Today no one asks what is in a name or why not any name, while naming one's child.
Lot of thinking goes into finding a name for the child.
Concepts such as energy and vibration of the name
and what the name conveys are given due consideration while choosing the name.
Sanatanic system of thought also followed certain concepts
while deciding the name for the new-born.
'Nama-karma' – naming the child –
is one of the main samskaras to be done by the parents,
irrespective of the varna or caste to which they belong.
And this naming was guided by certain rules.
The child must be given 3 names.
They are 'maasa naama' – name based on the month of birth,
'Nakshathra naama' – name based on the birth star and
'vyavahaara naama' – name for daily usage.
The sankalpa manthra for the naming ceremony as told in Dharma Sindhu is
"mama kumarasya aayushyabhi vrudhyartham,
sabha sthala sat-purushE madhyE, naama prakatana siddhyartham,
maasa naamna, nakshathra naamna, vyavahara naamaacha
(For the sake of longevity of my child, let me announce in the midst of this group of great persons, the month-name, star-name and usage name of my child.)
This format has been in vogue for all these years till, say,
a couple of generations ago, in many families.
This format was followed for some important reasons.
The most important name is the naama nakshathra.
Jyothisha which is considered as the eye of the Veda Purusha says
that the star in which a person is born rules the mind and thoughts of the person.
The birth star is no accident of life!
A person is destined to born at a specific time in the specific star
so that his life's journey is fulfilled as planned by Kaala purusha.
Every star has some vibration that tallies with a specific akshara (letters)
Akshara is that which never declines or decays or dies.
It stays on.
Rig Jyothisha of Lagadha indicates stars by specific aksharas.
For instance Ashwini is known as 'jou' in Rig jyothisha.
If it is said 'dra', it indicates Arudra.
'Gaha' for Poorva phalguni,
'hi' for poorva bhadrapada,
'shya' for pushya,
'haa' for hastha,
'je' for jyeshta,
'shta' for dhanishta,
'moo' for moola,
'nye' for bharaNi,
'kru' for Kritthika.
'ro' for rohini,
'dha' for Anuradha and so on.
These aksharas carry the entire tattawa or vibration of the star.
A person born in a star is said to possess this tattwa or vibration.
As such, a group of aksharas is indicated for each star.
A person born in a star is supposed to get his name beginning with that akshara!
This concept of Naama nakshathra had been in vogue from time immemorial.
Just by knowing one's name, an intelligent person will be able to say what his nature is, by linking the first letter of his name to the star it denotes.
This was very useful at many places.
All of us have to interact with each other and
it would be useful if we can know the nature of the other person just by his name.
Naama nakshathra is useful in everything in mundane life,
from deciding the house or plot you want to buy for occupation
to deciding your fortunes at any given moment (through prashna sastra).
Nama naskhathra was also used in poetry in olden Tamil texts,
wherein the name of the person or king or God praised in the song
is cleverly indicated in the very first word of the first verse.
In this way we can find out the god indicated by
Thiruvalluvar in Thirukkural as Sri Rama. (*)
The month name is also necessary for ascertaining the nature of events in one's life.
If the star is about the moon's position at the time of birth,
the month indicates sun's position at the time of birth.
The sun and the moon are regarded as the breath (swaasam) of a person.
They represent the two naadis of the breath,
the surya nadi (in the right nostril) and chandra naadi (in the left nostril).
The text 'Shiva swarodhayam' details this.
The mastery over these two are supposed to make one the Seer of
past, present and future.
This mastery is regarded as one among the 64 arts.
These two naadis of the sun and the moon decide the longevity of the person.
When one of them malfunctions, diseases occur.
If the malfunction prolongs, death occurs.
In this way, the sun and the moon
or in other words, the month and the star in which a person is born
become indicative of his / her life and longevity.
The third name is of course, the general name by which a person is called.
But for all practical purposes, the star name is necessary.
Some tips from rishis:-
Ashvalayana:- The surname of a brahmin is Sharma,
that of kshathriya
The vaishya has Gupta and
the fourth caste has Dasa as its
Manu:- Girls should be given names that are easily pronounced and are
not harsh sounding. The name should have clear meaning, should be
attractive and auspicious. The names should end in Aa (long aa) or
(˜ or Ÿ ) and should signify blessedness. The boys should have
names with even number of letters - e.g. Rama, shiva [izv] . Girls
should have names with odd number of letters- e.g. Yashod˜, Bhav˜nŸ.
(*) The God indicated by Thiruvalluvar.
We come across norms in Choodamani nigandu, given as sutras
and if we apply these rules to Thirukkural,
we come to know that
Thiruvalluvar indeed had followed these ancient norms
and had indicated his Lord, his Ishta devatha as Rama!!
One will be surprised to know that these norms were in tandem
with certain rules of astrology, meant for longevity and greatness!
In 12-31 ("I-vagai sthaanam for seyyuL") of Choodamani nigandu is like this.
This is about the sthanas.
A person is said to undergo 5 stages of life, such as
Vriddha (old age) and
These are known as 5 sthaanas.
In astrology, each house / rasi (constellation) is divided
into these 5 sthanas also known as avasthas
and predictions depend on the position of a planet in the sthana
Even is a planet is exalted, if it is placed on, say, marana sthana / avastha
(the degrees indicating death), the planet can not bestow the results of its exaltation.
That planet is as good as dead.
That is the implication and interpretation.
Therefore this sthana-bala was given prime importance by ancients,
even in poetry.
Their rule of poetry is that the lord / god of the Poet
must be indicated in the first verse.
But that indication must happen in the favorable sthaana or position.
Of the 5 sthaanas, the first 3 are about growth, a period of happiness.
So the norm was that the name of the Lord must be indicated in the first 3 sthanas.
If indicated in the last 2 sthanas (of old age and death)
the poet's work would not stand long in spreading the name of his lord.
The Sutra in Choodamani nigandu says
that the poet must indicate the first letter of his lord
in the first 3 letters of the first verse of the poem.
But it must be given as the shortened one, if the letter has deergha swara.
That is if the letter is 'nedil', its complimentary 'kuril' must be used.
"baalanE kumaran mannan padu muthir kizhavan saavu
kOlundhan pEr ezhutthu kuritthadu mudalaaga-k-koLga
yElu mun ezhutthu moondrum inbham pin-irandum theedhaam
saalu moovagai seer thane saatriya kavidahikki inbham."
(bala, kumara, mannan (king), old man and death.
Fix the first letter of your lord as a shortened swara (kuril- ezhutthu) in these.
The first 3 are good. The last 2 are bad.
Fixing the letter in the first 3 is a happy beginning for the poem)
Applying this to the first verse of Thirukkural,
Agara mudhala –
we have to look into
'agara' only, that has three letters, a, ga, ra.
All these are 'kuril' only.
The Lord of Thiruvalluvar must begin with any of these 3 only
and that letter could also be 'aa', 'gaa' and 'raa',
reduced into 'kuril'.
Now the next rule is given in 12-102 of Choodamanu nigandu
as "seyyuLukkuriya nakshathram". (the star of the poem)
"thanadu naaLil pinnaLum saarnthiru naalum aarum
vinaviya ettu vonbaanum viruttham vondrillai thanaaL
iNaiya moondrudan aindhaa naaL yEzhaa naaL ivai porundhaa
ninaiyum im-moondru vonbhan yErpadu moondru vattam".
As per this rule, the poet must indicate the letters of those stars
which are 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th and 9th from the birth star of the lord
counted in 3 rounds of 9 stars for all the 27 stars.
The 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7 th stars from the birth star of the lord are not advised.
This means the poet must begin the poem with the letter that are indicated for the stars
that are 2 nd, 4th, 6th, 8th and 9th from the birth star of the Lord.
In Vedanga Jyothisha, each star is assigned some letters
which one can refer from the almanacs.
The poem must start with the letter of those stars that are 2nd, 4th, 6th , 8th or 9th from the
birth star of the Lord, counted in groups of 3 covering all 27 stars.
The Kural begins with 'a'.
"a" is the letter for the star krittika.
If we look at probable stars that come in that order mentioned above,
we get Punarpoosam (punarvasu) as the star of the Lord.
Krittika is the 6th star from Punarvasu in the 3rd round of 9 stars.
Punarvasu is the birth star of Sri Rama.
The 'ra' in agara is the 3rd letter which is the kuril of 'raa' of Rama.
This is place at "maanan" sthaana as per the Sutra of Nigandu.
This also stands for Youvana – youth immortalized in verses.
This means the poetic work as well as the Lord of the poet
will live for ever.
The second rule is to start the poem with letter of the star of Rama's star group.
It is done.
The poem starts with 'a', the star of krittika
which is 6th in the 3rd round from Punarvasu.
Thiruvalluvar has followed this ancient rule of poetry writing
and has succinctly indicated his Ishta devata as Rama.
Needless to say
he went on to incorporate the Brahma-tattva
in the very first verse itself
in akkaraantha Brahman and Bhagavan.
The only other god that he has mentioned in his work
is Lord Vamana (in Madiyinmai adhikaram)