What is Nwaran?
A ritualistic ceremony, the process for naming a newborn infant. That is a process called Nwaran. In the astrological practice of Hinduism, the lunar mansion of one out of 28 sectors along the ecliptic is called the Nakshatra. The time of birth points out the Nakshatra, which is analyzed by an Astrologer to determine the first letter of the child, after which the parents can choose a name of their choice during this process of Nwaran.
According to Astrology, the traits and the characters are actually based upon the birth name. It remains for life and all the happenings throughout the period of it. We have to admit that some might be an embarrassing reveal. That can be due to the trend of choosing them as it came right of their head when they were in a state of excitement and hurry. Now, they are worthy to be called as a name as the parents have started to get creative with the name for their child.
The modern era is a busy period for the modern people. It is hectic and somewhat unmanageable for the normal office-time workers. It has hit as an impact on the ritualistic celebrations too. So the way of keeping the name has been found to be practiced in short and basic ways. Let’s just say that people who do it with complete ritualistic process and the ones who manage with just the essential process have been divided. And it can be worked out in both ways.
Why Naming Ceremony – Nwaran is Important?
As mentioned above, finding the right name of the newborn requires the birth time, Nakshatra that the child was born in, and it will be enough information for the Astrologer to determine the letter.
The time of the birth is usually given by the Hospital where the child is born. This will point out the Nakshatra of that time.
Our calling name can be different and totally out of sync with the name given Nwaran, and it wouldn’t make a difference as long as the Birth name is remembered. It can be a stepping stone for understanding the Rashi (Horoscope) and fortune reading activities of an individual.
Complete Step-by-step Process of Nwaran
How long can you stay still in one place without having to deviate yourself from the concentration of doing the puja? Probably not for long. Humans in this era seem to be tensed, agitated, and with a lot of piled-up things left to complete. So, here is a descriptive way that you can cope with and manage accordingly.
1. The hack:
Call a Guru (or your near relative who knows a Guru) and inform him about the birth. He will find a suitable name and you can name the child with the shortest process explained below. This is the hack for the Nwaran.
2. Shortest Process of Nwaran
You first collect the name and Rashi, after that, you get a Peepal tree leaf and write down the information about the child and swoop it down the pillow of the child. It is usually done on the sixth day after the birth. Remember we are to write the Nakshatra, time of the birth, and our custom has it to include a pen and a copy under it too.
On the 11th day, It is taken out and the leaf is placed on a new copper plate filled with rice and covered with another plain Peepal leaf. A Janai (Sacred thread of Hindu) and a Supadi (Betel nut) are placed on top of it.
A simple praying for the prosperity of the child is followed. You can simply use puja materials like flowers and Akshyata. Then the father can whisper the name three times into the child’s ear. And you’re done. You just did the simple Nwaran of your child.
Introduction to the Shorter Process:
Here, the process is simply lengthened for the inclusion of the deities worshipped in any puja. Dip (The fire God), Kalash (The rivers and sea Gods), and Ganesh (A prime Hindu Deity). Normally, a pandit guru visits your home for this ritual and you simply lay back and relax helping him manage until the puja starts. But if you are unable to meet one along the way, then the way of doing it in basic form simply on your own is explained.
Simple enough to pray and deal on your own. But still, you should follow the basic principles included in the puja. There is a list of required things at the end of the article that you’ll need to go through. Here is the description of how you’ll be using them. Let’s dive into it.
The summary steps of this process:
- Preparation of Yagya
A place, clean and suitable to stay is selected and rinsed with Panchagavya. It is a pure mixture of Cow urine, Bermuda grass(Durva), Halfa grass (Kus) purifies with Gratri Mantra chantation. After the purity, the site is layered by cow dung. All the members of the family are given the Panchagavya to cleanse before the puja.
This cleansing process is also done throughout the house by sprinkling Panchagavya. It is said that the 11 days Sutak period of impurity for the members of the family and relatives is also purified with this key process. The Sutak period has its importance for the benefit of low immuned mother and infant to gain it back with these resting days.
Cow urine and dung used for making the yagya clean and fit, are considered pure as the cow is the mother where all 33 Koti gods(understood as supreme gods) reside in different parts of her with Lord Vishnu residing in her vital excretory organs.
2. Setting the Yagya with Rekhi for the placement of Gods
If you are artistic enough, you can create a mapping(Rekhi), to place the gods upon it. If not, no pressure. You can just create an altar space with these flowery designs.
Taking a handful of Mustard seeds(Sarsyu) and Pop-Paddy(Lava) spray it around the Yagya. It is offered as an offering to Kshetrapal, who guards the area specified from Bhoot-Prets(the other realm beings) to stay outside the Yagya.
3. Starting the Process
First, Tapara with Chamal is placed along the Mapping created in the Yagya. Each one of it represents a god in it. The Purna Kalash is placed on the East side along with next Tapara with Diyo in it. A representation of Ganesh on a Coconut wrapped with red cloths is placed towards the Northeast.
Prepare a collection of pieces of Halfa grass(Kus) and water in a Karmapatra and pray to the gods of water with flowers, Jau, til, and Akshyata. Here we create a pure water suitable to be offered to the gods.
Gaudan, meaning the way of doing the puja of the cow without the presence of a cow, is prepared. So, taking some money in representation of a Cow, Kus and water from the Karmapatra, place it in a leaf plate(Duna), and worship it remembering cow. Here you utter the ‘Sankalpa’, that you are doing a puja for the Nwaran ritual. The Gai dan is believed to be a way of gaining Karma too.
Ignite the light in the Diyo, placed on the Tapara. Spray pure water around and place a Kus from Karmapatra on it. The lord of the fire has been called. This ignites the place to a warm aura and the light where the gods are to be found.
An Argha is prepared in an Argha Patra or a Duna, consisting of a Banana with curd, water, Sarsyu, Dubo, Barley(Juu), Sesame(Til), Flowers and Akshyata as an offering to Sun and placing it on the Yagya. This Argha is offered in drops or with flowers dipped in it to each gods respectively.
Panchamrit consisting of 5 different elements like Cow Milk, Curd, Ghee, Sugar/Jaggery, and Honey is prepared and placed alongside the Argha. Panchamrit is an Elixir potion that is fovoured by the gods who remain immortal and powerful due to it.
Sankha Argha with water inside the Conch Shell can also be prepared if the Conch shell is available. The water inside the Shell is considered holy, nutritious, and powerful element.
Getting into the Core process of worshipping the Deities
1. Diyo Puja
Take some flowers and Akshyata and pray to the God of Fire (Agni) with a simple chanting of the mantra, ”Om Dip Narayanaya Namah!”
Put the elements like Chandan, Abhir, Akshyata, Naived, Jau, Til, Fruits, Argha, Panchamrit and flowers with the mantra after each element.
2. Kalash Puja
First, the ground base is worshiped with Flowers and Akshyata as ‘Bhumi’ upon which the Tapara consisting of Chamal or Dhan and on it the Purna Kalash stands. Secondly, the Dhan is worshipped for the prosperity that it provides through the Kalash.
And lastly, the Kalash filled with water is worshiped with Flowers and Akshyata with the mantra, “Om Kalasaya Namah!” The mantra used will purity the water due to the good vibrations formed with it.
Panchapallab(Collection of 5 leaves), Sarva Ausadhi, Sapta Matrika, Pancha Ratna are placed inside the Kalash. All the elements like Chandan, Abhir, Akshyata, Naived, Jau, Til, Fruits, Argha, Panchamrit and flowers are placed inside with the mantra after each element.
Varun puja(For the god of the Seas) and Tirtha puja (the river Gods) are done in the same way inside the Kalash. This calls the deities of water who will reside inside and constitute the water as a powerful form.
With the same mantra flowers and Akshayta is placed inside the Kalash as a concluding offering for Kalash Puja.
3. Ganesh Puja
Ganesh, placed before hand in the form of Coconut wrapped with a red cloth is offered flowers and Akshyata. Red is believed to be the favourite color of Ganesh and it helps us prosper and gain blessings from the lord. Lord Ganesh is the supreme deity of prosperity, so it is believed that making him happy with devotion and humble offerings will surely help one prosper and cut through the hard times.
Keep a Janai, the sacred thread and Betel nut(Supadi), which we offer to clear our ego and pray with a clean heart, as it symbolizes the tough nut ego that a human can have. Take some flowers, red Akshyata and a red fruit to pray with Ganesh mantra. You can simply chant, “Om Ganeshaya Namah!” or the Ganesh praying mantra to get more out of it:
वक्रतुण्ड महाकाय सूर्यकोटि समप्रभ
निर्विघ्नं कुरु मे देव सर्वकार्येषु सर्वदा
वक्रतुण्ड महाकाय सूर्यकोटि समप्रभ
निर्विघ्नं कुरु मे देव सर्वकार्येषु सर्वदा
Put the elements like Chandan, Abhir, Akshyata, Naivedya, Barley, Sesame, Fruits, Argha, Panchamrit, 21 blades of Bermuda grass(Dubo), and red flowers with the mantra after each element. All the favoured things of Ganesh like Laddus, round and red fruits, red flowers, and 21 blades of dubo are all considered to be beneficial and favorite things of Lord Ganesh.
4. Agni Puja
In this short process, Agni hawan puja is not compulsory. But if you can manage, then it’s for the best. Agni puja with a short hawan is recommended for a major ceremony like Nwaran as per hindu beliefs. Agni(The fire god) is the deity of power and is the beginner and the end. So worshiping Fire will also bring us the power to sustain.
For Agni hawan, a small mud bowl known as Dhupouro can be used. Since we wont be going on a long hawan on ourself, a small sized will be suitable for housemade agni puja. Igniting the fire with some woods that can sustain the fire for some period of time. You can even use an old utensil that can resist the fire.
Light a small fire and worship the four directions, as the fire is surrounded by different other gods in these directions.
For hawan, we have to prepare a mixture of Charu with the elements like Sesame(Til), Barley(Jau), Rice grains(Chamal), Camphor(Kapur) mixed in with ghee with any hawan materials of fragrance.
The Charu is offered to the fire in the name of Agni god’s wife, Swaha. We can offer it in the name of 33 supreme gods if we know about them. But we can simply offer the Charu into Agni with the mantra chant ,” Om Namo Bhagvate Vasudevaya Swaha!”
This mantra devotes us to lord Vishnu and Krishna and in the context of any positive vibe work, It is considered pure and prosperous as these deities are always blessing their devotees.
This is the simple step that we followed up above in the shortest process. The process of naming the child can be done parallelly with Hawan. As the Hawan is progressing, the child will be given the nwaran name. And on the completion of Hawan, the child will be ready for the conclusion of the naming ceremony.
Conclusion of the ceremony
As three is connected to Shiva as a divine number, the child is taken around the smoke of the hawan three times to ward off any negative impacts and vibrations. Mother gives the Argha offering to the sun upon a Cow dung(Gobar) Mandal. This same mandal is imprinted with the footsteps of the child in a way of connecting the being to the mother earth through a pure substance.
Kshetrapal offering puja with some turmeric, rice grains, black cloth, and an ignited Diyo is shown to the child, mother, and other family members and is taken outside to ward off the evil spirits.
Meanwhile, a Tapara full of Rice with Janai, Betelnut, and fruit is prepared for Purna Patra. This is for the completion of the ritual which is offered for the gods in a completely full vessel of rice.
At last for the ending of the ceremony, all the gods present are remembered taking some flowers and Akshyata and offered to Diyo, Kalash, Ganesh, and Agni in remembrance of all the gods for the ritual ending. It is the process of thanking for the presence and the blessings that the gods can give us due to this puja.
After the ritual
After the Nwaran ritual, the child is given a suited name. The 11 days of Sutak impurity has been passed. The child is given new clothes to wear. Black thread is tied on the child’s ankle and hands to ward off the evil beings. Then the blessings from the sun is to be taken as the child has not been directly exposed to the sun. This can be for the absorption of energy given by the sun.
How Much Do Nwaran Cost?
While doing this ceremony of Nwaran, an approximation on the cost and the total amount required is hard to place. But in average, we can say that with around 10,000 Nepali Rupees you can arrange the required things for the puja ceremony. Different place can charge you different amont rate for the things. So it’s under your inspection and understanding to choose from where you’ll buy them.
How Much Dakshina Should You Give To Brahmin For Nwaran?
A Dakshina amount for Brahman is to be given in definitive way that is suitable for the role of a Brahman. As most Pandit guru will not ask for the amount with a fixed rate, it is upon your humane understanding of respect to allocate the Dakshina amount.
How Long Does It Take For Nwaran?
The time that may take during this puja also varies according to different customs. Usually in normal context it takes from 3-4 hours if done smoothly and without haste.
In a shorter way it might take about 1 hour for the naming process to conclude.
And for the shortest process that you can choose to your own comfort, it’s as fast as you can arrange the things around you. Maybe less than 10 minutes, if you want it to be.
What Are The Things To Be Collected For Nwaran?
- Abir (Vermillion)
- Saffron (Kesar)
- Black sesame (kalo Teel)
- Barley (jau)
- Halfa grass (kus)
- flowers (red, white, yellow, etc.)
- Bilva leaf (Bel Patra)
- Incense sticks (dhup batti)
- Fruits (of different shapes and color)
- Naivedya (cooked food)
- Red, White and Yellow cloth
- Janai (sacred thread)
- Betel nut (supari)
- Camphor (Kapur)
- Cow Milk Curd Ghee Cowdung Cow urine
- Leaves (Banyan, Peepal,mango and chhap)
- Bermuda grass (dubo)
- Yellow thread
- Rice powder
- Dhan Rice grain
- Saubhagya Kapda ( Sauhbhagya samagri
- Purnapatra (a vessel full of rice)
- Dakchina (a certain amount of money)
- Duna, Tapari (disposable leaf plates)
- Mustard seeds
- Sarv Aushadhi (mixture of different herbs)
- Sapta mritika (soil of seven places)
- Pancha Ratna (five different stones)
- Aachmani (copper utensils)
- Sweets Kurtha suit for the brahman
- Conch Shell (shankha)
- Ritual bell (ghanta)
- Arghapatra (a vessel to offer water)
- Pakwan (dishes like Kheer, celroti, etc)
- Betel leaf
- Cotton wicks (bati)
- Sandalwood paste (chandan)
- Wood for hawan
According to The Vedas, we will have to follow 16 Sanskar in our life. The first one is Nwaran that we just understood here. Naming a child is the most important aspect of birth. And the custom of Sutak is also cleansed after the 11th-day Nwaran ceremony. These 11 days the mother and the baby are in a recovering period after which the immunity will be gained back by both. So, after Nwaran the child is free to be taken outside in the sunlight’s warmth. After the ritual, there is celebration from the family to rejoice the newborn.