GOTRA. SANSK. A hurdle, a pen, a fold, a tribe. Professor Wilson explains the term Gotra a.s meaning a family, lineage, relationship by descent from a common ancestor of the same name, or from some saint, or regard him as their primitive spiritual bead, and whose designation they bear, as the Bharadwaja- gotra, Kasyapa gotra, Sandilya-gotra, etc. In vol. ii. p. 12, of the Hindu Theatre, Professor WiLson says it is awerted thatthirteen Gotra or families of Brahmans owe their origin to as many divine sages called after their name. Kasyapa (Knsip) is one of the number. Tho Aswalayana Sutra of the Rig Veda contains the enumeration of the Gotra, and their subdivisions, but in a very involved and unin telligible style. The popular enumeration of them, however, is not uncommon ; but it is netuiy, if not wholly, confined to the south of India, where several of the reputed representatives of these tribes yet exist. Throughout the entire Peninsula every Bmhman claims his own Got ; every nrar riage is regulated by the Got, and no Brahman marries into his own Got. Gotra, Vansa, Varna, Paksha, and Gana are all used, in a similar sense, to indicate the larger as well as the smaller families descended from tho eight rishi. The care taken by an Brahmans in the S. of the Peninsula in making their marriage selections, justifies the conclusion that the genealogical lists of the Brah mans at the present day furnish in their general outlines a correct account of the priestly families of the Hindus. The eight rishi have eight Gotra,
which aro subdivided into 49 Gotm, and these 49 into a still larger number of families. In common parlance, Got has the same meaning as the more classical Gotm of Wilson's Glossary. Properly, those only are Got which bear the name of some rishi progenitor, as Sandilya, Bharadwaja Vas ishtla,Kasyapa. ; but it has become the custom to call each subdivision of a tribe a Got, and, according to the Nirnye Sind, there are no less thau ten thousand. Early genealogies of the Rajputs fre quently exhibit them as abandoning their martial habits, and establishing religious sects or Gotra. Thus Reh was the fourth son of Proorwa, of the Lunar race ; from him, in the fifteenth generation, was llarita, who with his eight brothers took the office of religion, and established the Kausika Gotra, a tribo of Brahmtuas. According to Colonel Tod, both Got and Kaup denote a clan, and in Rajpntana its subdivisions have the patronymic terminating with the syllable ote, awut, sote, in the use of which euphony alone is the guide: thus, Suktawnt, sons of Sukta •, Knrmasote, sons of Kurma ; Mairawut or Mairote, mountaineers, sons of tbe mountain.—Elliot ; Wilson's Hin. Theatre ; Wilson's Glossary.