topiary cats

topiary cats

Friday, March 13, 2015

Daya's Name

I often get asked about how Daya got her name.  It's a good story.

While I firmly believe that everyone should name their babies after me (Carey), I myself would not do that. It is much better to have someone else name their child after you.  But I was pregnant and the baby needed a name.

I certainly didn't know what to name a baby.  I did know Daya was a girl (I knew that at 2 weeks and I was correct), so I thought about girl names.  A name is a gift- it is important.  I did have certain criteria- I wanted it to begin with either a D or a J, it had to be uncommon (at least in my culture) but not obnoxious, and it had to have a good meaning.

Being completely at a loss, I decided to ask the baby what her name was.  Maybe she would tell me.  So I asked, and I waited to encounter a name- not just once, but several times. I was on alert.  And that is exactly what happened.  I encountered Daya at work, when I was doing some training.  It was the last name of the training host.  And then I heard it in my midwife's office.  And then- the Gayatri mantra found me.  The last word of the mantra is "dayat"- which is a conjugation of the Sanskrit word daya.

So, the baby's name was Daya.  I did not tell anyone her name until after she was born.  Not even her father, but he didn't care anyhow.

In Sanskrit, Daya means divine kindness and mercy.   In Hindu culture, it is a very popular name.

Daya is one of the five fundamental teachings of the Sikh religion.

It is a very powerful spiritual name.  It is her gift, and also her lesson.

Daya at the Temple of Dendur


  1. A meaningful name for a lovely girl.

  2. A beautiful name for a beautiful girl. I enjoyed hearing how you arrived at it. :)

  3. Daya is a lovely name - you chose well!

  4. Oh, what a neat story! It is (*ahem*) true that you need to find what they are to be called; I don't think it's a matter of just making it up...or at ought not be...(won't say anything more about other parents...)


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