Saturday, January 31, 2009

Gotras & common genetic ancestry of all Indians.


The link given at the end of this article, provides the genetic analysis aimed at establishing the roots of Indians, in the light of theories of Aryan invasion (that a 'superior' race of Aryans came to India from Middle Asia / Europe) and also to explore the differences between castes in India.

As with other researches on these issues, this research also has established that Indians were indigenous to the Sub-continent. The Indian Sub-continent had served as an incubator to many ancient lineages.

The interesting findings are that
(1) the Kashmiri and Himachal Brahmins were more ancient – giving rise to the theory that further descendents of India sprang from them - and
(2) the Brahmins were in no way different from the ancient tribes – implying that they both traced their lineage to a common ancestry and that there are no genetic differences between the castes.

This is a great news for those of us convinced of the Sanatana dharma as the one and only Universal Law operating in the world.

One of the basic tenets of this Dharma is that the Creator Brahma facilitated the birth of humans through his Maanasa putras, the saptha rishis and other rishis who are known as Gotra pravarthakas.

All the human beings have sprung from these Gotra rishis only.
Even today the Gotra identification continues in our country, across all the sections of people. A person of one gotra does not marry the person of the same gotra. The reason is precisely, what the genetic research is going after – the Y-chromosome.

Persons born in the same Y chromosome family (as identified by a gothra) become Sa-gotris (siblings) and marriage within them can not result in genetic variations (variations are needed for further growth of Human race). Such sa-gotris exist in India cutting across the barriers of place, language and habits.

It will give rise to better insights if the genetic research is done gothra-wise and to find out variations between different gothras.

The antiquity of Kashmiri and Himachal Brahmins can be understood in the light of the ancient notion on Manu as the progenitor. The Himachal connection strengthens my opinion that the people of Manaali in Himachal Pradesh, (Manaali was originally known as Manu-aalay – the house of Manu) may be the oldest of all people and may even bear signs as ancestors to all the other people of India.

A gotra indicates patrilineal kinship. In a literal sense, gotra means 'cow-shed'. In Atharvana veda it is referred to a clan.

This perhaps indicates a group of persons who have sprung in a common place. Further descendants have sprung up from them.

The descendants were identified based on their 'varna' or attitude or nature, though they all sprang from a same Gotra.

The varna has now become the mis-understood and maligned concept.

In contrast to 'varna', 'Jathi' was identified as a simplistic concept of having just two distinct types. They are male and female.

The term Jathi is derived from "jatha:" – the one who is formed. Only two such formations are there - male or female. So the Jathis were only two.

Only these three concepts (gotra, varna and jathi) were there in ancient Bharath.

What we have bequeathed now are distortions and deterioration of these concepts with the passage of Time.

There are 49 established gotras. Here is given the list of 20 gotras with respective pravaras. The pravaras are further sub-division of Gotra rishi. As they have sprung from the same rishi, marriage within the pravaras also is not advised.

Gotra – rishi / Pravaram
6. KOUSIKA / VISVAMITRA-AGAMARSHANA-KOUSIKA                                           
9. HARITHA / AANGIRASA-AMBARISHA-YUVANASAVA                                             
10.MOUDGALYA / AANGIRSA-PARMYASVA-MOUDGALYA (OR)DAARKSHYA-                                  
13. KUTSA / AANGIRASA-MAANDATRA-KAUTSA                                         
               -SAINYA- GARGYA
19. BADARAYANA / AANGIRASA-PARSHADASVA-RATHEETARA                                           

If one does not know the gotra, it is said that one can adopt either the gothra of Jamadagni or Kaasyapa.

SvagOtra pravara ajgjnaanE Jamadagnim UpaasrayEt / NirNayasindu
Gotra naase Tu kasyapa:?. Kasyapa gOtrasya Sarva saadhaaraNatvaat /
(Smriti Chandrika)

It is because these two maharishis are said to be universal progenitors of human race.
They have been eulogized in the yajur hymns of Sun (AruNam).
They may not be human beings in the exact meaning of the term.
According to the metaphorical meaning of the hymn,
they seem to signify some energy level from which creation proceeded.
It is possible that in accordance with uninanimity of name, shape and works theory,
the rishis of that name were possessed of such energies.

There is another method to know one's gotra, if one does not know what his gotra is.
This is as per astrology that one can adopt the gotra indicated by the star in which one is born.
In Jyothisha, Gothras are recognized on the basis of Saptha rishis who are said to rule 28 stars
(including Abhijit) of the zodiac.

The Saptha rishi gotra stars are as follows:

(1) Marichi: Aswini, Pushya, Svati, Abhijit.
(2) Vasishta: Bharani, Ashlesha, Vishakha, Shravan.
(3) Angiras: Krittika, Magha, Anuradha, Dhanistha.
(4) Atri: Rohini, Purvaphalguni, Jyestha, Shatabhishakam.
(5) Pulastya: Mrgashirsha, Uttaraphalguni, Mula, Purva Bhadrapad.
(6) Pulaha: Ardra, Hasta, Purvashadha, Uttarabhadrapad.
(7) Kratu: Punarvasu, Chitra, Uttarashadha, Revati.

Persons born in the stars of the same Rishi are prohibited to marry within themselves.
The rationale of this must be explored to find out the common thread among them.
Astrologically, it appears that the distance between the stars is inimical to compatibility and friendship.

In Vaastu sastra, this arrangement of stars (in gotra varga) is 8th from the other.
The 8th varga signifies death and destruction.
In other words, the 1st and 8th in a group of 8-vargas don't go well each other.
Like this, we can pin point few other issues of non-match within the stars
that come under the same rishi.

The commonly accpeted rationale for prohibition of marriage within same gotra
is that the progeny will not be hale and healthy.

The links to genetic research:-

The Indian origin of paternal haplogroup R1a1* substantiates the autochthonous origin of Brahmins and the caste system

by Swarkar Sharma et al., Journal of Human Genetics (2009) 54, 47-55

Related articles:-


திவாண்ணா said...

a long time - 10-15 years? may be more, i read a 3 page article in india today which talked of extensive genetic research in india as it is the only country where caste prevailed for a long time and therefore of interest. the article also mentioned some of the results had explosive implications and therefore were being suppressed.

Jayasree Saranathan said...

Dear Thiva,
can you give me those results or what was said in general?

Jayasree Saranathan said...

But the results may be unpalatable to vested interests in politics and those banking on Dravidian identity.

Jayasree Saranathan said...

From the University of Massachu setts Dartmouth.

Date: July 3, 2006

Scientists Collide with Linguists to Assert Indigenous origin of Indian Civilization

Comprehensive population genetics data along with archeological and astronomical evidence presented at June 23-25, 2006 conference in Dartmouth, MA, overwhelmingly concluded that Indian civilization and its human population is indigenous.

In fact, the original people and culture within the Indian Subcontinent may even be a likely pool for the genetic, linguistic, and cultural origin of the most rest of the world, particularly Europe and Asia.

Leading evidences come from population genetics, which were presented by two leading researchers in the field, Dr. V. K. Kashyap, National Institute of Biologicals, India, and Dr. Peter Underhill of Stanford University in California. Their results generally contradict the notion Aryan invasion/migration theory for the origin of Indian civilization.

Underhill concluded "the spatial frequency distributions of both L1 frequency and variance levels show a spreading pattern emanating from India", referring to a Y chromosome marker. He, however, put several caveats before interpreting genetic data, including "Y-ancestry may not always reflect the ancestry of the rest of the genome"

Dr. Kashyap, on the other hand, with the most comprehensive set of genetic data was quite emphatic in his assertion that there is "no clear genetic evidence for an intrusion of Indo-Aryan people into India, [and] establishment of caste system and gene flow."

Michael Witzel, a Harvard linguist, who is known to lead the idea of Aryan invasion/migration/influx theory in more recent times, continued to question genetic evidence on the basis that it does not provide the time resolution to explain events that may have been involved in Aryan presence in India.

Dr. Kashyap's reply was that even though the time resolution needs further work, the fact that there are clear and distinct differences in the gene pools of Indian population and those of Central Asian and European groups, the evidence nevertheless negates any Aryan invasion or migration into Indian Subcontinent.

Witzel though refused to present his own data and evidence for his theories despite being invited to do so was nevertheless present in the conference and raised many questions. Some of his commentaries questioning the credibility of scholars evoked sharp responses from other participants.

Rig Veda has been dated to 1,500 BC by those who use linguistics to claim its origin Aryans coming out of Central Asia and Europe. Archaeologist B.B. Lal and scientist and historian N.S. Rajaram disagreed with the position of linguists, in particular Witzel who claimed literary and linguistic evidence for the non-Indian origin of the Vedic civilization.

Dr. Narahari Achar, a physicist from University of Memphis clearly showed with astronomical analysis that the Mahabharata war in 3,067 BC, thus poking a major hole in the outside Aryan origin of Vedic people.

Interestingly, Witzel stated, for the first time to many in the audience, that he and his colleagues no longer subscribe to Aryan invasion theory.

Dr. Bal Ram Singh, Director, Center for Indic Studies at UMass Dartmouth, which organized the conference was appalled at the level of visceral feelings Witzel holds against some of the scholars in the field, but felt satisfied with the overall outcome of the conference.

"I am glad to see people who have been scholarly shooting at each other for about a decade are finally in one room, this is a progress", said Singh.

The conference was able to bring together in one room for the first time experts from genetics, archeology, physics, linguistics, anthropology, history, and philosophy. A proceedings of the conference is expected to come out soon, detailing various arguments on the origin of Indian civilization.

The conference was sponsored by the Center for Indic Studies at UMass Dartmouth ( with co-sponsorship from Educator's Society for the Heritage of India (

Bal Ram Singh, Ph.D. Director,

Center for Indic Studies University of Massachusetts Dartmouth 285 Old Westport Road Dartmouth, MA 02747

Phone: 508-999-8588 Fax: 508-999-8451 Email:

Internet address:

ybr (alias ybrao a donkey) said...

You may like to see some quotes from Atharvana veda. 24 Verses from Atharvana Veda.

Nandana said...

There is actually evidence that the British in the name of studying Indian culture and Sanskrit - inserted the theory of Aryan Invasion and - wrong translation Sanskrit words in the form of dictionary with a strong and well planned mission to weaken the will power of the Indian community (in the form of letters ) -

It is unfortunate that even now these totally wrong theory find way in books which our kids study