Monday, July 11, 2016

My family history and how we moved from traditional South Indian Brahmin occupations to others over generations

This post is composed mainly from mail exchanges I had with my sister and brother, and another correspondent, in Aug. 2013 and is slightly edited. It also draws from another mail exchange I had with an uncle in Nov. 2010.

The post shares some information and some speculation about my family history and how we moved away from traditional South Indian Brahmin occupations like Hindu priest or Hindu scripture teacher or other Hindu knowledge teacher/worker, to other occupations related to English language based British/Western systems as they got established in India, over generations. Note that I have used the term other Hindu knowledge teacher/worker - that is a loose non-scholar and amateur student term that I came up with to cover worldly knowledge areas like record keeping for matters like revenue collection and ownership of land. I am quite sure that these areas would have been dominated by Brahmins in South Indian Hindu kingdoms (perhaps all Hindu kingdoms) of the past centuries.

I (Ravi) wrote:
Dear Vishalam [my sister] & Rajamani [my brother],

A correspondent, a Malayali Syrian Catholic, asked me whether I knew the origin of the word 'Pattar'. I thought you may be interested in reading what I wrote him and so have put down the relevant extract of my mail to him, below:

--- start extract ---

We (Kerala Iyers) are referred to as Pattars, yes. I did not know the origin. Did some browsing and it threw good light, IMHO.

"The word PATTAR is a pollution of Sanskrit word BHATTAR meaning “EXPERTS IN VEDIC RITUALS”. In Tamil language for PA, PHA, BA. BHA, there is only one syllable called “PA” . Hence BHATTAR became PATTAR which is used by people of KERALA in sarcasm of TAMIL BRAHMINS.(பட்டர்). In fact ‘PA’ in TAMIL is to be construed as ‘BHA’ in other languages.", http://ambaadys.blogspot.in/2011/12/kerala-tamil-brahmins-friends-word.html

I find the wikipedia page on Kerala Iyers to be a pretty good one in terms of coverage and accuracy, as far as I know.

"The waves of Tamil Brahmin migration into Kerala continued till the first half of 14th century, a few centuries after the decline of all the great Hindu empires of Tamil Nadu (such as Chola and Pandya dynasties). During the invasions of Malik Kafur and subsequent Muslim kingdoms, large numbers of Tamil Brahmins migrated and settled down on the western side of the Western Ghats which provided them security and safety from the invaders. Occasionally, Iyers also migrated from Tamil Nadu at the invitation from the Rajas of Kerala. The waves of Tamil Brahmin migration into Kerala continued till the first half of 20th century.

Over the years these migrants built up their own individual culture and established an identity of their own. In Kerala, they are commonly referred to as Bhattars. The word 'Bhattar', a Sanskrit word indicating Brahmins. This was one of the earlier surnames used by the Tamil Brahmins."

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerala_Iyers

[Ravi:] I may have told you this earlier. But I felt it relevant to mention it now. Our family from my father's side, I have been told, traces its history back to a widow and two young boys coming from Chola Pandya region to the Koodal Manikkam temple at Irinjnalakuda, http://www.koodalmanikyam.com/, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koodalmanikyam_Temple, and being given refuge there by the priest(s) of the temple. The widow was given a flower garland making job, if I recall correctly (IIRC).

My father's elder brother - eldest in the immediate family then - maintained a family tree chart from the above widow onwards, IIRC. [If anybody in the family who has that chart read this, I request them to contact me, say by commenting on this blog post, as I would like to put up that chart on the Internet, and link this post to it, provided family elders do not have any objections.] I recall my father's younger brothers and cousins, and family in general, getting together to donate money to the above-mentioned Irinjnalakuda temple and have a plaque/stone of some sort put up (along with other such plaques/stones) mentioning our family name(s) (and, in all probability, our gratitude to the temple).

Don't know much about my mother's side. My mother's father was a magistrate (in Trivandrum, IIRC) and I have heard stories about how he was held in pretty high esteem. He and his father, IIRC, were Sanskrit scholars and perhaps his father had been felicitated or had a position in one of the Kerala Hindu king's (Travancore?) court/administration.

--- end extract ---

The correspondent was happy with the response. I too have learned something about 'Pattar' and am happy about it.

BTW I would like to know more about mother's side of the family. Who best to talk to about this than Krishnambal Chitthi [Chitti is aunt in Tamil]? Further, I would love to talk to her.
--------------

[Ravi: My brother passed on the phone number of Krishnambal Chitthi over email.]
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Ravi wrote:
I just spoke to Krishnambal Chitti. It was wonderful speaking to her after so long.

I also dug up some information about family history from mother's side. Plan to search on the Internet using the basic info. chitti provided. Will update you on details later.
=====================================

Dear Vishalam, Rajamani

As I mentioned to you in another mail, I had an interaction with Krishnambal Chitthi today on family history - mother's side. [Krishnambal aunt (chitti in Tamil) is my late mother's younger sister. If I recall correctly I spoke to her on phone.]

The account below captures the discussion and is embellished with more info. using Internet sources.

Mother's father (Pata [grandfather in Tamil]) was a magistrate who used to get transferred to various places in Kerala. Eventually the family settled in Trivandrum. Pata knew Sanskrit (I am not sure whether he was a Sanskrit scholar - I would not be surprised if he was an M.A. (Sanskrit) or something similar).

Pata's father (Mother's grandfather and my great-grandfather) was a Sanskrit scholar known as Thuravoor Narayana Sastrigal. He (and mother's father's family) were of the Yajur Veda branch. Thuravoor is a place near Cherthala which is on the way to Eranakulam (from North/Mumbai side I presume), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thuravoor,_Cherthala. From the wiki, "Thuravoor is a gram panchayat in the Pattanakkadu Block of Cherthala Taluk of Alappuzha District in the South Indian State of Kerala. It comes under Aroor Assembly constituency. Thuravoor lies exactly between Kochi and Alappuzha."

http://www.simplymalayalees.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=278 [Ravi: This link also seems to give the same/similar info. http://collegeof.net/t-govt-sanskrit-college-palayam-thiruvananthapuram], gives information about Government Sanskrit College, Thiruvananthapuram. "Government Sanskrit College, the oldest of its kind in Kerala, was founded in 1889 by H.H. The Maharaja Sri Mulam Tirunal of Travancore, on the model of the Benares Sanskrit College with title courses in Sanskrit." Very interestingly the web page lists the principals of the college and a "Thuravoor Narayana Sastrigal (1909-1911)" is listed as its third principal. Given what I recall about Pata being talked about as well versed in Sanskrit, I would not be surprised if Pata's father was this same principal of Government Sanskrit College, Trivandrum!

Thuravoor was under Travancore Maharaja. Pata's father had sung a poem/stanzas of a poem in front of Sri Moolam Maharaja (of Travancore) probably in praise of the Maharaja, due to which he was presented with a veera shankalam/shankaram? of 10 tolas Gold.

Sri Moolam Maharaja, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moolam_Thirunal, http://srirangaminfo.com/srirangamphotos/Kingdom-of-Travancore-Royal-Family-of-Travancore/Moolam-Thirunal, is known as Moolam Thirunal Rama Varma. From the wiki, "Mulam Thirunal Rama Varma was the ruling Maharajah of the Indian state of Travancore between 1885 and 1924, succeeding his uncle Maharajah Visakham Thirunal (1880–1885)."

Chitthi recalled seeing that gold gift. She said that later on during family financial hardship (times) the gold gift was utilized to make make ornaments for wedding of girl-children (and/or part of it may have got sold, I guess).

---- end account ----

I thought I can share with you what I wrote to another correspondent who is a veteran Indian software industry man and hails from Kerala (but now lives in Maharashtra state). [Ravi: I had also shared the above account with him.]

--- start extract ---

It is quite nice to be able to track down this history and better understand my family background. On both mother's and father's side I seem to have quite a few rather educated on traditional Hindu Sanskrit knowledge male members. That seems to explain the (somewhat) heavy focus on Hindu Brahminical tradition in my upbringing even though I was born and bred in Bombay/Mumbai.

In a sense the impact of Western/English knowledge and business endeavour on a traditional Hindu south Indian Brahmin family can be seen quite clearly in the past three or four generations of my family itself! Three or four generations back the focus of male members in my family seems to have been study of traditional Hindu scriptural texts and/or support role in temple activities. Though as they were Tamil Brahmin migrants given shelter in Kerala they would have been playing a lower role to the Namboodhiri (native Kerala) priests in the temples.

Today probably none in my family, including extended family, can read or write Sanskrit fluently! Almost all of us are now city based folks who use Tamil as a spoken language at home but otherwise are very much an Indian English lot using it extensively for reading, writing and talking. This is reflective of how the Sanskrit knowledge base which was traditionally guarded (and nurtured) by the Brahmins, is getting desperately eroded by modernism. Hmm. Quite some food for thought. I am not saying that it is a bad thing or a good thing. Just noting how it is happening and my own family being a small part of it.

--- end extract ---
------------------

[The correspondent I referred to in the above exchange responded:]
Dear Ravi

This is very interesting. Of course, the changes over the generations of your family did not occur on their own: things around them must have changed, just as members of the family started looking beyond their local surroundings for employment elsewhere. Gradually, the strong ties to religion, language and custom would also change as new allegiances became important.

-----------------
I (Ravi) responded:

Dear --name-snipped--,

Thank you for your interesting response. Please see comments inline below.
...
Given the rather significant amount of Hindu scripture that I have studied, especially in the last decade, and works around it, I think I now have some sort of picture of my family over generations.

I wonder whether you have been to Brahmin Agraharams in Kerala - Tamil Nadu may have similar/equivalent Brahmin villages (my brother-in-law's grandfather was a well known Sastrigal in some Tirunnelveli village - Yajur Veda branch). The impression I have is that over centuries and millenniums my family would have been living in such villages and migrating when threatened by oppressive rulers or natural catastrophe/problems (lack of water, for example).

This would have changed only, say, four to seven generations back as the British started to change the educational system (mainstay of Brahmins in earlier Hindu education system) and also offer government jobs to English educated Indians. Brahmins would have picked up English more easily than others in the Hindu system typically and so got into such government jobs and educational positions.

Further, Brahmins being peace loving to the point of perhaps tolerating oppressive rule, may have been rather convenient knowledge workers for the British administrators to have.

But around four to seven generations back my family would have been similar to how it was seventeen or even twenty seven generations back! It may seem like a rather sweeping statement to make. But having lived in Puttaparthi and seen at first hand how family continuity in various occupations like washerman is a reality (even today), in the really economically backward Anantapur district, I think I can make such a statement about my family too. Interestingly, Anantapur which comes under Rayalaseema, was under Hindu rule under Sri Krishna Deva Raya dynasty, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krishnadevaraya, I believe (I have been told that - I have not studied this history so much, so I am not very sure about it). While there are significant number of Muslims in Anantapur district they are not dominant. This leads me to believe that Anantapur (district) has (largely) the Hindu rule history (and related so-called 'Hindu rate' of economic growth) different from places like Gulbarga which came under strong Muslim rule influence. [Anantapur district areas would also have come under Muslim Sultan rule but the period of that rule would have been shorter than in North India, and its influence over the Hindu culture in villages and towns in Anantapur district (including Puttaparthi and surrounding villages then) seems to not have been strong.]

So Puttaparthi, Bukkapatnam (nearby town to Puttaparthi), Anantapur (district & city) etc. seem to have had a kind-of (largely) unchanged and protected Hindu culture for millenniums. The British don't seem to have bothered with this place much directly. This (seems to be) significantly different from what India including and above Maharashtra (excluding North-East India, I guess) has faced primarily from Muslim rule and then British rule over centuries.

I think (some other) Brahmin villages in (Tamil Nadu and Kerala), some four to seven generations back, would have had similar unbroken protected Hindu culture environment. Yes, some Brahmin villages in Tamil Nadu would have faced Muslim attack (Malik Kafur is a name I have come across in this regard) but those people would have migrated to places like Kerala which had Hindu rulers. I think neither the Muslims nor the British completely removed (or were able to remove) Hindu rulers in Kerala.

Jainism may have been the far bigger threat to Hinduism in earlier centuries in (Tamil Nadu). But that may not have directly impacted Brahmin agraharams. Eventually Jainism declined in South India - maybe people like Adi Shankara had a big role in that downfall - but I am not sure about it.

So Tamil Nadu and Kerala Brahmin agraharams, four to seven generations back, would generally have been leading a life similar to their forefathers centuries and millenniums ago! My family would have been one of them. The penalty for going against agraharam strict rules would have been excommunication which would have been enough to scare almost everybody. The strict rules and conservative attitude would have ensured continuity! [I am not saying I approve of such rules - just trying to trace how things were some generations ago in my community.]
...
I think Macaulay (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Babington_Macaulay,_1st_Baron_Macaulay, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macaulayism) may have been the biggest change agent for the lives of Tamil Brahmin community (and perhaps other South Indian Brahmins too). The British education system would have cut off the source of living for many Brahmins who then would have been forced to adopt the British education system as a simple matter of survival. I can imagine the chaos that would have erupted as some Brahmins would have stepped forward to adopt the British education system. I am sure, at least some would have been ruthlessly excommunicated. But the British had the money and the rule - the excommunication would not have been effective enough.

Once the Tamil Brahmins would have tasted the material comforts and power that English knowledge brought them, that would have been enough to draw entire families away from their traditional means of living to the new (English language based) knowledge worker means of living. There is just no contest from a material point of view between a secure well paid office job and being a village priest dependent on small contributions from the faithful. I don't know directly of any, I repeat any, Brahmin family where some son chose to join a Vedic pathshala and become a traditional Vedic priest instead of pursuing an 'English' education which his family could afford. Neither have I heard of a culture of sacrificing one son for Brahmin Vedic culture, as I believe some other religions like Christianity have. I am not saying that such a culture is good or bad - just stating my view of the situation.

But then there are Vedic universities including one in Tirupathi - so there may be some few families pursuing such matters out of interest.

The village Hindu priest job is a pretty wretched job from an economic point of view, even today [cities and abroad (prosperous Indian origin communities in Western world) is a different matter]. They say that today the Veda pathshalas (which train priests in Vedic rituals) typically attracts only poor Brahmin children whose parents cannot afford 'English' education! Naturally the quality of the Vedic priests would have drastically dropped in comparison to four or five generations back.

I guess, like many parts of the world, India/Bharat is also a part of a multi-cultural and multi-religion world today. Some centuries ago it would have been very different in India as ruler and religion would have been very closely tied up. Perhaps the sensible path for the future, for those interested in culture and religion, is to explore multi-faith initiatives, understanding the common core of various faiths like love, joy, peace & charity, and learning to tolerate in a brotherly spirit the differences between faiths & cultures.

Hope this was not too long a response :). Thanks for engaging with me on this one.
----

The correspondent wrote back:

Thanks. I am sure you are right about change happening from the 19th century onwards and not before. There would still have been movement and change (however small) in Brahmin families when the world around them could no longer support society as it was -- due to prolonged drought, floods or other natural calamity, or changes in the ruling regime -- resulting in a rearrangement of villages or actual migration of people from one region to another. Some Brahmins would perhaps have moved to holy places like Rishikesh or beyond: e.g. there are Pants in Maharashtra and Pants in the Kumaon who are probably from the same source. After all, the high priests of the big four Hindu maths were not from the same region.
----

I (Ravi) responded:
Thanks --name-snipped-- for your views. I tend to agree with them in general.

The big four Hindu maths are an interesting reference/comment. Given my rather sketchy knowledge about such Hindu history (over one millennium ago), I think they reflect Adi Shankara's revival movement of Hinduism (as he is supposed to have established them), especially the Advaita part.

But there is a fair bit of Hindu history that is prior to Adi Shankara's revival which seems to be the origin of many Hindu temples and activities especially in South India. [Further, besides Advaita, we have Dvaita and Visishtadvaita schools. E.g. Tirupathi seems to draw sustenance from different historical Hindu masters. Ramanuja, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramanuja, perhaps is whom the Tirupathi/Tirumala key people will revere far more than Shankara!]

Then there are many non-Brahminical devotional groups/movements of South India which are very impressive in the supposed attainments of the historical figures they worship. But I don't know enough of them, as of now, to comment more. Though I would like to say that one general thing I have noticed is that the Brahminical Hindu groups/movements seem to, many times, lose their devotion to God essence and get kind of lost in ritualistic stuff and power play. In contrast, the non-Brahminical groups excel at straight-forward and heart-felt devotion - however, they perhaps lose out in being somewhat disorganized and generally lacking sophisticated proponents to spread their views.

The Brahmin fellows, over millenniums of Hindu history, seem to have perfected the art of capturing material benefits arising from knowledge of spiritual and religious stuff. Thankfully many Hindu reformers have broken many of their monopolies and 21st century Hinduism seems to promise to be a very open religion with far better opportunities for all Hindus, including women to participate and excel in Hindu religious stuff. I haven't seen Hindu lady priests yet but I have heard women (and, if I am not mistaken, Hindus of all castes) chant Vedic mantras including the Gayatri mantra (in public), which would have been strictly barred in even most of the 20th century, I guess.
------------------------------

========================================

I felt it appropriate, in this context, to share an earlier mail exchange related to Abhivadaye and Harita Gotra in November 2010. I have edited the mail exchange significantly (mainly by adding stuff).

I (Ravi) wrote:

Narayanaswamy sir: Very nice to be able to write to you. I trust that you and family are
all well. My regards to all of you. [Shri Narayanswamy is an elder relative of mine on my father's side.]

Hi Vishu, Hi Vishalam

I very much want to know the Abhivadaye of our family (Vishalam I have included you just in case you bump into relatives like Manikkam (Matunga) or Ravi/Murli (Chembur)).

In case you do not understand what I am asking, the abhivadaye is what the brahmin boy learns (at punal/sacred thread ceremony time) to chant as an introduction to elders about his family lineage and vedic shaka.

If I recall correctly ours (Rajamani and mine) starts as Abhivadaye Angirasa ... and the Gotra is Harita, and, of course, we are Sama vedis. But other details like sutra and other rishis are also included in the typical abhivadaye. For more info about Abhivadaye please refer here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abhivadaye

I am very keen on knowing this information so please help me out.

BTW I got some fascinating info on Harita gotra. Harita gotra is traced back to a King. So we are Brahmins with some Kshatriya heritage or Brahmins with some Kshatriya attributes/properties.

Harita descended from Ikshwaku. Sri Rama avatar also traced his ancestry to the same Ikshwaku!!!! See the Genealogy of Rama here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genealogy_of_Rama. Sri Rama and Ikshwaku were, like us, Suryavanshis. No wonder Rajamani and my name has Suryanarayanan in it (as our middle names)!!! For more details see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harita

Ikshwaku was the son of Manu (Vishalam, you were right).
It seems that the short genealogy of Harita brahmins (like our family) is (as per Hindu scripture sources and our gotra being Harita):
Manu -> Ikshwaku -> ... (many generations including Yuvanasva and Mandhata) -> Harita -> ... (many, many, many generations) -> our family

Whereas the short genealogy for Sri Rama as per the above genealogy wiki page, can be put as:
Manu -> Ikshwaku -> ... (many generations including Yuvanasva, Mandhata, Dilipa, Bhagiratha, Raghu, Aja and Dasharatha) -> Rama (son of Dasharatha).

Mandhata (also known as Mandhatri), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandhatri, seems to be a common ancestor between Haritha gotra Brahmins and Lord Sri Rama (son of Dasharatha).

The wiki pages say that some sons of Harita went to Angirasa Rishi and they founded the Harita Gotra line of Brahmins. The wiki pages mention some Puranans like Linga Purana as the source of their information.

I must also say that I am utterly awed and wonder-struck by how the Brahmin culture has maintained this sort of information across millennia and inspite of horrible but powerful invaders from the North-West of India who tried to exterminate our Hindu culture, especially the Brahmin culture, with unmentionable cruelty and barbarism for around 5 centuries (5 centuries in South India, longer in North India).

Another famous person who is of Harita gotra is the great Vishistadvaita guru Sri Ramanujacharya. I think Iyengars follow Ramanujacharya, so next time you see an Iyengar, you can feel some kinship even though we trace our heredity to Saivites!!

Will share more info on this when I get the time to investigate it further.

Warm Regards
Ravi

-----------------------------
[The Abhivadanam was conveyed by the elder relative, Shri Narayanaswamy, as follows:]

ABHIVADAYE AANGIRASA AMBARISHA YUVANASVA THRAYARRISHEYA PRAVARANVITHA
HARITHA GOTHRAHA DRAAHYAYANA SUTRAHA SAMA SAHATHYAAYEE
SURYANARAYANA SARMA NAMAHAM ASMI BOHO

Incidentally, I am also named after my g/father Late Shri Suryanarayana Iyer - who happens to be your great grand-father.
------------------------------

[Ravi: I thank my uncle Shri Narayanaswamy very much for providing the above info.]
------------------------------

I (Ravi) wrote:
Some additional info I dug up recently.
Saptarishis: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saptarshi - There is some variance in this list, as the wiki page shows, depending on which scriptural source is used.

http://www.ibiblio.org/sripedia/ebooks/sandhya/yv/abivadanam-n lists the gotras and the rishis in the pravara nicely.
Don't know about its accuracy though.
============================================================

Additional info. from outside the email conversations mentioned above.

The Abhivadaye/Abhivadanam helps Brahmins to keep track of their genealogy. According to tradition, the Brahmin is supposed to introduce himself to other Brahmins (& respected elders like kings, I guess) by the Abhivadaye. From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abhivadaye, "The importance of giving respect to elders, in whole means it is an introduction of self with lineage. It consists of a set of lines which is essentially used to introduce one's Pravara, Gotra, Sutrakaara or the author one has been following, Branch of Veda one is versed, and One's own name"

The Pravara part above is explained in more detail here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pravaras. An extract from it: 'In Brahmin Hindu culture, a Pravara (Sanskrit for "most excellent") is a particular Brahmin's descent from a rishi (sage) who belonged to their gotra (clan). 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."'

The Abhivadanam given above by Narayanaswamy sir states that he (and I) traces his (and my) ancestry to the Rishis/Rishi-kings Angarisa (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angiras_(sage)), Ambarisha (possibly this, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambarisha) and Yuvanasva, and belong to the gotra (clan) of Harita (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harita) and learn/practise/propagate the Drahyayana sutra (set of aphorisms) of the Sama Veda (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sutra which shows Drahyayana Sutra as one of the Sutras of Sama Veda), and his (and, in this case, mine too) name is Suryanarayana. Salutations.

The traditional name given to me was Suryanarayanan and I had to use that name in Brahmin functions that I participated in, but I was called Ravi at home, and so my first name as per official (govt.) records including my school records became Ravi! However, my middle name, even officially, is Suryanarayanan as that's my father's name! My full name (official name in Indian records) is Ravi Suryanarayanan Iyer. My Late father's full name is Vadakke Madam Suryanarayanan.
...
From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandhatri
Mandhatri or Mandhata (Sanskrit: मान्धातृ, Māndhātṛ), in Hindu mythology, was an Ikshvaku dynasty king and son of Yuvanashva. The hymn 134 of the tenth mandala of the Rigveda is attributed to him. He married Bindumati Chaitrarathi, daughter of Yadava king Shashabindu and granddaughter of Chitraratha. According to the Puranas, he had three sons, Purukutsa, Ambarisha and Muchukunda. According to the Mahabharata, he was a son of the Suryavansha king Yuvanshva.
--- end Mandhatri wiki extract ---
...
From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harita

Harita (also known as Harita, Haritsa and Haritasa) was an ancient prince of the Suryavansha dynasty, best known as the ancestor of the Kshatriya lineage, Harita gotra.

Although a Brahmin lineage, this gotra is descended from Kshatriya prince of the Suryavansha dynasty who was the great grandson of legendary King Mandhatra. Mandhatra was killed by Lavanasura who was killed later by Rama's brother Shatrughna. This is one of ancient India's most prominent and famous lineages, having produced Rama and his 3 brothers (See Genealogy of Rama) and Yadava lineage from Ikshvaku King Haryaswa in which Krishna was born. Jayadratha of Mahabharata also belonged to solar line. The first notable king of the dynasty was Ikshvaku. Other Brahmin gotras from solar line are Vatula, Shatamarshana, Kutsa, Bhadrayana and Vishnuvriddha. Of these Kutsa and Shatamarshana also descend from King Mandhatra like Harita gotra and have either Mandhatra or his sons (Ambarish/Purukutsa) as part of their Pravaras. The Puranas, a series of Hindu mythological texts, document the story of this dynasty. Harita was separated from Ikshvaku by twenty-(one) generations.
...
[From the reference given for above extract in the wiki, http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/vp/vp095.htm, The Vishnu Purana, translated by Horace Hayman Wilson, [1840], at sacred-texts.com, Chap. III:
The son of Ambarísha, the son of Mándhátri, was Yuvanáśwa; his son was Harita 2, from whom the Angirasa Háritas were descended [3].
...
[Reference] 369:3 The words of the text are ###, and the commentator explains the phrase, 'the Angirasa Brahmans, of whom the Hárita family was the chief.' The Linga reads, 'Harita was the son of Yuvanáśwa, whose sons were the Háritas; they were on the part (or followers) of Angiras, and were Brahmans with the properties of Kshatriyas.' The Váyu has, 'Harita was the son of Yuvanáśwa, from whom were many called p. 370 Háritas; they were sons of Angiras, and Brahmans with the properties of Kshatriyas.' The Bhágavata has only, These (Ambarísha, Purukutsa, and Harita) were, according to Śridhara Swámi's comment, the chiefs of Mándhátri's descendants, being founders of three several branches: or it may mean, he says, merely that they had Mándhátri for their progenitor, Mándhátri being by some also named Angiras, according to Aśwaláyana. It may be questioned if the compilers of the Puráńas, or their annotators, knew exactly what to make of this and similar phrases, although they were probably intended to intimate that some persons of Kshatriya origin became the. disciples of certain Brahmans, particularly of Angiras, and afterwards founders of schools of religious instruction themselves. Mándhátri himself is the author of a hymn in the Rig-veda. As. Res. VIII. 385. Hárita is the name of an individual sage, considered as the son of Chyavana, and to whom a work on law is attributed. It is probably rather that of a school, however, than of an individual.
end-Chap III, Vishnu Purana, sacred-texts.com extract]
...
The Pravara of this gotra, used in ceremonies to reference the ancestors of the participant Brahmin has 2 variations:
* Angiras, Ambarisha, Yuvanaswa, which is most commonly used
* Harita, Ambarisha, Yuvanaswa.
...
Sage Harita, son of Chyavana, wrote the Harita Smriti, a work of law, and taught his student, Bappa Rawal of Guhilot (later to be called Sisodia) martial arts and the four cardinal duties for the service of the state ... [Ravi: This Sage Harita seems to be different from the Harita the king who founded the clan of brahmins after him (through his sons, I guess). end-Ravi]
--- end Haritha wiki extract ---

[I thank ambaadys.blogspot.in, Wikipedia and sacred-texts.com have presumed that they will not have any objections to me sharing the above extracts from their websites (short extracts from ambaadys.blogspot.in and sacred-texts.com) on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever.]

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