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Why Do We Need A Naming Ceremony?

a.mother

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Jun 12, 2010
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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

Mai ji, you are right. Some time I feel very proud of my self that for my children (a daughter and a son) I decided for their naming letter from Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji . In that age not knowing that much about sikhism how I did that just God knows. He just blessed us. My both children have name started from the letter which they got from waak and I have never think of any thing else. I have treated both children same way for their names. (proud of that)
 
Mar 10, 2010
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Thanks for all of the help. Ive often been confused with how all of the things in the SRM came about. I understand you are supposed to respect it and that it was written with a lot of care by people who know a lot more abou Sikhi than i do, but that still doesnt account for all of the things that people back up in Sikhi simply by saying it's in the SRM, even though the SRM contains things like the naming ceremony which i believe is essentially a ritual. How are we supposed to deduce teachings from the Guru and ceremonies that have developed over time?

Once again i hope i haven't offended anybody
 

findingmyway

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My understanding of the naming is that it is not a ceremony per se but a way of connecting the Guru Granth Sahib ji from the beginning. If the family has no love for the Sri Guru Granth Sahib JiJ and are doing this for the sake of appearances then it becomes a ritual. However, if the family carry out the naming 'ceremony' as they love the Guru and love to have Sikhi in their lives then it no longer is a ritual.

A lot of what is written in the SRM is based on historical incidences at the time so sometimes we need to go back to fully understand what the message is and how it came about for us to understand and appreciate it. Essentially though, the important thing is retaining a connection with Waheguru.
 

spnadmin

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baljeet ji

I personally do not think of the ceremonies in SRM as "rituals" nor do I consider the SRM a collection of mindless rules. The SRM was, based on historical accounts, an attempt to do exactly what you have said: "deduce" teachings of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and lessons from Sikh history, to apply them as a set of by-laws that define the panth, in the parliamentary sense.

Consider how SRM begins. It begins with the chapter "Who is a Sikh!" It ends with instructions for how to change and resolve matters that are important to the panth, all Sikhs, through the process of "gurmatta." This process has been ignored by the politicos in the past 50 years, and so an entire generation, perhaps 2 generations, have no sense that the SRM contains instructions for gurmatta, which is the embodiment of the democratic process for taking panthic decisions, common after the death of Guru Gobind Singh ji.

I believe it is a brilliant document, even with its sometimes antique contents. And there are indeed ongoing discussions to change it. Eliminating the naming ceremony or kesh is not part of the plan. This is the plan: to remove the part of the definition where a Sikh believes in one God, and the prohibition against tobacco. This proposal has been tabled indefinitely. Clearly it is part of an effort to make Sikhi easy for the saffron samaj, who have always resented the fortitude of a people who will not let go of their identity, and are loyal to it. Make it easy to be a Sikh, so that Sikhism will disappear.

Bylaws, in the parliamentary sense. Why are they different from rules? Bylaws work almost like a constitution. They define an entity. They lay out the laws by which the entity governs itself as an entity. They become the supreme governing authority. Without such a document the organization does not formally exist. In our case the panth would not exist. There is deep history in the evolution of SRM. The panth needed such a document in the 19th and 20th Century to be formally recognized as a panth.
 

Mai Harinder Kaur

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baljeet ji

I

I believe it is a brilliant document, even with its sometimes antique contents. And there are indeed ongoing discussions to change it. Eliminating the naming ceremony or kesh is not part of the plan. This is the plan: to remove the part of the definition where a Sikh believes in one God, and the prohibition against tobacco. This proposal has been tabled indefinitely. Clearly it is part of an effort to make Sikhi easy for the saffron samaj, who have always resented the fortitude of a people who will not let go of their identity, and are loyal to it. Make it easy to be a Sikh, so that Sikhism will disappear.

I had not heard this and it is really alarming! I have been in favour of amending the SRM to remove the vestiges of sexism and clarify the definition of a Sikh (but not to change it). I would like a few changes to make it more Sikh, not less.

IMO, the difference between a meaningful ceremony and a meaningless ritual is the minds of the participants. The two may look exactly the same, but in fact are completely different.
 

spnadmin

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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


:redturban:Soul_JYOT jI,
Not withstanding what SRM says,using GGS to find names for Sikh children is definatelly a rituall
which smacks of Bramanical
and astrological influence and is absolutaly against the prestine spiirit of Sikhism.

Even in his wildest dreams ,Guru Arjan Dev would never have imagined
that,one day, his work of love and devotion,i.e, Guru Granth Sahib, will be
used by Sikhs, in a supersiticious way, to find names for their children.swordfight
 

spnadmin

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Re: Do We Need a Naming Ceremony?

Why is it a ritual and why is it superstitious? Please tell us how you make those inferences and how you define ritual and superstition.
 

spnadmin

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Re: Do We Need a Naming Ceremony?

Need for a warning on this thread also.

Sangat ji

I have already put 2 other members on notice that references to SRM as mumbo jumbo or similar perjorative terms are violations of TOS, and will be dealt with accordingly. This is a warning for this thread.

 
Oct 11, 2006
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Re: Do We Need a Naming Ceremony?

Why is it a ritual and why is it superstitious? Please tell us how you make those inferences and how you define ritual and superstition.
To a lay person like me who in no scholar or a philosopher----
A belief without any scienctific proof or basis,i.g. Soul_jyot ji believes that every name has a "hidden energy", which is based more on astrological influence than logic, is superstition.
Doing what everybody else is doing without using your own reasoning and logic is ritual.
This is how a simple farmer like me can best explain it
 

findingmyway

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Re: Do We Need a Naming Ceremony?

To a lay person like me who in no scholar or a philosopher----
A belief without any scienctific proof or basis,i.g. Soul_jyot ji believes that every name has a "hidden energy", which is based more on astrological influence than logic, is superstition.
Doing what everybody else is doing without using your own reasoning and logic is ritual.
This is how a simple farmer like me can best explain it

The discussion should centre around the SRM and not a single member's views. The SRM and the Guru Granth Sahib do not make this claim so using that excuse is not acceptable. As stated several times on this thread, the naming ceremony is a way of connecting the to Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Please see my post above. The SRM does not go beyond that and does not advocate mindless ritualism so how is this reasoning anti gurmat? I am also not a scholar or philosopher but spend my time trying to understand my Guru. Once you understand the Guru, the SRM makes much more sense. Not once does the SRM endorse astrology or astrology related practices. Everyone has their won reasoning for doing things and that is why the SRM was formulated-to encourage that reasoning to be grounded in the teachings of the Guru Granth Sahib Ji.
 

spnadmin

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Re: Do We Need a Naming Ceremony?

To a lay person like me who in no scholar or a philosopher----
A belief without any scienctific proof or basis,i.g. Soul_jyot ji believes that every name has a "hidden energy", which is based more on astrological influence than logic, is superstition.
Doing what everybody else is doing without using your own reasoning and logic is ritual.
This is how a simple farmer like me can best explain it

jasbirkaleka ji

From that a bright mind like yours can reason. You are too humble in calling yourself a "simple" farmer.

Definition for Ritual: A ritual is a set of actions, performed mainly for their symbolic value. It may be prescribed by a religion or by the traditions of a community. The term usually excludes actions which are arbitrarily chosen by the performers, or dictated purely by logic, chance, necessity, etc.


Definition for Superstition: an irrational belief arising from ignorance or fear

Thus the matter hinges on whether the naming ceremony has no logic or necessity. Is it performed mainly for symbolic value? Do the performers choose their own actions at any time? Or is it prescribed by a religion? Or by traditions of a community? Is there any fear involved? What belief are we talking about here. Are you saying that the naming ceremony has no logic, is performed mainly for symbolic value, and the participants have no choice in their actions, or that fear is involved in some way?
 

Ambarsaria

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I have cut and pasted below excerpt of the English translation of Sikh Rehat Maryada from the SGPS site and the following URL,

http://www.sgpc.net/rehat_maryada/section_four_chap_eleven.html

_______________________________________________________________
Ceremonies pertaining to Birth and Naming of Child

[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Article XVII[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif] a. In a Sikh's household, as soon after the birth of a child as the mother becomes capable of moving about and taking bath (irrespective of the number of days which that takes), the family and relatives should go to a Gurdwara with Karhah Prashad (sacred pudding) or get Karhah Prashad made in the Gurdwara and recite in the holy presence of the Guru Granth Sahib such hymns as "Parmeshar dita bana" {Sorath M. 5} The [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Almighty Lord has granted support. [Sorath M. 5, Guru Granth Sahib P. 628]), "Satguru sache dia bhej" {Asa M. 5} (The true Lord has sent this gift. [Asa M. 5, Guru Granth Sahib P. 396]) that are expressive of joy and thankfulness. Thereafter if a reading of the holy Guru Granth Sahib had been taken up, that should be concluded. Then the holy Hukam (command) should be taken. A name starting with the first letter of the Shabad of the Hukam (command) should he proposed by the Granthi (man in attendance of Guru Granth Sahib) and, after its acceptance by the congregation, the name should be announced by him. The boy's name must have the suffix "Singh" and the girl's, the suffix "Kaur".
After that the Anand Sahib (short version comprising six stanzas) should be recited and the Ardas in appropriate terms expressing joy over the naming ceremony be offered and the Karhah Prashad distributed.
b. The superstition as to the pollution of food and water in consequence of birth (There is a wide-spread belief among certain sections of Indian people that a birth in a household causes pollution (sutak) which is removed by the thorough bathing of the mother, the baby and persons attending on her as also by a thorough cleaning of the house, the utensils and the clothes, after prescribed periods of ten, twenty one and forty days.) must not be subscribed to, for the holy writ is : "The birth and death are by His ordinance; coming and going is by His will. All food and water are, in principle, clean, for these life-sustaining substances are provided by Him."
c. Making shirts or frocks for children out of the Holy Book's draperies is a sacrilege.
__________________________________________________________________________________

I have highlighted some parts above to provide my comments as I read these.

I believe it is very specific and as I read it the essence that comes to mind is the following,
[/FONT]
  • In the presence of congregation and panthic setting the parents and the child are present and sharing there spiritual feelings,

  • [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Almighty Lord has granted support.[/FONT]
  • [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The true Lord has sent this gift.[/FONT]
    • [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]that are expressive of joy and thankfulness.[/FONT]
  • Even though we do not have baptization of such younger children, the seeds are sown for their long preparation towards a full and complete life to follow in accordance with Sikh Rehat Maryada when they get older and are baptized and become Amritdhari saint-soldiers per the path through baptization set by Guru Gobind Singh ji's
    • [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The boy's name must have the suffix "Singh" and the girl's, the suffix "Kaur".[/FONT]

  • Another critical part of the important but simple naming ceremony is to eliminate the growth, birth or continuation of vehams/bharams like as in the following,

  • [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The superstition as to the pollution of food and water[/FONT]

  • [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Making shirts or frocks for children out of the Holy Book's draperies is a sacrilege.[/FONT]
I believe the naming ceremony has great logic and necessity as it is an important juncture for the parents, the sikh panth and the child as it is like planting a new tree sapling in the greater sikh bagh. The elder trees will provide protection for the new one from the elements as the new sapling grows and replaces the older trees in due time.

Just my thoughts.

Sat Sri Akal
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif] [/FONT]​
 
Sep 21, 2010
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spnadmin ji
Sat Sri Akal
1.“What is your evidence for this statement and others like it?

I am an amritdhari for the past 60 years and try to follow SRM as far as possible and have deep faith in Guru Granth Sahib ji. Our family has been fortunate historically having been blessed by the personal visits of Mahapurkhs like Sant Attar Singh ji Mastuane wale, (my mother was baptised by Sant ji), Sant Ishar Singh ji Rare wale (since childhood I attended their Divans and had close company as youngman), Sant Waryam Singh ji Ratwara Sahib (my mother’s real brother), and Bhai Sahib Bhai Randhir Singh ji. I was just trying to figure out why only the first letter of the future name the child is sought from Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji and not the entire name or some other naming procedure. The only explanation I could think of was the huge importance of the first letter of a name in Hindu astrology because the first letter determines the ‘Rashi’ or Nakshatar of the person and hence the life under the supposed influence of that Rashi or Nakshatar. I must emphasise that obviously I have no faith in astrology or similar occult practices. The pharase ‘Mumbo Jumbo’ I used in my post was for this astrological practice among Hindus and for nothing else. The following link for getting someone’s horoscope may be helpful:
http://itzhoroscope.astrosage.com/2008/09/hindu-baby-names-table-for-rashi-and.html

2. I agree with you that the practice of not eating food from or prepared by non-Amritdharis is or has been the practice of some sections of AKJ.

3. The pharase ‘Mumbo Jumbo’ as explained above is for the astrological Hindu or Vedic practices that have nothing to with Sikh life and are not part of the SRM. I completely agree with you.

Humbly
Serjinder Singh
 

spnadmin

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Serjinder ji

I really appreciate the time and thought you put into your reply. I feel I know you better as a person and as a fellow journeyman on this path to awareness.

Now it is much more clear. Yes... I can see your point about the possible invasion of astrology into the selection of a name. I do not know how it would work in sangats who are inspired by the teachings of Sant Ishar Singh ji. It is true that naming in Sikh Dharma (often called 3HO) takes both birth date and numerology into consideration in selecting a name. For those who follow SRM things are much less weighed down by ancient tradition. The first letter of the first word of the hukam gives the starting place only. For example, if the first word is "Hukam" then the name given will start with "H" but the family and friends are given some time to decide, Should the baby be named Hukam, or Harvinder, or Harjas, etc. ? When I stand back and think of how this works there is a wonderful blend of human and divine. Satguruji gives the starting point, and people pick the name.
 
Aug 28, 2010
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SPNADMIN,

I fully appreciate your point of view in selecting the first letter from SGGS ji in naming of child.This way we get rid of so many BHARAMs of life as the events of life are being guided by THE DIVINE WORD of SATi GURU Ji.This is the first step towards accepting THE HUKUMu.
Therefore we must understand the significance of the guidance of GURBAANI in our life.
I believe one can lead wonderful life.

Prakash.s>Bagga
 
Mar 10, 2010
16
25
I do not believe that the entire SRM is made up of a load of mindless rules or anything else along those lines. I have always seen Sikhi as a very personal 'religion' and when it comes down to things like naming "ceremonies", euthansasia and all of those other topics, you should be able to make your own decisions. A Sikh should keep an open mind and try to come to an informed decision, with the help of the community. The SRM just seems to come about as slightly restrictive, and I can't come to terms with how people, normal Sikhs like everybody else, can have the authority to pass 'laws' on things like how to name your child, I don't see the point to be honest. I understand the power of the Akal Takht on temporal issues but I don't think the name of your child comes under that. But at the end of the day I'm 16, and this is simply the opinion of a teenager, I have got a lot more of my life to live and even more to understand.

Once again, thanks for all the help everyone's been providing.
 

Randip 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 Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, even that should be sufficient in my prespective. Infact i did the same with my kid. We liked a name from Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji 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!


Exactly what we did!!

We wanted names for our children with a Sikh historical signifance!!
 

Ambarsaria

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Re: Do We Need a Naming Ceremony?

Exactly what we did!!

We wanted names for our children with a Sikh historical signifance!!

To me the intent at times is more important than specified or action.

Your and Aman Singh's actions are laudible. However any true to the letter of the SRM interpretations could be of issue,

[SIZE=-1]s. Thereafter, the Sikh sitting in attendance of the Guru Granth Sahib should take the Hukam. If anyone from amongst those who have received the ambrosial baptism had not earlier been named in accordance with the Sikh Naming Ceremony, he should renounce his previous name and be given a new name beginning with first letter of the Hukam now taken.[/SIZE] (Reference below)

http://www.sgpc.net/rehat_maryada/section_six.html

I believe time may be coming when we need to give Sikh Rehat Maryada a test of time. As I read there appears to be a lot of flexibility of good thoughts to interpret elements.

However if someone wants to test everyone literally against the Sikh Rehat Maryada, I believe the list of fully compliant sikhs will be very small.

For example: [SIZE=-1]

[/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]You must not associate with a Sikh who had uncut hair earlier and has cut it or a Sikh who smokes.[/SIZE]

Ref: http://www.sgpc.net/rehat_maryada/section_six.html

In the above if the word associate literally means "any of talk to, communicate with, marriage into, eat food offered by, etc.", I know of no such sikh.

Sat Sri Akal.
 
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