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Naam Karan : The Sikh Naming Ceremony / Naming Rites

Naam Karan : The Sikh Naming Ceremony / Naming Rites

My name is Harinder
‘Har’ means ‘God’. I understand my name in full means ‘he or she of all strengths’. My name is Harchand Singh Grewal. ‘Har’ – name of God; Chand means ‘moon’ and Singh is ‘lion’. This is my niece, Manpreet Kaur. Her name means ‘the love of our hearts and minds’. My name is Aman Chopra and my name meaning is ‘the peace’. It’s a peaceful environment, we can say that. This is my daughter, Pia Kaur, and her name means’ beloved’. My name is Ravinder. ‘Rav’ means ‘son’ and ‘Inder’ means ‘God’, so it’s a ‘Son of God’. My name is Ajmeet Singh. Ajmeet means ‘Today’s Friend’ and Singh means ‘Lion’. It let’s everyone know that I am a Sikh. When I was just 5 days old, my parents brought
me to the Gurdwara, the temple, and I was named in a special ceremony called
‘Naam Karan’, which means ‘name making’. Obviously, I can’t remember it,
so I have come to the Gurdwara to find out exactly what happens. Babies are brought here because it’s the centre of the Sikh community,
and because this is where the Guru Granth Sahib, our Holy Book, is kept. It plays a very important part in the Naming Ceremony. My friend, Harjinder Singh, explains. Whenever you enter the Divan Hall, as we call
it, or the Prayer Hall, if you want to say it
in English, you’ll always see a throne-like contraption
at the end of it. It is a throne and on that throne sits the
Holy Book. When it’s not in use, when it’s not being
read, it’s covered by a wonderful kapra, by a wonderful cloth. We sit on the floor, the Guru sits a bit higher. Can you tell me a bit about the history and the importance of Guru Granth Sahib Ji? The Guru Granth is the most important item in Sikh teachings. The Guru – the teacher; Granth – book, is our Pope, our Bishop, even our King. Whether you are dealing with a name giving ceremony,
as we’re discussing today, or if it is about a death or marriage or what
have you, the central point in the ceremony is always
going to be the Guru Granth. The Granthi, the man who looks after the Granth
– the book in other words, he puts the Guru Granth Sahib on it’s side,
and opens it at random, and then the hymn that you find on the top left hand side of
the page is the hymn that leads that ceremony or that day. This is Pritpal Singh, Gurmeet Kaur and their baby daughter, Ganeev Kaur. Ganeev had a Naam Karan here just a few weeks ago. There’s no set time for the naming ceremony to take place, but it usually happens as soon as possible after the birth. So, what did you do on your daughter’s naming ceremony? In a Sikh household, when a baby is born,
when both the mother and the child, they are healthy enough,
they are good enough to the local Gurdwara,
we just go there to have the Naming Ceremony done. The whole family went to the
Gurdwara to introduce the new baby to the community, and to present
her to the Guru Granth Sahib We all bow to the Book to show our respect and it’s never too early to learn. We offered a rumalla,
a piece of cloth, to the Guru Granth Sahib
– the Sikh Holy Scriptures. The family usually gives a gift.
It might be food for everyone at the Gurdwara to share,
or a donation of money. Pritpal’s family gave a
rumalla, that’s a cloth which is used to wrap up the
Guru Granth Sahib to protect it when it isn’t being read. The Granthi opens the Guru Granth Sahib at random
and the first letter of the first word on the page will be the first letter of the baby’s name. We were blessed with, at this time, ‘Gur poorai kirapaa dhhaaree’,
so the letter was ‘G’, at the end we decided ‘Ganeev’,
which means ‘A Priceless Worth’. The first letter’s Ganeev and
the full name is Ganeev Kaur. Sikhs are also given the
names ‘Singh’ and ‘Kaur’. Sikhism believes in equality. Our tenth Guru gave boys the
name ‘Singh’, which means ‘Lion’ and the girls are named
‘Kaur’, which means ‘Princess’. That will be very important, because then
the people will not get discriminated because of their background or
their class status by the surname. At the end of the ceremony we
were blessed with the Karah Parshad, which is a holy food. Like a small pudding. Very sweet, delicious! The sweet taste is a
reminder of God’s blessings. Everyone is given a piece of
Karah Parshad from the same bowl to show that we’re all equal and
all part of the same community which we call the Sangat [community/ congregation]. And that’s the Naam Karan. Sikh names are special, because they’re chosen with the
help of the Guru Granth Sahib, and our names show that we are
all part of the Sikh community, just like little Ganeev Kaur.

3 comments found

  1. As in US, we have to tell the name of the baby on birth in the hospital to fill forms, we cant wait wait to do Naam-Karan of the baby AFTER its born so we are planning to do the Naming Rites before the baby is born, thanks for the info given, I hope it would be fine to do it before the baby is born as the baby still be with us in the Gurdwara in the womb for the ceremony 🙂 BTW Stunning Gurdwara !!!!!

  2. What a super video! Thank you for uploading it. It is very clear and easy to understand. My class will enjoy watching this. 

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