Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana Book 10 Chapter 8:1-13

Book 10: Eighth Chapter (First Half)

Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 10: Chapter 8: Verses 1-13
The Naming Ceremony of the Lord and His Infantile Sports

Sri Suka began again : Importuned by Vasudeva, Gaga, the (family) priest of the Yadus, who was a very great ascetic, O king, repaired to Nanda's Vraja. Supremely delighted to see him and rising (from his seat) with joined palms by way of welcome Nanda worshipped him, prostrating himself at the very outset and recognizing him to be Lord Visnu (who is above sense-perception). Delighting the sage with sweet words when hospitality had been offered to him and he was comfortably seated, Nanda said, "0 holy one, what can we do for you, who are fully gratified (and want nothing)? The stirring out of exalted souls (like you) is directed towards the supreme good of men (like me) attached to their household and distressed in mind, 0 venerable sage, and is never meant otherwise. A (popular) treatise on astrology-from which proceeds the knowledge of supersensuous phenomena and through which (any) man can know the cause (of his present happiness and misery in the shape of past good and evil deeds) as well as its effect (in the shape of the pleasurable and painful experiences of this life)-has been directly composed by you.
(Besides being a master of astrology) you are the foremost of the knowers of Veda and are (thus) qualified to perform the purificatory rites (such as the naming ceremony) with respect to these two boys; for a Brahmana is the preceptor of (all) men by virtue of his (very) birth. (Hence it is not essential that such rites should be performed by one's own preceptor)." Garga replied : I am the (family) priest of the Yadus and known (as such) all over the globe. People would take your son, if consecrated by me through purificatory rites, as Devaki's son. Pondering that the eighth progeny of Devaki ought not to be a girl, ever since he has heard the remark of Devaki's daughter (that his slayer has been born somewhere) and bearing in mind the friendship (subsisting) between you and Anakadundubhi, the evil-minded Kamsa may have his suspicion (easily) aroused (by My performing the purificatory rites with respect to your sons, that Vasudeva's eighth child has been removed to your house and is being brought up here by you). If (therefore, God forbid), he should kill your son (under such suspicion), that would (prove to) be a (serious) blunder on our part.
Nanda said Unperceived even by my (own) people, (kindly) perform in this cow-pen in secret the purificatory rite the naming ceremony appropriate to a member of the twice-born classes, after uttering the benedictory hymns. Sri Suka went on : Thus entreated (by Nanda), and (himself) remaining concealed, the sage performed in secret the naming ceremony with respect to the two boys (the sons of Rohini and Yasoda); (for) that was sought to be done by himself. Garga observed : Delighting his kinsfolk with his excellences, this son of Rohini, as a matter of fact, will be styled as Rama (the delighter of the people); and due to his superiority of strength people will remember him as Bala (strength personified). (Nay,) because of his observing no distinction (inter se) between the Yadus[1] (viz., between yourselves, on the one hand, and Vasudeva etc., on the other) people will also recognize him as Sankarsana (the unifier). Taking (diverse) forms indeed in each Yuga, Yasoda's son has manifested three (different) colours, viz., white, red and yellow; this time he has assumed a dark complexion.



  1. In the Harivamsa (The Supplement of the Mahâbharata) Sri Balarama says to Nanda:-- 'Even among the Yadavas you are (particularly) beloved of me.

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