The Skanda Purana

by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words

This page describes Gotras, Pravaras etc. of the Residents of Dharmaranya which is chapter 21 of the English translation of the Skanda Purana, the largest of the eighteen Mahapuranas, preserving the ancient Indian society and Hindu traditions in an encyclopedic format, detailling on topics such as dharma (virtous lifestyle), cosmogony (creation of the universe), mythology (itihasa), genealogy (vamsha) etc. This is the twenty-first chapter of the Dharmaranya-khanda of the Brahma-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 21 - Gotras, Pravaras etc. of the Residents of Dharmāraṇya

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Note: In the text that follows there are many scribal errors. The printed text contains a note by the first editor pointing this out. Attempt has been made to give as correct a list as possible.—Translator

Vyāsa said:

1-4. O king, the Kuladevatās (family deities) were produced by her (Pārvatī) from her body. They are: (1) Bhaṭṭārikī, (2) Chatrā, (3) Ovikā, (4) Jñānajā, (5) Bhadrakālī, (6) Māheśī, (7) Siṃhorī, (8) Dhanamardanī, (9) Gātrā, (10) Śāntā, (11) Śeṣadevī, (12) Vārāhī, (13) Bhadrayoginī, (14) Yogeśvarī, (15) Mohalajjā, (16) Kuleśī, (17) Śakulācitā, (18) Tāraṇī, (19) Kanakānandā, (20) Cāmuṇḍā, (21) Sureśvarī, (22) Dārabhaṭṭārikā and others. From each of these hundred-fold auspicious Śaktis of variety of forms were born therein.

Henceforth I shall describe the Pravaras (noble ancestors of saintly conduct) and the Devatās.

5-10. The Pravaras having the same Gotra as Aupamanyava. That belongs to Gotra (Gātrā) Devī. (Those of) Gātrā (ninth Devatā) are Vasiṣṭha and Bharadvāja.

The Pravaras of Jñānajā (4th Devatā mentioned above) of the same Gotra as Indrapramadakaśyapa are Kāśyapa, Avatsāra and Raibhya.

The Pravaras of Dārabhadārikā (22nd above-mentioned as Dārabhaṭṭārikā) born of the same Gotra as Māṇḍavya are five in number: Bhārgava, Cyavana, Atri, Avī and Jamadagni.

Tāraṇī (the 18th Devatā) is of the same Gotra as Kuśika.

The Pravaras of Mahābalā (6th Devatā mentioned as Māheśī) are Viśvāmitra, Devarāja and Uddālaka.

Gotradevī is of the same Gotra as Śaunaka. The Pravaras of Śāntā are Bhārgava, Āṇainahotra and Gārtsamada.

Bhadrayoginī (13th Devatā above) is of the same Gotra as Kṛṣṇātreya. The Pravaras of this goddess are Ātreya, Arcanānasa and Śyāvāśva.

Śāntā (10th Devatā above) is born of the same Gotra as Gārgyāyaṇa. The Pravaras are (five): Bhārgava, Cyavana, Āptavān, Avī and Jamadagni.

11-16. The Pravaras of Jñānajā (4th Devatā above) (different from the previous one mentioned in v 5) born of the same Gotra as Gārgyāyaṇa are (five): Kāśyapa, Avatsāra, Śāṇḍila, Asita and Devala.

Śāntā (10th Devatā) is born of the same Gotra as Gāṅgeya. The Pravaras of Dvāravāsinī (not mentioned in the above list) are (three): Gārgya-Gārgi, Śaṅkha and Likhita.

The Pravaras of Śeṣadevī (mentioned as ‘Śeṣalaudha’ in the text) born of the same Gotra as Paiṅgya are (three): Āṅgirasa, Ambarīṣa and Yauvanāśva.

The Pravaras of Jñānajā (repetition of the name alone) born of the same Gotra as Vatsa are (five): Bhārgava, Cyavana, Āpnuvān, Aurva and Purodha.[1] The Pravaras of Śīhari (mentioned before the 7th one as Siṃhorī) are (five): Bhārgava, Cyavana, Āpnuvān, Aurva and Purodhas.

17-21. The Pravaras of Śīharī (repetition of the name alone) born of the same Gotra as Śyāmāyana are (five): Bhārgava, Cyavana, Āpnuvān, Avī and Jamadagni.

The Pravaras of Chatrajā (2nd above, mentioned as Chatrā) born of the same Gotra as Dhāraṇa are (three): Agastya, Dārvācyuta[2] and Dadhyavāhana.

The Pravaras of Cāmuṇḍā (20th Devatā above) born of the same Gotra as Kāśyapa are (three): Kāśyapa, Avatsāra and Naidhruva.

The Pravaras of Pakṣiṇī (she is not mentioned above) born of the same Gotra as Bharadvāja are (three): Āṅgirasa, Bārhaspatya and Bhāradvāja.

The Pravaras of Bhadrayoginī (mentioned before differently) born of the same Gotra as Māṇḍavya, Vatsa, Vātsya, Vātsyāyana and Sāmānyalaugākṣa are (three): Kāśyapa, Vasiṣṭha and Avatsāra.

Pakṣīṇī is born of the same Gotra as Kauśīka.

The Pravaras of Kauśika are (three): Viśvāmitra, Atharva and Bhāradvāja.[3]

1-5. Similarity in Pravaras Paīṅgya and Bharadvāja.

(Common Pravaras:) Laugākṣa, Gārgyāyana, Kāśyapa and Kaśyapa, Kauśika and Kuśika; Aupamanyu and Laugākṣa. If Viśvāmitra belongs to the lineage in these Pravaras, all of them should be considered to be of the same Gotra and no marriage can take place between the two members.

6. One should desist from marrying a girl of the same Pravaras, same Gotra, one who is Sapiṇḍa (kinsman partaking of the funeral rice-ball offerings) of his mother; one who is suffering from incurable disease, one who has no hairs growing, one who is married by another, the daughter of one who has no son and one who is excessively dark-complexioned.[4]

7. If in the Pravaras only one sage is common, even then there is Samānagotratva (birth in the same Gotra) except in the group of Bhṛgu and Aṅgiras.

8. There is no marriage if there is similarity of Pravaras in five or three sages.[5] (If there is similarity of three sages i.e. if ṃree Pravaras are common, where five sages constitute the Pravaras, no marriage can take place.) If there is similarity of two sages where three sages constitute the Pravaras then also there is a ban. So is the case of Bhṛgu and Aṅgiras. In the remaining cases, even if one sage is common the ban is to be enforced.

Kātyāyana says:

9. After marrying a virgin of the same Gotra and Pravara and carnally approaching her, one procreates a Cāṇḍāla and is excluded from Brāhmaṇa-hood.

Yājñavalkya says:

10-11. If a Brāhmaṇa marries a girl of the same Gotra and Pravara, he should abandon her and perform the expiatory rite of Cāndrāyaṇa. After abandoning the wife, one should protect her like one’s mother.

12-13. One shall marry a girl who is not suffering from any disease, who has a brother, and who is not born in the same Gotra with the same sage. She should be beyond the fifth remove from his mother and beyond the seventh remove from his father. Gautama says that marriage is contracted between two persons of dissimilar Pravaras. If only one Pravara is different from the mother’s family, the marriage should not be celebrated. That girl shall be a sister.

14. If the elder brother remains (unmarried) and the younger brother marries and begins to perform Agnihotra rites, the younger brother should be known as Parivettṛ and the elder brother is Parivitti.[6]

15-17. It is mentioned by Kāśyapa that these burn the family like fire: The daughter of a widow who marries again should be always avoided. She is the lowliest born. One who has been verbally given in marriage, one mentally betrothed, one whose marital sacred string tying is over, one who is offered by touching water or taken by the hand, one who has gone round the fire and one who is a child of a widow remarried—all these burn the family like fires (says Kāśyapa).

18. Henceforth, Avaṭaṅkas are mentioned.[7] They are Gotra, Pātra, Dātra, Trāśayatra, Laḍakātra, Maṇḍakīyātra, Viḍalātra, Rahilā, Bhādila, Vālūā, Pokīyā, Vākīyā, Makālyā, Lāḍā, Māṇavedā, Kālīyā, Tālī, Velīyā, Pāṃvalaṇḍiyā, Mūḍā, Pītūlā, Dhigamagha, Bhūtapādavādī, Hōphoyā, Śevārdata, Vapāra, Vathāra, Sādhakā and Bahudhiyā.

19. After marrying the daughter of the maternal uncle as well as a daughter of the same Gotra as that of his mother, and a girl of the same Pravara (the man) should forsake her and perform Cāndrāyaṇa rite.

Footnotes and references:


The 15th verse is a repetition of the 14th.


Pravaras are normally 3 or 5 and not 4. Hence Dārvācyuta is taken as one and not Dāru and Acyuta.


From this line onwards a new numbering from one is begun in the printed text. I have followed the numbering in the text instead of correcting it as 22, 23 etc.


Cf. Disqualification of a marriageable girl (quoted in HD II,i,,433):

dīrgha-kutsitarogārtā vyaṅgā saṃsṛṣṭamaithunā /
duṣtānyagatabhāvā ca kanyā-doṣāḥ prakīrtitāḥ //


As P.V. Kane Shows (HD II,i,,436-437), some authors on Dharmaśāstra prohibit marriage between persons of the same Gotra but are silent about common Pravaras and vice versa. But the general current prohibition is about marrying a sagotra, sapravara or sapiṇḍa girl.


Manu III.172, Baudhāyana Dh.S. II.1.30 have strongly condemned such a marriage.


The original editor of this text remarks that the names of these Avaṭaṅkas are printed as they were found in his MSS. He requests scholars to rectify wherever necessary.

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