I want to know how do we determine that a person or his tribe belongs to this particular "Gotra".?

Is it fixed based on the kuldevis they are worshipping or it differs from community to community.

I myself am a Dasnam-Goswami (brahmin), we have 10 different suffixes like Pari, Giri, Bharthi, Nath, etc.

From the words of my elders I came to know that the gotra for us is decided by the "Dasnam" , whereas in others it is based on the kuldevi they are worshipping.

Can anyone clear the doubt here.?

3 Answers 3


Gotra, or lineage is determined through one's father (biological), which is an unbroken line of men going back to Rishis (sages) who started them.

E.g. If a person belongs to Vishvamitra gotra today, it means, Vishvamitra (who lived hundreds of thousands of years ago)'s son's son's son's ....... son is that person.

  • So, just like Darwin said ancestors of humans are single cell organism, we have Gotra in India(Darwin didn't come to India)
    – user9554
    Commented Sep 12, 2017 at 16:20
  • @Ajay, this has no relation to darwin's theory. ancestors of humans are not single cell organisms.
    – ram
    Commented Sep 16, 2017 at 1:09
  • Do shudras have gotras? If not, from whom they descended? Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 11:35
  • @NarayanaSharma, it depends. they may be descended from Rishi, but might have forgotten their gotra. Or they may not have descended from any particular gotra-rishi.
    – ram
    Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 16:34
  • Want to ask question about origin of Shudras according to Hinduism. Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 16:36

Gotra name is the name of the person who has been saint or Rishi(sages) first in community. First person to become saint in unbroken line of men.

Eg. If a person belongs to Gautam Gotra then Gautam Rishi was first person who become Saint or Rishi(sages) in the unbroken chain of the men.

  • Mine is "Bhu Bharva". I don't recall any sage with this name as far as my knowledge is concerned. Commented Jun 21, 2017 at 11:44
  • @VishwasGoswami I did't understand your question. Can you make clear what is it you r trying to ask. Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 2:09
  • you said that the Gotra is related to the sages in our history. but considering my Gotra here i can not recall any sage with the name "Bhu Bharva" so how can i say that my gotra was named after a sage.? Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 10:24
  • usually name of Gotra is passed from one generation to another. A family has to maintain the details of it to pass it onto next generation. Then only it is possible get what ever information from it. But now a days people are less interested in these kind of things. Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 2:59

I can't go much deeper in this cuz of my lesser knowledge to my references. But what I can help you with deciding what Gotra is.

The Gotra is a Sanskrit word made by the combination of two other Sanskrit words named Gau and Tra. 'Gau' mean 'Cow', and 'Tra' means 'To Protect'.

Coming over to the main story, Gotra was defined according to how many or what number of cows a family is protecting. Depending on the number of Cows protected or inherited by the generations the specific nomenclature was allotted to people.

I have not much information on what names represent for what number, but the higher your Gotra is meant you are( or your ancestors were ) the protector of a higher number of Cows.

  • gO also means earth and in the context of gotra refers to earth.
    – user1195
    Commented Jun 17, 2017 at 1:24
  • 1
    @moonstar2001, you are right 'go' or 'goo' means earth or land, but 'gau' means cow. If you see both are different words altogether. Similarly there is another word called 'gu' which means dark. Here when you chhandi Gotra, it will be 'Gau' not 'Go' or 'Goo' or 'Gu'.
    – Mr. K
    Commented Jun 19, 2017 at 12:37
  • 2
    This is a spurious distinction. There is no separate gO and gau. gOtram does not relate to cow currency. gotram is lineage and traces back to the putra parampara as well as sishya parampara of a rishi.
    – user1195
    Commented Jun 19, 2017 at 14:59

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