|26 ‘Gotra Pravara Nirnaya’ (Determination of Gothras /Vamshas and ancestry)|
Matsya Bhagavan enlightened Vaivaswata Manu about the origin of Maharshis who got materialised from Agni pursuant to Brahma Deva’s blessings. While Bhrigu Maharshi emerged from the radiance of Agni, Maharshi Angira came out of ‘Angaaraas’ or ‘Agni’s flame bursts; Atri appeared from Agni ‘Sikhas’or ends of flames; Marichi came out of the rays of Agni; Pulastya surfaced from ‘Agni Keshas’ or hairs; Pulaha Maharshi floated from the long reaches of Agni; and Vasishtha was created from the glow. Maharshi Bhrigu married the daughter of Puloma Rishi and from the union was born twelve celestial sons likened to Devas viz. Bhuvana, Bhouvana, Sujanya, Sujana, Kratu, Vasu, Murdha, Tyajya, Vasuda, Prabhava, Avyaya and Daksha. Thus Bhrigu was known as Deva Bhrigu. Also the couple of Bhrigu and Paulomi gave birth to innumerable Brahmanas, the most illustrious ones being Chyavan and Aapuvaan, the latter’s son and grand son being Ourva and Jamadagni respectively.
Thus came into being the Bhargava Gotra and their ‘Pravartakas’ viz. Bhrigu, Chyavana, Anupavan, Ourva, Jamadagni, Vatsya, Dandi, Nadayan, Vaiyagana, Veetuhavya, Paila, Shaunaka, Shounakaayana, Jeevanti, Aayeda, Kaarshani, Vaiheenari, Virupaksha, Rouhityaayani, Vaishwaanari, Neela, Lubdha, Saavarnika, Vishnu, Poura, Baalaaki, Ailika, Anantabhahina, Mriga, Margeya, Manda, Maandya, Maanduka, Phenapa, Stanati, Sthala pinda, Shikhaavarna, Sharkaraakshi, Jaaladhi, Soudhika, Kshubhya, Kutsa, Galava, Mandukaayana,Gargyayana, Vaishampayana, Koutsa, Koutili, Vaageeyani, Anumati, Ashtishena, Rupi, Veetihavya, Revasa, etc. Normally, among these Rishis, five Pravaras are mentioned viz. Bhrigu, Chyavana, Aapnuvaan, Ourva and Jamadagni. Also, inter-marriages are not allowed among these descendants of Rishis mentioned above, especially among the first three above plus Arshishena and Rupi; Bhrigu, Veetihavya, Revasa, and Vaivasa; and likewise Bhrigu, and four generations ending the last four fathers mentioned as above.
Coming to Angirasa Gotra, Surupa the daughter of Marichi Maharshi was wedded to Angira and they had ten sons viz. Atma, Ayu, Damana, Daksha, Sada, Praana, Havishmaan, Gavishtha, Ritu and Satya. Foremost Gotra / Pravartakas of this lineage are: Angira, Brihaspati, Bharadwaja, Goutama/ Moudgulya and Samvarta/Shaishira. Other Gotra Preavarakas are Utatha, Thouleya, Abhijit, Sardhanemi, Salougaakshi, Ksheera, Koushtiki, Rahukarni, Soupuri, Kairaati, Samalomaki, Poushaajiti, Bhargavat, Chairidava, Kaarotaka, Sajeevi, Upabindu, Suraishina, Vaahinipati, Vaishaali, Kroshta, Aarunaayani, Soma, Atraayani, Kaaseru, Koushalya, Parthiva, Rouhinyaayani, Revaagni, Mulapa, Pandu, Kshayaa, Vishwakara, Ari and Paarikaaraari. Angira, Suvachotathya and Urija Rishis lineage cannot resort to inter-Gothra marriages. Also, Angira, Brihaspati, Bharadwaja, Garga and Saitya cannot enter into alliances or their descendants. Further, the Rishis viz. Kapitar, Swastitar, Daakshi, Shakti, Patanjali, Bhuyasi, Jalasandhi, Vindu, Maadi, Kusidaki, Urvi, Rajakeshi,Voushandi, Shamsapi, Shaali, Kalashikantha, Kaaririya, Kaathya, Sowbuddhi, Dhaanyayani, Ladwi and Devamani are stated to have three Pravaras of Angira, Damavaayha and Urukshaya and hence cannot be inter-married. Samkruti, Trimaashthi, Manu, Sambadhi, Nachaketi, Thala, Daksha, Narayani, Lokshi, Gargya, Hari, Galava and Aneha have same Pravara of Angira, Samkuti, and Gauraviti and inter marriages are not permitted. Katyayana, Haritaka, Koutsa, Pinga, Handidasa, Vaatsyayani, Maadri, Mouli, Kuberani, Bheemavega and Shashwadarbhi have common Pravara of Angira, Brihadashwa and Jeevanaashwa and here again mutual weddings are not allowed. Likewise, those Rishis who have common Pravaras like Angira, Bruhadukhta and Vamadeva; Angira, Sadasyu, and Purukutsa; Angira, Virupa and Vrushaparva/ Rathitara, Angira, Matsyadagdha and Mridula; Angira, Taandi and Moudgulya; Angira, Ajameedha and Katya; Angira, Tithiri, and Gargya/Kapibhu are all disallowed for mutual weddings.
Maharshi Atri had two major Gotra Kartas viz. Kardamaayan and Shaarana shaakhiya and the lineage of Rishis were Udvaalika, Shounakarniratha, Shoukratava, Gouragriva, Gourajina, Chatraayana, Arthapanya, Vaamarathya, Gopana, Aastika, Bindu, Karnajihva, Harapreeti, Laidraani, Shaakalaayani, Tailapa, Savaileya, Atri, Gonipati, Jalada, Bhagapaada, Sowpushpi and Chhandogeya. Their Pravara is Shyavaashwa, Atri and Archanaamsha; mutual weddings among these Gotras are forbidden. Daakshi, Bali, Parnavi, Urnunaabhi, Shilaardani, Beejavaapi, Shirisha, Mounjakesha, Gavishthara, and Bhalandana have the common Pravara viz. Atri, Gavishthara and Purvatithi. Atri’s daughter Atreyi gave birth to Kaleya, Vaaleya, Vaamarathya, Dhaatreya and Maitreya and the Pravara Rishis are Atri, Vaamarathya and Poutri and their inter-marriages are dis-allowed too.
In the same Vamsha of Atri, there was another ‘Shaakhaa’ (branch) of Soma in whose Vamsha was born Sage Vishwamitra; the latter obtained Brahmanatwa by the might of his Tapasya. In the lineage of Vishwamitra, the followings were born, viz. Vaishwamitra
(Madhucchanda), Devarat, Vaikruti, Galava, Vatanda, Shalanka, Abhaya, Ayataayan, Shyaamaayan, Yajnyavalaka, Jaabaala, Saindavaayana, Vaabhravya, Kareesha, Samsrutya, Ulupa, Auopahaava, Payoda, Janapaadapa, Kharabaacha, Halamaya, Saadhita, and Vaastukoushika. The Pravara of these Rishis is Vishwamitra, Devavrata and Uddaala. In respect of other Rishis, the Pravaras are as follows: Devashrava, Devarata and Vishvamitra; Vishwamitra, Dhananjaya and Madhucchandasa; Viswamitra, Madhucchandasa and Aghamarshana; Vishwamitra, Aramarathya and Vajjuli; Viswamitra, Lohita, Ashtaka / Purana; Runavaan, Gatina and Vishwamitra; Khilikhili, Vidya and Vishwamitra: in respect of all the above inter-marriages are prohibited.
The Gotra Pravara Rishis of the Vamsa of Kashyapa are as follows: Asraayani, Meshakiritakaayana, Udagraja, Maathara, Bhoja, Vinayalakshana, Shaalaahaleya, Kourishta, Kanyaka, Asuraayana, Mrigaya, Shetana, Bhotapaayana, Devayana, Gomayaana, Adhascchaya, Abhaya, Katyaayana, Shaakraayana, Barhiyoga, Gadaayana, Bhavanandi, Mahaachakri, Dakshayana, Bodhayana, Kaartikya, Hastidana, Vatsyaayana, Pracheya, Jnaana sanjneya, Aagna, Praasevya, Vaivashyapa, Udddalaayan, Maaricha, Vaikarneya, Kaashyapeya, Matangi Bhrigu etc. The Pravara of these Rishis is: Vatsara, Kashyapa and Nidhuvi / Vasishtha; in these cases too, mutual weddings are forbidden. In respect of other Rishis viz. Samyati, Nabha, Pippalya, Jalandhara, Bhujaatapura, Purya, Kardama, Gardhabhimukha, Kulaha, Vrishakanda, Mrigaketu, Shandilya, Devajaati and Pappalaadi, the common Pravara is Asita, Devala and Kashyapa.
As regards Maharshi Vasistha, the lineage included Vyaghrapada, Aoupagava, Vaiklava, Shraaddhalayana, Kapishthala, Aoupaloma, Alabdha, Shatha, Katha, Goupaayana, Bodhapa, Daakavya, Vaahaka, Balishya, Lobhayana, Aapasthuna, Swastikara, Shaandili, Sumana, Upavriddhi, Brahmabala, and Yagnyavalkya; all these Rishis have the Pravara of Vasishtha and are not permitted inter-marriages. Another set of Rishis including Sailalaya, Mahakarna, Koukhya, Krodhina, Kapinjala, Baalakhilya, Koulayana, Suraayana, Kaanva, Upalapa, Lambaayana, Kaalashikha, Aoupamanyu, Saankhaayana, Udgaah, etc have a common Prahara viz. Bhageevasu, Vasishtha and Indrapramadi. Yet another set of Rishis like Aoupasthala, Bala, Haala, Hala, Madhyandina, Pippalaadi, Saibalka, Kundina etc.have the Pravara in favour of Vasishtha, Vitraavaruna and Indrapramadi.Hereagain, restrictions of inter-gotra marriages apply. The background of Maharshi Parashara is indeed interesting [See the earlier Chapter of this Purana on Pages 20-21 regarding Vasishtha and Agastya as the sons of Mitravaruna and Urvashi; Vasistha married Arundhati later and their son was Parashara].
King Nimi decided to perform one Yagna and asked Vasishtha to facilitate its performance. But Vasishtha had just concluded another Yagna and requested the King to postpone it by a few weeks but Nimi insisted to perform the Yagna soon; he said that in the matters of ‘Para loka Karyas’, one could not afford to delay, since life was uncertain and ‘Kaal’/ death might strike any body at any time; the King said :
Aayushyey kramani ksheeney Prasahya haratey janam,
Praanavaayoschalatwam cha twayaa vidita meyva cha/
(Execution of good deeds ought to be hurried up since the span of life would not wait but ticks away, as you are aware of the unpredictability of time). The King further told Vasishtha that in case he might not be able to do the Yagna immediately, he might as well approach another fit person to take up. Vasistha was infuriated and cursed King Nimi to become a ‘Videha’ (body-less) at once; the King too lost his temper and cursed Vasistha to become a Videha. King Nimi as well as Vasishtha approached Lord Brahma as both the parties were justified in their own views but lacked restraint and objective thinking. Brahma solved the problem of the King’s ‘videha’ stature by bestowing the power of sight as soon as he would open up his eyes and thus enabled him to successfully perform his Yagna. As regards Vasishtha, Brahma arranged that he would become the son of Mitra-Varuna as Vasishtha once again with the capacity to be a Jaatismara or memory of previous birth ; Surya and Varuna Deva who went in for Tapasya to Badarikaashram and the got infatatuated by a passing Apsara Urvashi and as their semen spilt out on their respective deer-skin seats, Urvashi out of fright of curses by Mitra and Varuna deposited the semen in a ‘Kalasha’/ Kumbha(Pot) full of water and out of the combined deposits of Mitra and Varuna emerged Agastya and Vasishtha reborn. This Vasishtha (MitraVaruna) married Brahmarshi Narada’s sister Arundhati and their son called Shakti; the latter’s son was Maharshi Parashara and the Maharshi’s son born of Matsya Gandhi of Maha Bharata fame was of Bhagavan Vishnu’s ‘Amsha’( feature/ aspect) famed as Dwaipayana / Veda Vyasa! Now on to the Parashara Vamsha details: Kandashaya, Vaahanapa, Jaihyapa, Bhaumatapana and Gopaali are Fair-complexioned; Prapohaya, Vaahmaya, Khyateya, Kautujaati, and Haryashvi are Blue; Krishnaayan, Kapimukha, Kaakeyastha, Japati and Pushkar are black; Shravishthaayan, Baaleya, Swaatashta Upaya and Ishikahasta are white; Vatika, Baadari, Stambha, Krodhanayan and Kshaimi are Shyama Parasharas.TheirvPravara is Parashara, Shakti and Vasishtha.
The illustrious Agasthya, --who dried up the Ocean to kill Danavas, who got Vindhya bent down till date enabling Surya Deva to follow his course of movement around the Universe, and over-smarted Demon Vaataapi by digesting him for ever--had an equally famed progeny including Karambha, Kousalya, Shakat, Sumedha, Mayobhuva, Gandharakayana, Poulastya, Poulaha and Kratuvamshotpanna. Their Pravara was Agastya, Mahendra and Mayobhava.As Maharshi Kratu was childless, he adopted Agastya’s son Idhmavaaha, since when Kratu and Agasthya Vamshas got unified. Also, Pulaha Maharshi was unhappy with his sons and adopted Agastya’s another son Drudhaasya and grandson Pulastya’s progeny too got identified with Agastya’s Vamsha.
Mahatma Dharma’s Vamsha included Eight Vasus viz.Dhara, Dhruva, Soma, Aapa, Anila, Pratyusha and Prabhasa. The Astavasu’s sons were Dravina, Kaala, Varcha, Shrimaan, Anala, Devala and Viswakarma respectively.Dharma’s vamsha also included Twelve Sadhyaganas (Man, Manu, Pran, Narosha, Noch, Viryavan, Chittaharya, Ayana, Hamsa, Narayana, Vibhu and Prabhu) and Ten Viswadevas ( Kratu, Daksha, Vasu, Satya, Kaalakama, Muni, Kuraja, Manuja, Beeja and Rochaman). The Twelve Adityas including Bhanava, the Marudganas the sons of Devi Marudvati, Nashatras, Grahas, besides ‘Sankalpa’ and ‘Muhurta’-the sons of their mothers by the same name were all a part of the Dharma Vamsha! In the Pravara Kirtana, the Dharma Vamsha was thus highlighted prominently, especially since it included some of the most popular celebrities of the whole Universe.
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