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Why Do We Need a Naming Ceremony?

Discussion in 'Sikh Rehat Maryada' started by baljeet_singh, Dec 27, 2010.

  1. baljeet_singh

    baljeet_singh
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    I was recently doing research as part of my Religious Studies revision, and when I found out about the naming ceremony for a Sikh baby, I was just unsure as to how the Sikhs came up with it. Is it a ceremony which has been dictated in the Guru Granth Sahib Ji, or is it something that has developed over time? And if it has developed over time, isn't it then just some sort of ritual that doesn't have any actual religious significance?

    PS Hopefully nobody gets offended with what I wrote, I am simply curious
     
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  3. spnadmin

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    Re: Do we need a naming ceremony?

    baljeet_singh jio,

    The naming ceremony is described in the Sikh Rehat Maryada. As for its origins, that I do not know...however, there will be more than one good member here who probably can chart the evolution of that for your. What an interesting question!
     
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  4. Admin Singh

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    Re: Do We Need a Naming Ceremony?

    I have seen people ridiculing others who do not take first letter from the Sri Guru Granth Sahib and call it anti-gurmat...

    If you pick a name of your chioce and do ardaas infront of SGGS, even that should be sufficient in my prespective. Infact i did the same with my kid. We liked a name from SGGS and named him and did a ardaas... but many people around us pointed fingers at us, which i feel was un-necessary.

    I do not understand how it is anti-Gurmat!

    My two cents!
     
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  5. spnadmin

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    Re: Do We Need a Naming Ceremony?

    It is not against Gurmat Aman Singh ji as far as I can tell. The rehat prescribes the baptism ceremony as per historical records (yes, even those are in dispute). But the naming ceremony was a later development and included in the rehat as a way for Sikhs to leave behind their identity confusion. Before the SRM often Sikhs had very abstract names, like "triangle" or "diamond". This is a fact. SRM naming ceremony brought Waheguru back into the picture.

    Likewise the SRM has described an engagement celebration. The idea was to pave a way that was simple and lean on ritualism. If a couple decides to have an engagement party to include more than immediate family, that does not make them patit. The SRM gives the simple way, with reasons to guide choices and decisions.

    Your story reminds me of a friend who wanted to cater deserts for Sikh weddings - she is an excellent cook - and she was told that as an amridhari she was not allowed to go to wedding parties. End of the project. People do miss the forest for the trees.
     
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  6. Archived_Member16

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    Re: Do We Need a Naming Ceremony?

    SPIRITUAL FOOD FOR THOUGHT:

    One of the most important tasks of parenting is naming your child. This is because when you choose a name for your baby, you are creating the baby's future. The meaning of baby names are the single most important influence on the development of your baby's personality. Each baby name meaning has a "hidden energy" behind it which will greatly influence your baby's destiny. ( This is where Waheguru Ji's Blessings come in, during naming ceremony )
    Be cautious about the initials & nick name that can be derived from the given name!

    - an enlightened soul
     
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  7. skeptic.freethinker1

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    Re: Do We Need a Naming Ceremony?

    Soul_Jyot ji,
    I think that's a pretty subjective and unsubstantiated statement. If names are the "most important influence", then shouldn't we name all the kids as Einstein!

    Just last week I read the book Freakonomics by a distinguished Economist Steven Levitt. In the book he discusses the real story of a man who named his two sons Winner & Loser respectively. Father's name was Robert Lane and if I remember correctly he lived in New York. The son named Loser Lane became an accomplished Police Man where as the other son named Winner Lane got arrested more than 30 times.


    Even personally I have seen so many cases where people with similar names have achieved different levels of success in their lives.


    So obviously names are
    NOT the "single most important influence" in a kid's life.
    And names surely don't have any "hidden" energy behind them.
    I think most important influence are the parents and the kid's environment.

    Following such superstition or naming rituals does not help anyone.

    Kids should not have embarrassing names because that might have some psychological effect on them. But beyond that names don't do anything for or against us.

    It's all your own hardwork. No destiny! :)

     
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  8. skeptic.freethinker1

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    Re: Do We Need a Naming Ceremony?


    Is this really true that Amritdhari women are not allowed to attend weddings?? Or was this just an example of few people taking it to the extreme??
     
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  9. spnadmin

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    Re: Do We Need a Naming Ceremony?

    skeptic.freethinker ji

    There is a growing influence of sectarian habits of thinking and behaving in the UK, Canada and the US, places where I am aware that these sorts of claims are made. I do not know about elsewhere. Their influence in gurdwaras is on the increase. It is more than a few, it is a movement.

    The idea is Amritdharis are not supposed to eat out of the same plate as non Amritdharis or eat leftovers of a nonamirtdhari or fallen Sikh.

    More at this link http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/sikh-sikhi-sikhism/27522-preparation-of-amrit-2.html

    So, they argue, a wedding party would not, by extension, be allowed. None of this is in line with the SGGS, nor is it in Sikh Rehat Maryada. People make it up, and it takes over, with a very demoralizing effect. Sorry for the long answer.

    In SRM there are 4 transgressions that require one to be re-baptized, none having to do with going to/eating at wedding parties
    (1) Dishonoring the hair;
    (2) Eating the meat of an animal slaughtered the Muslim way;
    (3) Cohabiting with a person other than one’s spouse;
    (4) Using tobacco.


    There are also reasons for being chastised and receiving a punishment from the panj pyare. Again. None have to do with going to/eating at wedding parties.

    (1) Anyone maintaining relations or communion with elements antagonistic to the Panth including the minas (reprobates), the Masands (agents once accredited to local Sikh communities as Guru’s representatives, sine discredited for their faults and aberrations), followers of Dhirmal or Ram Rai, et. al., or users of tobacco or killers of female infants;
    (2) One who eats/drinks left-over of the unbaptized or the fallen Sikhs;
    (3) One who dyes his beard;
    (4) One who gives off son or daughter in matrimony for a price or reward;
    (5) Users of intoxicant (hemp, opium, liquor, narcotics, cocaine, etc.);
    (6) One holding, or being a party to, ceremonies or practices contrary to the Guru’s way;
    (7) One who defaults in the maintenance of Sikh discipline.

    What happens is Point 2, and possibly point 6, are re-interpreted to suit a sectarian agenda.
     
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  10. skeptic.freethinker1

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    Re: Do We Need a Naming Ceremony?

    Thanks for the clarification. Although I don't fully understand the sense behind the below tenant but I understand that this is the way it is.
     
  11. spnadmin

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    Re: Do We Need a Naming Ceremony?

    There would be an historical explanation for it. Just as the usage of "reprobates" and "massands" has historical importance.

    The odds that an amritdhari would eat leftovers from anyone at a party is next to nil. If we think it through with our feet on the ground, there are only positive outcomes. If the party is catered or at a banquet hall, those who prepare the food stake their reputations on freshness and quality; There are laws in US, UK and Canada against serving left-overs. If the party is privately planned and at a home, only the most miserly host would serve left-overs.

    The odds conversely are that everything is going to be clean. Did you ever encounter a dirty Sikh? Not I! Though surely there are some, and an amritdhari who is paying attention can elect to avoid visiting such a home. Or leave for that matter.

    This injunction goes to a different time and I am sure there is an explanation for it. I also anticipate a story or two about a Sikh who served leftovers at a gala occasion. :wink:

    Last point - regarding a "fallen Sikh." Amritdhari are to avoid contact with fallen Sikhs (i.e., who are guilty of the transgressions I just listed above). Therefore, they probably would not knowingly attend a wedding hosted by a "fallen Sikh."
     
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  12. Gyani Jarnail Singh

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    Re: Do We Need a Naming Ceremony?

    This comes on the heels of the Indian religious custom of "devotees" consuming the left over JHOOTH of the "Guru"/Maharishi/Leader/God/Goddess....that is why the "sacrificial offerings" in front of the idols in a Hindu mandir, to Allah (halal meat) etc etc . Such JHOOTH is FORBIDDEN to SIKHS and it doenst matter if the JHOOTH is vegetarian daal chhaval halva ladoos jalebis cholleh, bananas..or goat meat etc etc etc..as long as it is iffered for the BHOG of a diety it is Forbidden.
    Even some SIKHS do this BHOG LAUNNA to Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji...that is why the SRM ardass suggests that the ardass be PARWAAN HOVEH...and NOT BHOG Laggeh (seet parshaad is a nice word for JHOOTH) Mnay So called Sikh SANTS and Babas make it a point to feed their JHOOTH to devotees..

    Thus Amrtidharees may only share their food as there is no danger that any of that food would be sacrificial food simply becasue an amritdharee would never do that (offer sacrificial food to any deity)..BUT a "PATIT" ??? who knows ??
    This is the rationale behind this tenet of the SRM on food sharing. Hope it clarifies.
     
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  13. spnadmin

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    Re: Do We Need a Naming Ceremony?

    Thanks Gyan ji

    I was positive you would have the historical background for us. It all falls into place. :) IMHO it is important once again to stress that the SRM contrasts its provisions, throughout the document, with Hindu and Muslim practices that historically blurred the distinctive Sikh identity, before it was written.
     
  14. Ebucian

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    Re: Do We Need a Naming Ceremony?


    Could it not just be argued that parties as they are nowadays with drinking, tabbacco, girls and boys wearing next to nothing and other typical cultural punjabisms that perhaps, maybe its not the tye of sangat that is ideal for an amritdhari? That perhaps thats why amritdaris dont or should not go to these types of parties. I mean alot is writtin in gurbani about sangat and also in the srm no?
     
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  15. spnadmin

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    Re: Do We Need a Naming Ceremony?

    You could make that argument easily. However, I was addressing the tendency of sects to "create" rehats, not social behaviors. I myself do not attend parties where drinking smoking and half-nakedness prevail. The truth of social habits and what is actually in the SRM are two entirely different things. Amritdharis are indeed free to avoid situations they find morally unacceptable.
     
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  16. Ebucian

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    Re: Do We Need a Naming Ceremony?

    cool
     
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  17. Mai Harinder Kaur

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    One thing not yet mentioned is that in the naming ceremony boys and girls are treated exactly the same, introduced to the sangat in the same way. In general, Punjabi Sikhs are not exactly overjoyed with a girl. This may be the first - and only - time in her life when she is treated as having equal value with a boy.

    (Note: I am referring only to the ceremony itself. The langar provided would, of course, be much more lavish and sweeter for a boy than for a girl.)motherlylove
     
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  18. Serjinder Singh

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    The reason why people are so bothered about naming process is based on the rather superstitious notion that human life is controlled by the configuration of stars in the sky at the time a person is born. In the west this is determined by the sign of the Zodiac like ‘Leo’, ‘Aries’ etc. In India also we have what is known as the ‘Janam Kundali’ or the geometrical diagram that shows the relevant stars or planetary situations at the time of birth.

    Among Hindu astrologers there is another equally superstitious alternative way to determine the sign of the Zodiac relevant to a person that is based on the first letter of his/her name. For instance, if someone’s name begins with ‘s’ then he/she is ‘Leo’ and so on that being the concern to name a child with the appropriate first letter so that the Zodiac sign is favourable.
    Therefore, Sikhs erroneously seem to be seeking Guru ji’s intervention to take Guru ji’s advice for the first letter of the name so that the sign of the Zodiac or the ‘Rashi’ as it is called in India is favourable. So, when we ask Granthi ji to take a Vak from Sri Guru Granth Sahib to determine the first letter of the child’s name we are in fact, superstitiously, confirming our faith not so much in Gurmat but in the unscientific Hindu astrology based on the ‘Rashi’ system or the sign of the Zodiac.

    The second issue pointed out in this thread is the eating of leftovers of others. In Hindu religious culture, one way to display socio-religious hierarchy is who eats whose leftovers. Thus a Hindu worshipper presents food to the deity, or the statue of the deity. After a few moments, when it is considered that the deity has eaten the food, or Bhog Lag Gya, the food is taken away for the devotees to eat (as deity’s leftover), thus establishing the supermacy of the deity vis-à-vis the followers. We as Sikhs also do the same when take the freshly prepared food from the Langar for the Bhog Lagaun ritual or when the Karaah Parasad is done Kirpan Bhet during Ardas assuming Guru ji partook the Parsad or to be specific the ‘Kirpan’ taseted the Parsad.

    This hierarchy is strong among Hindus where the three lower castes eat the leftover of the Brahmins or food prepared by Brahmins or those higher but not other way around.
    So, we as Amritdhari seem to assume that we are of a higher status (read caste) than the non-Amritdharis. Non-Amritdharis can eat food prepared or left over by Amritdharis but not the other way around.

    My personal opinion is that the signs of Zodiac and the influence on life is nothing but mumbo jumbo. As Aman Singh ji suggested, we should name the child as we think appropriate and do an Ardas for a happy and prosperous life of the child in future.
    There is no ideological reason other than the Hindu astrological to seek appropriate first letter to name a child I believe.

    Humbly
    Serjinder Singh
     
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  19. prakash.s.bagga

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    BALJEET SINGH Ji.
    Pl Accept my Divine Greetings
    There is no provision of Celiberation of any ceremony [What so ever be} in SGGS ji.
    Basically cerimonies form a cultural part of any society and we are unable to separate our cultural activities from purely spritual part of SGGS ji.
    In fact all cultural celiberations are rituals onlyand rituals are also part and parcel of our life these can not be separated.
    With best wishes
    Prakash.S.Bagga
     
  20. spnadmin

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    Serjinder ji

    What is your evidence for this statement and others like it?

    This is not in the SRM. It is an AKJ, sectarian rehat
    The "mumbo jumbo" you speak of in relation to astrology is not part of the SRM. Please clarify, as the SRM is clearly opposed to astrology
    Upon reading through the entire SRM it is very evident that its framers took great pains to explain why "Individual Sikh Identity" and "Corporate Sikh Identity" are different from Hindu observance and identity, and need to be so kept distinct. If you do read SRM you will see very clear injunctions against caste, against astrology, and many other Hindu practices. Please do read the document, and clarify your ponts based on the actual wording. Thank you
     
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  21. spnadmin

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    Admin note:


    Warning to anyone who would continue the "mumbo jumbo" line of argument. Characterizing the Sikh Rehat Maryada as "mumbo jumbo" demonstrates disrespect for both Sikh identity, the Sikh faith, and those who choose to abide by its tenets, amritdhari and others. Similar comments will be deleted and the poster will be subject to receiving an infraction, or ban, depending on the number of warnings the poster received on other threads.

    Thanks to all for your cooperation. It is possible to debate issues. Though perhaps more time-consuming.
     
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