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September 3, 2013

100_0987In our culture, the first alphabet of the baby’s name is selected on the basis of moon signs in astrology or from the Holy Book like the Ramayan or Guru Granth Sahibji. However, my family members were not thus named.                                                                           My mother named me Meera after a cousin of mine even though my aunts wanted to give me another name.Coincidently, my cousin’s daughter-in-law also shares our name. The word ‘Meera’ in sanskrit is derived from the word ocean or sea. There was a Rajput princess in the 16th century who was a mystical poetess and a devotee of Lord Krishna. She was thus named because her face shone like the sun.                            My name is very precious for me. I don’t know if it suits me but I used to be teased a lot about it and often the teasing was vicious.                                                                 My husband’s name is Rajesh which means ‘the king of kings’  or ‘ the ultimate God, who is the king of Gods’.                                                                                                We named our daughter ‘Aditi’  who according to the Vedas is the Mother Goddess. My husband is a devotee of Mother Mira Aditi and Sri Aurobindo and if, we had a son, he would be named Arvind, which is another name for Lotus flower.                             Thus, the first alphabets of our names is ‘RAM’, which means pleasing. Lord Ram was the king of Ayodhya and is the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu.                           In India, we name the babies after the names of the Gods so that every time the child is called, we remember Him and also, the child imbibes the qualities of the God. In several regions, the name of the father and the village and so on are also appended.                                                                                                                                              Importance of names can be seen from the fact that in old times, the bride’s name would be changed after marriage so that she would take on a new identity. Nowadays, girls do not change even their surname after marriage instead they append their husband’s surname.                                                                                               All said and done, name is what is given to us but identity is what we create by our actions. Name is just a part of our identity. So I am a mother, a wife and more important I am ME, an amateur artist, a dog lover and so on.


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