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Hindu Gotra Lists and Surnames: A Comprehensive Guide

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Last Updated:September 2, 2023

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In this article, we will explain the Hindu Gotra Lists and Surnames with their details. The term ‘gotra’ is an essential element of human life as this is used to identify their identity. As per Hindu tradition, gotra is the identification of a kinship group that is seen as identical to lineage or genealogy. 

Similarly, gotra and surnames are used to denote individuals with his family. In its broadest sense, it refers to those descended from a single patriarchal or typical male progenitor. The gotras form an exogamous unit.

In Hindu tradition, the gotra plays a vital part in marriages, and it is forbidden to marry someone from the same gotra. It is not the same as a surname, despite the fact that it is sometimes used that way.

What Is The Term Gotra & Surname?

Gotra is the descent meaning in another language. The given name of a family is often distinct from its gotra, although it is relatively similar to a family name. Given names may reflect the traditional occupation, place of residence, or other significant family trait rather than gotra. 

Hindu Gotra Lists and Surnames

Gotra translates to “go” as cow, land, veda, and guru. Gotras are the only things those who are Brahman, Kshatriya, or Vaishya have. The other castes don’t have gotras because they historically weren’t allowed to attend school. Today, all castes use the self-declared name of their gotra. Channaraya Gnaneswar

People from different castes may share the Hindu Gotra and Surenames social system. But among matrilineal Tulu/Malayalee speakers, there is a remarkable exception where the lineages are the same across castes.

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Origin Of Hindu Gotra And Surnames

Gotra, which refers to a herd of cows and denotes a tightly related ancestry, is referenced in the Rig Veda. Additionally, members of a certain gotra share characteristics, whether acquired via work or inherited traits. 

Hindu Gotra Lists and Surnames

According to the Vedic theories, the Brahmins are the close relatives of seven sages who are acknowledged to be Brahma’s children and were conceived through yogic prowess. Gautama Maharishi, TlShandilya, Bharadwaja, Vishvamitra, Jamadagni, Vashista, Kashyapa, and Atri.

The 108 gotras, especially those of the Brahmins, have evolved from these eight sages, known as gotrakarins. Additionally, the Atreya and Gavisthiras gotras emerged from Atri.

Numerous Hindu gotra, according to Robert Vane Russell, were named after plants, animals, and other natural objects and had a tribal origin. For instance, Bharadwaj suggests a lark, Kaushik suggests slipped from Kusha, Agastya from the agasti bloom, Kashyapa from the kachhap a turtle, and Taittiri from the titar a partridge. 

The common characteristic of totemism is that members of a family feel a connection to the animals or trees. They also agree not to hurt or murder them in any way.

Importance Of Hindu Gotras And Surnames In Marriage

People who belong to the same gotra are regarded as kith and kin. As a result, Hindu tradition does not practice Marriage between them. In addition, some people think that a child from such marriages will inherit hereditary illnesses.

Due to their varied gotras, maternal cousin marriages are common in South Indian Hindu culture. However, because they belong to the same gotra, paternal cousins cannot be married.

The scientific rationale can be found in the old Vedic notion regarding the influence of gotra on marriages. However, there is still much disagreement over it, and feminists have many unanswered questions. The scientific enhancement is outlined as follows:

The Gotra method essentially functions as a tool for locating the paternal gene in your family. In other words, identifying the Y chromosome. Males have the XY chromosome, and females have the XX chromosome, as is clear. 

As a result, those with the same gotra are regarded as belonging to the same clan. Even though they might not be blood relatives, they will nonetheless be regarded as siblings. Additionally, entering into a marriage is strictly against the law of both religion and culture. 

However, there are discussions about this in the present-day 21st century. And occasionally it gets in the way of a couple who are in love and bonded by this theory. Therefore, learning the gotras has been seen as a crucial element in Hindu marriages from ancient times.

Hindu Gotra Lists And Surnames

To let you know about the main Hindu gotra lists and surnames used by the Hindus as below:

KaushikaKaundinya
AudalaManu
AngirasaMarichi
AtriMeena
AatreyaParashar
BharadwajSandilya
BhargavaShiva(Shiv-adi)
BhriguSiwal
BrihadbalaUpamanyu
ChandratreUpreti
DhananjayaVashista
GargVishnu
GautamVishvamitra
HarinamaYadav
HaritasyaJamadagni
KadamKashyapa

Except from these read about the Brahmin gotra lists and surnames as well:

Gotras
AgastyaGargaKavistParasharaSankritya (Sakarawar)Vishnu
Atreyasa/AtriGautamasaKatyayanaParthi VasaSoralVishnuvardhana
AlambaniAguhilyaKrishnatreya or KrishnatreyaPouragutsyaSrivatsaVishnu Vriddha
AngadGhrita kaushikaKundina GowtamaPunagashellaSumarkanthVishvani
AngirasaHarita/HaritasaKushaRatheetarasaSuryadhwajaYaska
AhabhunasaHukman BhalKutsaPurangShaktriVaidya/Baidya
AupamanyavaJamadagniKutsasaPradnyaShaunakaVartantu
BabhravyaJatukarnaLakhiRathitaraSravan VanitasVishwagni
BharadwajKalabodhana/ Kalaboudha /KalabhavanLohitRohingyaSuryaUts Asya
BhargavaKamakayana VishwamitraLohita-KowsikaRauksaayanaSwatantra KabisaSuparna
BhakdiKanvaLomashaSaminathenTugnaitShiva
BhaskaraKaushikasaMandavyaSanatanaRoushayadanaKuvera
ChandilyaKapiMarichiSalankayanaUpadhyaySawarna
CharoraKapilMarkandeyaSangarUpmanyu (Upamanyu)Saharia Joshi
ChikitasaKapinjalaMauna BhargavaSanakaUpretiSauparna
ChyavanaKarmaniMatangaSanagaVadulaSavaran
DalabhyaKashyapaMaudgalya MoudgalyaSanjayaValmikiSavita
DarbhasKoundinyasaMudgala (Maudgalya, Moudgil, Modgil, Mudgal)SankhyayanaVardhviyasaSomnasser
DevKaunshMudgalSankrithi(Sankrityayan)VardhulasaPratanansya
DhananjayaKaushal/Kaushalas/KushalMihirayanSankyanasaVardy SwasaVeetahavya
DhanvantariKaushik/Koshik/Koushik,Kushika/Ghrita kaushikaNaidhruvaShatamarshanaVashishtaVatsyayan
GalvasayaKaustubhaNithunthana/NaithunthasaShandilya, sanasVatsaNrusimhadevara
KayagasNaidruva KashyapaSandilyasaShandelosya

Why Do We Follow Hindu Gotra and Surnames For Marriages?

According to the exogamy norm of the conventional matrimonial system, weddings within the gotra (also known as “sagotra marriages”) are not authorized. The terms “sa” and “gotra,” which both mean the same or related things, are combined to form the compound word “sagotra.” 

It is customary in Hindu culture to inquire about the bride and groom’s kula-gotra, or “clan lineage,” before allowing the marriage. The gotra considers its members to be siblings, hence getting married to one of them is frowned upon. 

Marriage between members of the same gotra is discouraged in almost all Hindu families since it is thought that they have the same ancestor. The marriage of people from different gotras is consequently promoted. However, marriage is permitted within the jaati and even advised.

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For instance, the Mudirajas of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have 2600 Gotras, whereas the Jats and Rajputs have 3000 Gotras. For the majority of Hindus, gotra is always passed down from father to child. The Malayali and Tulu people, on the other hand, pass it down from mother to kid.

The Sanskrit term saha udara’ (), which means co-uterine or born of the same womb, is the source of the tatsama words sahodara’ (brother) and sahodari’ (sister). Marriages between a lady and her maternal uncle were permitted in groups where gotra membership was carried down from the father to the children, however, these marriages were prohibited in matrilineal societies, such as the Nairs and Tuluvas, where gotra membership was passed down through the mother.

Hindu society in South India is far more likely to allow cross-cousin marriages (children of a brother and a sister) since their gotras are different. Therefore, a man is permitted to wed either his paternal aunt’s daughter or his maternal uncle’s daughter, but not his paternal uncle’s daughter. She would be regarded as comparable to be treated as a sister with the same gotra.

In addition to adhering to the gotra requirements for marriage, North Indian Hindu society also has additional rules that define incest broadly and go beyond the basic gotra definition. Due to the assumption that both clans share a common patrilineal ancestor, some tribes in North India forbid marriages with specific other clans. 

Marriage inside the gotra of the mother’s father, and maybe some others, is forbidden in some communities. A potential workaround for sagotra marriages is to execute a ‘Dathu’ (adoption) of the bride to a family of a different gotra (typically, dathu is given to the bride’s maternal uncle who belongs to a different gotra by the same regulation) and let them perform the ‘kanyadanam’ (kanya’ (girl) + ‘dhanam’ (to)).

Sum Up

Although Brahmin gotra lists and surnames are infused with a little cultural history and heritage. You can learn more about the diversity and richness of Brahman culture by looking at this list of surnames. 

All segments of society held the Brahmins in high respect and primarily linked them with priestly responsibilities. Even though they are typically occupational names, some surnames including Gowda, Reddy, Modi, Agarwal, Varma, Naik, and Sheth may also be Brahmin surnames. 

This list of surnames was carefully considered before being put together, and it has been divided into several sections for your convenience. Learn more about their culture by scrolling through the list.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.How different are Brahmin surnames across India?

A.Brahmins, who are separated into sub-castes for their diversity in religion and culture, make up about 4.3% of the population in India. Additionally, the geographical split led to the division of Brahmins into two groups, the Panch Gour (Northerners) and the Panch Dravida (Southerners), which are separated by the Vindhya mountain range in central India.

Q.How do Brahmin surnames originate?

A.The priests, as well as the intellectual and spiritual leaders of the caste system’s society, were Sanskrit-derived Brahmins. The Rig Veda, which claims that Brahmins sprung from Brahma’s lips, is another source of legendary information about Brahmins.

Q.What are the Brahmin’s Gotra lists and surnames?

A.The Brahmin gotra lists and surnames including Gowda, Reddy, Modi, Agarwal, Varma, Naik, and Sheth may also be Brahmin surnames.

Q.What do you mean by gotra?

A.Gotra is the descent meaning in another language. The given name of a family is often distinct from its gotra, although it is relatively similar to a family name.

Q.How did gotra originate?

A.The 108 gotras, especially those of the Brahmins, have evolved from these eight sages, known as gotrakarins. Additionally, the Atreya and Gavisthiras gotras emerged from Atri.

Q.How Hindu gotra and surnames important in marriages?

A.People who belong to the same gotra are regarded as kith and kin. Hindu tradition does not practice marriage between them. In addition, some people think that a child from such marriages will inherit hereditary illnesses.

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