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As I discuss in this question, the book "Venkatachala - Its Glory" by G.V. Chalapathi Rao is an English translation of the Sthala Purana (temple scripture) of the famous Tirupati temple and this temple scripture consists of excerpts from various Puranas that discuss the story of Venkateshwara (the Vishnu deity in Tirupati, AKA Balaji or Srinivasa).

The Sthala Purana describes the wedding of Vishnu and Padmavathi in great detail. Padmavati's father Akasa Raja, in the course of giving his daughter away, has to recount the ancestry of the groom. This excerpt describes what he says about Vishnu's "ancestry":

Born in the lineage of Vasishtha, great grandson of Yayati, grandson of the valiant Surasena, son of Vasudeva, Oh! bridegroom, kindly accept this bride. I am dedicating to you Purushottama, this bride. Be pleased to accept her.

Now of course, as the Bhagavad Gita says Vishnu is unborn and without beginning, so it's hard to describe an "ancestry" for him, so it looks like Akasa Raja is using the ancestry of Vishnu's incarnation Krishna instead. And sure enough, Krishna is the son of Vasudeva, son of the Yadava king Surasena, and the Yadavas are descendants of Yadu son of the very ancient king Yayati.

But my question is, why does Akasa Raja say that Vishnu is descended from the lineage (gotra) of the sage Vashishta? Vasishta is one of the mind-born sons of Brahma, but Krishna wasn't descended from him. As I mentioned above, Krishna was a descendant of Yayati, and Yayati was a king of the Lunar dynasty, which means that he was a descendant of Chandra the moon god. But as I discuss in this answer, Chandra is the son of the sage Atri, another mind-born son of Brahma, not Vashishta. (In fact Padmavathi is described as having Atri gotra for this very reason, since Akasa Raja is a king of the Lunar dynasty as well.) So why would Venkateshwara have Vasishta gotra?

Could it be that just the "lineage of Vasishta" part alone is referring to the ancestry something other than Krishna? The only descendant of Vashishta I can think of who's an incarnation of Vishnu is Vyasa, but it's unlikely that Akasa Raja would just arbitrarily refer to Vyasa of all people.

  • Do you have the Sanskrit verses with you? It could be a case of misattribution. – Surya Dec 10 '15 at 7:48
  • @Surya No, I don't have the Sanskrit verses, because I don't know what Purana this particular passage in the Sthala Purana is quoted from. By the way, I just came back from Tirupati - I got to see Netra Darshanam and Neja Padam, and for the first time I saw Adi Varahaswami and Swami Pushkarini. – Keshav Srinivasan Dec 10 '15 at 13:50
  • @Surya I just found the verse in Sanskrit; see verse 354 here: egayathri.blogspot.com/2015/09/… "Puthrasya Venkateshasya Gothrey Vaasishtasanjakey, Jaathasyaathrikulothpannaam Kanyaam Kanakabhooshithaam." "bearer of Vasishta Gothram, Lord Srinivasa will accept the bearer of Athri gothram and one who is bedecked in jewellery" – Keshav Srinivasan Jan 1 '16 at 11:27
  • Well this blog makes an interesting read. It describes how Vasishtha's blood now flowed through the Suryavanshis. – Surya Jan 1 '16 at 12:17
  • @Surya Well, Niyoga doesn't affect Gotra at all - you inherit your adopted father's Gotram, not your biological father's Gotram. – Keshav Srinivasan Jan 1 '16 at 12:42

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