In Hinduism, why is it forbidden to marry a person with the same Gotra? Is it mentioned in the scriptures somewhere? Does it make sense to overlook the restrictions in today's world?

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    I believe its because people from same gotra might actually be brother & sister and hence prohibited. Scientifically there might be genetically complications for the baby of those married with same gotra.
    – kaushikv
    Jul 15, 2015 at 21:54
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    Gotra means clan/village. This means you may be related if you marry a person with the same gotra or sagora. Being related to the person you married May cause difficulty in having children. Just like you can't marry your brother or cousin... So, hinduism prohibits this. Hinduism has some pretty weird rules however I can assure you they all are for your good, and they have a meaning. Jul 16, 2015 at 15:04
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    For those trying to relate this to genetics: Why is only the male ancestor counted? The female ancestors' genes doesn't count?
    – Notty
    Apr 13, 2016 at 12:39
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    Also people of the same gothra may be brother or sister according to scriptures. But don't put that meaning in genetics. Genetics, science and common sense have a different definition of brother and sister.
    – Notty
    Apr 13, 2016 at 12:42

1 Answer 1


Yes, Sagotra (same-gotra) marriages are prohibited by Hindu scripture. Here's what this chapter of the Manu Smriti says:

  1. A damsel who is neither a Sapinda on the mother's side, nor belongs to the same family on the father's side, is recommended to twice-born men for wedlock and conjugal union.

And here is what this chapter of the Vasishtha Dharma Sutras says:

  1. (A student who desires to become) a house-holder shall bathe, free from anger and elation, with the permission of his teacher, and take for a wife a young female of his own caste, who does neither belong to the same Gotra nor has the same Pravara, who has not had intercourse (with another man)

And here is what this chapter of the Gobhila Grihya Sutras says:

  1. A student, after he has studied the Veda,
  2. And has offered a present to his Guru (i.e. to his) teacher,
  3. 3 Should, with the permission (of his parents), take a wife,
  4. One who does not belong to the same Gotra,

And here is what this chapter the Vishnu Smriti says:

  1. No one should marry a woman belonging to the same Gotra, or descended from the same Rishi ancestors, or from the same Pravaras.

Many other scriptures say the same thing. In any case, the reason for the rule is that if two people share a patrilineal ancestor, then it's considered a form of incest.

  • Is there any edict/guidelines on the number of generations that the spouses must be apart genetically? I have a heard a smarta brahmin friend say that they should be atleast 7 generations apart.
    – Naveen
    May 27, 2016 at 20:12
  • @Naveen Yeah, seven is basically right. The first verse I quoted says "A damsel who is neither a Sapinda on the mother's side, nor belongs to the same family on the father's side, is recommended to twice-born men for wedlock and conjugal union." And this chapter defines Sapinda as follows: "60. But the Sapinda-relationship ceases with the seventh person (in the ascending and descending lines), the Samanodaka-relationship when the (common) origin and the (existence of a common family)-name are no (longer) known." May 27, 2016 at 20:28
  • Basically from Mendel's heredity laws cross pollination leads to progressive of good traits. Also I heard that .. at least in one caste same gothra had been permitted under circumstances of numbers proliferation/difficulty in getting suitors of other caste!
    – Narasimham
    Apr 3, 2017 at 21:28

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