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One of the important tradition in Hinduism is the Gotra. Usually marriage is not performed between two persons belonging to the same Gotra. Does this have anything to do with biological relationship ? What happens when someone is adopted as a baby and the parents are not known ? Does the baby accept the Gotra of the adopted father ? What about persons who don't know their Gotra but who otherwise have spiritual masters. Is there any fall back system or method ?

  • 1. Marriage between people of same gotra is forbidden only in the case of dwijas. Sudras marry within the same gotra. 2. Those whose gotra is not known generally adopt kasyapa gotra. This may be limited to some castes though. I am aware of some sudras having vishnu gotra. – user1195 Oct 5 '15 at 7:46
  • @moonstar2001, where have you noticed shudras marrying within same gotra? many of them, atleast in tamilnadu, still follow the concept of mama or athai 's child being your spouse, not chittapa's or periappa's – ram Jun 16 '17 at 6:29
  • @ram marriage between chittapa/periappa's children is forbidden everywhere. Same gotra does not mean same bloodline here. Sudra gotras are based on their ancestral occupations AFAIK. – user1195 Jun 16 '17 at 6:33
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When a child's gotra is not known then he will usually adopt the gotra of the person who adopted him.

Also, he can adopt the gotra of his guru who initiates him during upanayana samskara / gayatri deeksha (if done).

Further, not knowing gotra is not a major criterion in spirituality. Because, as per the legend of Satyakama Jabali, he was not aware of his gotra yet his guru initiated him into brahma vidya because of his genuine aspiration and jijnasa.

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