[Advaita-l] Fw :Pourakutsa gotra abhivadya (fwd) (Jaldhar H. Vyas)

sunil bhattacharjya skbhattacharjya at gmail.com
Wed Aug 20 21:35:35 CDT 2008

Yes. I will only like to add that Gotra also helps to avoid marriage
within a gotra. There can be recessive genes within a gotra and a
consanguimous marriage can lead to damage of the gene pool and the
deleterious genetic effects can include defective offsprings. To avoid
occurrence of these undesirable effects the knowledge of Gotra is


Sunil K. Bhattacharjya
>>While discussing on "Gotras" would someone help me
>>understand why a woman's gotra is told to be changed
>>to her husband's gotra (and surname) after marriage?
>>It is side-tracking the actual topic but I'm in anveshana
>>and would really appreciate anyone's kind thoughts.
>>This is not a feministic perspective...I'm just a curious learner.
> The reason for this is mostly legal, e.g. for deciding questions
> of inheritance, and ritual, e.g. for death related ceremonies. A
> gotra is to be understood as a clan. Typically, a marriage
> Between two members of the same clan is not allowed, but
> inheritance of name and property stays within the clan. As most
> Human communities are patrilineal and patriarchical in nature,
> The marriage event formalizes the transfer of the bride to her
> husband's clan. After marriage, a woman is identified with her
> husband's clan rather than her father's clan. All children born to
> the couple then belong to the father's gotra, can inherit his
> property and can perform the funeral and annual SrAddha rituals
> for their parents.
> Usually, this also correlates with the fact that the newly married
> wife moves away to her husband's home. Similarly, when a child
> is given away in adoption, his or her gotra changes to that of the
> adoptive parents. The child goes to live with the adoptive parents,
> no longer belongs to the gotra of its biological parents and has no
> more rights to the property of the biological father. Instead, the
> child stands to inherit the property of the adoptive father.
> Within a patrilineal community, an exception occurs when the father
> of the bride stipulates otherwise before the marriage. Traditionally,
> this happened when a man only had a daughter and no sons. He
> would then arrange with a future son-in-law that the grandson would
> inherit his gotra and property. In this case, a male child would belong
> to his maternal grandfather's gotra and not to his own father's gotra.
> When the maternal grandfather died, this grandson would then be
> eligible to perform the funeral and annual SrAddha-s. This situation is
> rare, but there are many known and well-documented instances.
> There are, of course, matrilineal communities too, e.g. the Nairs in
> Kerala and many hill tribes in north-east India. In these cases, the
> inheritance rules are exactly reversed. The children belong to the
> mother's clan (called tharavAD in the case of Nairs), inherit and
> observe death related mourning and rituals accordingly. Thus, a
> Nair man's funeral is performed not by his own son, but by his
> sister's son. This is because his sister's son belongs to his own
> tharavAD, but his own son would belong to his wife's tharavAD.
> Also, his share of property passes to his sister's children and not
> to his own children. The Nair woman's funeral, however, is performed
> by her own son, because her son belongs to her own tharavAD. Her
> property also is inherited by her own children.
> Regards,
> Vidyasankar
> ps. shaTamarshana, paurukutsa and vishNuvRddha are the same
> gotra practically, as they have the same pravara. They can be
> considered to be different names for the same gotra. There may be
> variations in the name and/or order of Rshi-s according to local or
> family custom, but that is of lesser consequence.
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