Tales from Srimad Bhagavatam: Naming the Children – XXXV

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Nilanjana retells the story of the naming of two boys by Maharishi Garga, at Gokul, in the weekly column, exclusively for .

Yashoda was busy feeding her baby when she noticed that the baby must have had his fill and was looking sleepy. She put him in his bed as he started yawning. As she took a closer look, she could see the whole universe inside his little mouth. She saw the three worlds, the stars, sky, water bodies, living creatures and a whole lot of other magnificent cosmic compositions. Unable to handle such a sight, she began trembling. Before she could dwell more on it, she was covered by  ( that this unreal world is real).


Maharshi Garga was the priest of the Yadavas. Blessed with knowledge, he knew that Narayana had taken birth in Gokula. He, therefore, decided to pay Vasudeva and his a visit.

Vasudeva was particular that his son’s naming ceremony had to be performed in the most accurate way possible. He was thinking of his family priest when Maharshi Garga paid him a visit. Delighted, Vasudeva asked him to name his son and Rohini’s son. He also offered to perform all religious rites with much aplomb.

However, Maharshi Garga shot him a warning. He mentioned that the strange occurrences that one has been hearing of lately do not provide the ambiance to call for more attention. Kamsa is convinced that some child is growing up somewhere to kill him. There have been reports that Devaki’s just-born daughter, whom Kamsa tried to kill, has warned him before flying away. In this kind of a political atmosphere, calling a family priest and conducting an elaborate naming ceremony will just draw undue attention onto the little one. After all, Kamsa’s spies were known to be hovering all around the kingdom trying to spot any child that can cause Kamsa trouble.

Vasudeva listened to the advice of the wise. He decided to conduct a very private naming ceremony for both the little ones, where even close kinsmen were not invited. Only the parents were in attendance when Maharshi Garga began the naming ceremony.

The first child to be named was Rohini’s son. Maharshi Garga called the charming child ‘’ and since he was aware of child’s immense power he prefixed ‘Bala’ to ‘’.

As for ’s child, Maharshi Garga took a long look at him. He decided to name the child with Meghashyam (as blue/dark as the rain bearing clouds) complexion ‘Krishna’. In fact, he smiled at the little baby lovingly as he held Krishna in his arms and recalled many more names that could also suit the little one owing to his previous births. He told Vasudeva that this son of his is set to win hearts wherever he goes. Those who love him will not be bothered by their enemies, just like devotees of Narayana are not troubled by anyone as Narayana protects them.

As the naming ceremony concluded, Maharshi Garga blessed them all and took their leave…

[To be continued] 

Footnote: Srimad Bhagavatam is often called the Bhagavad Purana. Authored by Ved Vyasa, the are about the various avatars (incarnations) of Lord Vishnu, also known as Narayana.

©Nilanjana Dey

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Nilanjana Dey

Nilanjana Dey

A story-teller at heart, Nilanjana Dey is on a journey to experiment with fiction and poetry. Her first novel, largely aimed towards children, is titled ‘The Adventures of Puti – The Cheese Trail’. Her poems have been published at various prestigious portals. An alumni of English Literature from Jadavpur University (Kolkata), she is a marketing and communication professional based in Mumbai. She volunteers with a Mumbai based NGO working with the marginalised sections of the society.
Nilanjana Dey