Importance of Gotra in marriage
Before we starts talking about gotra we must know whether the kundli matching is necessary for successful marriage or not.In India two people of the same Gotra cannot marry. Several honor killings and several decades later this still persists in our society. One would think that such issues do not have any base in reality some may also question that in today’s date and age when technology has progressed so much, why are we still looking at the Gotra to fix marriages? The reality is that Gotra matching is based in science. What today’s science doesn’t offer us, is a way to correct the genetic issues brought forth by it.
What is the science behind the Gotra?
Ancient Indian traditions and Vedic systems are rooted in science. Forbiddance of same Gotra marriage is no different. Apparently, marrying into the same Gotra is forbidden because it has a close connection to DNA. So basically if we switch the terms “Gotra” with “DNA” it means that the person is of the same clan as you. Now even if you have separated and you are completely strangers to one another at this point, you two are actually siblings or relatives of some sort. you can also read the article to know how many gunnas must be matched for successful marriage.
Now people don’t marry others from their clan because it increases the chances of having autistic children. Genetic deformities might occur somewhere down the line if two people of the same DNA marry. This is the scientific reason behind same Gotra marriage prohibition.
Let us understand how Gotras came
Okay just because someone told you that the person you want to marry is your kith and kin, you don’t have to believe it – not at this day and age where the ancient systems make no sense. So let us have a closer look at what Gotras really are and to understand where they came from.
In India it is believed that we are the descendants of the Saptarishis – or the seven sages. Each of the rishis has their own Gotra and therefore the back trace of these Gotras lead to one common ancestor – which is one of the seven rishis that came down to Earth. This is again because of the Y chromosome. It is the only chromosome which does not have any matching pair in human’s body. This is why it has to be matched to be adapted and survive. It has been said that if someone belongs to the Atri Gotra then their lineage can be traced back to Rishi Atri of the seven rishis. Cool, right?
But even then there are a few questions that need to be answered:
- The Gotra system was formulated between 3000 and 4000 years and over these years, there have been continuous marriages outside the Gotras. So has this reduced the dominance of genes?
- The roots of the lineage and DNAs have been separated. So what is the logical reason behind marriage between the same Gotras even after thousands of years?
What is astrology saying about same Gotra marriage?
Vedic Astrology is strictly against marriages in the same Gotra because of the reason already mentioned above. This is basically the reason why people do not encourage same Gotra marriage in the Hindu culture. So if an astrologer has told you, you cannot marry someone of the same Gotra then it is probably because of this reason. you can also read the article to know about the nadi dosha in kundli.
Is then Same Gotra marriage possible?
We can still see that people of the same Gotra are getting married and some even have healthy babies. Although it is not set in stone that the couple will have unhealthy babies, the chances of having autistic children and genetically deformed babies is the highest with people who marry in the same clan. Now the question is – do people who belong to the same Gotra always have the same clan? As already mentioned before, thousands of years have passed and in this time, several clans have inter-collided. So today, at this age, is there any remedy for same Gotra marriage?
The whole idea behind same Gotra marriage is to preserve the Y chromosome. Y chromosomes, as already mentioned, have a hard time pairing up inside our bodies. So in order to ensure that they pair up alright and they do not cause any genetic deformity, it is the safest bet to ahead and marry someone from another clan.
It is believed that the Y chromosome gets deteriorated with negligible chances of getting repaired. Now let us take a look at history – this system was not even implemented before 3000 or 4000 BC. Since then, we have been invaded by the Mughals and the British East India Company and the Portugese and several other cultures from around the world have passed through the Indian subcontinent.
This indicates that lineage as we know it now, and lineage as it was back then (when the Gotra system was formed) are not accurate and cannot be correlated. Besides, your maternal uncle’s side may have the same DNA as you while having different surnames. This shows that there are sheer loopholes in the way Gotra system is identified.
Recessive diseases in India
Recently there was a research published in the MIT on India and its genetic origins. The results were in favor of the Vedic Gotra system. According to the study the allele frequency differences between the Indians were larger than that of those in the Europe. This was because the Indians had preserved a strong founder signature for thousands of years by marrying in different Gotras. This is why even though our country had been infiltrated by different cultures and sub traditions, the mark of our ancestors have not been distinguished.
This is why the study concluded that if inter Gotra people start marrying each other, then India will face an excess of Recessive disease. This type of disease will be common only in India because other cultures are immune to such threats.
Arguments to debunk the Gotra marriage myth
After reading several studies and science behind the practice, one is brought towards a few very striking questions:
- Muslims marry within their own kith and kin – why then is it that they do not suffer from any genetic diseases? If this was the case then all of the Muslims would have been suffering from Recessive diseases. But this is not the case – why?
- Was it even about ancestors? Humanity has been here much before 3000 and 4000 BC – the time from which this system has started. So was it even about our ancestors? Some historians believe no. It was simply about the Gurus. For example, the followers of Guru Shandilya were supposed to be of Shandilya clan, and so on.
Historians are also of the belief that the same Gotra marriages are not to protect lineage but to protect the Gotra itself. If a woman of one Gotra married someone of another, then the descendants of their other Gotra will increase and not that of the Gotra of her origin. Hence, it was an act of the society right from the beginning.
Here are a few things to consider:
|1||Gotra system was defined||4th century BC|
|2||Chromosomal preservation of||Y chromosome|
|3||Study conducted by||Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad|
|4||Genetic Deformity related diseases||Albinism, HGH deficiency, autism, Tay-Sachs disease|