What is the origin of Harita Gotra

Gotra is a lineage that refers to one of the great sages of the Vedic period.

Transcript

1 Gotra is a lineage referring to one of the great sages of the Vedic period. The origin goes back to the Saptarishis, the seven seers to whom the Vedas were revealed. You are the constellation Great Bear. In the individual scriptures different names of these Saptarishis are mentioned. Below is a small selection of characters from the myths who are considered to be the progenitors of a gotra. You can read about the Saptarishis on my Shiva page under The Vedas. Agastya Angiras Atri Bharadvaja Bhrigu Dhanvantari Garga Gautama Harita Jamadagni Kanva Kapila Kashyapa Katyayana Kaundinya Kaushika Kutsa Maitreya Mandavya Mudgala Parasara Pulaha Pulastya Raivata Salankayana Sandilya Vasitra Sankriti Shaunaka Upamanyu

2 Agastya was the author of several hymns in the Rig Vedas and the Agastya Samhita. He is the son of the god of waters, Varuna, and the nymph Urvashi. As a woman, he made a perfect girl for himself and had the child born to the king of Vidarbha. He called it Lopamudra. When she came of marriageable age, Agastya asked for her hand. Lopamudra moved from the palace to the hermitage of Agastya. Read about Agastya and Lopamudra under Couples, about Agastya under Wise Men and Kings. Angiras appears as the founder in several Gotras. He wrote several verses of the Rig Vedas and is considered, together with the sage Atharvan, to be the author of the Atharva Vedas. Brahma's spirit-born daughter was Satarupa, her daughter was Prasuti, Prasuti's daughter was Smriti. She married Angiras. Brihaspati, the teacher of the gods, was Angira's son. Agni, the god of fire, is considered a descendant of Angira. Atri is assigned the fifth mandala of the Rig Vedas as well as the Atri Samhita. The sacred cord carried by the twice-born of the higher castes goes back to Atri. It consists of three threads, symbolizing the sacred syllable AUM (OM). A for Brahma the Creator, U for Vishnu the Preserver, M for Shiva the Dissolver. Atri was married to Anasuya, the embodiment of chastity and fidelity. Rama visited Atri in his ashram during his exile; it was he who advised him to move to the Dandaka forest. Bharadvaja's hymns can be found in the sixth mandala of Rig Veda, and he also wrote the Dharma Sutra and the Srauta Sutra. Brahma taught grammar to Brihaspati, the teacher of the gods, and he passed the knowledge on to Indra and the latter to Bharadvaja. Bharadvaja was the son of Brihaspati and his brother's wife. They abandoned him. The Maruts, storm gods, found him, raised him and taught him the Vedas. He fathered his son Drona, the teacher of the Pandavas and Kauravas, with the nymph Gritachi. Drona learned the art of weapons from him, from Agnivesha, a student of Parashurama, and from Parasurama himself. Bharadvaja had a daughter, Ilavida. She married Vishravas and was the mother of Kuberas, the treasurer of the gods. Yajnavalkya, the author of the Shatapatha Brahmana (ritual texts), was a descendant of Bharadvaja. Bharadvaja appears in Ramayana in the episode in which Bharata set out to bring Rama back to Ayodhya.

3 Bhrigu wrote astrological works and the Bhrigu Samhita. He was married to Khyati, the daughter of Daksha, their sons were named Dhata and Vidhata. Bhrigu had another son with Kavyamata, who is better known than himself, Shukra, the teacher of demons. Bhrigu was the grandfather of Devayani, the great-grandfather of Yayati, and the great-great-grandfather of Yadu. Also the great-grandfather of Jamadagni and the great-great-grandfather of Parashurama. Dhanvantari is considered to be an embodiment of Vishnu. He appeared at the whirlpool of the ocean of milk and became the doctor of the gods, the lord of Ayurveda. He was one of the nine scholars at the court of King Vikramaditya. Read about Dhanvantari under Myths from Kerala. Garga is the author of the Garga Samhita. He is the son of Bharadvaja and his wife Sushila. Garga was the family priest of Nanda, Krishna's foster father. He gave Krishna his name. Gautama is a writer of the hymns of the Rig Veda and the Gautama Dharma Sutra. He is the son of Rahugana, belonging to the Angiras line. The Godavari River got its name from Gautama. Gautama was married to Ahalya. Brahma once promised the hand of Ahalya to the one who circumnavigated the world fastest. Gautama circled Brahma's cow, which symbolizes the earth, and Ahalya was his. The chief priest of King Janakas, Shatananda, was the couple's son. Indra, who would have liked to have married Ahalya too, seduced Ahalya, which resulted in a curse for both of them. Ahalya became a stone and Indra's body was covered with labia. During a twelve year drought, Gautama fed the wise, as only his hermitage was not affected by the drought. Read about Ahalya and Indra under Gods and Demons. Harita was a king of the Sun Dynasty. The progenitor of this gotra is Angiras. The philosopher and codifier of the Vishishtadvaita Vedantas, Ramanuja, comes from this Gotra.

4 Jamadagni is a descendant of Bhrigu. He had several children with his wife Renuka, the youngest being Parashurama, the sixth avatar of Vishnu. Kanva is the author of several hymns of the Rig Veda. Shakuntala, the daughter of Vishvamitras and Menakas, grew up near Kanva. Shakuntala was seduced by Dushyanta, her son was Bharata. Read about Shakuntala and Dushyanta under Couples. Kapila is the codifier of the Sankya philosophy and the author of the Kapila Gita. His mother, Devahuti, was married to the sage Kardama. He promised her that Vishnu would be born her son. That son was Kapila. Before that, Devahuti gave birth to nine daughters who were married to the sons of Brahma. Marichi married Kala; Atri Anasuya; Anigrasa Shraddha; Pulastya Havirbhu; Pulaha Gati; Kratu Kriya; Bhrigu Khyati; Vasishtha Arundhati. You can read about Kapila and the Kapila Gita on my Krishna page under the Vedic Treasures. Kashyapa, the son of Marichi, wrote some of the Rig Veda's hymns. He married thirteen daughters of Daksha and populated the worlds with them. The names of the women were Aditi, Diti, Danu, Arishta, Sursa, Khasa, Surabhi, Vinta, Tamra, Krodhvasha, Ira, Kadru and Muni (the names vary in the scriptures). Aditi was the mother of the gods, Diti was the mother of demons, the other ladies gave birth to everything that creeps and flies. Kashyapa was Shiva's brother-in-law who was married to Sati, another daughter of Daksha, and of the Moon, who married twenty-seven daughters of Daksha. Katyayana was a Sanskrit grammarian and priest. His work Varttika, an explanation of Panini's grammar, is famous. He was co-author of the Sulba Sutras, nine texts on geometry and arithmetic. Kaundinya was a brahmin who gained fame when he was called to the court of King Suddhodana by the Sakyas in Kapilavastu. It was Kaundinya who prophesied at the birth of Prince Siddhartha that he would become a Buddha, an enlightened one, and he swore to become his disciple. He and four other wise men followed Siddhartha for six years while he subjected himself to the strictest asceticism. They left him when he renounced this practice. After his enlightenment, Siddhartha, who was now a Buddha, gave his first doctrinal talk to this group around Kaundinya. You then follow Buddha on his way through India.

5 Kaushika was king and thus belonged to the Kshatriyas, the warrior caste. Kaushika became the sage Vishvamitra. The wise belong to the Brahmins. Thus the Kaushika Gotra is the Gotra of the Kshatriyas, while the Vishvamitra Gotra is that of the Brahmins. You can read about Kaushika / Vishvamitra under Wise Men and Kings. Not only were Kutsa and Indra close friends, they were so alike that even Indra's wife could hardly tell them apart. Maitreya explained parts of the Bhagavatam, a Purana mainly concerned with the life of Krishna, Vidura, the son of Vyasa. The Brihat Parasara Hora Shastra, a work of astrology, was expounded by Parasara, the father of Vyasa, Maitreya. Mandavya was a sage who was wrongly punished by the king. He was accused of stealing food from a sage while meditating. This was a punishment from Dharma, the god of righteousness, for tormenting animals in his childhood. Mandavya then cursed Dharma, being born as Vidura. Dharma's mother was a servant of Ambika, his father was Vyasa. Read about Vidura under Das Mahabharata> Sons of Maids. The sage Durvasa once appeared naked in Mudgala's hermitage and asked for alms. Mudgala served him a substantial meal, part of which he ate and the rest of which he smeared on his body. The next day Durvasa came before Mudgala had eaten. Mudgala left him his food and remained hungry. This was repeated over several days. Durvasa rewarded him for this ability to suffer and offered to take him with his body to heaven. Immediately the gods appeared in an air car. Mudgala asked Durvasa about life in heaven. When he heard of all the amenities he declined with thanks. Parasara was Vasishtha's grandson, Shakti's son and Vyasa's father. Vyasa became the father of Pandu Dhritarashtra and Vidura. Parasara was thus the great-great-grandfather of the heroes of the Mahabharata. He is the author of several hymns of the Rig Vedas and the Parasara Samhita, a text that sets out norms and rules of conduct for the Kali Yuga, the current age of the world. Read about Parasara under Das Mahabharata.

6 Atri, Pulastya and Pulaha met in Nainital, in the Indian Himalayas. They were thirsty and dug a hole into which they poured water from Mansarovar (Manasa Lake). The lake is located on Kailash, Shiva's place of residence. Bharata, the famous regent, retired to Pulaha's hermitage in old age. Pulastya spoke the Mangalya Sthava to his disciple Dhaulabhya, a hymn in honor of Vishnu. Pulastya was married to Priti, her sister Kshama to Pulaha. Both had innumerable children, Kshama was the mother of Kardama. Kardama had a daughter, Kriya, she married Kratu and gave birth to the Valakhilyas, thumb-sized sages. Read about Bharata under Wise Men and Kings. You can read the Mangalya Sthava on my Krishna page under Vishnu. Read about the Valakhilyas under Garuda and the Snakes> Biography Garuda and Shesha. Raivata was king of Kusasthali. Raivata's father was Revata and his father was Anarta. Anarta's sister was Sukanya, Chyavana's wife. Their father was Saryati, whose father was Vaivasvata Manu, who was the son of Vivasvan. Vivasvan is Surya. Raivata had a daughter, Revati. At Brahma's request, he married her to Balarama, Krishna's brother. Raivata was also called Kakudmi. Read about Chyavana and Sukanya under Couples. The Salankayanas are a dynasty that ruled the east coast of India between 300 and 440 AD. They were vassals of the Pallava king in southern India. During their time, the Telugu and Kannada script developed. Sandilya was a great scholar of the Vedas. Parvati, Shiva's wife, is said to belong to the Sandilya Gotra. His most famous descendants are Kashyapa, Avatsara, Naidhruva, Rebha, Raibha and Sandila. Sankriti is Vasishtha's grandson and Shakti's son, Shakti is Parasara's father, Parasara is Vyasa's father. Dattatreya explained to Sankriti the nature of a renunciation, an Avadhuta. You can read about Dattatreya and the Avadhuta Gita on my Shiva page under the Vedic Treasures.

7 Shaunaka is considered to be the teacher of Katyayana and Ashvalayana and could be identical to the Rishi Gritsamada. According to the Vishnu Purana he is the son of the same and put together the four stages of human life. In the Naimisha Forest, Shaunaka heard the Mahabharata from Ugrasrava Sauti. You can read about the four life stages on my Shiva page under India. The Kambojas were an ancient warrior tribe in the northwest of what was then India. Today the area is in northeast Afghanistan and parts of Tajikistan. Upamanyu belonged to this lineage. His hermitage was in the Himalayas. His father was Vyaghrapada. Upamanyu was a disciple of Ayodadhaumya. The members of the Upamanyu Gotra live in the west of Nepal and in the east of Jammu-Kashmir. They are worshipers of Shiva. The first mention of the Kambojas can be found in the Vamsa Brahmana of Sama Vedas where a teacher, Kamboja Aupamanyava, is mentioned. The Upamanyu mentioned in Rig Veda I is likely to be the father of this teacher. Read about Ayodadhaumya under Wise Men and Kings. Vasishtha is assigned the seventh mandala of the Rig Vedas. His family is glorified in verse 33. He was the chief priest of the Sun Dynasty and owned the wish-fulfilling cow Kamadhenu and her daughter Nandini. He was married to Arundhati. Vasishtha was the teacher of Rama and the author of one of the most important works of philosophy, the doctrinal discussion between him and Rama called Yoga Vasishtha. Vishvamitra is assigned the third mandala of the Rig Veda. In Ramayana it was Vishvamitra who asked Rama's father to send Rama to destroy the demons who disturbed the fire sacrifices of the wise and who took him to the feast of Sita 's choice of spouse. You can read about Kaushika / Vishvamitra under Wise Men and Kings. Compiled by Sri Gopalakrishna Ramaiyer Translated with the kind permission of TRS Iyengar