Question: How does a god or goddess feel when a human being has their name?

Sri Chinmoy: In India, parents sometimes give their children spiritual names such as Lakshmi or Krishna in order to bring forward their divine qualities. They give these names with the idea that at every moment they will try to see inside their children the presence of these gods or goddesses. They are praying that the divine qualities that these gods and goddesses have will be manifested in and through their children. Some parents will pray for months and years for their children to have these divine qualities.

Again, some parents will not pray even for a second. They give the name not because they want their children to be spiritual, but because they get joy from saying their son's name is Rama or Krishna. They will give their children divine names, but they will teach them unthinkable things while they are growing up so that they can become successful in professions where the consciousness is not at all aspiring. They give their children the ideal names of some gods or goddesses, but then they lead their children into the jungle of deception rather than into the garden of divinity.

When I give a spiritual name to a disciple of mine, it is because I see the potentialities and inner capacities of the disciple. I see which qualities this person is likely to bring forward in this incarnation. Each person has many divine qualities, but some of these qualities are more likely or more ready than others to be manifested in this incarnation. So I give different names depending on the soul's capacity, willingness and eagerness to manifest the divine through some particular divine qualities.

When the gods and goddesses see that some seekers are manifesting the meaning of their spiritual names, they are very happy. But they become sad when they see that children who have been named after them are leading very undivine lives and desecrating their names. Some parents just give a spiritual name and then show their children the way to hell. In my case, I try to bring to the fore the divine qualities that the spiritual name embodies, and help the disciple consciously manifest those qualities.