Birth and Naming of Child (Nam Karan)
Phenomenon of birth is in the hands of Almighty God. Birth
results from mixing of a drop of male semen with egg of the female. Human
birth is a process of around nine months from the date of conception. Procreation
is a continuing process since creation of human beings.
Guru Nanak Dev says,
"This body is made from blood and semen and shall
be consigned to fire".
Bhagat Kabir says,
rkqu ibMdu kw iehu qno AgnI
pwis iprwxu ]
(Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p.63)
"Kabir, difficult to obtain is the human birth.
It comes not again and again, just as the ripe fruit, which falls from
tree to the ground, attaches not again to the branch".
There is no special ceremony at the time of the birth of
a child except that the blessings of God are sought through Ardas. Every
Sikh is required to start any function, project, ceremony or any other
opening in life by performing Ardas.
kbIr mwns jnmu dulµBu
hY hoie n bwrY bwr ]
ijau bn Pl pwky Buie igrih
bhuir n lwgih fwr ]
(Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p.1366)
Ardws ibnw jo kwj isDwvY
Few days after birth, the child is taken to the Gurdwara
for naming. This ceremony is very simple. The family accompanies the child
and mother to the Gurdwara. Karah Parsad is prepared. Ardas is recited.
Vak is taken from Sri Guru Granth Sahib by opening it at random. The first
letter of the continuing Shabad from the top of left page is used as the
first letter of the name of the child. Either the parents announce the
name of the child there and then or announce it after consulting other
members of the family. The name selected by the family is affirmed with
a Jaikara by the congregation as a mark of approval by the Sangat. The
ceremony ends with distribution of Karah Parsad. All the Sikh males must
use the title of Singh and females that of Kaur after their first name.
Start of Naming
goibMd isMG vh is@K n BwvY
(Tankhah Nama Bhai Nand Lal)
"Once a Sikh named Shia was blessed by
God with a son. He took the child to Guru Angad and begged for his blessing.
The Guru recited Japji, sprinkled (holy) water on his eyes, face and head
and selected a letter at random from the Japji to name the child. This
was the start of the Sikh tradition. The Guru said that henceforth Sikhs
would perform all their ceremonies in the Sikh temple......."
Meaning of Names
(The Life, Teachings and Hymns of Guru Angad Dev by S.S.
All the names have special meaning in Sikhism. Parents
choose the best name according to their wish. A child is normally named
in the spirit what the parents want the child to be. Singh means "lion"
and Kaur means "lioness". Tegh Bahadur means, brave swordsman, Amar Singh
means, Eternal Lion, Diljit Kaur means, Heart winning lioness and
The following Shabads are often recited at the time of
*Satgur sachai dia bhej
Guru Arjan Dev says,
*Parmeshar ditta banna
"The Guru has sent the child. The long-lived
child has been born by destiny
Guru Arjan Dev says,
siqgur swcY dIAw Byij ]
icru jIvnu aupijAw sMjoig ]
(Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p.396)
"The Supreme Lord has given me His support and
the abode of distress and disease is demolished".
Birth of a child is blessing of Akal Purakh. To rejoice on
the birth of a son but feel sad or inferior on the birth of a girl is against
principles of Sikh faith.
prmysir idqw bMnw ]
duK rog kw fyrw BMnw ]
(Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p.627)
The surname of Singh and Kaur was bestowed upon the Khalsa
by Guru Gobind Singh on the day of Baisakhi at Sri Kesgarh Sahib (Anandpur
Sahib) in 1699
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