Names are given at birth by elders. Shakespeare (through Juliet) says that a rose will continue to smell sweet even if it is called by any other name.
Examples of richly named persons
One can find many examples showing connection of a person’s name to her destiny. ‘Steve JOBS’ of Apple / iPhone was known to be a hard task master driving everyone to do JOBS. Early on, he changed the name of Apple Computers to Apple Inc, dropping the word ‘computer’. ‘Bill Gates’ of Microsoft is a ‘gate’ for entry of ‘bills’ or money! Larry PAGE of Google has the business of internet search connected to internet pages. Laxmi Niwas Mittal, a person of Indian descent, is the 56th richest person in the world. His name ‘Laxmi Niwas’ literally means ‘where Laxmi (Goddess of wealth) resides.
Legacy of names
Some naming conventions, besides for humans, follow a legacy. For example, Indian call signs of radio hams begin with alphabet V. Also, the registration numbers of Indian aeroplanes begin with alphabet V. V denotes ‘Viceroy’ and the convention goes back to colonial times.
Conflict of identity
Some names signify colours. Orange colour relates to the colour of the fruit orange. The color chocolate is a tone of dark brown that resembles chocolate. T once ran in to Carlo Donati, head of Nestle Asia, over a lunch and asked him casually about Nestle chocolates that looked white. The latter said that they are made of butter of cocoa-beans hence white.
A butterfly looks nice and colourful. The name ‘butter-fly’ also sounds nice and connotes to ‘flutter-by’. The other names of butterfly in other languages also sound nice. Eg., papillon (French), titli (Hindi), Bhanbiri (Sanskrit), etc. German ‘schmetterling’ is sort-of nice-sounding too.
Names of Yogis
It is a common practice for an individual to change name after taking vows of a renunciate. Buddha, before enlightenment, was a Hindu prince named Siddhartha. Swami Vivekananda, the most known Yogi, after Patanjali, was earlier named Narendra.
Names in Hinduism
Names in Hinduism have a special significance. Many scriptures are actually lists of several names of a particular divinity. Mere reading or chanting these brings blessings to the reader.
Lalita Sahasranama, as the name suggests, is a compendium of one thousand names of Goddess Lalita, a form of Parvati / Durga. Durga Saptashati contains seven hundred names of Durga. Shiva Sahasranama contains one thousand names of Shiva. Some examples are given below.
Lalita Sahasranama – 1000 names of Lalita
Durga Saptashati – 700 names of Durga
Shiva Sahasranama – 1000 names of Shiva
Ganesha Ashtottara Shatanamavali – 108 names of Ganesha
Vishnu Ashtottara Shatanamavali – 108 names of Vishnu
Krishna Ashtottara Shatanamavali – 108 names of Krishna
Rama Ashtottara Shatanamavali – 108 names of Rama
Kuber Ashtottara Shatanamavali – 108 names of Kuber
Lakshmi Ashtottara Shatanamavali – 108 names of Lakshmi
Saraswati Ashtottara Shatanamavali – 108 names of Saraswati
Dasha Mahavidya Ashtottara Shatanamavali – 108 names of Dasha Mahavidya
Sita Ashtottara Shatanamavali – 108 names of Sita
Ganga Ashtottara Shatanamavali – 108 names of Ganga
Ganga Ashtottara Shatanamavali consists of 108 names of Ganga and Ganga Sahasranama Stotra consists of 1000 names of Ganga.
It has been a practice in India, specially rural India and a few decades ago, to name children after names of Gods, or at least adding a suffix ‘Ram’ after the name. A belief is that naming someone this way will bring him blessings. Some common forms of greeting, even now, are – ‘Ram-Ram’, ‘Radhe-Radhe’, ‘Hari-Om’, ‘Hari-bol’ and such, instead of ‘Namaste’ or ‘Namaskar’. A belief is that when you greet someone this way, you speak a name of God or Goddess which will bring blessings.
Names are also given as combinations of a God and the relevant Goddess. It is common to come across names like – ‘Radhe-Shyam’, ‘Sita-Ram’ and so on. An important point to note here is that the name of a Goddess comes first and God later. So, one can never find anyone named ‘Shyam-Radhe’ or ‘Ram-Sita’.
Determining a spiritual name
In Indian astrology, name of a person is determined by three factors – the time of birth, the date of birth, and place of birth. With this information, specific ‘Swara’ (sound) are arrived at, examples being ‘so’, ‘di’ etc. The name has to begin with these sounds. Thus in the examples given here, names could be ‘Soham’, ‘Soma’ etc. and ‘Diwakar’, ‘Divya’ etc.
The Indian astrology has a system of assigning ‘swar’ or sounds based on the circumstances of birth – time, date and location. So, astrology doesn’t actually assign a full name but only swar with which a name should begin. Inevitably, names are chosen from Sanskrit language.
Vowels & Consonants
In Sanskrit language, there are 17 vowels (considering short a and long aa as 2 different ones) and 34 consonants. A swar is not just a vowel but could also be a consonant followed with a vowel. Thus, there are 595 possibilities of starting a name with a certain sound. It is noteworthy that out of these, only 108 possibilities are prime recommendations, these being as following –
चु (Chu), चे (Che), चो (Cho), ला (Laa), ली (Lee), लू (Loo), ले (Le), लो (Lo), अ (A), ई (Ee), उ (U), ए (E), ओ (O), वा (Vaa), वी (Vee), वु (Vu), वे (Ve), वो (Vo), का (Kaa), की (Kee), कु (Ku), घ (Gha), ङ (Ing), छ (Chha), के (Ke), को (Ko), हा (Haa), ही (Hee), हु (Hu), हे (He), हो (Ho), डा (Daa), डी (Dee), डू (Doo), डे (De), डो (Do), मा (Maa), मी (Mee), मू (Moo), मे (Me), मो (Mo), टा, (Taa), टी (Tee), टू (Too), टे (Te), टो (To), पा (Paa), पी (Pee), पू (Poo), ष (Sha), ण (Na), ठ (Tha), पे (Pe), पो (Po), रा (Raa), री (Ree), रू (Roo), रे (Re), रो (Ro), ता (Taa), ती (Tee), तू, (Too), ते (Te), तो (To), ना (Naa), नी (Nee), नू (Noo), ने (Ne), नो (No), या (Yaa), यी (Yee), यू (Yoo), ये (Ye), यो (Yo), भा (Bhaa), भी (Bhee), भू (Bhoo), धा (Dhaa), फा (Phaa), ढ (Dha), भे (Bhe), भो (Bho), जा (Jaa), जी (Jee), खी (Khee), खू (Khoo), खे (Khe), खो (Kho), गा (Gaa), गी (Gee), गु (Gu), गे (Ge), गो (Go), सा (Saa), सी (See), सू (Soo), से (Se), सो (So), दा (Daa), दी (Dee) दू (Doo), थ (Tha), झ (Jha), ञ (Yna), दे (De), दो (Do), च (Cha), ची (Chee)
My Spiritual / Yogic Name
Given below are some names suggested by AZIMVTH to some persons. Other details given against then names have been edited/modified to respect and protect the identities of the seekers.
Art Coach, USA
“I am learning astrology and believe knowing the power of my name according to my Vedic chart would be helpful in aligning with my Soul.”
Acharya LUPTENI Ma
Medical professional, Canada
“Feel it (the idea of having a spiritual / Yoga name) resonates with me, I teach yoga and want to continue to enrich my practice.”
Acharya RAKINI Devi
Yoga & sports teacher, France
“(My name) has NEVER felt like my name since childhood…. saying my name when asked always sounds like a lie, sounds foreign…. long for it like coming home .. could you help?”
Creative writer, USA
Esoterism is dear.
Yoga therapist, Australia
“I feel that my current name no longer fully serves the purpose of describing who I am. I have many friends who have suggested I simple choose my own name, but I haven’t found one that I feel fits.”
Readers interested in finding out the ‘Swara’ and suggested spiritual / Yogic names may fill-out and submit the form available here.
The Finishing School of Yoga
For information on the week long finishing course ‘My Yoga Intensive: Unanswered Questions of Yogi (ni) s’ please see here.