What’s in a Name?

This is tangentially related to yoga so I thought I’d blog about it: Here’s how we came up with Diya’s name. Raashi is the use of hindu astrology to determine an ‘auspicious’ name for a new child – the idea being that a certain sound will resonate or be more agreeable with people based on when they were born (and here, don’t ask me how a C-section or an induced birth changes this because I don’t know); That date and time determines the first letter of the name.

We didn’t use raashi for our first child as I was adamant on the name Dhara (roughly translatable from sanskrit as ‘river’s flow’, ‘waves’ or ‘current’). Still, we settled on Sonali (meaning: ‘of gold’) as her middle name based on raashi since my mother-in-law insisted.

This time we decided that we would use raashi (I’ve mellowed and I’m less of a skeptic regarding such matters – besides what difference does it make if you can still come up with a fine name?). Once Diya was born, we phoned our family ‘guruji’ with the exact time. He advised that the name should begin with ‘D’ or ‘Ch’. We immediately settled on two potential names, both
beginning with ‘D’ – Drishti and Diya. Neera was keener on Diya and I liked both but slightly preferred Drishti (as a tribute to the practice that ever continues to make me). We ‘tried out’ the names with friends and family and a clear consensus preferred Diya. So we settled on that.

Interestingly, several have come back to us say that Drishti has grown on them and that they now prefer it – including my wife Neera! But I’m having none of it. The dye is cast and Diya’s her name. To me she’s luminiscent so it fits; her name is a hindi word for ‘light’ or ‘lamp’ – in particular the one that’s lit for puja).

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