Gotra Rishis – Brief Note Part I


  Compiled by Sri Gopalakrishna Ramaiyer, (Retired AGM, BSNL) Tambaram, Chennai.


There are 49 established Lead Hindu Gothras (or Gothram). All members of a particular Gothra are believed to possess certain common characteristics by way of nature or profession. 

The term Gothra was used in its present sense for the first time in the Brahmanas. It was systematised by about the 4th century BC to accommodate changed social rules and laws and by the time of the Sutras, it was a well-established system.

Gothras have their orgination to saptharshies who change with Manvanthara. We are in the seventh Manvanthara now. 

Many of the seven sages have been repeated and replaced. In the first manvanthara the saptharshies were Marichi, Atri, Angeerasa, Pulasthia,Pulaha Kratu  and Vasistha. They are believed to be the mind-born sons of Brahma. 

According to the Baudhâyanas’rauta-sûtra Vishvâmitra, Jamadagni, Bharadvâja, Gautama, Atri, Vasishtha, Kashyapa and Agastya are 8 sages; the progeny of these eight sages is declared to be Gothras. 


Section   I) 1. Gouthama Gothra 2. Garga Gothra 3. Agasthia Gothra 4. Bhargava Gothra 5. Bharadwaja  & 6. Atri Gothra.

Section  II) 1. Haritha Gothra. 2. viswamithra Gothra 3. Vasistha Gothra 4. Vadula Gothra 5. Upamanyu Gothra 6. Shounaka Gothra  & 7. Sankrithi Gothra. 

Section III) 1. Moudgalya Gothra 2. Sandilya Gothra 3. Salakhyana Gothra  4. Raivata Gothra 5. Koundinya Gothra 6. Mandaya Gothra 7. Maitreya Gothra & 8. Katayana Gothra.

Section IV) 1. Dhanwantari Gothra 2. Jamadagni Gothra 3. Kanva Gothra  & 4. Kātyāyana Gothra.

Section I

1. Gouthama Gothra 2. Garga Gothra 3. Agasthia Gothra 4. Bhargava Gothra 5. Bharadwaja  & 6. Atri Gothra.

1. Gouthama Gothra. 

Gautama Maharishi is one of the Saptarishis of the current Manvantara (seventh). He was one of the Maharishis of Vedic times, known to have been the discoverer of Mantras — ‘Mantra-drashtaa’, in Sanskrit 

The Rig Veda has several suktas that go with his name. He was the son of Rahugana, belonging to the line of Angiras. The Devi Bhagavatam says that the river Godavari is so named because of its association with Gautama. He had two sons by name Vamadeva and Nodhas, both themselves discoverers of Mantras 

There is a hymn called Bhadra in the Sama Veda which again is ascribed to Gautama Maharishi. His wife is Ahalya, 

The Puranas speak of the story wherein it is described how Gautama won the hand of Ahalya by perambulating the divine cow. 

The Chief priest of King Janaka of Mithila, by name Shatananda, was the son of Gautama and Ahalya. Gautama’s sixty-year long penance is mentioned in the Shanti parva of the Mahabharata 

The Narada purana describes the story of the 12-year famine during which Gautama fed all the Rishis and saved them. 

The Brahmaanda-purana mentions that this Gautama initiated one of the sub-branches of the Raanaayani branch of Sama Veda. 

Some famous disciples of Gautama were Praachina-yogya, Shaandilya, Gaargya, and Bharadwaja. 

According to the Ramayana, Rishi Gautama once went to take bath in the river Ganges early morning. The king of the devas, Indra, was fascinated with Gautam’s wife, Ahalya. Indra came in the form of Gautam and made love to Ahalya …. 

Gauatama was also the author of Dharma-sutra known as Gautama Dharma sutra [2] [3]. It is in fact the earliest Dharma Sutra 

Sage  Gautama was the most ancient sage of all Brahmin lawgivers. He was quoted by Baudhayana and belonged to Samaveda School.  Gautama’s teachings are called Gautamasutra or Gautamasmriti. 

Gautamas Brahmins are originally settled in Brij region of North India 

2. Garga Gothra 

Garga is the son of Rishi Bharadwaja and Suseela .  Gargya (son of Garga) is  the author of some of the Sukthas of the Atharvana Veda. Sage garga was the family priest of the family of Nanda (the foster-father of Krishna). He named child  as “Krishna” after receiving the name by meditation. Garga is the author of Garga Samhita. 

The Brihat Parasara Hora Sastra In this sastra in chapter 21, Parasara quotes Garga and Brahma on the effects of the 10th bhava (house). 

Sri Prasanna Parvathi Sametha Gargeshwari temple near Mysore is named after the Garga where Ardhanareeswara appeared before him. 

3. Agsthaia Gothram 

Agastya  was a Vedic sage. Agastya and his clan are also credited to have “authored” many mantras of the Rig Veda Agastya is also the author of Agastya Samhita In some reckonings, Agastya is the greatest of the Seven Sages or Saptarshis. The word is also written as Agasti. A-ga means a mountain, Asti, thrower 

Agastya the Rishi, was born of Gods Varuna, from Urvashi .Another reference to him  is in the Mahabharata in Sauptikaparva as the teacher of Guru Drona. 

As with all other Hindus, it was necessary for Agastya to marry and sire a son, in order to fulfill his duties to the Manus. Once he resolved upon doing this, Agastya pursued an unusual course of action.

By his yogic powers, he created a female infant who possessed all the special qualities of character and personality that would be appropriate in the wife of a renunciate. At this time, the noble and virtuous king of Vidarbha was childless and was undergoing penances and prayers for the gift of a child. Agastya arranged for the child he had created to be born the daughter of that noble king of Vidarbha.

The child was named “Lopamudra” by her parents. Agastya approached the king and sought the hand of his daughter when she was grown up. She was utterly intent upon exchanging the palace of her father the king for the forest-hermitage of Agastya. Lopamudra and Agastya were duly married and lived a life of extraordinary felicityIt is believed that they had two sons – Bringi & Achuthan. In Mahabharata (Vana Parva: Tirtha-yatra Parva), there is mention of his penance at Gangadwara (Haridwar), with the help of his wife, Lopamudra (the princess of Vidharba) [1].

Agastya is famous for being the first siddhar in the siddhars tradition. He created many medicines, and jadhakam( Agasthia nadi?), mandhrikam and he said all of them.

Two of his students and disciples were Therayar and Tholkappiar.

According to Akilattirattu Ammanai, the religious book of Ayyavazhi, Agastya was created from the mind of lord Siva in order to offer boons to Kaliyan (See:Boons offered to Kaliyan). As per the order of Siva, Agastya offered many boons including all worldly knowledge to him. 

Sage Agastya appeared to Rama when he was despondent at the impending war with Ravana and instructed him in the use of Aditya Hridayam, a hymn praising the Sun God. Agastya also composed Saraswati Stotram. 

4. Bhargava Gothram 

Maharishi Bhrigu was one of the seven great sages, one of the Saptarshis in ancient India, one of many Prajapatis (the facilitators of Creation) created by Brahma (The God of Creation), the first compiler of predictive astrology, and also the author of Bhrigu Samhita, the astrological (Jyotish) classic written during the Vedic period, Treta yuga, most probably around 3000 BC. 

Bhrigu is a ManasaPutra (wish-born-son) of Lord Brahma, who simply wished him into existence, to assist in the process of creation, for this reason he is also considered one of the Prajapatis. 

He is married to Khyati, the daughter of Daksha. He has two sons by her, named Dhata and Vidhata. 

He had one more son, who is better known than Bhrigu himself – Shukra. The sage Chyavana  coming in the pravara of Srivatsa Gothra is also his son. 

Sage Bhrigu finds mention in the Vayu Purana, where he shown present during the great Yagna of Daksha Prajapati (his father-in-law). 

The Bhrigus, also known as Bhargavas, are a clan of sages descending from the ancient fire-priest Bhrigu. They instituted the ritual of offering the juice of the Soma plant to the old deities This treatise is said to contain over 5 million horoscopes, in which he wrote down the fate of every being in the universe. 

Bhrgu lineage: Bhrgu was the son of Brahma. (Mahabharata, Pauloma Parva) 

Bhrgu descendants: Bhargavas: Bhrugu was the father of Sukracharya, the grandfather of Devayani and the great-grandfather of Yayati and the great-great-grandfather of Yadu. Indra’s daughter Jayanti was married to Bhrgu’s son Sukracharya (who also called Kavya). (Devi Bhagavatham).

Bhrgu was the grandfather Rchka (Richika), great-grandfather of Jamadagni, great-great-grandfather of Parasurama. Rchka was the son of Cyavana. (Mahabharata). 

Cyavana was the son of Bhrgu’ through  wife Pauloma, who married Sukanya.

Bhrgu and Bharadwaja had discussions on many subjects. (Mahabharata). 

5. Bharadwaja Gothra 

The Marut Devatas found sage Bharadwaja near ganga river, raised him and taught him about the Vedas. He was adopted by Bharata, the son of Sakuntala and Dushyanta. 

He performed a yajna so that his foster father Bharata would have another son (Bhumanyu) and handed that kingdom back to him.

He was a disciple of Gauthama Maharshi as well as of Valmiki. He was a first hand witness to the incident of the Krauncha birds. 

He married Suseela and had a son called Garga. His son Dronacharya was born as a result of his attraction to an Apsara Ghrtaci. He trained Drona in use of weapons. Drona also learnt the use of weapons from Agnivesha, Parasurama’s student and from Parasurama himself. 

Bharadwaja had a daughter called Devavarnini. She was given in marriage to Visravas and was the mother of Kubera.

Yajnavalkya, the author of the Satapatha Brahmana was a descendant of Bharadwaja. 

Bharadwaja was a host to Dasaratha’s son Bharata when he was en route to meeting Sri Rama, to persuade him to return to Ayodhya. 

Bharadwaja had a debate with Bhrugu about the caste system and he said that physiologically there was no difference between members of any caste. He performed the Putrakameshti yajnam for Divodasa, so that he could get a son. 

Bharadwaja’s Vedic mantras were placed in the sixth Mandala of the Rig Veda by Veda Vyasa. 

Dharmasutra and Srautasutra were written by Bharadwaja. The manuscript of the latter was in Pandu script and is available with the Visvavidyalaya of Bombay(Mumbai). 

As per the Rktantra, pratisakhya of the samaveda, Brahma taught grammar to Brhaspati who taught it to Indra, who in turn taught it to Bharadwaja. 

He was one of the great sages (rishis) descendant of rishi Angirasa, whose accomplishments are detailed in the Puranas. 

6. Atri Gothra. 

In Hinduism, Attri is a legendary bard and scholar, and a son of Brahma, and one of the Saptarishis in the seventh, i.e the present Manvantara . 

Attri is also a  rishi present in all manvantras. He was among the three main seers who propounded the sacred thread (after Brihaspati) which has three strands symbolising Creation (Brahma and the letter A), sustenance (Vishnu and the letter U) and Dissolution (Shiva{m} and the letter M).

Atri Gothra is from the lineage of Brahmarsi Atri and Anusuya Devi. Brahmarsi Atri is the seer of the fifth mandala (book) of the Rigveda. He had many sons, including Soma, Datta, and Durvasa. 

Atri’s wife is Anasuya or Anusiya devi, a daughter of Kardama Prajapati and an embodiment of chastity. 

Rama, the son of Dasaratha, visited Atri Maharishi’s Ashram during his fourteen years of stay in the forest. It was Atri who showed the way to Dandakaranya forest to Rama, after showering his hospitality on him. 

There were also other great Rishis in that line: Mudgala, Uddaalaki, Shaakalaayani, Chaandogya, etc.Attri-samhita and Attri-smriti are two works attributed to Attri.  

a. Haritha Gothra. b. viswamithra Gothra c.Vasistha Gothra d.Vadula Gothra e. Upamanyu Gothra f.shounaka Gothra g. sankrithi Gothra.

Section II

1. Haritha Gothra. 2. viswamithra Gothra 3. Vasistha Gothra 4. Vadula Gothra 5. Upamanyu Gothra 6. Shounaka Gothra  & 7. Sankrithi Gothra.


Harit/Harita was one of the great kings of Suryavansha. Brahmins with Harita Gothra are the descendants of Harit The Pravara of this Gothra is Angiras, Ambarisha, Yuvanaswa. Ambarisha and Yuvanaswa were also great kings of Suryavansha and ancestors of Lord Rama. 

In the Vishnu Purana it is said, “The son of Ambarísha, the son of Mándhátri, was Yuvanáśwa; his son was Harita, from whom the Angirasa Háritas were descended”[1]. 

Sri Ramanuja was also of Harita Gothra.


Brahmarshi Vishvamitra is one of the most venerated rishis or sages of ancient times in India. He is also credited as the author of most of Mandala 3 of the Rigveda 

The story of Vishvamitra is narrated in the Balakanda of Valmiki Ramayana[1]. The Mahabharata adds that Vishvamitra’s relationship with Menaka resulted in a daughter, Shakuntala whose story is narrated in the Adi Parva of the Mahabharata. 

Vishvamitra was a king in ancient India, also called Kaushika (“the descendant of Kusha”). He was a valiant warrior and the great-grandson of a great king named Kusha. The Valmiki Ramayana, prose 51 of Bala Kanda, starts the legend of Vishvamitra, Gaadhi’s son is this great-saint of great resplendence, Vishvamitra. 

Regarding sage viswamithra not much familiar points are only  told. It is taken for granted readers are familiar to viwamithra much than other sages. 

The Vishnu Purana and Harivamsha chapter 27 (dynasty of Amaavasu) of Mahabharatha narrates the birth of Vishwamitra. 

3. Birth of Viswamithra 

According to Vishnu Purana[2], kushika married a damsel belonging to Puru-kutsa dynasty and had a son by name Gadhi who had a daughter named Satyavati(not to be confused with Satyavati of Mahabharata). 

Satyavati was married to an old Brahman known as Richika who was foremost among the race of Bhrigu. Richika desired a son having the qualities of a Brahman, and so he gave Satyavati a sacrificial offering (charu) which he had prepared to achieve this objective. He also gave Satyavati’s mother another charu to make her conceive a son with the character of a Kshatriya at her request. But Satyavati’s mother privately asked Satyavati to exchange her charu with her. This resulted in Satyavati’s mother giving birth to Vishvamitra, the son of a Kshatriya Gadhi with the qualities of a Brahman; and Satyavati gave birth to Jamadagni, the father of Parasurama, a Brahman with qualities of a Kshatriya. 

After many trials and undergoing many austerities, Vishvamitra at last obtained the title of Brahmarishi from Vasishta himself 

During this time he had a daughter named Shakuntala (who appears in the Mahabharata) with Menaka, an apsara in the court of Indra. Son of Shakuntala became a great emperor. He came to be known as Emperor Bharata and it is in his name that the land of India got its name Bharat. 

Menaka episode and bith of Sakunthala. 

Viswamithra earlier name was Kousika. Kaushika knows that Menaka genuinely loves him, so with great sorrow he curses her just to be parted from him forever. Kaushika’s love of Menaka is considered to have been intense and passionate beyond estimation.

Rambha episode. 

This is brought to light to Kaushika when he angrily curses Rambha, an apsara sent by Indra to seduce Kaushika again, to become a stone for a thousand years. 

Trisanku episode 

When a proud King Trisanku asked his guru, Vasishta, to send him to heaven in his own body, the guru responded that the body cannot ascend to heaven. 

King Trisanku then asked Vasishta’s seven sons to send him to heaven. The sons, outraged that Trisanku should not come to them when their father had refused, cursed him to be a chandala, or untouchable. 

Having taken pity on Trishanku, he willingly exhausted all the punya he gained from his tapas, to enable him to ascend to the heavens. Angered, Visvamitra used his yogic powers and ordered Trisanku to rise to heaven. Miraculously, Trisanku rose into the sky until he reached heaven, where he was pushed back down by Indra. 

Enraged even more by this, the powerful Visvamitra then commenced the creation of another heaven for Trisanku. 

Trisanku, however, did not enjoy Trisanku Svarga, he remained fixed in the sky and was transformed into a constellation.  

In the process of forming a new universe, Vishvamitra used up all the tapas he had gained from his austerities. Therefore after the Trisanku episode, Vishvamitra had to start his prayers again to attain the status of a Brahma Rishi, to equal Vashistha. 

Harishchandra’s Sacrifice( not much known). 

While undertaking a penance, Kaushika helps a boy named Shunashepa who has been sold by his parents to be sacrificed at Harishchandra’s yagna to please Varuna, the God of the Oceans. The king’s son Rohit does not want to be the one sacrificed, as was originally promised to Varuna, so young Sunashep is being taken. A devastated and terrified Sunashepa falls at the feet of Kaushika, who is deep in meditation, and begs for his help. 

Kaushika teaches secret mantras to Sunashepa. The boy sings these mantras at the ceremony, and is blessed by Indra and Varuna, and Harishchandra’s ceremony is also completed. 

In the Indian epic Ramayana, Vishvamitra is the preceptor of Rama, prince of Ayodhya and the seventh Avatara of Vishnu, and his brother Lakshmana. 

There are two Gothras, or lineages, bearing the name of Visvamitra. 

Visvamitra Gothra off shoots 

People belonging to the Visvamitra Gothra consider Brahmarishi Visvamitra as their ancestor. 

There is an off-shoot of “Vishvamitra Gothra” called “Chakita Vishvamitra Gothra more likely, explanation, is that a group of descendants decided to split from the main group and started their own branch of this line. 

People belonging to Kaushika (Kaushik/ Kousika/Kousikasa/Koushika/Kausika) Gothra take Rajarishi Kausika as their root. 

Kausika was one of the names of Visvamitra.11 Royal clans of 96 clan of Marathas belong to Kaushik Gothra including the illustrious house of Shivaji and Rashtrakutas 

Some brahmins in South Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh also have Kaushik/Koushik as a family Gothra. Some of the kumauni region brahmin like Bhatt also belongs to Kaushik Gothra. 


Vasistha, in Hindu mythology was one of the Saptarishis (Seven Great Sages Rishi) in the seventh, i.e the present Manvantara,[1] and the Rajpurohit / Rajguru of the Suryavamsha or Solar Dynasty. He was the manasaputra of Brahma. He had in his possession the divine cow Kamadhenu, and Nandini her child, who could grant anything to their owners. 

Arundhati is the name of the wife of Vashisht Vashisht is credited as the chief author of Mandala 7 of the Rigveda. Vashisht and his family are glorified in RV 7.33. 

Sage Vashishtha was Ram’s guru and the Rajpurohit of “Ikshwaku” dynasty. He was a peace loving, selfless, intelligent and great Rishi. He had established Gurukula (residential college) on the banks of river “Saraswati”, where he and his wife “Arundhati” were taking care of thousands of students stayed there and studied there and Vashishtha Rishi was the chief principal. 

Regarding sage VASISTHA not much familiar points are only  told. It is taken for granted readers are familiar to VASISTHA too  much than other sages. 


King Dileepa was a king of the Raghuvamsha dynasty. He had a wife named Sudakshina, but they had no children. For this reason, Dileepa visited the sage Vashisht in his ashram, and asked him for his advice. Vashisht replied that they should serve the cow Nandini, child of Kamadhenu, and perhaps if Nandini was happy with their service, she would grant them with a child .after worship he got a son. 


Members seeing the serial “Engae brahminan” in Jeya TV may be recollecting the compliment of book Yogavasistha to Ashok during his upanayanam. Yoga Vasistha is an ancient scripture narrated by sage Vasistha to Rama. A unique and an extremely profound discourse, that provides innumerable insights and secrets to the inner world of consciousness. This extremely huge scripture (English translation about 6.5 Mb) covers all the topics that relate to the spiritual study of a seeker. 

Rama, the eldest son of Dasaratha, after completing a pilgrimage of holy places returns to the palace. After his return, he is constantly found wandering lost in thought and completely disenchanted with the worldly life and the pleasures of the kingdom Vasistha asks for Rama to be brought before him. 

Rama is then brought to the palace and Dasaratha asks him what is bothering him. Rama then explains his disenchantment with worldly things and expresses sadness at the miserable life as a worldly man. 

The ensuing answer to Rama’s questions forms the entire scripture that is Yoga Vasistha. 

After the flood of the matsya avataram, Vasishtha and his wife Arundhati  may have had a hermitage on the banks of the river Saraswati, but they spent a lot of time at Ayodhya, the capital of the Kosala kingdom .

Arundhati was a lot younger than Vasishtha. While at Ayodhya, Vasishtha not only taught Sri Rama, but was an advisor to his father, Dasaratha as well. Vasishtha was a contemporary of King Nimi (Janaka’s Poorvaja (previous born)) and Gautama Mahrashi. 


Vadula was a Rishi who gave his name to a Gothra, or a line of descent, commonly amongst Brahmins. Vadula Maharishi was reportedly prone to great distraction, which some ascribe to deep, consciousness-expanding meditation. 

NOTE:- Nothing more  than this I could collect of this sage. I request learnt members to add to my write up . 


The Kambojas are a very ancient Kshatriya tribe of the north-western parts of the Indian subcontinent, of what now forms north-eastern Afghanistan and southern parts of Tajikstan. Upamanyu was one such Rsi of Kamboja lineage who finds frequent mention in ancient Indian texts like Rig Veda, several Puranas and the epic Mahabharata. 

Upamanyu is the name of a Vedic Rsi who finds reference in Book I, Hymn 102. 9 of the Rig Veda [4], Siva Purana, Linga Purana, Kurma Purana and also in Adi Parava [7] as well as in Anushasana Parava of epic Mahabharata [8] [9]. 

Upamanyu’s Guru was  so pleased with him that he blessed him with instant memory and told him that he will know the Vedas and Dharamshashtras (other religious texts) automatically without any effort. 

Scholars including S. K. De, N. Chaudhury write that ‘Upamanyu was also the epic promulgator of the Shaivism. 

His hermitage was in the mountains of Himalayas [13]. His father was the sage Vyaghrapada [14 Upamanyu, a pupil of Ayoda Dhaumya also received his Vedic education at Taksasila. 

Upamanyu had heard of Shiva in several forms from his mother and afterward, recited to Krsna the thousand and eight names of Shiva [33]. 

The people with Upamanyu Gothra live in far western part of Nepal and eastern Parts of Jammu & Kashmir. They are basically present just below the Mount Kailash as they pray to Lord Shiva only. However, according to Dr D. C. Sircar, Upamanyu Gothra is not found in early Sanskrit literature and it is difficult to determine at this time whether it is a mistake for Aupamanyava Gothra [46]. 

Upamanya Gothra is  said to be an offshoot of the Vrigu (Parasara) Gothras. This means that a Rishi hailing from the Kamboja tribe was also founder of a Brahmanical class……. People staying just below or the South (Eastern & Weastern) parts of Mount Kailash (Nepal & India) are the descendants of Upamanyu/Upamanyu Gothra. 

The Kambhojas (Upamanyu Gothra) can be easily identified as they are fair and have colorful eyes (Yellow, light blue, light brown) with a bit broader Forehead & nose, possibly due to admixture. 

Praying to Lord Shiva every Monday is a routine for all Kambhoja/Upamanyu Gothra (all clans). A visit to Lord Shiva’s Temple every Monday is a must for every Upamanyu Gothra. Kambhojas/Upamanayu Gothra pray to Lord Shiva and Durga Maa is their Kula Devi. 

The earliest mention of Kambojas occurs in Vamsa Brahamana of Samaveda where a teacher Kamboja Aupamanyava is referred to. The sage Upamanyu mentioned in the Rigveda (i.102,9) is in all probability the father of this Kamboja teacher .


Shaunaka is the name applied to teachers, and to a Shakha of the Atharvaveda He is claimed as the teacher of Katyayana and especially of Ashvalayana, and is said to have united the Bashkala and Shakala Shakhas of the Rigveda. In legend, he is sometimes identified with Gritsamada, a Vedic Rishi. 

According to the Vishnu Purana, Shaunaka was the son of Gritsamada, and invented the system of the four levels of human life. 

Shaunaka had a prominent role in the epic Mahābhārata. The epic Mahābhārata was narrated to Shaunaka by a story teller named Ugrasrava Sauti during a conclave of sages headed by Shaunaka in a forest named Naimisha.


Sankrithi is the Grandson of Sage Vashishta, and the son of Sage Shakthi. Incidentally, Sage Shakthi is the father of Sage Parashara (the father of Sage Veda Vyasa.) 

There is not much known about Sage Sankrithi except that his name figures in the Avadhuta Upanishad, where Lord Dattatreya explains the nature of an Avadhuta to Sage Sankrithi., founder Rishi of the Sankrithi Gothra. 

The lineage of Sankrithi’s is given as Shakthya, Sankrithya, and Gauriveetha. i.e. lineage of Shakthi, Sankrithi, and Gauriveethi. 

NOTE:- Nothing more  than this I could collect of this sage. I request learnt members to add to my write up.

Section III

1. Moudgalya Gothra 2. Sandilya Gothra 3. Salakhyana Gothra  4. Raivata Gothra 5. Koundinya Gothra 6. Mandaya Gothra 7. Maitreya Gothra & 8. Katayana Gothra.

1. Moudgalya Gothra

NALAYANI was the young wife of  very old sage, Mudgala, but she was a great Pativrata. Even when Mudgala Rshi became afflicted by leprosy and started stinking, she continued to serve him. Once, when he was consuming food, one of his fingers fell of from his hands and fell into the food. Nalayani removed it and partook the remaining food. The sage was extremely pleased. 

In order to please he took five bodily forms corresponding to the five (Panchabhootas) elements and satisfied her in all respects. After thousands of years, he wanted to retire from family life and wanted to live the life of a sage. But, Nalayani tried to prevent him and keep him in the material pleasures. Mudgala Rshi cursed her that she will be borne as the daughter of Drupada and will marry five men. (source : Adi Parva of Mahabharata verses 197 to 204). 

Sages belonging to the Maudgalya Gothra are well known for their patience and forbearance. One such rshi was living through Bhikshatana (alms) at Kurukshetra. 

Once Rshi Durvasa came to his Ashram (hermitage) as his guest, in a digambara (naked) form and Mudgala gave him, whatever food he obtained as alms. Durvasa consumed some food from the same. The remaining food, he massaged on his own body. Yet, Mudgala did not become angry. The following days also Durvasa came to Mudgalas Ashram before the latter could quench his hunger and repeated the same behaviour. Mudgala gave all the food to Durvasa and remained hungry for several days. Finally, Durvasa said that he was extremely pleased with Mudgalas patience and forbearance and blessed Mudgala with an offer to take him the Heaven in his physical body. Immediately the Devas came with their plane. Mudgala enquired Durvasa about the pleasures available in the Heaven and then in the end he refused to be drawn to such pleasures. (source : Vana Parva of Mahabharata Ch. 261). 

There was a great Vedic Scholar from Maudgalya Gothra, who participated in the sarpa yaga (serpent sacrifice) of Janame Jaya. (source : Adi Parva of Mahabharata Ch. 53).

Mudgalas  were rigvedies and might have continued to be so  till they were in the Northern part of India and might have shifted to Krishna Yajur Veda, much after they established themselves in the Southern part of India. 

This may be the reason why Mudgalas follow the Chandramana calendar while all the other Krishna Yajur Vedis follows the Sauramana calendar. Persons belonging to Maudgalya gothara celebrate their birthdays according to their nakshatras falling in the solar months in which they were born, while they perform the shrardhams (death anniversary) in the thithies of the lunar months in which the deaths took place. 

The route through which Maudgalyas would have traveled might be Baluchistan – Punjab – Kashmir – Orissa – Andhra – Tamil Nadu & Kerala.  

Mudgala and Ganapathi 

Ganesha Purana speaks of Rshi Mudgala, who was an ardent devotee of Lord Ganapathi, who was so pleased with him that he gave his devotee powers to give boons to other bhaktas (devotees). 

Daksha became an ardent devotee of Ganapathi. On Ganapathis advice, he met Rshi Mudgala, who taught him the one lettered mantra OM. This, Daksha chanted relentlessly. 

Mudgala Purana 

Perhaps no other Rshi in the human world has a purana named after himself. 

This Purana does not give any information about Rshi Mudgala, but is out and out exposition of the grandeur of Lord Ganapathi. This shows the humility of the author, Rshi Mudgala. This Purana has 9 khandas (cantos) and gives details about all facets of Ganesha worship. 

Maudgalyas of Recent Times. 

Of the persons belonging to Maudgalya Gothra, who have made a name for themselves, the most popular one is Upanyasa Chakravarthy, Sengalipuram Anantarama Deekshithar. 

His upanyasams (discourses) on Ramayana and Bhagavatham and Mahabharatham moulded the characters of many of us during our childhood. His rendering of the shlokas from the epics had a majestic tone which still ringing in our ears. 

2. Sandilya. 

Sandilya is one of the great sages of ancient India and a Vedic scholar. Among Brahmins there is a Gothram named after him, specifying that the generations of people belonged to Sandilya as the paternal root. 

In Hinduism, it is believed that Hindu goddess Parvathi, bride of Shiva, also belonged to the Sandilya’s generation and is a daughter of Himavantha the lord or king of the Himalayas. 

It is believed that Sandilya had six more ancestors, namely Kaashyapa, Avatsaara, Naidhruva, Rebha, Raibha, Sandila and Sandilya[1] .

3. Salankayana. 

The Salankayanas were an ancient dynasty that ruled the Vengi region of India’s eastern coast from 300 to 440 AD. They were Brahmins and their name is derived from their symbol and Gothra name, which stood for Nandi (the bull of Shiva). 

The Salankayanas succeeded the Andhra Ikshvaku dynasty and were vassals of the Pallava kings of southern India. During their time the script for Telugu and Kannada began to clearly separating from that of the other South Indian and North Indian languages.

In the late 400s, the Salankayanas were conquered by Madhavarma II of the Vishnukundinas (a Kshatriya Raju dynasty). 

4.Raivata Kakudmin 

Raivata Kakudmin was the king of Kusasthali. Raivata’s father was Revata and his father was Anarta. Anarta’s sister was Sukanya (Cyavana’s wife) and their father was Saryati, whose father was Vaivaswatha Manu. Vaiwaswatha is/was the son of Vivaswan. Vivaswan is another name for Surya Deva. (In the Bhagavad Gita, Sri Krishna says that He taught Vivaswan, in a previous). 

Raivata Kakudmin had a daughter called Revati. On Brahma’s advice, he gave his daughter Revati in marriage to Balarama, the elder brother of Sri Krishna. Raivata was also called Kakudmi. 

5. Kaundinya 

Kaundinya was a brahmin who first came to prominence as a youth due to his mastery of the vedas and was later appointed as a royal court scholar of King Suddhodana of the Sakyas in Kapilavastu. There Kaundinya was the only scholar who unequivocally predicted upon the birth of Prince Siddhartha that the prince would become an enlightened Buddha, and vowed to become his disciple. 

Kaundinya and four colleagues followed Siddhartha in six years of ascetic practice, but abandoned him in disgust after Siddhartha gave up the practice of self mortification. 

Upon enlightenment, Siddartha gave his first dharma talk to Kaundinya’s group. Kaundinya was the first to comprehend the teaching and thus became the first bhikkhu and arahant. 

Following the formation of the sangha, Kaundinya and the other monks travelled with the Buddha by foot through the Gangetic plains area of what is now Bihar and Uttar Pradesh to spread the dharma. 

6. Mandavya. 

Mandavya  was a sage wrongly punished by the king by being impaled as the chief of robbers who had clandestinely hidden their stolen goods in a corner of his hermitage when he was in deep contemplation. Lord Dharma gave him this punishment for having tortured birds and bees in his childhood. At this Mandavya cursed Dharma who was born as Vidura, the wise, to the servant maid of Ambalika, wife of King Vichitravirya, who offered her to Sage Vyasa in place of Ambalika. 

7. Maitreya.  

The Brihat Parasara Hora Sastra, a treatise on astrology was expounded by Rishi Parasara (the father of Veda Vyasa) to Rishi Maitreya. 

Rishi Maitreya explained parts of the Bhagavatham to Vidura, a son of Veda Vyasa.(Authorship and Copyright Notice : All Rights Reserved : Satya Sarada Kandula) 

8. Kātyāyana 

Kātyāyana (c. 3rd century BC) was a Sanskrit grammarian, mathematician and Vedic priest who lived in ancient India. 

He is known for two works:The Varttika, an elaboration on Pāṇini grammar. Along with the Mahābhāsya of Patañjali, this text became a core part of the vyākarana (grammar) canon. This was one of the six Vedangas, and constituted compulsory education for Brahmin students in the following twelve centuries. 

He also composed one of the later Sulba Sutras, a series of nine texts on the geometry of altar constructions, dealing with rectangles, right-sided triangles, rhombuses, etc. 

Kātyāyana’s views on the word-meaning connection tended towards naturalism. Kātyāyana believed, like Plato, that the word-meaning relationship was not a result of human convention. For Kātyāyana, word-meaning relations were siddha, given to us, eternal.

Section IV

 1. Dhanwantari Gothra 2. Jamadagni Gothra 3. Kanva Gothra  & 4. Kātyāyana Gothra.

Most of the  details  are compilation from Wikipedia.

1. Dhanwantari Gothra 

Dhanvantari  is an avatar of Vishnu from the Hindu tradition. He appears in the Vedas and Puranas as the physician of the Gods (devas), and the God of Ayurvedic medicine. It is common practice in Hinduism for worshipers to pray to Lord Dhanvantari seeking his blessings for sound health for themselves and/or others. 

Dhanvantari was an early Indian medical practitioner and one of the world’s first surgeons. Based on Hindu traditions, he is regarded as the source of Ayurveda. He perfected many herbal based cures and natural remedies and was credited with the discovery of the antiseptic properties of turmeric and the preservative properties of salt which he incorporated in his cures. 

Being a very skilled surgeon according to the standards of his time, he is widely believed to be the pioneer of modern medical practices like plastic surgery [1]. 

Albeit his methods were a lot cruder and more painful and were used only in emergencies, such as on the injuries of war victims. 

All his surgeries were performed without anesthetic, however in spite of his crude methods he was reported to have had a very high success rate. As a result of the brilliance and achievements he displayed in the field of medicine he was chosen as one of the Nine Gems in early Indian ruler Vikramaditya’s court. 

According to traditions, he taught surgery methods and procedures to Susrutha, the Father of Ayurvedic Surgeon. 

The Legend 

Dhanvantari is depicted as Vishnu with four hands, holding medical herbs in one hand and a pot containing rejuvenating nectar called amrita in another. The Puranas state that Dhanavantari emerged from the ‘Ocean of Milk’.

Birthday celebration 

Birth day celebration of Lord Dhanvantari, the God of health, healing and cure, is celebrated with great enthuiasm and happy environment, by the practitioners of the Ayurveda every year, on Dhan Teras, two days before Deepwali, the Hindu festival of Lights. In the Samudra Manthan, Lord Dhanvantari appeared with the keeping Amrit Pot, Shankha, Chakrra and Jalauka each one in his four hands. 

Temples in India 

In Northern India no permanent temple is established for Lord Dhanvantari. The reason is not yet known, but in Varanasey Sanssakrit Vishvavidyalaya, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh state, one statue of Lord Dhanvantari is present in the Museum of the University. 

However there are few dedicated temples to the Lord Dhanwantri, in South India especially in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, where Ayurvedic medicine is highly practised and patronised. 

In Tamil Nadu, in the courtyard of Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple (Srirangam), is the Dhanvantari Temple where daily worshipping of the deity is performed. In the front of this temple there is an engraved stone believed to date around the 12th Century. The writing on the stone contains the details that Garud Vahan Bhattar, who was a great ayurvedic physician , established the statue inside the temple. As a ‘Prasad’ or ‘Teerth’, a decoction of the herbs is given to the visitors. 

Though not known to many, there is a temple dedicated to Lord Dhanvantari in Kerala. It is in a village called Nelluvaya, 20 kilometers from guruvayur and trissur, located exactly midway between the two towns. The temple is believed to be as old as the temple of Guruvayur. Many ayurvedic doctors from kerala visit this temple before they start practicing medicine. 

About 10 km from the railway station is the ages old, very powerful Dhanvantari Temple, Kannur (Cannanore), Kerala.

A not so well known temple in its humble environs has a serene atmosphere. Dhanvantari pooja is performed here for the good health of anyone, of any faith, from any corner of the world. Added attraction is the Huge Temple pond with water lilies! 

Similarly, there’s a Dhanvantri Kshetram (i.e.temple) in the outskirts of Calicut, in Kerala. This temple is gaining prominence, as people come from far off places to offer their prayers to the Lord, to cure them of their ailing diseases, or to be blessed with a healthy life ahead. 

There is an exclusive very big temple for Lord Dhanwantari in Cherthala Maruthorvattom village in the Alleppy district. I have visited and made prayers in the temple. 

In All India Ayurvedic practitioners worship Lord Dhanavantary. 

Ashta Vaidya of Kerala 

In Kerala, the family of “Ashta Vaidya” is famous and traditionally provide Ayurvedic and Siddha treatment to the sick. The forefathers of these Asta vaidyas are still today serving in the same manner as centuries ago. This family worships Lord Dhanvantari. Some family members have built temples inside their houses while others have built proper temples in his honour. 

Near Kotakkalat Pulamantol village, here is a family of Ashta Vaidya. This family has a temple of Lord Dhanvantari. Vaidya Madam is near Vadakkancheri. Here the Ashta Vaidya Matra dattan have a statue of Dhanvantri, made of a mixture of five metals. In trishura’s Perungva, a big temple is here built by Ashta vaidya. The Ashta Vaidya families are in the following places: 

AalyitturCannanore (Kannur)

It seems that tradition of Lord Dhanwantri worshipping is regularly persisting in the families to families in Kerala.

While all the ashtavaidayan families (They are all Pushpaka Brahmins.) worship Dhanwantari it is felt they may be of Dhanwantari Gothra. Learnt members may wirite to me who belong to Pushpaka Brahmins group.


Dhanavantari – the God of Ayurveda

Kalyan Hindi monthly magazine, March 2001 issue, Geeta Press, Gorakhpur, UP

Source of References:

Lord Dhanvantari

Hindu God Dhanwantari: The promulgator of Ayurveda.

Does Ayurveda begin with Dhanvantari, the ancient physician? By D.P. Agrawal Dhanvantari in the Bhagavata Purana.

2. JamadagniGothra

Jamadagni is one of the Saptarishis (Seven Great Sages Rishi) in the seventh, i.e. the present Manvantara [1]. He is a descendant of the sage Bhrigu, one of the Prajapatis cretaed by Brahma, the God of Creation.

Jamadagni had several children with wife Renuka, the youngest of whom was Parashurama, an Avatara of Lord Vishnu.

Execution of Renuka

Renuka was such very devoted wife and the power of her chastity was manifest. Such was this power, that she used to fetch water from the river in a pot made of unbaked clay every day. The pot would hold together because of her devotion to her husband.

One day, when she was at the river, a handsome Gandharva happened to be passing by in the sky, in his chariot. Smitten with desire for this handsome youth, for merely an instant, the damage to her powers was done. The unbaked pot that she was carrying, dissolved into the river. She was no longer chaste of mind. Afraid to go back to her husband, she waited at the river bank.

Meanwhile Jamadagni, who was waiting for fresh water to begin his morning sacrifices, noticed that his wife had not yet returned from the river. By his yogic powers, he divined all that had taken place.

Exceedingly angry with his wife, he called his eldest son, told him what had happened and asked him to execute his mother. Horror-stricken, his son refused to perform this deed. He then asked all of his sons, in the order of their seniority, to execute their mother. While all the elder sons refused (and so Sage Jamadagni turned them to stone), only his youngest son, Parashurama, ever-obedient and righteous, at once beheaded his mother with his axe.

Jamadagni, pleased, offered to grant two boons to Parashurama, who at once asked that his mother be restored to life and his brothers to be unturned from stone and accepted into the family again. Impressed by his son’s devotion and affection for his family, Jamadagni granted this boon and many others.

Jamadagni was later killed by a Kshatriya king Kartavirya Arjuna, over a dispute over a divine calf named kamadhenu.


Inhabitants of the Worlds Mahanirvana Tantra, translated by Arthur Avalon, (Sir John Woodroffe), 1913, Introduction and Preface.

3. Kanva Gothra.

Kanva is a renowned rishi, author of several hymns of the Rigveda, called a son of Ghora and one of the Angirasas. The Kanvas are the descendants of Kanva. Kanva is also the name of a founder of a Vedic shakha, of several princes and founders of dynasties and several authors. The Kanvas are also a class of evil spirits, against whom hymn 2.25 of the Atharvaveda is used as a charm.

Sahunthala  daughter of Viswamithra and Menaka was brought up by sage Kanva.The child born to Shakunthala is Bharat from whom our country got the name so.

4. Kātyāyana Gothra.

Kātyāyana (c. 3rd century BC) was a Sanskrit grammarian, mathematician and Vedic priest who lived in ancient India.

He is known for two works: The Varttika, an elaboration on Pānini grammar. Along with the Mahābhāsya of Patañjali, this text became a core part of the vyākarana (grammar) canon. This was one of the six Vedangas, and constituted compulsory education for Brahmin students in the following twelve centuries.

He also composed one of the later Sulba Sutras, a series of nine texts on the geometry of altar constructions, dealing with rectangles, right-sided triangles, rhombuses, etc.

Kātyāyana’s views on the word-meaning connection tended towards naturalism. Kātyāyana believed, like Plato, that the word-meaning relationship was not a result of human convention. For Kātyāyana, word-meaning relations were siddha, given to us, eternal. Though the object a word is referring to is non-eternal, the substance of its meaning, like a lump of gold used to make different ornaments, remains undestroyed, and is therefore permanent.

This view may have been the nucleus of the Sphora doctrine enunciated by Bhartu hari in the 5th c., in which he elaborates the word-universal as the superposition of two structures — the meaning-universal or the semantic structure (artha-jāti) is superposed on the sound-universal or the phonological structure (śabda-jāti).

In the tradition of scholars like Pingala, Kātyāyana was also interested in mathematics. Here his text on the sulvasutras dealt with geometry, and extended the treatment of the Pythagorean theorem as first presented in 800 BC by Baudhayana.

Kātyāyana belonged to the Aindra School of grammarians and may have lived towards the North west of the Indian subcontinent.

TRS Iyengar

Born on Makara Uthiradam star, native of Mukkur and brought up in Ladavaram village near Arcot and now well settled in Mumbai for over five decades. Presently, at 70, trying to run this website without any commercial expectations or profit motive, just for the sake of our future generations to understand about Sanatana Dharma & Srivaishnavam sampradayam.Within my limited knowledge that I put it here, what I learnt from the world.

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