Barasala (or) Namakarana Dolarohana (or) Naam Karan (or) uyyala in Telugu is a traditional ceremony of naming a newborn baby among Hindu communities of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. It was introduced by Adi Shankaracharya in 2000 B.C. Jews celebrate this ceremony in the name of Javed Habat or Brit Mila. In United Kingdom, the Infant Baptism ceremony resembles Barasala. It was also celebrated in ancient Greece and Persia.
The Barasala is usually celebrated on the 11th day, 21st day, 3rd month or 29th month after the birth of a child. Brahmins determine an auspicious time for the ceremony, which is conducted either at a temple or at home. Prior to this function, the house is cleaned well to perform some pujas. On the day, the baby is given a bath, clothed and placed in a cradle. Women gather around the cradle to sing traditional songs. In the ritual, the mother is honored and the child is blessed by the elders of the family and community. The father whispers the baby’s name into its ear three times. The name is also written on rice spread on the floor or on a tray. The child’s maternal uncle takes a gold ring dipped in a mixture of cow milk & honey and puts it on the baby’s tongue. The elders then give blessings to the child that it may earn a good reputation, become a great person, and have a bright future.
Behind every Indian tradition, there is a purpose and a hidden meaning. Although the child cannot understand the purpose, the ceremony helps the parents to realize that they have to shape their child into a good citizen and show a bright future to the child. It also helps the guests to realize the greatness and sweetness of human life.