24323Re: Names of priests of Syriac Jacobite Church
- Dec 20, 2012Shibu and Betty came home aghast from watching the Suresh Gopi starrer "Commissioner". "Ente Karthave! What have we done?" "Why did we name our daughter `Shittymol'?? S*IT!"
Parents can name their children whatever they want, but hey just be careful, you don't want to end up in an old age home for naming your kids wrong, do you? :P
That said, I don't really agree with what has been written on this topic by the few respectable members who have chosen to respond. And it's a shame that members having Indian names haven't responded.
Words like "curious","awful","admonish" were freely used by a respected member to describe a name; a name which, according to me, is beautiful. We clearly have different sensibilities!
Another respected member said "The baptism name cannot be rathidevan or kamadevan". Pray tell me why?
We certainly have no problem in using `Diana'. Or should I say `Nayattu devi/Prasava devi/Chandra devi'? FYI Diana was the Roman goddess of the hunt, the moon and birthing.
The respected member further stated, "There is no question Kamadevan achen is unacceptible."
So is `Kallu devan achen' acceptable? Should we name our next bishop `Unmada devan thirumeni'? After all Dionysus was the Greek god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, of ritual madness and ecstasy. Dionysius surely will give Kamadevan a run for his money.
Is there something lacking in our home grown Hindu gods that they are taboo? Why is only the Greek/Roman gods that are kosher?
It's time to acknowledge that Christian names shouldn't only comprise of Judaeo-Hellenic names. Names originating from any culture in the world can be used by Christians.
Saul after his transformation used a Roman name for his missionary work. The church was no longer exclusively Judean. It was thrown open to all gentiles coming from different culture. Many of our Church fathers didn't feel the need to change their name after converting to Christianity. They continued to use names having origins in their culture. A culture what we derogatorily call "pagan". Among our brethren in the Syriac Orthodox Church Arabic names are commonly used; whether the person is an ecclesiastic or not. They didn't discard their old culture in favour of their new faith. After all culture is part of one's identity. Our early church fathers have realized this and have tried to accommodate facets of various cultures into the once Judean religion. We can see this happening here too. For instance, the use of `minnu' or `thaali' have been adapted in our marriage ceremony quite successfully. There are countless other practices that have been assimilated by the Church illustrating its cosmopolitan nature. So I don't think "we have changed our traditions and faith without realizing it" by opting for a name having an origin in our native culture
Before I conclude I would like to congratulate the deacon, whose name prompted this discussion, on his marriage. `Ratheesh' also means `lord of love' in addition to `lord of sex'. The former can be universally applied but better restrict the latter to your wife: P And in any case the meaning of names doesn't necessarily reflect one's character. After all Lucifer's was a beautiful name with quite a nice meaning to it and look how he ended up. So, if you ever become a priest, just make sure you love all your flock. Without any partiality I might add ;)
I would like to end by quoting Stanley Samartha, `I am,' he said, `a Christian by faith, Hindu by culture, Indian by citizenship and ecumenical in the deepest and widest sense of the term.'
Zach George Arapura
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