recommendation is consult a shrotriya guru, shrotriya guru or a pandit of Sanskrit in that order of preference. Shrotriya guru would what is the right word, what the word is suitable as a name, what would not suitable as name as rasi name, nakshatra name or non-nakshatra name. We have had both in our culture, and how to find a Guru, which is very difficult to find or a Sanskrit pandit. Sanskrit pandit is not as difficult, ask around, there is publication called inventory of Sanskrit scholar. If you Google with just four words, you will get a pdf on the web site of Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, if I not mistaken and that pdf has at least thousands, I think four or five thousand names with contact details, with address and many persons phone numbers also of Sanskrit scholars, or these days on Twitter also and social media you find quite of Sanskrit scholar. There is Venugopala Sankar, Venugopalan Sankar; very great Sanskrit scholar from Tamil Nadu. There are Balaram Sukla one of his students is here with us. Balaram Sukla ji tweets @achyutaanant.

There is Sampadananda Misra, some of us know him. He tweets @sampadananda. There is Sammodacharya, who is very great scholar of Sanskrit from Nepal, reach out to them on twitter. Many of them I have not mentioned here, just for, lack of space, but ask people who are teaching Sanskrit or who write Sanskrit poetry or book, they will be very happy to help to validate a name, or  you know, give you some option, if this is not possible, then what I advise parents, they never go wrong hack, you  don’t go wrong with this hack, just pick up Vishnu Sahasranama for a boy and Lalita Sahasranama for a girl. Take a good publication and take up a name from there. We cannot go wrong.

So, take any of these Sahasranamas, there are so many names. For this Sahasranamas, which are actually not common, the other day I was look at Shiva Sahasranama and I found a name Vimukth, mukth is a common name, we have mukth, mukthesh and all. Vimukth if you search on LinkedIn, there are hardly five of ten results; you can understand it easily. Vimukth you can pronouns it easily. Vimukth, Vimukthi, especially liberated, as the name of Shiva, in the Shiva Sahasranama. Similarly Athindra, name which are easy to pronouns or spell, Athindra or Vimukth, Nirama.

The name Ram is very popular, which is explained as ramanthe yogino asmin, ramanthe yogino asmin,  ithi rama; He in home state delight, and the very beautiful name of Shiva, in the Shiva Sahasranama which is Nirama, Nirama which is explained as nithuran ramanthe yogino asmin nithirama, in the home the yogis always take delight is Nirama. Now nirama easily to pronouns name from Sahasranama. You will find rare name, you will find common names, easily to pronouns, not easily to pronouns and these are all beautiful names from the Vishnu Sahasranama or Lalita Sahasranama or in the Shiva Sahasranama. You can get easily, by publication from Geetha press or other publishers. There are many translations, English, Sanskrit or Hindi and we cannot go wrong with this kind of approach, by Sanskrit dictionary. That’s why I recommended parents, go for Apte. Apte Sanskrit – English or Sanskrit – Hindi dictionary, published by Motilal Banarsidass and I believe some other publications also, cost something like seven hundred, eight hundred rupees, not more, and do some due diligence, just check up the dictionary or you can consult the digital editions the university of zu koln website which  has digitalized a lot many Sanskrit dictionaries. Cross check any information you read on baby names, some information’s is reference. So, you can easy to crosscheck, some information are not reference at all, you cannot crosscheck.

So, see if the content is transparent and verifiable, if somebody tells what a name, it some web sites, or some post on social media talks about a baby name and give such meaning. Check if there is some transparency where is this word used? Is it in the Vishnu Sahasranama? Is it in the Mahabharat? Is it in some of the Vedic samhitas, or is it somewhere else, in kavya literature. Kalidasa’s works, whether the original quotes are given or not, whether the meaning are given? So, we can see if the information is, just like to do as a medical advice, we don’t trust any random medical advice on the internet. We see who is given the advice, which website is coming from, what is the kind of regular in details in that and finally question source if possible, especially on social media. I also welcome question on facebook and twitter feeds. if somebody has question on a name, I try to explain some time, if I not explained it well, or if I made small mistake, I corrected, I acknowledged. So, people sometimes do make mistake. So, do questing if you have doubts before blankly relaying on name.

Now, here is an example of name Vimukt which I mentioned. This is one of my recent personal consultations, where, what I explained was, this is the name which comes from, Vi which means  especially and mukta which means liberated, the different ways to pass it, where it is used, what is the concept, what verses mentioned this name, what does the commentary say. Now the point of showing this is.

Now this is an example, not the only example. This is an example of verifiable content. If I put in original quotes verse numbers, that content can be cross checked. But if just you read in the name website, that is Gothravahana means celestial beautify and it’s a name for a girl, there is no way reader can cross check that on time,  well, where does it  mentioned, where does it say it means celestial beautify, is it in smriti or the Puranas or the Vedic Samhita and so on.

So, that’s the end of the presentation, well, I do, almost every day I give a name suggestion on facebook and twitter. Sometimes I do it once, once advice in a week but I try to do it every day. These days especially you can find it facebook and twitter and also do email consultation, which is not free. I am not advertising it, that’s my e- mail address. You can e- mail me there and that’s the end of the presentation.

Thank you.