Saturday, October 4, 2008

Sagothra marriages

There was some very relevant point raised about the need of lifting the ban on sagothra marriages.. It is commonly understood that Gothra is the paternal lineage, which is important to Hindus of all shades except the group practicing matrilineal inheritance in Kerala. The Dharma sashtras, I understand also ban the marriages within Pravaras. Pravaras are important note worthy individuals among the ancestors of the Rishis who lead the Gothra. If we agree that sagothra marriages are not to be performed, then it is meaningful not to perform Sapravara marriages. I want to mention the fiollowing points:-

1.Caste among Hindus in Dharma Sasthras depend on the mother rather than the father.A Brahmin woman marrying a Brahmin , only begets a Brahmin child. If she marries outside the caste she gives birth to Chandala(with Shudhra), Sootha(With Kshatrya), and Vaidehaka(With Vysya). On the other hand the caste of the child born to a Brahmin father to the different caste mothers is same as the caste of the mother. What is the implication of this to the Gothra system?
2.Take Pravara for example. Angirasa occurs in the pravara of following Gothras viz Gargya, Angeerasa, Gowthama, Pourugutsya, Badharayana, Bharadwaja, Moudgalya, Vishnu vriddha, Shadamarshana Sankrithi and Haritha. As is known all these occupy a very large percentage of Brahmins.Apart from that Kasyapa another Rishi who is the brother of Angeerasa occurs in Many other pravaras. Realising this our forefathers have decided to perform Sapravara marriages. I really do not know when this happened and how the decision was imposed on the Brahmin community. Is it not time for us now to review the status of Sagothra marriages? Who has to do it? Who will give us the guidelines so that all of will follow?
3. I read recently in a stotra about Hanuman that he belongs to the Kaundinya Gothra. I understand that Padmavathi (A kshatriya) belongs to the Sree Vatsa Gothra. It is also common knowledge that each Gothra has followers from different Vedas. Does all this mean that the gothra consists of people from different castes and even animals? Does this mean that Gothra is not at all patrelineal lineage?
4.whatever may be the decision, if sagothra marriages are to be permitted, the Hindu law on marriages has to be amended, because it makes Sagothra marriages illegal.This is not as simple as it seems.If a sagothra marriage is performed and the boy later marries a girl belonging to a different gothra, the first wife will not be a legally wedded wife.
I am sure that very learned people are members of this group. I request them humbly to react. This is very major issue facing us now while performing marriage.



Dear Sri. Ramachander,

When we met at Mysore, we had a small discussion on this subject.
As I said, I am for SAGOTHRA marriage provided both boy and girl are subjected to medical tests.

Anonymous said...

Your blog is really nice. We have inherited a glorious past which should only make our future more bright.
But now a days not all brahmins are torch bearers of our past. There are some people who shy to call themselves as brahmins. A new revolution should come and we should prove ourselves that we are the best and we are second to none.

dheeraj said...


Are the sagothra marriages prohibited by law?? What is the point in banning them? Im in love with a girl whose gothram is same as that of mine.. please show me a way on how to convince our elders and marry her legally...