August 26th was an auspicious and historic day. Rosa Jaramillo Osuna had her namakarana Samskara, formally converting to Hinduism and receiving her new name: Gunamaya Sivananda.
This is the culmination of many years of study of Gurudeva’s teachings for Gunamaya, who is a resident of Playas De Tijuana, Mexico. She and her brother have been regularly attending this temple in San Diego. Her first attempt to get one priest to perform the ceremony was rebuffed “No, we only do that for babies.” But Lord Ganesha had His own plans. When she went back to the temple there was a different priest, Pundit Rajagopalan. He was very impressed with the Namakarana Certificate and was inspired that such a ceremony could be performed to formally endow converts to Hinduism with their new name.
Here he is in the middle of the ceremony. Gunamaya writes:
The Namakarana Samskara ceremony was wonderful. The priest was very kind and took the time to explain the different parts of the ceremony. I feel very blessed by the fact that I was able to talk with a very nice Catholic priest when severing from the Catholic faith and then to be formally received in Hinduism by an Hindu priest who was also very nice and made me feel very welcomed.”
Pundit Rajagopalan reads from the certificate as Gunamaya writes her name in the tray of rice.
She sings the certificate.
Pundit also signs the certificate as the officiating clergyman, documenting the event.
“My brother; Shakti Mahadevan; Ravi and Sheela Rahavendran and their kids were with me in this special moment and that was another blessing.”
I’m not that good with words so I really can’t describe how well I felt sitting in front of Lord Ganesha and listening to the priest words. But I can say it was a very special day that I will remember forever.
I have attached the signed certificate and some pictures.
the certificate begins:
Hindu Name-Giving Sacrament
I, Gunamaya Sivananda, formerly known as Rosa Jaramillo Osuna, having declared of my own volition acceptance of the principles of the Sanatana Dharma, including a firm belief in all-pervasive Divinity and the Vedic revelations of karma, dharma and purvarjanma, and having severed all previous non-Hindu religious affiliations, attachments and commitments, hereby humbly petition entrance into the Saivite sect of the Hindu religion through the traditional namakarana samskara. I plead for recognition and acceptance of this irrevocable conversion to Saivite Hinduism by the community of devotees witnessing this sacred rite.”
The new Hindu pledges to live by the five-pancha nitya karmas and read aloud the nine beliefs of Hinduism.
The letter "Ya" in the Panchakshara Mantra, Namasivaya, stands for the soul. Bodhinatha uses the Panchakshara Mantra to show how the soul is initially drawn by Siva's veiling grace, which leads the soul to maturity through experience in the world. Then comes Siva's revealing grace. When we've had enough of the world, Siva's grace pulls us toward God. The mantra also has the simple, two-syllable form. Si- Reflecting on God the Transcendent Absolute, Va-God as the All Pervading Consciousness