Family Life: Namakarana samskara
By Sri Skanda's Warrior of Light
July 5, 2002
Today was a normal day through the morning and afternoon. I woke up, prepared lunch, ironed my clothes, and went to work. But, the evening was the best part of the whole day. Today, I was going to have Namakarana Samskara, the Hindu Name Giving Ceremony. I had been planning for this day for the whole week!
On Tuesday, I phoned the temple priest to let him know that I wanted to have an abhishekam performed for Skanda to accept me as a Hindu. The priest was very happy for me and gave me a list of items to buy for the abishekam. Now, I'd like to mention here that I don't drive but I live in Etobicoke and work in Mississauga, which means I look forward to long bus rides to and from work each day. I had to ask a friend to help me buy the items from the store because he had a car. But, it turned out that he had to work long hours and I didn't have a ride. Even still, I had to go and buy the items, so I set out on foot to the Tamil store which had all the items I needed for the abhishekam. The items were so heavy, but I just thought about how the puja was going to be and I made my way back home.
I also had to order flowers for the puja. When I ordered the flowers on Thursday, I placed an order for 24 roses for $40. Now, that is a little bit expensive, but because I was working and this puja was for Muruhan, I didn't think too much about the cost. When I went to pick up the flowers on Friday before the puja, the owner gave me a whole bunch of extra flowers! When I asked her if she wanted me to pay for them, she said, "No!" I guess Skanda was looking forward to the flowers?
After this, my friend dropped me off at the temple, where I prepared a tray of fruits, flowers, incense, and candy, and got things ready for the abhishekam. During this time, the priest was making a sharam malai, a malai with carnation flowers, for Skanda to wear after the abhishekam and during the puja.
The abhishekam was very beautiful. Then the puja started and the priest had put my legal name change certificates at Skanda's feet. I just asked Skanda to bless me and to accept me with my new Hindu name. I sang Pancha Puraanam and Thiruppugal.
After this, the priest and devotees went and faced the statues of dieties that were presiding on the right side of the temple. During this time, I kept glancing over at the Skanda statue that we just finished doing puja to, and I was thinking, "Maybe, if He could give me some sign...something for me to know that He is here and accepting...Ah well, I can wait, maybe He'll show me in a dream, or in a few days, I'll wait."
As soon as I finished my thoughts, the right side of the malai which Skanda was wearing fell onto the certificate which was at His feet! He was blessing me and my new name! I looked around to see whether anyone else was watching, but didn't see anyone. I was so happy that I was shaking and crying! He was listening and He gave a wonderful sign!
But, that wasn't the only time - when the priest offered the tray of fruits that I had made to Skanda, he took one flower from the tray and put it on Skanda. About ten seconds later, that very same flower fell in front of my certificate! Then the priest noticed that the malai had fallen down, so he put it back properly in place. Near the end of the Puja, the malai fell again from the left side and onto my namakarana certificate! I was so amazed!
The priest finished the puja by giving blessings with theerthum and vibhuthi to everyone. When he came to me, I first did paatha-namaskar to him, because I think that he is Skanda. As he was putting the vibhuthi on my forehead, I saw the entire malai fall off of the statue!
Oh Muruhan! You are so playful! He had blessed me so much today.
Also, I had a certificate from the Himalayan Academy Book, Loving Ganesha, by the late Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami. This certificate, which I read aloud to all the devotees, was signed by three elder witnesses and the priest. There is a section where an assisting priest should have signed, but no official priest was available to assist. Therefore, a devotee who was helping the priest signed that section of my certificate. Today was a wonderful day! Thank you Skanda!