But for those who are inclined to venture outside their homes to name their newborns, Hindu temples all over the U.S. now routinely offer Namakarana rituals as part of their services. Some even list them, with prices, on their websites. For example, one will perform the ceremony at the temple for $51, but charges $101 to perform it outside the temple.

When the naming ceremony originated several centuries ago, ancient Hindu society used the ritual to initiate infants into a community of family and friends. Today, despite the technological glitz of computer horoscopes and temple websites, the ceremony's message at heart remains simple. It is still a way to tell a newborn child, "This is your name, which makes you uniquely who you are. Welcome to the world."