As per Hindu beliefs – Gotra refers to the root person in a person’s male lineage. In most cases the system is patrilineal (based on relationship to the father or descent through the male line) and the gotra assigned is that of the person’s father. For instance if a person says he belongs to Vasishta Gotra then it means that he traces back his male ancestry to the ancient Rishi Vasishta. Brahmins identify their male lineage by considering themselves to be the descendants of Great Saptarishis. The gotras are named after the seven sages – Kashyapa, Atri, Vasishta, Vishwamitra, Gautama, Jamadagni and Bharadwaja.
Marriages and “Swagotra”
An important rule in the Gotra system is a bride and bride-groom belonging to the same gotra cannot marry as they are considered siblings even if they belong to different families and places. The reason given for preventing marriages from same gotras is that, since they belonged to the same ancestor, the bride and groom are considered as brothers and sisters. Diluting the relationship needed for a marriage is known to cause genetic disorders in their offspring. North Indian Hindu society not only follows the rules of gotra for marriages but also do not allow marriages with some specific communities due to the reasons that these communities are having brotherhood.
Scientifically also it has been proved that marriage between persons having same lineage produces babies having several genetic disorders and diseases. It is understandable from this fact that our great Rishis were also great biologists and understood how to produce healthy progeny.
Nakshatras – Characteristics and Use in Vedic Astrology
In the Vedic system of Astrology there are 27 Nakshatras which divides the 360 degrees of entire zodiac into roughly 13.2 degrees of arc per Nakshatra. There are references to the Nakshatras in the Rig Veda, one of the oldest Indian scriptures having a history of thousands of years.
Nakshatras can be seen as natural forces (for the weather and seasons) and predict one’s mental and emotional tendencies. This is a unique part of Vedic astrology and a tool used for specifically and accurately making predictions, as well as to understand how an individual’s karma will manifest in and around them. Each Nakshatra is ruled by a deity, has at least one symbol and also has a ruling planet. Both Nakshatra and Rashi being an intrinsic part of the same elliptical zodiac are fundamentally related to one another. The twelve rashis correspond to the twenty seven nakshatras or constellations present in the similar eclipse. Nakshatra based matching is known as “koota guna matching” and helps to ascertain the merits and demerits of the concerned pair in relation to the other. As per Vedic astrology a minimum of 18 positive points are necessitated for a union to be termed as compatible. The most important Nakshatra of the natal chart is Moon which represents our mind, intuition and emotional self. The Moon is the intelligence and intuition of each human being. Through studying your natal moon and its relationship with the rest of your chart, you can gain more importance of your emotional body as well as your psychological and intuitive experiences.
The 27 Nakshatras are Ashwini, Bharani, Kruttika, Rohini, Mrigashira, Aridra, Punarvasu, Pushya, Ashlesha, Magha, Purva Phalguni, Uttara Phalguni, Hasta, Chitra, Swati, Vishaka, Anuradha, Jyeshta, Moola, Purvashada, Uttarashada, Shravana, Dhanishta, Shatabisha, Purva Bhadrapada, Uttara Bhadrapada and Revathi nakshatra.