Welcome to SPN

Register and Join the most happening forum of Sikh community & intellectuals from around the world.

Sign Up Now!

Getting A Sikh Name

Discussion in 'Questions and Answers' started by sikh15, Jul 29, 2016.

  1. sikh15

    sikh15
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2013
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    63
    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh,

    First let me say that if this post is in the wrong sub-forum, please feel free to move it and forgive my ignorance.

    Now to my query: As a convert to Sikhi, how would I go about getting a Sikh name? Do I have to wait until I take amrit or can I get one before that? Until I do take amrit, is it required of me to legally change my name upon getting a Sikh name?

    Thank you for your help.

    Gurfateh,

    Justin
     
    • Like Like x 2
  2. Loading...


  3. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
    Expand Collapse

    Moderator

    Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    5,118
    Likes Received:
    7,945
    Welcome to the forum Justinji, I hope you involve yourself and share your point of view in our debates here

    In a world where Sikhs are now naming their children with western names, it is ironic that you are asking this question.

    My own personal view is who cares, it is what is in your heart and your mind that counts, names are for gravestones. However, as Sikhism is a pragmatic and realistic religion, I would imagine waiting till you take Amrit would be a good idea as at that point you are joining the Khalsa, the old you is dead, and a new name would help make this distinction. In Sikhism we are encouraged to use our brain and not just follow rhetoric blindly, so the questions, should I do this, should I do that can easily be answered by your own intellect. I consider myself a pragmatic Sikh, but there are also spiritual Sikhs, at least one Jewish Sikh, Sikhs that favor meditation, reincarnation and also Sikhs that do not, all here on this forum, so I think we have ticked most of of the boxes!

    Our strength lies in our diversity and understanding, and also mutual respect, Welcome to the forum!
     
    • Like Like x 2
  4. Original

    Original
    Expand Collapse
    Writer SPNer

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    Messages:
    812
    Likes Received:
    488
    Hi Justin and Welcome !

    I know, like me you're left scratching your head, "if this is the kind of response one gets from an allegedly wannabe Sikh site [SPN] for a cooperative enquiry, what are the chances of getting something half-decent from a not wannabe Sikh site ?" I know, I'm still scratching me head !!!

    Look ! all is not lost - changing a name can be really meaningful and a life changing experience. All Sanskrit names, including Sikh, has profound meanings and extraordinary connotations. Guru Gobind Singh gave the Sikhs a physical name [kaur n singh] and a spiritual name [satnam waheguru]. The idea being that the physical will lead to the spiritual. So yes, good-on-you and a win win situation !

    If you were to visit a Gurdwara [Sikh Temple] and enquire about the same, they'll help you along by giving you a letter of an alphabet taken from Sri Guru Granth Sahib with which you can choose a name or form a name of your own fancy [book of Sikh names]. This will replace Justin, say for example, with Jagga. From an ideological perspective you'll be seen and recognised as Jagga in the physical world and when you initiate as an "amritdhari Sikh", you'll be anointed with the name "Singh" and then you'll be called Jagga Singh. From hereon, Jagga and Singh will become one, meaning, Singh the spiritual and Jagga the physical are en route to the real deal.

    More when you fully mature and gel with the gang at SPN !

    Goodnight n Godbless
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
    Expand Collapse
    Mentor Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Messages:
    4,559
    Likes Received:
    6,988

    Justin,

    Welcome to the forum. Sikhi is all inclusive. Yes, Guru Gobind Singh gave the names Singh for males and Kaur for females after taking Khandei di pahul. However, any child born in the Sikh household is called Singh or Kaur without taking khandei di pahul because that has become the culture of Sikhi with time.

    So, one should ask, why can't the same rules be applied to you?
    Why are you being treated as an outsider and are required to take a leap in this case to get the name Singh?
    Is this Sikhi?

    In my opinion, No.

    I have no idea how much you want to be a Sikh. If you have the quest that makes you want to be on the learning path of Sikhi, then I would suggest that you take the first letter from the daily Hukumnaama from Harmander Sahib and choose your name with Singh, provided this helps you to dive into Sikhi which will eventually take you to Khandei di Pahul. If it is just a table decoration for 'namesake', then nothing of this sort helps us being better beings.

    Good luck in your quest.

    Tejwant Singh
     
    • Like Like x 1
    #4 Tejwant Singh, Jul 30, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2016
  6. sikh15

    sikh15
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2013
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    63
    I didn't mean to give the impression that my inquiring about getting a Sikh name was just for vanity or for building up my ego. I'm taking everything slowly and in due course. As for getting a Sikh name, that information was for future reference.

    There is a gurdwara less than an hour from where I live, but I'm not ready to go there yet. Once I am ready, I will take the time to get accustomed to the protocol and everything that is involved with gurdwara attendance and also the sangat before ever even asking to get a Sikh name.

    -Justin
     
    • Like Like x 2
  7. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
    Expand Collapse
    Mentor Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Messages:
    4,559
    Likes Received:
    6,988
    Justin,

    Guru Fateh.

    I think you misunderstood what I said. I questioned those who hold an opinion that only after taking Khandei de Pahul- The Sikh Baptism, you can change your name to Singh/Kaur. I do not agree with that opinion because it is not based on facts of today. It is not a question of vanity but to a non-Sikh or a person who wants to be part of Sikhi values, there is no need to impose an extra hurdle for that person to cross. 'The Sikh Baptism' is when one is ready and committed unlike in other religions where the baptism ritual takes place when one is an infant. This is the beauty of Sikhi which gives us tools to become better beings. Sikhi creates internal manifestation not external imposition as in other religions.

    The name change could be the first step towards that.

    If I were you, I would visit the Gurdwara at my earliest and check it out. I am certain you will enjoy the trip and hopefully will become a regular. This will help you understand Sikhi better and quicker.After all we all seek solace somewhere. Why delay this serenity?!
     
    • Like Like x 1
    #6 Tejwant Singh, Jul 30, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2016
  8. sikh15

    sikh15
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2013
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    63
    Tejwant,

    I did misunderstand what you had said. I apologize about that. Thank you for your advice.

    Gurfateh,

    Justin
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Harkiran Kaur

    Harkiran Kaur Canada
    Expand Collapse

    Leader

    Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2012
    Messages:
    1,171
    Likes Received:
    1,778
    Justin I dont know if you still drop by this site... but for others I'll reply anyway.

    I am a convert as well to Sikhi - now since close to ten years (about 6 of that regularly attending gurdwara here). I took Amrit last year in India and I had to change my name prior to going to India (I could have conceivably waited for the actual day to take amrit but my situation was a bit complicated as I was also marrying a Singh from Kashmir in the same trip. Now, there is a hukamnama issued in 2007 that states that any converts seeking to marry by anand karaj, they must show they are sincere in following Sikhi as its against rehet maryada to marry non Sikhs in the anand karaj marriage ceremony. To show that sincerity, they state that you must already have your last name changed to Singh / Kaur prior to the anand karaj. This means it must be showing on your legal documentation like passport etc. So far, so good.. I could have just changed the last name and still waited to get the first name when I took amrit then did a second name change... wait what?? I think you know it's not that easy to do a legal name change, and then it takes months, yes months, to get all your ID, passport, bank accounts, credit cards, drivers license etc all changed to the new name (that is after you get your name change certificate... and that takes a few months first! All this costs!!! The name change in the end ends up costing about 600+ dollars by the time you pay for a new passport, the actual name change, new drivers license, etc etc etc.... :( So long story short, I enlisted help of some members of the sangat here, and they took the hukamnama and I ended up with Harkiran. So I did the both names changed at once in my legal documents.

    You can take a Sikh name whenever you feel that strongly connected that you consider yourself to be Sikh and do not follow other religions.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1

Share This Page