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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?
The idea behind this Pravara system is probably to ensure that the derived Gotras still maintain track of their root Gotras, and this in turn is used to ensure that Bride and Bridegroom from no two derived Gotras coming from the same root Gotra marry each other.This makes sense as this prevents marriages between derived Gotras which belong to the same root Gotra.This reminds me of a similar logic in the modern Object Oriented Programming in Software Systems.Now consider two derived Gotras which came from the same Gotra, then it might happen that over time people might forget that both these Gotras came from the same root Gotra, and may allow marriages within these Gotras since their names are different!To prevent this, the derived Gotras maintained a list of Pravaras (which were the prominent junctions where the derived Gotras got created), and the additional rule in the Gotra system is that, even if the Bride and Bridegroom belong to different Gotras, they still cannot get married even if just one of their Gotra Pravara matches.The total number of established Gotras today is 49.
However each of them finally trace back to one of the root Gotrakarin Rishi.
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.
In that case his Gotra will end with him in that lineage because his daughters will belong to the Gotras of their husbands after their marriage!
This was probably the reason why in the ancient vedic or hindu societies it was preferred to have atleast one Son along with any number of daughters, so that the Gotra of the father could continue. Why should only Sons carry the Gotra of their father, why can’t daughters?
So the rule of the Gotra system is that the Gotra of men remains the same, while the Gotra of the woman becomes the Gotra of their husband after marriage.