December 25th, 2007
Anyone who is familiar with Indian temples would know about a practice called “archanai“. Three simple details such as your name, birth star and gothram (family lineage) are necessary to do it. Ofcourse, this practice differs slightly in different places. Legend says it that, each of the gothras that we know of now, started with Rishis (holy saints) thousands of years ago to help spread human inhabitants around the world.
What we are interested in today is about a specific family lineage known as “Athreya” (popularly known as Athreya Gothram). In the very limited Sanskrit that I know, ‘A’ (pronounced as ‘uh’) means “not” & ‘Threya’ means three. Therefore, Athreya means “not three”. The saint named Athreya got such a name because he eschewed three qualities which is predominant in some form or other in most males.
The 3 qualities which he eschewed were kama (material desires including but not limited to sex), krodha (anger) and loba (misery – in the context of not being a miser). Such a man is very difficult to see these days. During one of his meditations, his future wife named Anusuya noticed him and got impressed with his qualities. “Suya” means jealousy on other’s well being. Hence, as you correctly concluded, Anusuya means, someone who has absolutely no jealousy on other’s well being. Such people are satisfied with what they have and they don’t have the greed to look for more. Anusuya marries Athreya.
After a few years into marriage, they didn’t have any children. God, noticing such a thing, thought that, to propel the family lineage, they needed to have a son. So the Lord decided to get himself adopted to such a glorious couple. Adoption in Sanskrit is denoted by the word ‘Dhattha’ (pronounced as Dhat-tha). Since the Lord was adopted by the Rishi named Athreya, the Lord came to be known as DhatthaAthreya (meaning – the son adopted by Athreya Rishi ) and preserved the family lineage till date.
Sanskrit is an awesome language. Every alphabet has superb meanings, for many of which there is no equivalent word in English/any other language.
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