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As we saw earlier, some of the descendants of the most ancient Gotras started their own Gotras, however they maintained a list of Pravaras while doing so and attached the list of their most excellent Ancestors with this derived Gotras.For instance the Vatsa Gotra has Bhargava, Chyavana, Jamadagnya , Apnavana as their Pravaras.All other Brahmin Gotras evolved from one of the above Gotras.What this means is that the descendants of these Rishis over time started their own Gotras.How does the Gotra of a daughter change just because she marries a person belonging to a different Gotra?What is the necessity of maintaining only the man’s ancestry, why not maintain that of women too?This was the question that was puzzling me about this Gotra system till recently, until I found out the scientific reasoning behind the Gotra system by chance while studying a puzzle in modern Genetics for which the biologists are trying to find an answer! This is the most important and the only rule in the Gotra system if I may say so.
This Gotra system helps one identify his male lineage and is passed down automatically from Father to Son.
But again I used to think, what a crap, how can a boy and a girl belonging to two different families who haven’t met for centuries be considered as siblings?
Only until I was able to correlate a puzzle in modern Genetics to the Gotra system.
The word Gotra is formed from the two Sanskrit words Gau (meaning Cow) and Trahi (meaning Shed).
So Gotra means Cowshed, where in the context is that Gotra is like the Cowshed protecting a particular male lineage.