I wouldn't say it is a common name, at least not today, but there is an interesting mythology to explain the etymology. You see, there are two roots gRR (with distinct Indoeuropean cognates) in Sanskrit: one means to call, and the other means to swallow (or throw up). (Actually, there is a third obscure one meaning to know). From the second of these meanings, one gets gara, a drink in general, or poison/disease in particular. The prefix sa/sam is also an old one and means `together' or `comparable' and here starts the mythology.
King bAhu of aYodhyA, had two wives, one of whom poisoned the other when the latter was pregnant, but the child was born nevertheless. This child was called sagara. He married twice and had asamanja by keSiNI and 60,000 sons by sumatI. These 60,000 sons enraged the sage kapila and were burnt to ashes; and there was not enough water in the world to purify those remains. asamanja's greatgrandson bhagIratha convinced the heavenly river gangA to come to earth to purify the remains, but earth could not bear her tumultous fall. So, he had to convince shiva to let her fall into his hair. She of course promptly lost herself in the divine mass of hair and had to be resued; she inundated the sacrificial grounds of the sage jahNu who promptly drank her up in revenge, but bhagIratha placated him and he released her from his ears (or loins, depending on the story), and so on. She finally purified the ashes and filled up the seas, which were then called sAgara, i.e. `of sagara'.
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