Harita Maharaja

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Harita Maharaja (also known as Harita, Haritasya, Haritra and Haritasa) was son of Yuvanaswa[1] (also known as Yuvanashva/Yuvanaswa) and the grandson of king Ambarisha and he was also the great grandson of king Mandhatri,[2] an ancient prince of the Suryavansha dynasty, best known as the ancestor of the Kshatriya. Haritsa left his kingdom as a symbolic expiation of his sin.[citation needed] After completing the austerities, Lord Narayana himself gave him his blessings and thus blessed him to be a brahmana.[3] The descendants of haritsa maharaj fall under the haritsa gotra. They are a unique combination of "Brahmanas of the Kshatriya clan". Haritsa was an ancestor of Rama, 7th avatar of Lord Vishnu. There is also another sage named Harita, Who was the son of Chyavana Rishi and has authored Harita Samhita, Which is an Independent work present in the Narasimha Purana,[4]That sage is not to be confused as the founder of Haritsa Gotra, As the puranas clearly mention, "Ambarishasya Mandhatus tanayasya Yuvanasvah putro bhut tasmad Harito yato ngiraso Haritah." The son of Ambarisha, son of Mandhata was Yuvanasva From him sprang Harita from whom the Harita Angirases were descended".[5]

Although a Brahmin lineage, this gotra is descended from Kshatriya prince of the Suryavansha dynasty who was the great grandson of legendary King Mandhatri.[citation needed] Mandhatri 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 three brothers (see Genealogy of Rama). The first notable king of the dynasty was Ikshvaku. Other Brahmin gotras from solar line are Vatula, Shatamarshana, Kutsa, Bhadrayana. Of these Kutsa and Shatamarshana also descend from King Mandhata like Harita gotra and have either Mandhatri or his sons (Ambarisha/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.[6] To this day, many Kshatriyas claim descent from the Suryavanshi dynasty to substantiate their claims to royalty. Although, Descendants of Haritsa do trace their origin in the solar dynasty but are not related to the Suryavansha directly any longer as the founder of the gotra, Haritsa himself willingly left the kingdom to expiate for his sin and at the completion of the expiation, He became a Brahmana under the guidance of Maharishi Angiras. Those who belong to this gotra are Brahmanas and are supposed to lead a pious life and must do the prescribed duties as directed by Lord Narayana himself to Haritsa.[7]

Brahmins of the Haritasa gotra trace their lineage to the eponymous prince.(See Vishnu Purana)[8]

While most Brahmins claim to be descended from ancient sages, those of the Harita sagotra claim to be descended from Kshatriyas trained by the Brahmin Angiras and hence they have some Kshatriya and some Brahmin qualities. This created, according to the Linga Purana, "Brahmins with the qualities of Kshatriyas".[6]

There are few Jats who also claim to be descendants of the same king Haritsa, The great grandson of Mandhata.[citation needed] According to some sources, They also raised their voices against the Mughal oppression.[citation needed]

The gotra is recorded in the Hindu tradition in the Vishnu Purana:[9][10]

Ambarishasya Mandhatus tanayasya Yuvanasvah putro bhut tasmad Harito yato ngiraso Haritah. "The son of Ambarisha, son of Mandhatri was Yuvanasva From him sprang Harita from whom the Harita Angirases were descended.[6]

and in the Linga Purana:

Harito Yuvanasvasya Harita yata atmajah ete hy Angirasah pakshe kshattropeta dvijatayah. "The son of Yuvanasva was Harita of whom the Haritash were sons".[11] "They were on the side of Angiras twice born men." "Brahmans of Kshattriya lineage."[6][12]

and in the Vayu Purana:[13][14]

"They were the sons of Haritash / Angiras, twice-born men (Brahmans), of Kshatriya race",[15] or sons of Harita raised up by Sage Angiras.[6][16]

Accordingly, from both Linga Purana and Vayu Purana it can be inferred that Brahmins with Harita gotra belong to Ikshvaku lineage and because of the training and tapo sakti of Angirasa and blessings of Lord Adi Keshava obtained Brahmin qualities, and became Twice born. Swami Ramanuja and his primary disciple Sri Koorathazhwan were of Harita gotra.

Haritsa Gotra comes under Angiras-Harita Gana.[17]

The pravara to be used by brahmanas of haritsa gotra in ceremonies and other auspicious functions is of two variations, namely :

The story of how he became a Brahmin[edit]

This Sthalapurana (Holy Temple Purana) was narrated by Mudal (first) Thirthakar (priest) of the Adi Kesava Sriperumpudur temple.[18]

Once there lived a great King named Harita; he was the grandson of King Ambarisha, who is an ancestor of Sri Rama.[citation needed]

Once he was passing by a dense forest where he hears the shrill moaning of a cow. He goes in the direction where the voice was coming; he sees that a tiger has caught the cow and was about to kill the cow.[19]

Since he is a Kshatriya and a king, he feels that it is his duty to protect the weak, and that there is no sin in killing the tiger. He aims at the tiger. Meanwhile, the tiger also thinks it should do something that the king also suffers and with that it kills the cow and King Haritha kills the tiger.[citation needed]

Since he has witnessed the Gau Hatya(Death of sacred cow) taking place, the king is affected by the Go Hathi Dosha (sin). He gets worried, when suddenly he hears a Divine Voice which asks him to proceed to Satyavratha Kshetra and to take bath in Ananta Sarasu (Pond of Adi Sesha)and worship Lord Adi Keshava, whereby his sins will vanish.[citation needed]

King Harita goes back to Ayodhya and consults Vashishta Maharishi, who tells him about the Sriperumpudur Mahatya and narrates how the Bhoota Ganas (those who serve Lord Shiva in Shiv Lok) got rid of their Shraapa (curse) there, and also the route to that place. King Harita then makes alternative arrangement to run the kingdom and proceeds to Sriperumpudur (near Chennai, Tamil Nadu).[citation needed]

He takes bath in Ananta Sarasu and prays to Lord Adi Kesava; after a while the merciful lord appears before Haritha Maharaja and instructs him on all the Mantras which would help in getting rid of the Dosha. He also says that though all these years he was a Kshtriya, due to his blessings he has now become a Brahmin, and henceforth his descendants will also be Brahmins (even today his descendants are known as Brahmins of Harita Gothra). The Lord also gives Upadesha of all Mantras to him. Harita Maharaja rebuilds the Adi Keshava temple, and performs consecration of the temple on an auspicious day.[citation needed]


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  15. ^ Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology and Religion, Geography, History, and Literature by John Dowson
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  17. ^ "Information about Brahmana Gotras".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  18. ^ Shridhar, Vaishnavi (2012-06-21). "AdiKesava Perumal Temple, Sriperumbudur". Anudinam.org (in American English). Retrieved 2021-07-11.
  19. ^ Renganathan, L. (2012-12-24). "Sri Ramanuja's gift to the Lord". The Hindu (in en-IN). ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2021-07-14.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)