Vātula (Sanskrit: वातुल) is a Sanskrit word that has several meanings including "enlightened, lashed by the wind to the point of losing one's sanity, god's madcap, detached from the world, and seeker of truth."
The three main rishis of Vatula Gotram are Bhargava, Vaitahavya and Saavedasa. Bhargava refers to BhriguMaharishi, the foster father of Lakshmi worshipped as Bhargavi. The pravara Vaitahavya denotes King Vitahavya who attained the status of Brahmana. King Vitahavya was born in the line of Saryati who was a son of Vaivaswata Manu. Vitahavya attained status of Brahmana by virtue of words of Sage Brighu. His story is described in detail in Mahabharata Book 13, Anushasana Parva, chapter XXX.