Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pradakshna

Pradakshina (Sanskrit), meaning circumambulation, consists of walking around in a 'circle' as a form of worship in Hindu ceremonies in India. The devotees walk around the sanctum sanctorum, the innermost chamber of the shrine housing the temple deity. It is done around sacred fire (Agni), trees and plants as well. Thus Pradakshina is done around Tulsi plant and Peepal tree. Pradakshina or Parikrama is done in pilgrimage centres also. Parikrama around the Govardhana mount near Mathura (UP) is very famous. This parikrama involves a walk of 26 miles around Govardhana hillock which is related to Shri Krishna's life as a child.

The circumambulation is done usually in a clockwise direction except in the Shiva temples. The clockwise direction is followed since the devotees should have their rightside towards the object of worship. For this, the devotees will have to walk towards their left hand side from the front of the object of worship. Pradakshina literally means: to the right (Dakshina means right). The Bali stones should be included in the Pradakshina purview. So in Pradakshina, one goes to the left hand direction to keep the deity as also the Bali Stones around the Sanctum Sanctorum on one's right side.

Pradakshina is one of the customary aspects of going to a temple. Typically, Pradakshina is done after the completion of traditional worship (puja) and after paying homage to the deity. Pradakshina is supposed to be done with a meditative mood.

The pathway made of granite stone around the shrine is called the Pradakshina path.
Pradakshina around the sacred fire is a part of the Hindu marriage ceremony.

Speciality of Pradakshina in SHIVA Temples
In Shiva temples, the devotees start the Pradakshina as usual from the front and go clockwise till they reach the gomukhi (the outlet for abhisheka water) from the Sanctum Sanctorum. As usual the clockwise perambulation is maintained outside of the Bali stones. The drainage outlet for the ritual ablution offered on the Shiva Linga with water, milk, curd, coconut water, ghee, ashes (bhasma)etc. is not to be crossed. So the worshippers have to return in anti-clockwise direction till they reach the other side of the drainage outlet to complete the circle. During this anti-clockwise perambulation, the devotee should tread a path inside of the Bali stones. The Bali stones are always to be kept the right side of the devotees. After reaching the drainage oulet, they have to return to the front in the clockwise direction keeping the path outside the Bali stones. Thus one Pradakshina is completed.

Shayana Pradakshinam
Shayana Pradakshinam is done in a lying posture. It starts with a Sashtanga Namaskara in front of the sanctum sanctorum. In Sashtanga Namaskara, the devotees have eight parts of their bodies touching the ground. Thus forehead, chest, shoulders, hands and knees touch the ground. The folded hands will be directed always towards the deity. In this pose, the devotees circumambulate on the Pradakshina path. The relatives and friends of the devotees help them to roll around. This is a tedious ritual.

Number of Pradakshinas
For each deity, the minimum number of Pradakshinas to be done are specified.

Ganesha: 1
Shiva: 2
Vishnu: 3
Ayyappa: 4
Subrahmanya (Karthikeya): 5
Durga: 6
Peepal Tree: 7

The Swayambhu Agama says that doing Pradakshina 21 times to any deity is sanctified.

Significance of doing Pradakshina
We cannot draw a circle without a center point. The Lord is the center, source and essence of our lives. We acknowledge this by performing Pradakshina. Recognizing Him as the focal point in our lives, we go about doing our daily chores. This is the significance of Pradakshina.

Also every point on the circumference of a circle is equidistant from the centre. This means that wherever we may be or whoever we may be, we are equally close to the Lord. His grace flows towards us without partiality.

According to Adi Sankaracharya, real Pradakshina is the meditation that thousands of universes are revolving around the Great Lord, the unmoving centre of all forms.

There is a popular legend about the significance of Pradakshina. Once Lord Shiva wanted his two sons, Ganesha and Subrahmanya, to get "worldly experience" and asked them take a "tour of the universe". While Subrahmanya spent decades traveling the world on his peacock, Ganesha just walked a full circle around his mother and father and is believed to have explained "since the world is contained within you, I have already encircled the world"!

Monday, April 19, 2010

A small trip across mountains in Italy

We self, Keith Hall and Van Der Horst Kees went on a drive through the mountains in Italy started at about 10:30 am on the Sunday morning of 18-04-2010 from President Hotel situated in Salice Terme, Godiasco, Pavia, Italy on a fantastic drive through the mountains driving through Voghera, Varzi, Bobbio, Ferriere, Rocca, Genoa and finally through the Autostrada back to Salice Terme. A small map is attached for ease of understanding the wonderful route.



View Directions to Salice Terme, Italy in a larger map

Friday, November 20, 2009

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Ancestorage and Niyogi Brahmins Cont...........

Surnames (Family Names) of:

Niyogi Brahmins

1
Adaalatu
2
Adukuri
3
Ainamprolu
4
Ainaparti
5
Akhandam
6
Akkiraju
7
Alamuru
8
Alapattu
9
Aleti
10
Alladi
11
Ambadasu
12
Ambarukhana
13
Ammiraju
14
Amruthavakkula
15
Anantavarapu
16
Andukuru
17
Anipeddi
18
Annavarpu
19
Anumarlapudi
20
Attota
21
Ayenapurapu
22
Ayinambrolu
23
Ayinpura
24
Bairavarasu
25
Balijepalli
26
Bathulapalli
27
Beecharaju
28
Bhandaru
29
Bharatam
30
Bhatlapenamarthi
31
Bhatraju
32
Bhimavarapu
33
Birudavolu
34
Bodicherla
35
Bolla
36
Bollapragada
37
Boppudi
38
Brahmandam
39
Budamagunta
40
Chakilam
41
Challa
42
Chandraraju
43
Chelpati
44
Cheruku
45
Chetlapalli
46
Chevendra
47
Chillara
48
Chittem
49
Chodavarapu
50
Daliparthi
51
Damerla
52
Devalraju
53
Devambotla
54
Devarabotla
55
Dongra
56
Dontaraju
57
Dosapati
58
Dubagunta
59
Durga
60
Durgaraju
61
Edlapalli
62
Edury
63
Eedupalli
64
Errampeta Chetlapalli
65
Errapatruni
66
Errum
67
Gaddapalli
68
Gadicharla
69
Gadidasu
70
Gajulapalli
71
Gampa
72
Ganapatiraju
73
Gandavarapu
74
Gangaravula
75
Ganugapati
76
Garikapati
77
Gatraju
78
Ghali
79
Ghantasala
80
Godavari
81
Goparaju
82
Gopaluni
83
Gorijavolu
84
Guduru
85
Gundlapalli
86
Gundumalla
87
Guntupalli
88
Huggahalli
89
Ikkurthi
90
Ikkurthy
91
Ikkurty
92
Illandula
93
Illendula
94
Illindala
95
Inapurapu
96
Indurthi
97
Inumella
98
Jeedigunta
99
Josyula
100
Kagollu
101
Kagupati
102
Kakarlamudi
103
Kakarlapudi
104
Kakileru Chetlapalli
105
Kamaraju
106
Kambhammettu
107
Kanakabhattula
108
Kanchikacharala
109
Kanchugantala
110
Kandhibanda
111
Kankipati
112
Kanukollu
113
Kapavarapu
114
Karinapati
115
Karlapudi
116
Kasarabada
117
Kathari
118
Kavipurapu
119
Kavulu
120
Kavuluri
121
Kavuru
122
Kesharaju
123
Khandaladinne
124
Koduri
125
Kolipaka
126
Komaravolu
127
Kona
128
Koochi
129
Korlimarla
130
Kotamraju
131
Kovuru
132
Kunchanapalli
133
Kuppila
134
Lakinepalli
135
Lakkaraju
136
Lingamgunta
137
Machiraju
138
Maddali
139
Madiraju
140
Mallavarapu
141
Malyala
142
Mandapaka
143
Manikonda
144
Mannava
145
Marella
146
Mattigunta
147
Matukumalli
148
Mittadoddi
149
Modukuru
150
Morparthi
151
Mukkamala
152
Mukkapati
153
Munimanikyam
154
Mylavarapu
155
Nadimpalli
156
Nagulapalli
157
Nandiraju
158
Naraparaju
159
Nibhanupudi
160
Nissankala
161
Paluvayi
162
Pamarthi
163
Pamidimukkala
164
Parimi
165
Parupudi
166
Patibanda
167
Penamakuri
168
Penamakuru
169
Penugonda Chetlapalli
170
Pidugu
171
Potula
172
Pusuluri
173
Rayabharam
174
Rayaprolu
175
Regadamilli
176
Revuri
177
Rudravarapu
178
Rupanagunta
179
Salapaka
180
Sambaraju
181
Sambatur
182
Sampatam
183
Samudram
184
Sandepudi
185
Sannikandlapadu
186
Saripalli
187
Satram
188
Sattenapalli
189
Savidi
190
Singaraju
191
Somaasi
192
Somaraju
193
Srikaram
194
Sthaanam
195
Tammera
196
Thondapi
197
Toleti
198
Torthi
199
Tumu
200
Turlapati
201
Tuttagunta
202
Twarakavi
203
Udayagiri
204
Ullaganti
205
Uppala
206
Urakaranam
207
Uta
208
Uttaralingamakuntla
209
Vaddiraju
210
Vadduri
211
Vadlamudi
212
Vaduri
213
Vahi
214
Vallambhatla
215
Vanam
216
Vangipurapu
217
Vankamamidi
218
Vankeswarapu
219
Varagani
220
Varahagiri
221
Vareswaram
222
Varkhola
223
Vasa
224
Vegaraju
225
Veladi
226
Velagapudi
227
Vepachedu
228
Vinnakota
229
Vissamraju,
230
Yamarthi
231
Yedida
232
Yerravally

Most of these families belong to "Kanva" or "Kanveeya" branch of Pradhamasakha. Many of these family names are unique to Pradhamasakha, and you may not find the same names in any other Brahmin caste, but some family names are found in various other Brahmin groups as well. Also, some of these family names may be found in non-Brahmin castes due to the fact that many of the family names are derived from the village names.

Aruvela Niyogi

1
Abbaraju
2
Abburi
3
Achanta
4
Addanki
5
Adidamu
6
Adimulam
7
Adipudi
8
Adiraju
9
Aditham
10
Adivi
11
Aduri
12
Ajjarapu
13
Akkanapragada
14
Akkaraju
15
Akkenapragada
16
Akkinapragada
17
Akkinepalli
18
Akkiraju
19
Akunuri
20
Aluru
21
Amanaganti
22
Amancherla
23
Ammanabrolu
24
Amperayani
25
Andukuri
26
Annamraju
27
Annapragada
28
Annavaram
29
Apparaju in Aruvela Niyogi
30
Aradhyula
31
Arjarapu
32
Atlapragada
33
Atluri
34
Atreyapurapu
35
Avasarala
36
Avatapalli
37
Avva
38
Ayyadevara
39
Ayyagari
40
Ayyalaraju
41
Bakaraju
42
Balabhadrapatruni
43
Balanthrapu
44
Balemarthy
45
Balivada
46
Ballijepalli
47
Banda
48
Bandhakavi
49
Bapatla
50
Basavaraju
51
Bendapudi
52
Bhavaraju
53
Bhadriraju
54
Bhamidipati
55
Bharatham
56
Bhattiprolu
57
Bheemaraju
58
Bhimaraju
59
Bhogaraju
60
Bhograj
61
Bhupatiraju
62
Bitragunta
63
Bodapati
64
Boddapati
65
Bollapalli
66
Bollapragada
67
Bommakanti
68
Bommaraju
69
Bommireddipalli
70
Bondalapati
71
Botlaguduru
72
Boyanapalli
73
Boyinepalli
74
Brahmandam
75
Budaraju
76
Buddhavarapu
77
Budhiraju
78
Buyyanapragada
79
Chadalawada
80
Chaganti
81
Chaganty
82
Chakilam
83
Chalamchala
84
Challa
85
Challapally
86
Chamaraju
87
Chamarthy
88
Chandarlapati
89
Chandramouli
90
Chandraraju
91
Chatrathi
92
Cheemalamarri
93
Chennapragada
94
Cherukupalli
95
Cherukuvada
96
Chilakalapudi
97
Chimakurthy
98
Chinnamuttevi
99
Chinta
100
Chintagunta
101
Chintalapudi
102
Chintapalli
103
Chitrapu
104
Chittamuri
105
Chittapragada
106
Chitturi
107
Chodavarapu
108
Choragudi
109
Ciriyam
110
Daliparthy
111
Damaraju
112
Dammalapati
113
Danam
114
Dantanaraju
115
Davuluri
116
Desabhatla
117
Desaraju
118
Desiraju
119
Devalraju
120
Devambotla
121
Devarabhotla
122
Devarabotla
123
Devulapalli
124
Dhanyamraju
125
Dharani
126
Dharmavarapu
127
Dhurjati
128
Dinavahi
129
Dittakavi
130
Doddavarapu
131
Dontaraju
132
Dronamraju
133
Duggaraju
134
Duggirala
135
Duttaluru
136
Eadara
137
Eeswarapragada
138
Elchuri
139
Enjeti
140
Errapragada
141
Gaddamanugu
142
Gade
143
Gadiraju
144
Gady
145
Ganavarapu
146
Gandavarapu
147
Gandrapu
148
Gangaraju
149
Gangavarapu
150
Ganjam
151
Gannavarapu
152
Gollamudi
153
Goparaju
154
Goteti
155
Govindaraju
156
Gudipati
157
Gudladona
158
Gudlavalleti
159
Gullapalli
160
Gummaraju
161
Gundamaraju
162
Gundimeda
163
Gundlapalli
164
Gunnikuntla
165
Gurazada
166
Idury
167
Illandula
168
Illendula
169
Illindala
170
Inamanamelluri
171
Indupalli
172
Inugurthi
173
Inumella
174
Ippagunta
175
Iragavarapu
176
Ivaturi
177
Jallawaram
178
Jakkaraju
179
Jayagiri
180
Jayanthi
181
Jeedigunta
182
Jillellamudi
183
Jonnalagadda
184
Kaasiraju
185
Kadambari
186
Kalapatapu
187
Kalavacharla
188
Kaligotla
189
Kallakuri
190
Kalley
191
Kalluri
192
Kalugotla
193
Kalvakurthi
194
Kamakolanu
195
Kamaraju gadda
196
Kambhammettu
197
Kanakagiri
198
Kanala
199
Kanchnepalli
200
Kandukuri
201
Kanukolanu
202
Kanukollu
203
Kanuparthi
204
Kanuparthy
205
Kapavarapu
206
Karanam
207
Karavadi
208
Kasavaraju
209
Kasthala
210
Kasturi
211
Kasukurthi
212
Katranikona
213
Kattekola
214
Katuri
215
Kavi
216
Kavipurapu
217
Kesaanapalli
218
Kesapragada
219
Kesinapalli
220
Khambhammettu
221
Kocherlakota
222
Kodi
223
Koduri
224
Koduru
225
Koka
226
Kolanu
227
Komara
228
Komaragiri
229
Komarraju
230
Kommaraju
231
Kona
232
Konda
233
Kondapally
234
Kondepudi
235
Konduri
236
Konduru
237
Konidena
238
Konuru
239
Kopparapu
240
Korimilli
241
Korrapati
242
Korupolu
243
Kotamarthi
244
Kotamraju
245
Kotaru
246
Kotharu
247
Kotichintala
248
Kovuru
249
Krovvidi
250
Kuchimanchi
251
Kummamuru
252
Kunderu
253
Kundurthi
254
Kuntamukkala
255
Kurapati
256
Lakkapragada
257
Lakkaraju
258
Lakkavajjula
259
Lingamgunta
260
Lingaraju
261
Machavaram
262
Machiraju
263
Maddali
264
Maddikonda
265
Madiraju
266
Majeti
267
Malkapuram
268
Mallampalli
269
Mallapragada
270
Mallavarapu
271
Malyala
272
Manapragada
273
Manchikalapati
274
Manchikanti
275
Manchiraju
276
Mandapaka
277
Mandapati
278
Mangu
279
Mannava
280
Mannepalli
281
Mantri
282
Mantripragada
283
Mantriraju
284
Maramraju
285
Marella
286
Marripati
287
Mattigunta
288
Matukumalli
289
Medikonduru
290
Medukonduru
291
Mittagunta
292
Mocherla
293
Modukuru
294
Mooparti
295
Moorthiraju
296
Mopidevi
297
Movva
298
Mudunuru
299
Mukkamala
300
Muktevi
301
Mulakaluri
302
Mulpur
303
Mulpuri
304
Mulugu
305
Munagamuri
306
Munimanikyam
307
Munipalle
308
Muppalla
309
Mutharaju
310
Muvva
311
Mydavolu
312
Mylavarapu
313
Mynampati
314
Mysore
315
Nadela
316
Nadimpalli
317
Nadupalli
318
Namavarapu
319
Namburi
320
Nandanavanam
321
Nandigama
322
Nandiraju
323
Nandiwada
324
Nanduri
325
Naraparaju
326
Navuluri
327
Nedunuri
328
Neelamraju
329
Nellutla
330
Nemali
331
Nemalikanti
332
Nerella
333
Nidamarthi
334
Nidumolu
335
Nimishakavi
336
Nimushakavi
337
Nissankala
338
Paaturi
339
Pabbaraju
340
Pagolu
341
Paidipati
342
Palagummi
343
Palakodety
344
Palepu
345
Palivela
346
Palutla
347
Pamidipati
348
Pamulaparthi
349
Pamulapati
350
Panamgipalli
351
Panchalavarapu
352
Pandrangi
353
Pandravada
354
Panguluri
355
Panthangi
356
Paramathmuni
357
Paramatmuni
358
Paramkusham
359
Parimi
360
Parupalli
361
Pathapati
362
Pathikonda
363
Patibanda
364
Patruni
365
Pattamatta
366
Peddiraju
367
Pegatraju
368
Pelluri
369
Pemmaraju
370
Penamakuru
371
Penumudi
372
Perala
373
Petluri
374
Piduru
375
Pindiproli
376
Pindiprolu
377
Pingali
378
Pochiraju
379
Poduri
380
Pogalore
381
Polamraju
382
Polapragada
383
Polavaram
384
Poluri
385
Ponduri
386
Ponnada
387
Ponnekanti
388
Poolla
389
Poruri
390
Pothapragada
391
Potharaju
392
Potturi
393
Pragada
394
Pragadaraju
395
Praturi
396
Puligadda
397
Puligurtha
398
Pulijala
399
Pulikanti
400
Pulipaka
401
Pullamaraju
402
Punyamurthula
403
Pusapati
404
Putrevu
405
Puttabakula
406
Puvvada
407
Rachapudi
408
Racherla
409
Rajasekharuni
410
Ramachandruni
411
Ramapragada
412
Ramaraju
413
Rangaraju
414
Raparla
415
Ravela
416
Ravinutala
417
Ravipati
418
Ravula
419
Ravulaparti
420
Ravuri
421
Rayapudi
422
Rayasam
423
Rebbaprgada
424
Returi
425
Rupanagunta
426
Ryali
427
Saathamraju
428
Sambatur
429
Sambharaju
430
Sandepudi
431
Sangaraju
432
Sanka
433
Sankhamraju
434
Santapur
435
Sarikonda
436
Sarraju
437
Sarvepalli
438
Sathuluri
439
Sattiraju
440
Satyavolu
441
Seethamraju
442
Seethanraju
443
Seethimraju
444
Siddiraju
445
Singam
446
Singampalli
447
Singaraju
448
Siripurapu
449
Srigiriraju
450
Srikantham
451
Sundaragiri
452
Sunkaranam
453
Sunkesula
454
Surampudi
455
Suraparaju
456
Tadakamalla
457
Tadanki
458
Tadepalli
459
Tadikonda
460
Tadimalla
461
Tadimeti
462
Tadinada
463
Talapuru
464
Tallamraju
465
Tallapragada
466
Talluri
467
Talpuri
468
Tamiri (Kousikasa)
469
Tamirisa
470
Tamvada
471
Tanguturi
472
Tanuku
473
Tatavarthy
474
Tatiraju
475
Telidevara
476
Tenneti
477
Tetali
478
Thalupooru
479
Thatikonda
480
Thondapi
481
Thungathurthi
482
Timmaraju
483
Tipparaju
484
Tummalacheruv
485
Tummurugoti
486
Turaga
487
Turimella
488
Turlapati
489
Turlapaty
490
Tvarakavi
491
Unnava
492
Uppalapati
493
Uppaluri
494
Uppugunduri
495
Vaddadi
496
Vaddiparthi
497
Vadlamannati
498
Vadrevu
499
Vajja
500
Vajjala
501
Vakkalanka
502
Valluri
503
Valluru
504
Vallury
505
Vamaraju
506
Vangipurapu
507
Vankamamidi
508
Varahagiri
509
Varanasi
510
Varigonda
511
Vasiraju
512
Vedagiri
513
Vedaraju
514
Vedururu
515
Veladi
516
Velagaleti
517
Velagapudi
518
Velaparti
519
Veldurthy
520
Velichety
521
Velpuru
522
Vemavarapu
523
Vempati
524
Vemuganti
525
Vemula
526
Vemulakonda
527
Vemuri
528
Vennelaganti
529
Ventrapragada
530
Venuturupalle
531
Vepakomma
532
Vinnakota
533
Viriyala
534
Vissapragada
535
Volety
536
Voore
537
Vootukuri
538
Vurakaranam
539
Wuppalapati
540
Wuppugundur
541
Wuppukondur
542
Wuriti
543
Yabaluri
544
Yallapragada
545
Yandapalli
546
Yandapally
547
Yarrapragada
548
Yeddanapudi
549
Yedida
550
Yellamraju
551
Yendluri
552
Yerragudipati
553
Yerramilli
554
Yerrapragada
555
Yerukalapudi


Niyogis Today

Niyogis are those Brahmins, who took up various secular vocations including military ones like their counterparts in other states such as Chitpavans in Maharashtra, Mohyals in the Punjab, Tyagis and Bhumihar Brahmins in most parts of Northern India and the Pushpaka Brahmins of Kerala. For this many of them gave up religious occupations such as priesthood. Today you can see only hand-full of niyogi priests working in some temples. But still as Brahmins, they are committed to follow individual / family level rituals required to be followed at their homes, even though they don't choose that as career outside. Hence, the Niyogis never either accept a religious gift or partake of Shraadha food (food given to Brahmins during death related rituals). In spite of living in modern age, most of them never give up their consciousness regarding their Vedic heritage, but rather try to follow or understand them radically.

Niyogis depend and emphasize on modern education, administration (Niyogis have traditionally been well represented in the lower cadres of local administration in Andhra Pradesh), management etc. In the past, they were Zamindars, Talukdars, Munsabs, Minor kings, Ministers in the courts of kings and feudatories. Many of them were village accountants / clerks, Karanams (in Andhra) or Patwaris (in Telangana), until recently.

A famous saying goes Yendu Niyogimpavalenanna Niyogimpadagina vaadu Niyogi - He who can be trusted for successful completion of task is a Niyogi.

List of gotras

The word "Gotra" means "lineage" in the Sanskrit language. While it is somewhat akin to a family name, the given name of a family is often different from its gotra, as given names may reflect the traditional occupation, place of residence or other important family characteristic rather than gotra.
People belonging to the same gotra also belong to the same caste in the Hindu social system. But there is a notable exception among matrilineal Tulu/Malayalee speakers where the lineages are the same across the castes. For such lists of gotras compounded by caste, please refer to the following:
Brahmins: refer to List of Brahmin gotras

Vysyas: refer to Komati (caste)

Dhangars: refer to List of Dhangar clans in India

Kammas
Khatris: refer to List of Khatri last names

Kapu / Telaga / Balija / Naidu

Nairs

Reddys

Rajputs: refer to Rajput clans

Jats: refer to List of Jat clans

Kongu Vellala Gounder's: refer to List of Kongu Vellala kootams

Tuluva/Malayalees: refer to Tuluva Malayali lineage system

Rohillas: refer to List of Rohilla Gotra

Boyar caste refer to List of Boyar gotras

Mudaliars

Oraons

The Mouths that Recited Vedas are Grieving

Brahmins played an extraordinary role in the spread of knowledge and vitalizing the Indian society for millennia. Recently, in the freedom movement and national revitalization movements they proved their merit by playing their traditional role as usual. The Brahmins whose goals have been the enlightenment and prosperity of the society are leaving mainstream social, political and economic fields nowadays. Having merit is not enough to garner the positions in various fields and seats in schools in today’s society blighted with reservations and quotas. It is high time they raise their voice against the injustice and get together to fight by blowing the conch of awakening (clarion call), says Parusuram.

Brahmins lost their traditional jobs such as karaneekam (clerk/accountant) and agraharas (land endowments).

(It should be noted that Brahmins are not the priests in every temple. Temples like mutyalamma, poleramma, mahankali etc., where animal sacrifices are a norm, Brahmins are not priests.

Brahmin gotra system

The word "gotra" means "lineage" in the Sanskrit language. Among those of the Brahmin caste, gotras are reckoned patrilineally. Each gotra takes the name of a famous Rishi or sage who was the patrilineal forebearer of that clan. And each Gotra is addressed by the suffix 'sa' or 'asa' as relevant.
The concept of Gotra was the first attempt among Brahmins to classify themselves among different groups. At the beginning, these gentes identified themselves by the names of various rishis (Angirasa, Atri, Gautam, Kashyapa, Bhrigu, Vasishtha, Kutsa, and Bharadvaja; the first seven of these are often enumerated as Saptarishis). It is to be noted that Vishwamitra was initially a Kshatriya king, who later chose and rose to become an ascetic rishi. Hence the gotra was applied to the grouping stemming from one of these rishis as his descendants.

Contents

1 Gotras
2 Gothras and Pravaras
3 Lists of Brahmin Gotras
4 Implications
5 References
6 See also

Gotras

Many lines of descent from the major rishis were later grouped separately. Accordingly, the major gotras were divided into ganas (subdivisions) and each gana was further divided into groups of families. The term gotra was then frequently started being applied to the ganas and to the sub-ganas.
Every Brahmin claims to be a direct patrilinial descendant of one of the founding rishis of a certain gana or sub-gana. It is the gana or sub-gana that is now commonly referred to as gotra.
Over the years, the number of gotras increased due to:

Descendants of original rishi also started new family lineage or new gotras, by inter marriage with other sub-groups of the same caste, and inspired by another rishi whose name they bear as their own gotra.

Pravara is the number of the most excellent rishis who belonged to that particular gotra to which a person belongs. Gotra is the name of the founding father. In Vedic ritual, the importance of the pravara appears to be in its use by the ritualist for extolling his ancestry and proclaiming, "As a descendant of worthy ancestors, I am a fit and proper person to do the act I am performing." The sacred thread yajnopavita worn on upanayana has close connection with the concept of pravaras related to Brahmin gotra system. While tying the knots of sacred thread, an oath is taken in the name of each one of these three or five of the most excellent rishis belonging to one's gotra.

The full affiliation of a brāhamana consists of:Ø Gotra,

ØPravaras

ØSutra (of Kalpa)

ØShakha

(Example:) A brahmana named 'X' introduces himself as follows : I am 'X', of Shrivatsa gotra, of Āpastamba sutra, of Taittiriya shākha of Yajurveda, of five pravaras named Bhārgava, Chyāvana, Āpnavan, Aurva and Jāmdagnya (This example is based upon the example given by Pattābhirām Shastri in the introduction to Vedārtha-Pārijata, cf. ref.).

While the gotras were classified initially according to nine rishis

The pravaras were classified under the names of the following seven rishis:

Agastya
Angirasa
Atri
Bhrigu
Kashyapa
Vasishtha
Vishvamitra

According to the listing of authors included in the verses in Rigved, the rishi Jamadagni was a descendant of rishi Bhrigu while the rishis Gautam and Bharadvaja were the descendants of rishi Angirasa.

The pravara identifies the association of a person with three or sometimes five of the above-mentioned rishis.

For example, Kashyapa Gothram has 3 rishis associated with it viz. Kashyapa, Daivala and Aavatsaara

Gothras and Pravaras

Suryadhwaja: Lakhi (Mehrishi), Soral, Binju

Bharadwaj: Angirasa, Baaryhaspatya (i.e. bRhaspati), Bharadwaja

Rathitara: Angirasa, Baaryhaspatya, Rathitara

Vatula/Vadula: Bhargava, Vaitahavya, Saavedasa

Srivatsa: Bhargava, Chyaavana, Aapnavaana, Owrva, Jaamadaghneya

Salankayana: Viswaamitra, Aghamarshana, Devarata

Shatamarshana: Angirasa, Powrukutsa, Traasatasya

Atreya: Atreya, Aarchanaasa, Syaavaasva

Kowsika: Vishwamitra, Aghavarshana, Kowsika

Kalabodhana / Kalabhavasa (3 variations)
Kalabodhana: Viswaamitra, AAgamarshana, Kalabodhana
Kalaboudha: Viswaamitra, AAgamarshana, Kalaboudha

Kalabhavasa: Viswaamitra, AAgamarshana, Kalabhavasa

Viswamitra: Vaiswaamitra, Devarata, Owtala

Kaundinya: Vaasishta, Maitraavaruna, Kaundinya

Harita/Haritasa: Angirasa, Ambarisha, Yuvanasva

Gautamasa: Angirasa, Aayasyasa, Gautama

Mowdgalya (3 Variations)
Angirasa, Bharmyasva, Mowdgalya
Tarkshya, Bharmyasva, Mowdgalya
Angirasa, Dhavya, Mowdgalya

Sandilya (3 Variations)
Kasyapa, Aavatsaara, Daivala
Kasyapa, Aavatsaara, Sandilya
Kasyapa, Daivala, Asitha

Naitruvakaasyapa: Kasyapa, Aavatsara, Naitruva

Kutsa: Angirasa, Maandhatra, Kowtsa

Kanva (2 Variations)
Angirasa, Ajameeda, Kaanva
Angirasa, Kowra, Kaanva

Paraasara: Vaasishta, Saaktya, Paarasarya

Aagastya: Aagastya, Tardhachyuta, Sowmavaha

Gargi (2 Variations)
Angirasa, Bharhaspatya, Bharadwaja, Upadhyay
Angirasa, Sainya, Gaargya

Bhadarayana: Angirasa, Paarshadaswa, Raatitara

Kasyapa (3 Variations)
Kasyapa, Aavatsaara, Daivala
Kasyapa, Aavatsaara, Naidruva (Naitruva)
Kasyapa, Aavatsaara, Naidruva (Naitruva), Rebha, Raibha, Sandila, Saandilya

Sunkriti (2 Variations)
Angirasa, Kowravidha, Saankritya
Sadhya, Kowravidha, Saankritya

Angirasa, Pourukutsya, Thraasadasya

Goutam/gowtamasa Aangeerasa, ayasya, gowtama

AgniVaiwaswatha: Angirasa, Brahaspthayasa, Bharadwaja, Srukva, Agnivaiwaswathasa

Sankhyayana: Vishwamitra, Aghamarshana, Devaratha

List of Brahmin Gotras

The following is a partial list of gotras found in the Brahmin community of Hindus:

1 Agastya
2 Alambani
3 Angirasa
4 Atreya
5 Atri
6 Bhakdi
7 Bhardwaj
8 Bharadvajasa
8 Bhargava
9 Chandilya
10 Charora
11 Chikitasa
12 Dalabhya
13 Darbhas
14 Dhananjaya
15 Dhanvantari
16 Galvasaya
17 Garga
18 Gargheyasa
19 Gaubhilya
20 Gautam
21 Gautamasa
22 Harita
23 Haritasa
24 Hukman Bhal
25 Jamadagni
26 Jatukarna
27 Kalabodhana
28 Kalaboudha
29 Kalabhavasa
30 Kamakayana Vishwamitra
31 Kanva
32 Kapi
33 Kapil
34 Kashyapa
35 Katyayana
36 Kaundinya
37 Kaunsh
38 Kaushal
39 Kaushalas
40 Kushal
41 Kaushika
42 Kausyagasa
43 Krishnatriya
44 Krishnatreeya
45 Kutsa
46 Kutsasa
47 Lakhi
48 Lohit
49 Lohita-Kowsika
50 Lomasha
51 Mandavya
52 Matanga
53 Mauna Bhargava
54 Moudgalya
55 Mudgala (Maudgalya, Moudgil, Modgil, Mudgal)
56 Nithunthana
57 Nrisimhadevara
58 Nydravakashyapa
59 Parashara
60 Parthivasa
61 Pouragutsya
62 Purang
63 Ratheetarasa
64 Rathitara
65 Rohinya
66 Roushayadana
67 Rowshayadana
68 Saankritya (Sakarawar)
69 Saawarna
70 Saharia Joshi
71 Salankayana
72 Sandilyasa
73 Sangar
74 Sankrithi (Sankrityayan)
75 Sankyanasa
76 Sathamarshana
77 Shaktri
78 Shandelosya
79 Shandilya, sanas
80 Shaunaka
81 Somnasser
82 Soral
83 Srivatsa
84 Sumarkanth
85 Suryadhwaja
86 Tugnait
87 Upadhyay
88 Upamanyu
89 Utsasya
90 Vadula
91 Vaidya/Baidya
92 Valmiki
93 Vardhulasa
94 Vardhviyasa
95 Vardhyswasa
96 Vashishta
97 Vatsa
98 Veetahavya
99 Vishnu
100 Vishnuvardhana
101 Viswamitra
102 Yaska

Implications

Although people belonging to the same gotra are, in theory, related to each other patrilineally, and belong to the same Brahmin caste, there may be very little else in common between them. In fact, as per the Vedic system, a man and a woman belonging to the same gotra are considered to be a brother and sister, and hence, a marriage between a man and a woman belonging to the same gotra (known as sa-gotra) is forbidden as it will cause anomalies in the progeny that come out of such a marriage. A married woman takes up the gotra of her husband. The fact that people belong to a certain gotra says nothing about their domicile, original place of residence, mother tongue or family occupation, which can be known from than lower lever classification below gotra: pravaras, sutra (of Kalpa) and shakha.