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Re: On giving children the name of God

From: usdeiva (
Date: Wed Sep 03 1997 - 19:51:31 PDT

Mani Varadarajan wrote:
> This short post was triggered by a conversation
> with Dileepan yesterday morning.
> One of the things prospective parents put the
> most thought into is what to name their newborn
> baby.  Periyalvar [Andal's father] has some
> strong suggestions of his own, at least when
> it comes to a baby boy. [The analogue for a
> female child naturally follows.]
> This set of ten paasurams comes from periyaazhvaar
> thirumozhi 4.6.x.  Addressing his words openly to
> the people of the world, he dissuades them from
> naming their children after trivialities, for
> the sake of money, a sari, or a handful of this
> and that.  The Alvar probably observed many people
> naming their child after a minor divinity or earthly
> monarch with the hope that the family and child
> would prosper accordingly:
>  kaasum kaRaiyudaik kooRaikkum angOr kaRRaikkum
>  aasaiyinaal angavaththap pEridum aadhar_kaaL!
>  kEsavan pErittu neengaL thEnith thiruminO
>  naayakan naaraNan tham annai narakam pukaaL.
> Name him "Kesava" and rejoice, O people of the world!
> Lord Narayana will never push such a person's mother
> into hell.
> >From a very practical standpoint, I think this is
> Periyalvar's way of establishing a particular connection
> with the Supreme Lord at the very onset of life.  Is
> not naming the child after Him and His the simplest
> and quickest way of beginning the infant's ascent from
> mere mortality to its rightful position as a spark
> of the Divine, of and belonging to the Lord Himself?
> Mani
Dear Mani,

           Many thanks for this posting.   I had acquired a Tamil
booklet on the names to give Muslim children, and I have recently come
by one on the names for Christian children.  

I'd love to compile one of my own, though 'bAlAji' (supposedly
signifying tiru-vEnkaTam-uDaiyAn) would not be in my compilation.  
No body could succeed in establishing that tiru-vEnkaTam-uDaiyAn is 
NOT perumAL, but the puerile and unscholarly snipings continue, despite
the numerous evidences (inter alia of SilappadhikAram, the Tamil post-
sangham classic, from a non-vaishNava author) affirming the Lord only as
vishNu.  The next thing to do, when you are not succeeding, is to
obscure or confuse the issue.   'bAlAji' as a name is the very absurd
gimmick on this issue.  Not a single classical author has taken note of
this 'name' and it is evident that it is not worth researching on its

Best wishes from T.S. Sundara Rajan, @ Memphis.