Literally, Pravara means the most excellent (-Monier-Williams, cf. reference). Pravara is the number of the most excellent rishis who belonged to that that particular gotra to which the wearer of sacred thread belongs. Gotra is the name of the founding father (and in a few exceptional cases, founding mother). In vedic ritual, the importance of the pravara appears to be in its use by the ritualist for extolling his ancestry and proclaiming, "as a descendant of worthy ancestors, I am a fit and proper person to do the act I am performing." Generally, there are either three or five pravaras. The sacred thread yajnopavita worn on upanayana has close and essential connection with the concept of pravaras related to brahmin gotra system. While tying the knots of sacred thread, an oath is taken in the name of each one of these three or five of the most excellent rishis belonging to one's gotra.
(Example :) A brahmana named 'X' introduces himself as follows : I am 'X', of Shrivatsa gotra, of Āpastamba sutra, of Taittiriya shākha of Yajurveda, of five pravaras named Bhārgava, Chyāvana, Āpnavan, Aurva and Jāmdagnya (This example is based upon the example given by Pattābhirām Shastri in the introduction to Vedārtha-Pārijata, cf. ref.).
According to the listing of authors included in the verses in Rigved, the rishi Jamadagni was a descendant of rishi Bhrigu while the rishis Gautam and Bharadvaja were the descendants of rishi Angirasa.
For example, Kashyapa Gothram has 3 rishis associated with it viz. Kashyapa, Nidruva and Aavatsaara
- Suryadhwaja: Lakhi (Mehrishi), Soral, Binju
- Bharadwaja: Angirasa, Bhaarhaspatya, Bharadwaja
- Shatamarshana: Angirasa, Powrukutsa,Traasatasya
- AAtreya: Atreya,Aarchanaasa,Syaavaasva
- Vatula: Bhargava,Vaitahavya,Saavedasa
- Srivatsa: Bhargava,Syaavana,AApnavaana,Owrva,Jaamadaghnya
- Kowsika: Vaiswaamitra,AAgamarshana,Kowsika
- Kalabodhana/Kalaboudha: Viswaamitra,AAgamarshana,Kalabodhana/Kalaboudha
- Viswamitra: Vaiswaamitra,Devaraata, Owtala
- Kowndinya: Vaasishta,Maitraavaruna, Kowndinya
- Harita: Angirasa, Ambarisha,Yuvanasva
- Mowdkalya(3 Variations)
- Angirasa, Dhavya, Mowdgalya
- Sandilya (2 Variations)
- Kasyapa, Daivala, Asitha
- Naitruvakaasyapa: Kasyapa,Aavatsara,Naitruva
- Kutsa: Aankirasa,Maandhatra,Kowtsa
- Kanva (2 Variations)
- Angirasa,Kowra, Kaanva
- Paraasara: Vaasishta, Saaktya, Paarasarya
- Aagastya: Aagastya,Tardhachyuta,Sowmavaha
- Gargi (2 Variations)
- Angirasa, Sainya, Gaargya
- Bhadarayana: Angirasa,Paarshadaswa, Raatitara
- Kasyapa: Kasyapa, Aavatsaara, Daivala
- Sunkriti (2 Variations)
Chatussagara paryantham go bramhanebhyaya shubam bhavati AbhivAdaye AngIrasa BhAradvAja GArgya Chainya trayArshEya pravarAnvita Gargya BhAradvAja gOtrah Apastamba sUtrah yajushshAkhAdhyAyI Sri rAma sharmAnAm aham asmibhoh KASYAPA GOTHRA PRAVARA IN TELUGU:
చతుస్సాగర పర్యంతం గోబ్రాహ్మణేబ్య శుభం భవతు కాశ్యప ఆవత్చార నైద్రువ రేభ రైభ శండిల్య శాండిల్య సప్తా ఋషేయ ప్రవరాన్విత కాస్యపస గోత్రహ ఆపస్తంబ సూత్రహ కృష్ణ యజుర్ శాఖాద్యాయినే ....... <మీ పేరు> శర్మన్..... అహంభో అభివాదయే.
Explanation of the exampleEdit
Line 1: Prelogue: May all the cows and Brahmanas across the four seas be blessed Line 2: The names and number of the main rishis to whose lineage the person belongs Line 3: Gotra of the person Line 4: The sutra that the person follows Line 5: The veda shakha that the person belongs to Line 6: Name of the person
- Sanskrit-English Dictionary by Monier-Williams, Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt Ltd, 55-Rani Jhansi Road, New Delhi-110055,Third Print 1988; (original publication Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1899).
- Sanskrit-English Dictionary by Monier-Williams, ISBN 0-19-864308-X.
- Vedārtha-Pārijāta by Swāmi Karpātri, introduction by Pattābhirām Śāstri, Śri Rādhā krishna Dhanuka Prakāśan Sansthān, Calcutta ; Sañchālaka : Vedaśāstra Research Centre, Kedārghat, Vārānasi,1979 (Sanskrit and Hindi, the introduction has an English translation as well).
- Sandhyavandane description - Search for "pravara" in that page.
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