Literally, Pravara means the most excellent (-Monier-Williams, cf. reference). Pravara is the number of the most excellent rishis who belonged to that that particular gotra to which the wearer of sacred thread belongs. Gotra is the name of the founding father (and in a few exceptional cases, founding mother). In vedic ritual, the importance of the pravara appears to be in its use by the ritualist for extolling his ancestry and proclaiming, "as a descendant of worthy ancestors, I am a fit and proper person to do the act I am performing." Generally, there are either three or five pravaras. The sacred thread yajnopavita worn on upanayana has close and essential connection with the concept of pravaras related to brahmin gotra system. While tying the knots of sacred thread, an oath is taken in the name of each one of these three or five of the most excellent rishis belonging to one's gotra.

The full affiliation of a brāhamana consists of (1)gotra, (2)sutra (of Kalpa), (3)shakha, (4)pravaras .

(Example :) A brahmana named 'X' introduces himself as follows : I am 'X', of Shrivatsa gotra, of Āpastamba sutra, of Taittiriya shākha of Yajurveda, of five pravaras named Bhārgava, Chyāvana, Āpnavan, Aurva and Jāmdagnya (This example is based upon the example given by Pattābhirām Shastri in the introduction to Vedārtha-Pārijata, cf. ref.).

While the gotras were classified initially according to eight rishis, the pravaras were classified under the names of the following seven rishis:

According to the listing of authors included in the verses in Rigved, the rishi Jamadagni was a descendant of rishi Bhrigu while the rishis Gautam and Bharadvaja were the descendants of rishi Angirasa.

The pravara identifies the association of a person with two, three (or sometimes five) of the above-mentioned rishis. It also signifies the Sutras contributed to different Vedas by those rishis.

For example, Kashyapa Gothram has 3 rishis associated with it viz. Kashyapa, Nidruva and Aavatsaara

Gotra Pravara

  1. Suryadhwaja: Lakhi (Mehrishi), Soral, Binju
  2. Bharadwaja: Angirasa, Bhaarhaspatya, Bharadwaja
  3. Shatamarshana: Angirasa, Powrukutsa,Traasatasya
  4. AAtreya: Atreya,Aarchanaasa,Syaavaasva
  5. Vatula: Bhargava,Vaitahavya,Saavedasa
  6. Srivatsa: Bhargava,Syaavana,AApnavaana,Owrva,Jaamadaghnya
  7. Kowsika: Vaiswaamitra,AAgamarshana,Kowsika
  8. Kalabodhana/Kalaboudha: Viswaamitra,AAgamarshana,Kalabodhana/Kalaboudha
  9. Viswamitra: Vaiswaamitra,Devaraata, Owtala
  10. Kowndinya: Vaasishta,Maitraavaruna, Kowndinya
  11. Harita: Angirasa, Ambarisha,Yuvanasva
  12. Mowdkalya(3 Variations)
    1. Angirasa,Bharmyasva,Mowdgalya
    2. Tarkshya,Bharmyasva,Mowdgalya
    3. Angirasa, Dhavya, Mowdgalya
  13. Sandilya (2 Variations)
    1. Kasyapa,Aavatsaara,Daivala
    2. Kasyapa,Aavatsaara,Sandilya
    3. Kasyapa, Daivala, Asitha
  14. Naitruvakaasyapa: Kasyapa,Aavatsara,Naitruva
  15. Kutsa: Aankirasa,Maandhatra,Kowtsa
  16. Kanva (2 Variations)
    1. Angirasa,Ajameeda,Kaanva
    2. Angirasa,Kowra, Kaanva
  17. Paraasara: Vaasishta, Saaktya, Paarasarya
  18. Aagastya: Aagastya,Tardhachyuta,Sowmavaha
  19. Gargi (2 Variations)
    1. Angirasa,Bharhaspatya,Bharadwaja,Sainya,Gargya
    2. Angirasa, Sainya, Gaargya
  20. Bhadarayana: Angirasa,Paarshadaswa, Raatitara
  21. Kasyapa: Kasyapa, Aavatsaara, Daivala
  22. Sunkriti (2 Variations)
    1. Angirasa,Kowravidha,Saankritya
    2. Sadhya,Kowravidha,Saankritya

==harithasa ==

Example transliteration of a pravara[edit | edit source]

   Chatussagara paryantham go bramhanebhyaya shubam bhavati
   AbhivAdaye AngIrasa BhAradvAja GArgya Chainya trayArshEya pravarAnvita
   Gargya BhAradvAja gOtrah
   Apastamba sUtrah
   Sri rAma sharmAnAm aham asmibhoh



చతుస్సాగర పర్యంతం గోబ్రాహ్మణేబ్య శుభం భవతు  కాశ్యప ఆవత్చార నైద్రువ రేభ రైభ శండిల్య శాండిల్య సప్తా ఋషేయ ప్రవరాన్విత  కాస్యపస గోత్రహ ఆపస్తంబ సూత్రహ కృష్ణ యజుర్ శాఖాద్యాయినే ....... <మీ పేరు> శర్మన్..... అహంభో అభివాదయే.

Explanation of the example[edit | edit source]

  Line 1: Prelogue: May all the cows and Brahmanas across the four seas be blessed
  Line 2: The names and number of the main rishis to whose lineage the person belongs
  Line 3: Gotra of the person
  Line 4: The sutra that the person follows
  Line 5: The veda shakha that the person belongs to
  Line 6: Name of the person

References[edit | edit source]

  • Sanskrit-English Dictionary by Monier-Williams, Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt Ltd, 55-Rani Jhansi Road, New Delhi-110055,Third Print 1988; (original publication Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1899).
  • Sanskrit-English Dictionary by Monier-Williams, ISBN 0-19-864308-X.
  • Vedārtha-Pārijāta by Swāmi Karpātri, introduction by Pattābhirām Śāstri, Śri Rādhā krishna Dhanuka Prakāśan Sansthān, Calcutta ; Sañchālaka : Vedaśāstra Research Centre, Kedārghat, Vārānasi,1979 (Sanskrit and Hindi, the introduction has an English translation as well).

See also[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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