Dhyana, Dhyani, Dhyan

Dhyana & Dhyani are unisex (pronounced TAH-nah & TAH-nee), ultimately derived from the Sanskrit ध्यान and meaning “meditation; attention.” Both concepts are applied in Buddhism and Hinduism.

An exclusive masculine form is Dhyan.

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Gauri

  • Origin: Sanskrit, Hindi, Marathi गौरी
  • Meaning: “fair; light-skinned; white; brilliant.”
  • Gender: feminine
  • Pronunciation: GORE-ee

The name comes directly from the Sanskrit word meaning “fair; light-skinned; white; brilliant.” In Hinduism, this is an epithet for the goddess Parvati in her Mahagauri form.

The Kannada and Tamil form is Gowri கௌரி (Tamil) & ಗೌರಿ (Kannada).

Gauri can also be a Finnish male form of the name Gabriel.

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Hansa

The name can have a few origins and meanings. It is primarily an Indian name that comes from the Sanskrit हंस (hamsa), which originally referred to an aquatic bird of passage. The hamsa is described as a mythical bird with knowledge in the Rig Veda and also as the main means of transport for the gods Brahma, Gayatri, Saraswati, and Vishvakarma in Hinduism. In the Ramayana, the hamsa was the bird that carried love letters between Damayanti and Nala. According to Indian legend, arayanna (heavenly hamsa swans) are said to live in the Himalayas where they eat pearls and are able to separate milk from water.

The hamsa bird is also associated with the concept of soham (that I am), as when it is said fast, hamsa starts to resemble soham. The latter is linked with the Brahman, and thus the bird is often associated with the cycle of samsara.

The hamsa bird has also been a popular motif in Indian art for centuries.

Over the centuries, it has interchangeably been translated as a swan, flamingo, goose or duck. It is ultimately from the Proto-Indo-European root word *ǵʰh₂éns, which is also the progenitor of the English word goose, German gans (goose), and the Latin anser (goose).

In India, as a given-name, it is used among all languages groups. The name is primarily used on females but has occasionally been given to males.

The name is also German and Scandinavian female name, being a contracted form of Johanna. Other forms are Hansina and Hansine.

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Anil, Anila

Anila is from the Sanskrit आनिल (wind), in Hinduism it is an epithet for the wind God, Vayu. In contemporary India, both names are unisex.

Anıl is a Turkish unisex name meaning “the memory; to be remembered,” in Turkish. Anil is also a popular Albanian & Bosnian male name, while Anila is the feminine form that is exclusively used in Albania & Bosnia.

Anıl appeared in the Top 100 Most Popular Male Names in Turkey between 1990 and 2012, peaking at #51 in 1991.

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Lakshmi, Laxmi

  • Origin: Sanskrit लक्ष्मी
  • Kannada: ಲಕ್ಷ್ಮೀ
  • Malayalam: ലക്ഷ്മി
  • Marathi/Hindi: लक्ष्मी
  • Odia: ଲକ୍ଷ୍ମୀ
  • Tamil: லட்சுமி
  • Telugu: లక్ష్మి
  • Meaning: “to perceive, observe, know, understand’ and ‘goal, aim, objective.”
  • Gender: feminine
  • LUCK-shmee

The name is derived from the Sanskrit lakṣ (लक्ष्) and lakṣa (लक्ष), meaning “to perceive, observe, know, understand’ and ‘goal, aim, objective.”

It is borne in Hinduism by the supreme goddess, wife of Vishnu, who is revered as the goddess of beauty, prosperity, luxury, contentment and among other things. She is known as Sri (the Noble One) and Akshara (imperishable), among other names. She is mentioned in the Rigveda as early as approximately 1000 BCE and is also revered in Buddhism and Jainism.

The name is mainly feminine, but is sometimes used among males in honour of the goddess in the same way that Mary, Maria, Marie has been used on males among Roman Catholics in honour of the Virgin Mary.

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Siddhi

  • Origin: Sanskrit सिद्धि
  • Marathi: सिद्धि
  • Meaning: “perfection, attainment, completion; accomplishment; success.”
  • Gender: feminine
  • Pronunciation: SID-dee; SIT-tee (depending on language & dialect)

The name comes from the Sanskrit noun सिद्धि (siddhi), meaning “perfection, attainment, accomplishment,” which is a concept that refers to the attainment of magical, paranormal or psychic abilities through meditation and yoga. It is a concept found in Yoga, Buddhism and Hinduism.

In Hinduism, it is the name of one of Lord Ganesha’s wives, the other being named Riddhi.

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Tulsi

  • Origin: Sanskrit तुलसी
  • Hindi/Nepali: तुलसी; Bengali টালসি
  • Meaning: “holy basil.”
  • Gender: unisex
  • Pronunciation: TULL-see

The name is derived from the Sanskrit तुलसी (holy basil). It is the name of a type of perennial plant in the family Lamicae and is endemic to the Indian subcontinent.

Tulsi is considered sacred plant in Hinduism, it is worshipped as an avatar for the goddess Lakshmi and the plant is traditionally planted in the center of courtyards to Hindu houses or next to Hanuman temples.

It is worshipped in Vaishnavism and holds an importance in Ayuverda traditions.

A notable bearer is American politician Tulsi Gabbard (b. 1981).

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Dhruv, Dhruva

Vishnu appears before Dhruva – A painting by Raja Ravi Varma.
  • Origin: Sanskrit
  • Meaning: “constant, immovable, fixed; polar star.”
  • Gender: masculine
  • Pronunciation: DROOV; DROO-vah

The name is derived from the Sanskrit word dhruva, meaning, “constant; immovable, fixed” and is also synonymous with the polar star.

Dhruva appears in the Hindu text, Vishnu Parana as the name of the son of Uttānapāda’s second and less favored wife. Dhruva wants to sit on his father’s lap like his older brother, but is thrown off as he is the son of a second wife. Dhruva is heartbroken and is consoled by his mother to contemplate his fate in life and advises him to work hard for what he wants. Dhruva goes into the woods and prays to Vishnu, who eventually transform him into the polar star.

Other forms include:

  • Druwa (Indonesian/Javanese)

Dhruv entered the U.S. Top 1000 Male Names in 2019 and ranks in at #997

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Santosh, Santosa

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  • Origin: Sanskrit संतोष
  • Meaning: “satisfaction; contentment.”
  • Gender: masculine
  • (SAN-tosh, SAN-to-shah)

The name is from the Sanskrit word for “satisfaction; contentment.”

Sentosa Island is the name of an island in Singapore which gets its name from the Malay word of the same etymology.

Other forms include: Santosa, Santhosa & Santhos.

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Nakshatra

Arab-Mansions

  • Origin: Sanskrit नक्षत्र
  • Meaning: “constellation; star.”
  • Gender: unisex
  • (knock-SHOT-tra)

The name derives from the Sanskrit नक्षत्र (naksatra) meaning “star, constellation.” In Hindu astrology, this is a term for a lunar mansion.

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