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In Hinduism and Hindu mythology, naman, that is, a person’s name, is believed to encompass within itself the fundamental nature of a person. It is also believed that the name of a person also affects the character of the bearer of that name. As such, particular care is taken to choose a name, and there takes place a naming ceremony after sixth, twelfth, or on a day depending on the local tradition. Generally, the choice of names of Hindus depends on the astrological sign under which the child was born. The name for a boy is after a god or a popular hero. The name of a girl is after the name of a goddess or a flower or a precious stone. Sometimes, when a person gets initiated into a religious order, the Guru gives the person another name, and sometimes such a name is whispered by the Guru in the ear of the disciple.
A change of social status also requires bestowing a new name on that particular person. Such a change may happen on account of a number of changes, including entering a religious order and accession to the throne. The emperor Ashoka took the name of Priyadarshi (that is, believed of the gods). A number of gods and goddesses of Hindus have several names, running into hundreds of names. Thus, Vishnu has 1000 names and Shiva has 1008 names.
While naman also means to greet someone which also means namaskar in Hindi. Flowers which are offered to God and are taken back as blessings are also called naman. Naman is a unisex name and also commonly used as a name.
- Dictionary of Hindu Lore and Legend (ISBN 0-500-51088-1) by Anna Dallapiccola
Naman also means the greeting offered to the supreme power or GOD. it is commonly used as a phrase in the morning exercise in yoga, where one offers its greeting to rising sun. Surya Namaskar. As said above it is a synonym of namaskar but used for GOD or supreme power.
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