Re: What is Jati, what is Gotra, what is Varna?
I tend to agree with you. Jati and gotra are social constructs that got muddled up with varna, which was probably otherwise a theoretical and purely spiritual concept.
Originally Posted by devisarada
Jati means birth, and there are a few thousand jatis. We can call them ethno-tribal-occupational groups. In Indian society, birth into a jati determines varna. Do I think this is contrary to the original concept of varna? Yes, absolutely.
Gotra is also of confusion to me as well. From what I understand, originally gotra was passed down from guru to disciples. Some say there are truly only 7 (or 8) gotras named after the 7 (or 8) Vedic sages. In truth, today there are hundreds of gotras and millions of people without gotra, and for those that have a gotra, it is today passed down from the father in Indian communities.
From a spiritual perspective, I feel all of the social constructs are unimportant and we ought not pay too much attention to these things.
In whom the Adityas, Rudras and Vasus are held together; in whom are set firm the worlds; that which was and that which shall be – tell me of that Support – who may He be? (Atharvaveda Samhita X.7.22)