1. gotras and pravaras ? An overview ? Part 1



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1. GOTRAS AND PRAVARAS ? AN OVERVIEW ? Part 1 

An INTRODUCTION: 
The Vedas declare that a Brahmin is born into this world with three debts to be discharged. 
?jaayamaanO vai BraahmaNa: tribhir riNavaa jaayatE/ 
BrahmacharyENa rishibhya:, yagjnEna dEvEbhya:, 
Prajayya pitrubhya:// 
(Vide: Taittriya Samhita 6.3.10.5, Satapatha BraahmaNa 1.7.2.1-6, Baudayana Dharma Sutra 2.9.16.7, Purva Mimamsa Darsana 6.2.11, Sabara Baashya 1.7.2.3) 
The three debts are: 
1. Rishi RuNam: Debt due to Rishis. This can be discharged by observing celibacy (Brahmacharyam) and learning and studying the Vedas. 
2. DEva RuNam: Debt due to the Celestials: This can be discharged by performing one or more of the Yagjnas like JyotishtOmam, Agni hOtram, Pancha Mahaa Yagjnam etc. 
3. Pitru RuNam: Debt due to manes: This can be discharged by begetting children, after duly getting initiated into Grihastaashrama (as Householder). 
It will be noticed that ?Rishi Runam? is the very first debt mentioned in the above Veda Vaakhyas.

Why? 
?The debt to the Rishis is the debt which he owes to learning in the shape of his cultural heritage. Such an obligation, he can discharge only by making his own contribution to learning, which he can achieve only on the basis of Brahmacharya? (Vide Radha Kumud Mukherjee, ?Ancient Indian Education?, Delhi, 1989, p.69)

Dharma Sastras require us to pronounce the name of the Rishi of one?s Gotra as also those of the Rishis of one?s Pravara. We do this in all our domestic rituals like Sandhyaavandanam, Upanayanam, Abhivaadanam, Vivaaham etc.

It is therefore, necessary to know about the Gotras and Rishis because it is these Rishis who discovered the Mantras in the first place. Being ?Mantra DrishTas?, Rishis becomes the principal Gurus of the respective Mantras and the founded the Gotras bearing their names. 

(Vide: ArshEya BraahmaNa 1.1.6, Brihad-yoga Yaagjnavalkhya 1.27, Bharadwaja 5.43, Brahma Sutra 1.1.39, Sankara Baashya Brihad Devata 1.2. 

They emphasize that - 
?The remembrance of the Seer of a Mantra becomes an integral part of any recitation?. ?ArshaanukramaNI? is a work that gives a list of hymns, the authors etc. to familiarize us in this regard.

GOTRA: 
What is GOtra? 


?GOtra? is an exogamous (septs) patrilineal sibship whose members trace their descent to a common ancestor? 
(Brough, John ?The early Brahminical system of Gotra and Pravara?, Cambridge, 1953 (page 2)

In Atharva Veda, it referred to a clan. All are believed to have descended from one or the other of the ?Rishis? who lent their names to the various Gotras. Thus, Gotra signifies one family or one?s lineage.

What is ?Pravara?? 
In daily worship, one mentions not only the name of the specific founder of one?s GOtra and the Rishi who founded it but also the ?Pravara? consisting of a group of Rishis who constitute a triumvirate (3) or pentagon (5) of remote ancestors of one?s family.

Why is this? 


?GOtra is the latest ancestor or one of the latest ancestors of a person by whose name his family has been known for generations; while ?Pravara? is constituted by the Sage or Sages who lived in the remotest past, who were most illustrious and who are generally the ancestors of the Gotra Sages or in some cases the remotest ancestor alone? 
(Vide P.V. Kane, History of Dharma Sastra, Poona Vol.II, Part I, p.497)

What is meant by the word ?Rishi?? 


Yaska in his Niruktam 2.11 defines Rishi as ?Rishi Darsanaath? - one who has seen Mantras (Mantra DrishTaa) 

In other words, Rishi is one who can see with superior vision what others cannot.

PaaNini in his ?Vaachaspati kOsam? defines ?Rishi? as ?Rishati jnaanEna samsaarapaaram?- ?one who crosses and reaches the other shore of the Sea of Samsara?

Rig Vedam 1.31.16 and 9.96.18 describe ?Rishi? as ?one who lights the flame of knowledge, one who stimulates thinking?.

It is clear from the above that the Rishis took elaborate efforts to discover the Vedas, Vedangas and all branches of knowledge to make our life on earth enjoyable while at the same time showing the way to salvation in the after-life scenario.

It is therefore, our duty to remember them for their invaluable contributions towards our well being and pay our respects and gratitude to them.

The Rishis seem somehow to be closely associated with element of fire (agni). In fact, KrishNa yajur Veda, 2nd KhaaNdam 5th Prasna, 8th Anuvakam calls a Rishi as ?SaamithEni? which means one who can kindle fire properly for performing Homam?

There was a competition between one NrumEdan and his colleague ParuchEpan as to which of them had grasped the Mantras perfectly. It was agreed that the one who was able to generate fire in a wet log of wood would be the winner. NrumEdan uttered his Mantra but he could not ignite and only smoke issued forth from the log. When ParuchEpan did the same, it immediately caught fire. NirumEDan praised ParuchEpan calling him ?Oh! Rishi!? This shows how the word was held in highest reverence in days of yore.

 GOTRAS AND PRAVARAS ? AN OVERVIEW ? Part 2 

(Anbil Ramaswamy) 
Based on the monograph of MahaamahOpaadhyaaya Sri Srivatsaankaachaar Swami, Now Head of Dept. French Indolgical Research Institute, Pondicherry. 
------------------------------------------------------------------------ 
Different Kinds of Rishis

Rishis were classified into several categories. Apart from ordinary ? Rishis?, there were ?Vipra Rishis?, ?Brahma Rishis?, ?Deva Rishis? ?Daanava Rishis? and ?Raaja Rishis?.

Those who were priests by virtue of their birth as Brahmins were called ?Vipra Rishis? (e.g) Sage Uthanga.

Those who had realized ?Brahman? through intense Tapas were known as ?Brahma Rishis?(e.g.) VasishTa, Atri, and Aaangirasa.

Sage Naarada is known as ?Deva Rishi.

Sukrachariar is known as ?Daanava Rishi? due to his alignment with Asuras.

Though generally Rishis were Brahmins, there were a number of Kshatriyas or rulers who also achieved the status of Rishi by their Tapas. And, they were known as ?Raaja Rishis?. (e.g.) Sage Viswaamitra, Ambareesha, Trasadayu, Sibi Chakravarthi and Maandaata were in this category. We know that King Janaka was a ?Raaja Rishi?.

Rishis are drawn from all the four Ashramams viz., Brahmacharya, Grihasta, Vaanaprasta and Sannyaasa. In the beginning of AraNya KhaaNDam of Srimad Valmiki RamayaNam, we find several kinds of Rishis enumerated. Similarly, in KaLidaasa?s ?Raghu Vamsa?, we find the life sketches of several Rishis.

In Bhavabhooti?s ?Uttara Raama Charitram?, the essential characteristics of a Rishi are brought out beautifully in the following SlOKa:

Priyapraayaa vrittir Vinaya madurO vaachi niyama: 


Prakrutyaa kalyaaNee matiranavageeta: parichaya: / 
PurO vaa paschaad vaa tadidama viparyaasitara rasam 
Rahasyam sadoonaam anupadhi visuddham vijayatE // 
Meaning: 

? Universal love and affection, extreme sweetness in speech, utter humility, genuine consideration for the common good, an elegant dignity in demeanor. These are not ?adopted? virtues but spring naturally from within and last forever as the greatest wealth for the Rishis?.

In other words, they have unshakeable determination in the pursuits conducive to the attainment of their spiritual goal, a total disregard for pleasures that flesh is heir to, knowing that such pleasures to be of no lasting value, unremitting in the performance of Tapas, simple living and high thinking, compassion in heart for all living beings, extreme devotion to the Lord (i.e) Bhagavad Bhakti of a very high order matched by absolute probity and rectitude of character, self control, long life, forebearance and fortitude in the face physical and psychological calamities and discomforts -and such other innumerable qualities.

Even today, there may be some great souls who do not claim to be ?Rishis?. In the PuraaNas, however, we find sometimes that some Rishis also seem to falter from this ideal code of conduct. 

We will discuss these later.

And, unfortunately, today, there is also no dearth of pseudo Swamis who strut about claiming to be Rishis without any of the qualities enumerated above, making it difficult to tell the fake from the genuine!

 GOTRAS AND PRAVARAS ? AN OVERVIEW ? Part 3 
(Anbil Ramaswamy) 
Based on the monograph of MahaamahOpaadhyaaya Sri Srivatsaankaachaar Swami, now Head of Dept. French Indolgical Research Institute, Pondicherry and ?MaharishigaL Charitram? by Mimamsa SirOmaNi Mimamsa Vidvan Mimamsa Kovida, Ubhaya Mimamsa Saaragjna, Veda Vedanta ChooDaamaNi Sri N.S. Devanathachariar - (referred by Sri Srivatsankachariar Swami) 
----------------------------------------------------------- 
CAN WOMEN RECITE THE VEDAS? 
A discussion was going on regarding this question for quite sometime.

Rig vEda itself is replete with many women ?Rishikaas? also known as ?Brahmavaadinis? who not only recited Vedas regularly but perhaps some of them also taught Vedas to their Sishyas.

Sounaka?s Brihad Devata, BrihadaaraNyaka and other Upanishads refer to several such ?Brahmavadinis? like ? 
Aditi, Agastyasvasaa, Apala, DakshiNaa, GhOsa, Godhaa, IndraaNi, Indramaataa, Indrasnushaa, Jaritaa, Juhu, Lakshaa, Medha, Nadyah, Nisat, Oorvasi, PoulOmi, Raatri, Romasaa, Sarasvati, Sachi, Saramaa, Sarparajni, SikaTa nivaavari, Sooryaa, Sraddhaa, Srih, Upanisat, Vasukrapatni, Visvavara, Waak, Yami.

?Known as Brahmavaadinis, the Rishikas were eligible for ?Upanayana?, ?Vedaadhyayana? and ?Agni Upaasana?

ya tu hareetEnOktam dvividaa: striyO Brahmavaadinya: sadyOvadhwascha/ 
tatra brahmavaadeenaam upanayanam agneeindanam vEdaadhyayanam svagruhE cha bikshaarhayEti /SadhyO vadoonaam tu upasthitE vivaaahE katanchid upanayana maatram kritvaa vivaaha: kaarya: // 

Vide: Smriti Chandrika I, p.24; ViramitrOdaya, Samskaara prakaasika, p.402; 

  
 

cf ibid yamOpi ? 


puraakalpE kumaareeNaam mounjee bandanam ishyatE / 
Adhyaapanam cha vEdaanaam saavitree vachanam tatha //

Some of the ?Rishikas? were Rishipatnis too. It will not be out of place to mention that the better halves had equal rights with their men in the performance of yagjnas, for the wife, says the Veda, is half of oneself.

?ArdhO vaa esahaatmanO yat patni? (Taittriya Samhita 6.1.8.5; Taittriya BraahmaNa 3.3.3.5; Jaimaniya BraahmaNa 1.86)

The Vedic text ?ayagjnO vaa yEsha yO apatneeka:) emphatically says that there is no Yagjna without a wife.... It was for the performance of ?Dharma?; the duties ordained by the Veda, that the Rishis had led the householder?s life. ?Rishipatnis? had a prominent place in the Society. VasishTa- Arundati, Agastya-LOpaamudra, Atri-Anasuya, Goutama-Ahalya, and others are the Rishi couples who are regarded with veneration even today?.

In BrihadaaraNyaka Uponishad 3.6; 3.8, we see Vachaknavi Gaargi questioning the Sage Yagjnavalkya. The same Upanishad 2.4; 4.5 mentions MaitrEyi learning Brahmavidyaa from Yagjnavalkya, her husband. It is interesting to mention that the Upanishad prescribes a ritual for ensuring the birth of a daughter endowed with learning. Atah ya ichchEd duhitaa mE paNDitaa jaayEta,?tiloudanam paachayitvaa?asneeyataam iti?

(Authority: ?MaharishigaL Charitram? by Mimamsa SirOmaNi Mimamsa Vidvan Mimamsa Kovida, Ubhaya Mimamsa Saaragjna, Veda Vedanta ChooDaamaNi 

Sri N.S. Devanathachariar - Introduction by Sri P.S.Ramanathan).

THEN, WHY SHOULD IT BE SAID THAT WOMEN SHOULD NOT RECITE THE VEDAS?

This is because these women Riashikas were quintessence of celibacy, actually practiced the technique and exercise of overcoming their own inherent feminine biological disabilities connected with menstrual cycles. They were quite conversant with the requirements of intonation and pronunciation that often needed drawing sounds deep from the navel. They were also fully conversant with the rules of grammar peculiar to Sanskrit ? the language through which religion spoke in days of yore. That is why, even in those days, women who could not master the perfection of the language preferred to speak in the much easier but not-so-perfect Praakrit.

?Apart from grammar, the accent, intonation, articulation and pronunciation play a vital role in preserving the heritage. They are variously defined as - Ucha staayi (high pitch) Neecha staayi (low pitch) Madhyama staayi (middle pitch) Dheergha (elongated) Hrasva (shortened), GaNa (repetition back and forth) Udaatta (high key), Anudaatta (low key) Swara (tone) etc. so that even the letter, let alone the words of the mantras and other sacred literature could not be altered or tampered with at will. It would be sacrilegious to do so. As for pronunciation, they are governed by rules on - gutterals, palatals, linguals, retroflex, dentals, labiels, aspirates, nasals, semivocals, diphtongs, visarga and anuswara which are distinct and clear so that if anyone of them is misused in the place of the correct one, it would render the words either meaningless or twisted out of shape? 

(Chapter 4 of ?Hinduism Rediscovered? by Anbil Ramaswamy)

And, Veda Adhyayanam has to be continued like Taila dhaara (flow of oil) without interruption even for a single day. For the modern women, uninitiated in this technique and exercise makes it difficult for them to follow the rules both in letter and spirit.

DOES THIS MEAN THAT THERE CAN BE ?RISHIS? AMONG MEN IN THE MODERN TIMES?

Even in these days, some men might be able to follow these rules of grammar but there can be no ?Rishis? in modern times. The codes of conduct for ?Rishis? were extremely hard and the transgression of the rules was not only considered a sin but it was also believed that the holy learning would leave the offender.

Apasthamba says that because of this, no Rishis (Mantra DrishTas) are born amongst the men of later ages.

NiyamEshu tapa: sabda: / Tad adikramE vidyaakarma nisravanti /? 


Tasmaat RishayOvarEshu na jaayantE niyaMa atikramaat 
(Apastamba Dharma Sutra 1.2.5; 1.6)

Also, he quotes SvEtakEtu: 

? He who desires to study more, after having settled as a householder, shall dwell two months in every year, with collected mind, in the house of his teacher and continue to serve him? Even if in the modern times, one might have done Veda Adhyayanam in the PaaTasaala tradition, it is hard to find one following the SvEtakEtu?s dictum mentioned above, which he himself practiced.

Aswalaayana Grihya Sutra 1.8.10-12 states that a ?Rishi? can sill be born to the newly married, if they abstain from saline food and sleep on the ground for one year ?

Akshaara lavaNaasinou brahmachaariNaava alankurvaaNaavadha: syaaninou syaataam /atha oordvam, triraatram dvaadasa raatram / samvatsaram vaa Eka Rishir jaayatE iti //

Haradatta concludes thet there will be none who will receive the revelation of Mantras in Kaliyuga.

WHAT TO DO WHEN ONE DOES NOT KNOW ONE?S GOTRA?

If one does not know or forgets one?s GOtra, Dharma texts recommend the adoption of the GOtra of the great Rishis Jamadagni or Kaasyapa.

SvagOtra pravara ajgjnaanE Jamadagnim UpaasrayEt / NirNayasindu 

Gotra naase Tu kasyapa:?. Kasyapa gOtrasya Sarva saadhaaraNatvaat / 
(Smriti Chandtrika p.398)

 GOTRAS AND PRAVARAS ? AN OVERVIEW 


PART 4: LIST OF VARIOUS GOTRAS AND PRAVARAS 
(Anbil Ramaswamy) 
Based on 
- Monograph of MahaamahOpaadhyaaya Sri Srivatsaankaachaar Swami, now Head of Dept. French Indolgical Research Institute, Pondicherry 
- ?MaharishigaL Charitram? by Mimamsa SirOmaNi Mimamsa Vidvan Mimamsa Kovida, Ubhaya Mimamsa Saaragjna, Veda Vedanta ChooDaamaNi Sri N.S. Devanathachariar (referred by Sri Srivatsankachariar Swami) 
- ?Sandhyavandanam? book jointly published by Sri Visishtadvaita Research Centre, Madras, Tillaisthanam Swamy Kainkarya Sabha, Bangalore and Sri Poorvacharya Kainkarya Sabha, Bangalore. 
- Sri Desika Diary of Seva Swamigal for Chitrabanu yaer 
- ?The early Brahminical System of Gotra and Pravara? ? a translation of ?Gotra - Pravara Manjari? of Purushottam Pandita by Brough J, Cambridge University Press (1953
------------------------------------------------------------------------ 
NOTE: 

Though this compilation is based on the above, it is not comprehensive and we do not guarantee the accuracy of the details. This is because the major Gotras are divided into minor subdivisions known as gaNas and gaNas themselves are further subdivided into lineages. The term ?Gotra?, however, is often used to refer to the major Gotras, as also to gaNas and even these lineages. Thus, we find several ?gaNas? and ?lineages? listed under major ?Gotras?, each being appended with the term ?Gotra?. And, you will see the same Rishis occurring in the Pravaras of one or more different groups in the nature of permutation and combination. We will be grateful for any additions, corrections, modifications etc. with appropriate PramaaNams. 

Please send them to Ramanbil@xxxx

Please refer to your elders as to the correct Pravara to be used with reference to your Gotra. for your observance. 


------------------------------------------------------------------------ 
In our daily Sandyavandanam, we recite the names of seven Rishis who are considered to be the Chief Gotra pravartakas. Viz, 
Atri, Brigu, Kutsa, VasishTa, Goutama, Kaasyapa and Aangirasa. 
  
 

First, we will present the Pravaras of these Gotras, gaNas and lineages: 


Gotra / gaNa/ lineage   Pravara 
1.      Atri a a.k.a. AatrEya:  AatrEya, Archanaanasa, Syaavaasva 
2.      Brigu a.k.a Bhaargava 
(1) Srivatsa: Bhargava, Syaavana, Aplavaana, Aurva, Jamadagni 
(2) Vadoola     Bhargava, Vitahavya, SavEdasa 
(3) Vatsa Bhargava, Syavana, Apanavana 
3.      Kutsa:  Angirasa, Mandatra, Kutsa 
4.      VasishTa 
(1)     KaunDinya       VasishTa, MaitraavaruNa, KaunDinya 
(2)     Parasara        VasishTa, Shaktya, Paraasara 
5.      Goutama: Aangirasa, Aayasya, Goutama 
6.      Kasyapa 
(1)     Kasyapa:        Kaasyapa, Aavatsara, Daivala 
(2)     Naidruvakasyapa:Kaasyapa, Aavatsara, Naidruva 
(3)     SaNdilya: 
(a)     Kaasyapa, Aavatsara, SaaNDilya 
(b)     Kaasyapa, Aavatsara, Naidruva, Repa, Raipa, SaNdilya 
7.      Angirasa: 
(1)     Bharadwaaja: Aangirasa, Baarhaspatya, Bharadwaaja 
(2)     Harita: Aangirasa, Ambarisha, Yuvanaasva 
(3)     SadamarshaNa: Aangirasa, Paurukutsa, Trasatasya 
(4)     Gargi: 
(a)     Aangirasa, Baarhaspatya, Bharadwaaja, Sainya, Gaargya 
(b)     Aangirasa, Sainya, Gaargya, 
(c)     Kaasyapa, Aavatsara, SaaNdilya 
(5)     Moudgalya: 
(a)     Aangirasa, Pharamsva, Moudgalya 
(b)     Dharkya, Pharamsva, Moudgalya 
(c)     Aangirasa, Davya, Moudgalya 

(6)     KaNva: 

(a)     Aangirasa, Ajaamilana, KaNva 
(b)     Aangirasa, Gaura, KaNva 
(7)     BaadrayaNa:     Aangirasa, Baarhaspatya, Raatra 
(8)     Agastya: Agastya, Dardyayuda, Saumavah 
(9)     Sankriti: 
(a)     Aangirasa, Gauravita, Sankritya 
(b)     Saadhya, Gouraveeta, Sankritya

Besides the above, there are much too numerous other groups beyond the scope of the present write up, like - 


Agastya Agastya, maahEndra, amyObhuva 
Aja Vaiswamitra, Madhuchandasa, Aajya 
Dhanajaya Vaiswmitra, Kaushika, AgamarshaNa 
Jamadagni Baargava Aurva, Jaamadagna 
Kousika: Viswaamitra, AgamarshaNa, Yuvanaasva 
Shunaka Shaunaka 
Upamanyu VasishTa, Aindrapramaada, Aupamaanyava 
VaamadEva Aangirasa, VaamadEva, Baarhadukta 
Viswaamitra: Viswaamitra, Devaraatha, Audala 
and many others

 GOTRAS AND PRAVARAS ? AN OVERVIEW ? 


PART 5: THE GLORY OF AATREYA GOTRAM 
(Anbil Ramaswamy) 
Based on 
- Monograph of MahaamahOpaadhyaaya Sri Srivatsaankaachaar Swami, now Head of Dept. French Indolgical Research Institute, Pondicherry 
- ?MaharishigaL Charitram? by Mimamsa SirOmaNi Mimamsa Vidvan Mimamsa Kovida, Ubhaya Mimamsa Saaragjna, Veda Vedanta ChooDaamaNi Sri N.S. Devanathachariar (referred by Sri Srivatsankachariar Swami) 
===================================================================== 

ATREYA GOTRAM

The Gotra Pravartaka of this Gotram is Sage ?Atri?. He is reputed to be one of the six ?Manasaputras? of Brahma, the others being - Mareechi, Aangiras, Pulastyar, Pulahar and Kratu. He is considered to be the Senior-most of the Sages, having been born, may be, when the earth itself was born!

His wife ?Anasuya?, was equally great, if not more, than Sage Atri himself in her Tapas. Her father was Kardama Prajapathi who knew the past, present and the future (trikaaljnaani). He named her as ?Anasuya?. True to her name, she was devoid of jealousy so totally that others felt jealous of this trait in her!

She was the role model for a Pativrata. No greater proof is needed than the incident in which she transformed the Trimurtis of Brahma, VishNu and Siva into ?just born? babies and fed them being nude herself, when they tried to test her Paativratyam!

All the Vedas praise the glory of this Sage Atri. His power of intense penance (tapas) is such that he is deemed to have performed tapas seated under the deepest part of the Ocean for 3000 dEva years (not manushya years!).

He begot innumerable sons and each one of them lived true to the adage ?Like father, like Son?, and performed equally intense Tapas. That is why AatrEya Vamsam is said to be the largest of all lineages.

He is reputed to have founded the whole of the 5th MaNDalam of Rik Veda.

Rik Veda 5.40.9 alludes to how he restored the brilliance of the Sun (Soorya) when the demon, Raahu blacked him out, while none else could accomplish this impossible feat. 


  
 

Ya vai soorya svarbhaanus tamasaavidyad asura: / 

Atraya: thum anvavindan na hi anyE asaknuvan //

The Sun can shed light during day. What about the night? We know that in the night, the moon shines on earth. It is said that it is this Sage who bade moon (SOma) to shed his light on the plants to invest them with healing powers. That is why Moon is also known as ?Oshadeesa? Thus, the credit for making the Sun and the moon to shine goes to Sage Atri.

There is a Yaaga named after this Sage. It is called ?Atri Chaturaham?. The Sage performed this Yaaga and reaped its full benefits. ?Anyone performing this Yaaga is sure to reap similar benefits to the full,? says Taittriya Samhita 7.1.8.1.

?Atriradadaadouvaarya prajaam putrakaamaaya sa ririchaanOmanyata nirbeerya: sithilO yaatayaamaa sa etam Chaturaatram apasyath thum aaharath tEnaa yajata//?

Gold is considered to be the most valuable material. Taitriya Samhita 1.4.43.2 while referring to the procedure for performance of Soma yaaga, stipulates that this precious gold should be gifted on the occasion only to a Brahmin born in the precious lineage of Atri.

Taittriya Samhita 6.6.1 specifically refers to such a one as the most suited for receiving the ?gift of gold?. Though there may be 16 Ritviks who tirelessly engage in the conduct of the Yaaga, Veda ordains that only a Brahmin born of the Vamsam of Sage Atri should be honored first and foremost.

Apasthamba, BOdaayna, Kaatyaayana and others also concur in this.

Apasthambha Srouta Sutram 13.6.12 mentions that of the three Pravartakas of AtrEya Gotra, the first honor should go to the one belonging to the direct descendants of Atri and only if and when such a one is unavailable, the honor could go to the second and the third and in that order.

BraahmaNam adhya Raadhyaasam iti 
AatrEyaaya prathamaaya hiraNyam dadaati, 

Dviteeyaaya triteeyaaya vaa//

Non-violence (Ahimsa) is deemed to be the first quality to be acquired. But, this is not always possible in practice. Should an occasion arise when germs need to be exterminated, Veda Mantram prescribes expatiation of the sin accruing there from by simply uttering the name of Sage Atri. It is said that the Sage had mastered the means of dispelling such sins by virtue of his ?power of penance? (TapObalam).

Bodaayana Srouta Sutram 9.18 attests to this:

?Yadi gharmadugham vaa mahaaveeram vaa krimaya: Upaadhi gachchEyu: Taanadbhi: prakshaalayEth ?AtriNaa tvaa krimE hanmi? iti mantrENa?

Sage Atri is known as one of the four primary disciples of Lord Vikaanasa who appeared from the nail of Brahma to propagate the procedure for Bhagavad Aradhana.

To this day exist a Samhita granta, in the name of Sage Atri, as a basic reference manual in this regard. Vedas and Puranas speak very high of the glory of AatrEya Gotram.

Let us pay our obeisance to the most ancient Rishi couple of Atri and Anasuya and seek their benediction.

 GOTRAS AND PRAVARAS ? AN OVERVIEW ? 





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