On hearing the words of Garga Muni, Nanda Mahārāja said, “If there is such danger, then it is better not to plan any gorgeous name-giving ceremony. It would be better for you to simply chant the Vedic hymns and perform the purificatory process. We belong to the twice-born caste, and I am taking this opportunity of your presence. So please perform the name-giving ceremony without external pomp.” Nanda Mahārāja wanted to keep the name-giving ceremony a secret and yet take advantage of Garga Muni’s performing the ceremony.
When Garga Muni was so eagerly requested by Nanda Mahārāja, he performed the name-giving ceremony as secretly as possible in the cowshed of Nanda Mahārāja. He informed Nanda Mahārāja that the son of Rohiṇī would be very pleasing to His family members and relatives and therefore would be called Rāma. In the future He would be extraordinarily strong and therefore would be called Baladeva. Garga Muni said further, “Because your family and the family of the Yadus are so intimately connected and attracted, His name will also be Saṅkarṣaṇa.” This means that Garga Muni awarded three names to the son of Rohiṇī—namely Balarāma, Saṅkarṣaṇa and Baladeva. But he carefully did not disclose the fact that Balarāma had also appeared in the womb of Devakī and was subsequently transferred to the womb of Rohiṇī. Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma are real brothers, being originally sons of Devakī.
Garga Muni then informed Nanda Mahārāja, “As far as your son is concerned, this child has taken different bodily complexions in different yugas [millennia]. First of all He assumed the color white, then the color red, and then the color yellow, and now He has assumed the color black. Besides that, He was formerly the son of Vasudeva; therefore His name should be Vāsudeva as well as Kṛṣṇa. Some people will call Him Kṛṣṇa, and some will call Him Vāsudeva. But one thing you must know: this son has had many, many other names and activities due to His different pastimes.”
Garga Muni further hinted to Nanda Mahārāja that his son would also be called Giridhārī because of His uncommon pastime of lifting Govardhana Hill. Since Garga Muni was an astrologer, he could understand everything past and future, and thus he said, “I know everything about His activities and names, but others do not know. This child will be very pleasing to all the cowherd men and cows. Being very popular in Vṛndāvana, He will be the cause of all good fortune for you. Because of His presence, you will overcome all kinds of material calamities, despite opposing elements.”