Knowing the names of one’s ancestors and taking pride in them are only two aspects of one’s lineage. Legacy is not the only aspect of lineage. Contrary to the widely propagated western belief that “all are humans at the end of the day,” the Vedic definition of a legitimate lineage takes into account a number of factors, including geography, history, and patrilineal heritage of descent.

The idea that “We are all humans at the end of the day” stems from the Abrahamic egalitarianism that holds that as we are all descended from Abraham, we share the same genetic heritage. The pseudo-scientific hypothesis of Adam, which holds that Adam and Eve were the first and only humans and that a complete race known as humanity was created by their incestuous direct descendants, supports this. The modern Hindu liberal also enjoys portraying Manu as Adam’s equal, which is a fallacy in and of itself.

The Gothra system is complex since it takes a lot of different approaches. Contrary to what many uninformed Hindus think, none of us are descendants of Manu. Manu was not even one individual. Several cultures also adopted the Gothic style.

The word “Gohra” is used in manuscripts from the Sassanid era to describe a person’s ancestry and history. The Gothra/Gohra known as Spitaman, from which the Iranian sage Zarathushtra sprang, is now the name of an area in Tajikistan.
Manu is a catch-all term for every Swayambhuva that Brahma concocted. A swayambhuva is a creature with the capacity for self-spawning, according to Brahma. In other terms, it is a natural creature whose foundation for creation was established by Brahma (who is a swayambhuva from Vishnu’s navel). Because of this, each period in which these creatures incarnate is referred to as a “Manvantara.” There are numerous Manus, including Kusha, Vasishta, Bhrigu, Atri, and Angirasa.

Every single one of these Manus gave birth to children, who in turn gave rise to vast collections of social groups that we refer to in English as “tribes.” The children’s offspring followed different courses in life, and today’s “Hindus” are largely descended from these first self-made humans. Hence, the descendants of these “Manus” are referred to as “Manava”—a word that is incorrectly translated as “Mankind” in Hindi. Manava is not referring to “Mankind,” but rather to Manus’ family.

Now, in contrast to the Abrahamic concept that everyone descended from a single man and woman, the Vedic view considers that there would have been numerous such Manus. As a result, the source of mankind was not a single man and woman, but rather Brahma Himself, who is descended from Vishnu’s navel. In other words, rather than the incest of a specific family, the manava come from God. Each of these manavas may be traced back to a historical patriarch who gave them access to a portion of the cosmic knowledge known as the Vedas, and all of these ancient forebears’ descendants assembled the Vedas into the corpuses (or their fragments) that we read today.

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