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.

Sources

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.

Sources

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.

Sources

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).

Sources

Laima

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Lithuanian/Latvian
Meaning: “luck”
(LYE-mah)

Limey Laima! The name has a rather acidic sound, but its associations and meaning in Baltic culture is rather interesting. The name is associated with the Latvian and Lithuanian words for luck or fate, in Baltic mythology, it was borne by the goddess of childbirth and midwifery. Known as one of the three fates, her sisters were Dekla and Karta and it is often believed by scholars that Laima is related to the Hindu goddess, Lakshmi Mata, the goddess of luck and wealth. Since the Baltic languages are some of the very few European tongues that still retain a lot of ancient Indo-European roots, both linguistically and culturally, Baltic mythology had very strong similarities to modern Hindu religions. The three sisters, known as the Laimas, or the fates so to speak, were a sort of trinity that was in charge of the future and destiny of each and every individual. It is believed that they were actually one in the same being, Laima being the most powerful personification. Laima was also associated with two other goddesses, Laimė and Dalia, both of whom were considered consorts to the more powerful Laima. Laima was often associated with the cuckoo and it was believed that she was the one in charge of deciding who young maids would marry. She was also in charge of dispensing destiny to newborns. Even after the advent of Christianity, Laima still plays a significant role in Latvian and Lithuanian folklore. She is often the subject of folksongs, any song to do with a cuckoo and a lime tree are usually in reference to her (the lime tree was sacred to her). She even inspired a Latvian chocolate company to take her name. The company is such a big household name throughout the Baltic States that in Riga there is a clock commissioned by the company entitled the Laima Clock. It is one of Riga’s prized centre pieces and it is a popular meeting spot for friends, lovers and tourists. Despite its chocolatey associations, the name is still considered a rather ordinary female name in both Latvia and Lithuania. Its designated name day is August 12. Other forms include the Lithuanian forms of Laimona (lye-MOH-nah) and the male version of Laimonas.