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From: Sudharshan Santhanam (
Date: Wed Aug 15 2001 - 09:25:42 PDT

namO nArAyanA!

srImathE rAmAnujAya namaha |

srimAn vEnkatanathArya kavithArkika kesarI |
vEdantAcharya variyomE sannidhathAm sadhahrithi ||

Mr. Sundarajan had asked a question which was 

**I would request for enlightment on the various
portions of Abhivadanam.  **

I would like to reply as follows

Sashtanga Pranamam unto elders, that is, prostration
at the feet of one's parents, preceptors and other
elderly persons due to be venerated -- the entire
body(frontal) from head to toe touching the ground was
a regular feature, an inherent habit in everyone in
olden days. This was automatically followed by
Abhivadhanam. Doing so was never considered beneath
one's dignity. On the other hand the person stood to
gain a great deal, a plethora of benefits accruing
from the blessing from these elders such as long life,
strength (both physical and mental), renown, wealth,
sound progeny etc. 

While doing ahivadhanam the person is to know about
his lineage and this abhivadhanam is an integral part
of the sandhyavandhanam.

The mantra runs, as follows:

Abhvadhaye ...(1)... thrayarshaya/paancharshaya
pravaranvitha ...(2)... gothraha ...(3)... suthraha
.... (4)... shakhadyayi ...(5)... Sharmanamahamasmibhoh

The numbers in between the mantras are to be filled up
from the information provided below.

(1) Pravaram:- In the place indicated by (1) in the
mantra format, the person may choose his gotram and
then the pravaram. This enumerates the rishis from
whom the person has descended. This table doesnt
contain all the gotras:

   Gotram         Pravaram
1  Bharadvaaja    Aangiirasa, Bharaspatya, Bharadvaaja

2  Aatreya        Aatreya, Aarchananasa, Syaavaasya

3  Vadhula        Bhaargava, Vaidatavya, Saavedasa

4  Sriivatsa      Bhaargava, Cyavana, Aaplavaana,     
                  Aurava, Jaagmadagnya

5  Kausika        Visvaamitra, Aagamarsana, Kausika

6  Kaundinya      Vasista, Maitriaavaruna, Kaundinya

7  Haarita        Aangiirasa, Paarmyasva, Maudgalya

8  Kaasyapa       Kaasyapa, Aavatsaara, Daivala

9  Naidruva       Kaasyapa, Aavatsaara, Naidruva

10 Sadamarshana   Aangirasa, Paurukutsa, Traasatasya

11 Gargi          Aamgirasa, Bhaaraspatya, 
                  Bhaaradvaja, Sainya, Gaargya  

Note: Thrayarshaya/Pancharshaya is associated with how
many rishis that gotram has (3 or 5) as you see in the
table some gotras have 3 and a few have 5.

(2) Gotra:- One's own gotra which would match in the
pravara(1) as in the table

(3) Suutra:- The rishis have indicated how the rituals
are to be performed enjoined under these saakhaas.

Rg Veda Suutraas: Asvalaayana Suutra and Katyaayana

Yajur Veda Suutraas: Aapastamba Suutra and Bodhaayana

Sama Veda Suutraas: Traahyaayani Suutra and Ranaayani

(4) Saakaa:- This is the branch of veda that the
person's forefathers have followed tradiitonally
enojoining rituals etc

(5) Naama:- Scriptures have enjoined that one's
personal name should be auspicious for a Brahmin,
indicative of valour for a Kshatriya, indicative of
wealth for a Vysya and indicative of service for a
Suudra and should end should end with Sarmaa for a
Brahmin and Verma for a Kshatriya Gupta for a Vaisya
and dasa for a Suudra

I hope the information provided is relevant and is of
use. Please bring up such questions so that somebody
who knows about it can write and enlighten others.


ramanuja dasan


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