Naam Karan is a Sikh ceremony of naming a child and it usually takes place in a Gurdwara (Sikh place of worship) after the baby and mother are medically and physically healthy to attend the Gurdwara. There is no timetable for this and the family should not feel undue pressure of any kind and only the well being of the mother and child are considered.
As soon as the family is ready to undertake this ceremony, the father or another senior member of the family makes arrangements for this brief ceremony at Gurdwara
The family makes arrangements to have Karah Prasad said for the occasion. Various Shabads of thanks, joy and support are sung followed by the short Anand Sahib (6 pauris). Then if a Sahaj Paath has been arranged, the Bhog of this reading takes place.
Then comes the main part of the ceremony which is the naming of the baby. The Ardas is done in the normal way with a request to God (the one God we all share, not a specific Guru as was previously written in this space) to grant the child good health; make him or her a dedicated Sewadar of the country and Panth; to enlighten the name of his family and Dharma; and to ask for a name for the child. The Ardas is followed by the Hukamnama. When the Hukamnama is taken, the first letter of the first word of the Hukam is the letter to be used to give the name to the child. So for example if the Hukam is:
sagal manorath parabh tay paa-ay kanth laa-ay gur raakhay.
sansaar saagar meh jalan na deenay kinai na dutar bhaakhay. ॥1॥
The first word of the Hukam is “Sagal” so the child’s name should start with the first letter, which is “S” – The article here has hundreds of names to help the family decide on a name in advance of the ceremony.
Once the name for the baby has been chosen, the word “Kaur” is added to the names of girls and the name “Singh” is added to the names of boys. The Gianni will pronounce the name of the child in the Sangat and hail the Jakara – Bole So Nihal – Sat Shiri Akal.
That completes the ceremony. The parents should then begin calling the child with the name pronounced in the Sangat and this should be then registered with the legal authorities.