Why are Srivaishnavas averse to give shiva-related names to their children, as others, like even Madhvas (Shiva Rao, Shankaranarayana, Manjunatha, etc. are available among Madhvas), do? Is it because of Periyazhwar's injunction: naaranan tam annai narakam pugaal? (The mother of a child named Narayana will not go to hell). When Srivaishnavas hold all Rudra-related vedic mantras, including Srirudram, to be a prayer to Narasimha, and all names like Umapati, Nilalohita, Nilakantha, Trilochana, etc. refer to Narasimha only, why should not these names be given to their children as the names are legitimately those of Vishnu according to them? Is there any work of Sri Vedanta Desikar that prohibits giving Shiva-related names?

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    It is parents wish what to name their children. Due to devotion towards Vishnu, they name their children with Lord's name. Why would Vedanta Desikan prohibit Shiva related names? Do you think they hate Shiva? No. That is a wrong opinion. Feb 22, 2018 at 4:29
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    the hate is very real and is quite active even today. If you know Tamil, I can point you to siva-hatred videos on u-tube. There are virulent siva hatred sites in English that are active today, but I am not going to advertise them by giving their names @Surya Kanta Bose Chowdhury
    – S K
    Feb 22, 2018 at 13:28
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    "Calling Shiva to be a jiva and not God isn't hatred". – @Surya Kanta Bose Chowdhury = you and I belong to different planets.
    – S K
    Feb 23, 2018 at 10:27
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    I think it is better to stick to the original question on the 'why?' and not drift to other topics. Feb 23, 2018 at 11:59
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    you are showing hatred in your very post "krumi kanda chozhan" is just iyengar myth - there is no evidence he persecuted anybody. Ramanuja got into a power struggle with the vaishnavite establishment and the king sided with the establishment. there isn't ONE vishnu hatred video that I have seen - but umpteen siva hatred videos - hare krishna "demi god" talk and many iyengar hate videos including one in which an elderly iyengar chap uses street language to insult Chidambaram nataraja @ram
    – S K
    Feb 25, 2018 at 12:13

3 Answers 3


Could be many reasons:

(1) There is an enormous amount of denigration of Siva by Iyengar luminaries like kurattazhwan. This has to influence how they name their children.

(2) Iyengar ideology deems Siva a Jiva - someone who is subject to birth and death like you and me. He is also regarded by them as someone who gets overcome by tamas from time to time. Their Vishnu is considered by them to always show good qualities. this has to influence them.

(3) They undergo Saranagati or Bharanyasam - after which they can only worship vishnu. So they might have an issue with calling their children by Siva-related names after saranagati.

(4) Simple Ajamila effect - they may think they are accruing merit each time they call their child by his vishnu-related name.


It's all a matter of choice. Every family has their own favourite god/goddess. Srivaishnavas are not averse to naming their children by Shiva related names, rather the pool of names from which they can make a choice is filled with a lot of Srivaishnava names. I've seen Srivaishnavas having Shiva related names. It's just that they prefer naming their children by Vishnu related names.

In the end, it boils down to own's choice.

  • One aspect of my question is not answered so far: The Shiva-related popular vedic hymn, for example, the Sri Rudram, or any Shiva-specific upanishad such as the kaivalya or Jabala, is considered by srivaishnavas as not shiva-specific but they are directly Vishnu/Narasimha hymns. They also hold all the names such as nilakantha, shambhu, etc. are actually Vishnu's. Hence my question: In that case, why are these names not given to their children, considering them as legitimate Vishnu-names? Feb 22, 2018 at 17:14

They worshiped their ishta dheivams,so name as like their wish.There is nothing for and against a particular deities. In Tamil Nadu majority of people follow two cultures "Saivam" and "Vainavam" also they do have their favorite deity called as "Ishta dheivam" so that,they naming their child based on their favorite deity irrespective to god or goddess.

  • Welcome To Hinduism SE! Thanks for answer . Can you please add some more details and little explanation / examples in the answer , as one liner answers are not generally considered good on this site ,and often considered equal to comment . Feb 22, 2018 at 9:17
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    iyengars don't have ishtadevata (they may prefer one vishnu incarnation over others). Some vishnu temple may house their kuladevata. everybody except vishnu or his incarnations is an "anya devata" - if iyengars worship them it is only a dilution of their sectarianism due to modern influences. to them Siva is a jivatma, often overcome by tamas - subject to birth and death, like you and me.
    – S K
    Feb 22, 2018 at 14:48

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