Does a New Religion Mean a New Name?

It’s pretty common when someone converts to a religion to take a name that lines up with the new religion’s traditions. Even though Hinduism doesn’t always support the notion of “convert” you can still see a number of non-Indian Hindus who traded names from other traditions for Hindu names. Ram Dass, for example.

You know me as Ambaa, but I am not called that in real life.

I’ve said before that I don’t want to disrespect my parents by rejecting the name they gave me.

On the other hand, I am going through life with a “Christian” name, which doesn’t seem entirely appropriate as a Hindu. It seems like going by a Hindu name would be a way of showing pride in my religion.

Sometimes a guru will give you  a name. I’m not sure if it’s right to select your own name!

What do you think? Should converts adopt a name appropriate to their new religion? Where should they get their name from?

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About Ambaa Choate

Ambaa is an American woman of European ancestry who is also a practicing Hindu. She is fascinated with questions of philosophy, culture, and the meaning of life. Join her in the journey to explore how a non-Indian convert to Hinduism experiences her religion.