I have written quite a few articles on Caste and its rationale.
Also the Gotras,which identifies an individual.
The concept of Gotra in Hinduism is unique in that it traces your ancestry and guides you the exact practices to be followed as mentioned in the Vedas,the scriptural authority of the Hindus.
Hinduism lists forty smaskaras,the duties to be performed by an individual.
This starts from birth and ends after cremation.
One of the important rites is marriage.
Hindu Smritis list seven types of marriages.
Eight types of Marriages.
7.Raakshsa Vivaah and
Interestingly,Tamils also list eight types of marriages.
Varna Dharma,which is loosely translated as Caste,which is incorrect,depends on Disposition and conduct and is not based on Birth.
There are four Varmas.
One is expected to marry in the same Varna,as it facilitates better integration of individuals who are getting married,The Life Style being compatible, similar and not totally divergent.
If one marries in the same Varna,there would be no confusion in assigning Gotra.
In the Vedic system,which was mostly Patriarchal,the Husband’s Gotra is assigned.
In Matriarchal society,as was in Vogue in Kerala,India,the wife’s Gotra was assigned.
However predominant was Patriarchal.
Now if one were to marry from the other Varna,how to determine the Gotra and Caste?
If A Brahmin man marries from other Varna,it was called Anuloma.
If A Brahmin woman marries from the other Varna,it is Pratiloma.
This is also said this.
‘Anuloma is marriage between a sudra woman and higher caste man. Pratiloma is marriage between a sudra man and higher caste women.‘
As to the Caste to which the child belongs to,is normally, the Varna,Caste of the father.
If A Brahmin man marries a woman of other Varna,the Varna of the Child is Brahmin at Birth.
But to be qualified as Brahmin depends on Disposition and Character.
The general perception that the Varna or Caste is based on the Higher Caste does not seem to be supported in Vedic Thought,though Some subscribe to this view.
I am of the view,in the case of conflict in interpretation between Vedas,Sruthi and Smriti,the last word is that of Shruthi,Vedas.
Therefore,the automatic assignment of Gotra,based on Varna hierarchy is not in tune with the spirit of the Vedas.
That is, in the case of inter- varna marriages,the Gotra need not be assigned to that of the father,if he is considered Higher in Caste.
Hence those who follow the Patriarchal system need not assign father’s Gotra to the child.,in the case of inter-varna marriages.
Varna may be assigned later based on Disposition and Character and based on Varna ,the Gotra may be assigned.
Generally speaking Siva Gotra is not found among Brahmins,who follow the Vedic Fire worship,
I have observed that Vishnu Gotra is found among people who do not worship Agni,Fire.
Gotras bearing God’s names seem to belong to this group.
Otherwise,Gotra names are from Rishis, Saptha Rishis.
As the disposition of children born of inter-varna are not determined soon after birth, I think God’s,Siva, Vishnu name are assigned initially.
However this procedure may not really provide the Veda Shaka details.
This article is exploratory and scholarly inputs with credible sources may be sent .
It is of interest to note that Viswamitra,who gave the most important Mantra Gayatri, has been credited with two Gotras.
Kaushika and Viswamitra.
Kaushika Gotra is assigned to descendants of Viswamitra,when he was a Kshatriya King, Kaushika.
And Viswamitra Gotra to his descendants born to him after he became a Raja Rishi,Brahmana.