[INDOLOGY] a question regarding the usage of -gotra versus -sagotra

Madhav Deshpande mmdesh at umich.edu
Mon Jan 2 19:31:09 UTC 2017

Dear colleagues,

     I am forwarding a question from a friend of mine, for which I do not
have a clear answer:


Dear Madhav,

I thought you might have a quick answer to this question. When mentioning
gotras, one sees "Visvāmitra gotra", but also "Ātreyasa gotra", and
"Kāsyapasa gotra".

Since the ṛṣis in the two latter cases are Atri and Kasyapa, it would
appear that the corresponding gotras should be "Ātreya" and "Kāsyapa",
without the "sa" suffix. (Indeed, one also sees "Ātreya gotra", and
"Kāsyapa gotra".)

Is it the case that the correct terms are "Ātreya sagotra", and "Kāsyapa
sagotra", and the conventional usage is simply an incorrect parsing?
However, this would require "Visvāmitra sagotra", which one does not see.

Or is there something more to it than that?


Why would someone be referred to as Viśvāmitra-gotra, but others as
Ātreya-sagotra or Kāśyapa-sagotra?  I will appreciate a clarification.

Madhav Deshpande
Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

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