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What this means is that Vatsa Gotra has in its lineage all these Gotras and traces back its root to Bhrigu Rishi in the list of Gotrakarins.
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.
The word Gotra is formed from the two Sanskrit words Gau (meaning Cow) and Trahi (meaning Shed).
So Gotra means Cowshed, where in the context is that Gotra is like the Cowshed protecting a particular male lineage.
This article is merely an attempt to find the scientific reasoning behind the origins of the ancient Gotra System and in no way endorses its imposition in the modern Hindu society to decide marriages or other things.
In all probabilities, the modern Gotra system is no more relevant, and the best method to verify the genetic feasibility of a marriage, if at all required, would be to avoid cousin marriages (which have been proved to increase the risk of genetic disorders in the off springs) or to do a genetic test of the bride and groom’s DNA for any possible genetic disorders in their off springs.
What is the necessity of maintaining only the man’s ancestry, why not maintain that of women too?And now to the Science behind the Gotra System, but before that let us just check out one more additional rule related to marriages in the Gotra System.Pravara is a list of most excellent Rishis in a Gotra lineage.This was the question that was puzzling me about this Gotra system till recently, until I found out the scientific reasoning behind the Gotra system by chance while studying a puzzle in modern Genetics for which the biologists are trying to find an answer! This is the most important and the only rule in the Gotra system if I may say so.Yes, a Bride and a Bridegroom belonging to the same Gotra are considered to be siblings and hence it is prohibited for them to marry even if they belong to distant families.