Names are very important for us. They affect our life. Their meaning carries a positive or negative connotation. Therefore, names influence our behavior and how one is treated by others. In the Hindu way of life, a name carries a spiritual and aspirational significance. They are based on the names of gods, virtues or homage is paid to a holy place. The name impacts one and that is why when a baby is born in a Hindu home, the conjugation of the planets is taken and the alphabet for the name selected.
The Guru gives the disciple a new name to help her/him to shed the past and ego. It is a tradition and the Guru blesses the disciple by giving a mantra and name.
My mother was a Sanskrit scholar and she gave us five siblings very powerful names. Her belief was that you are what your name is. When my sons were born, unknowingly I selected a Thursday and the date was 7 (7s have a desire for spiritual wisdom and knowledge), for their birth as I had to have a caesarian surgery.
Apparently, Thursday is when Hindu mothers want their babies born as it is the day of Lord Rama’s birth. Then names had to be given, and people suggested that we should call them Lov and Kush. Now these names are popular names for twins as Lord Rama had twin sons. No agreement was reached, and we selected Amar and Madhur.
Madhur or Varun?
One of the babies was not well and had to be kept in an incubator. After that he could not digest any milk products. It was a terrible time, in and out of the hospital and leaving one baby at home and staying with the other. My mother wrote to me that maybe the name was not suiting him. She gave a list of names, and we chose Varun.
He was in the hospital, and I went and changed the name to Varun from Madhur, on the card which outside his room. It was a miracle as after the name change, his health improved radically. It happened in front of our eyes. I told my mother that we had changed the name and her response was that it was her last choice. Of course, she was as happy as us when Varun’s health turned the corner.
Name also has another meaning and that meaning is our reputation.
Good name in man and woman, dear my lord is the immediate jewel of their souls: Who steals my purse steals trash; ‘tis something, nothing; ’twas mine, ’tis his and has been slave to thousands; But he that filches from me my good name Robs me of that which not enriches him and makes me poor indeed. – William Shakespeare
Aim Hrim Klim