origin of gOthras

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Fri Sep 10 02:34:23 CDT 1999

On Fri, 3 Sep 1999, Sreekanth Sathayanarayana wrote:

> namaste,
> I am not sure if this topic has already been addressed on the list.
> I was till now under the belief that the gOthra that we use to identify
> ourselves implied that we were followers/descendants of the particular Rishi and
> that these Rihis were the saptha mahaRshis.

Plus Maharshi Agastya.

> Yest'day I found out that my frined
> belonged to a gOthra called "kapi" gOthra. I asked him to chant out his pravara
> which has the names of the 3 Rishis from whom the gOthra is supposed to have
> originated. To my surprise all the 3 Rishis I heard were not known to me. So I
> am wondering if my blief that the gOthras originated from one of the
> saptha-Rishis was incorrect. Can some of the learned members kindly throw some
> light on the origins of the gOthras and if possible list all the gOthras?
Is your friend a Brahman?  The reason I ask is because I've noticed that
some of the other Gujarati castes have the concept of gotra but they don't
necessarily organize them the same way.  I.e. some have animals, some
local deities etc.

Amongst Brahmans (and this is true all across India) the Gotra is based on
Rshis.  The 8 main gotras have one pravara, the ancestral Rshi himself.
Then there are sub-gotras and sub-sub-gotras which have 3 or 5 pravara
Rshis which are generations of descendants from one of the 8 main Rshis.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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