kula कुल

Definition: As an uncompounded word, Kula does not occur before the period of the Brāhmanas. It denotes the*home ’ or ‘ house of the family,’ and by metonymy the family itself, as connected with the home. The Kula-pā (lit. ‘ house protector ’), or chief of the family, is mentioned in the Rigveda as inferior to and attendant on the Vrājapati in war, the latter being perhaps the leader of the village contingent of the clan. In the Atharvaveda a girl is ironically called Kulapā, because she is left without a husband in the world, and has only Yama (the god of death) for a spouse. The use of the term Kula points clearly to a system of individual families, each no doubt consisting of several members under the headship of the father or eldest brother, whose Kula the dwelling is. As distinct from Gotra, Kula seems to mean the family in the narrower sense of the members who still live in one house, the undivided family. Cf Grha, Grāma, Jana, Viś.

Dictionary: vedic_index
Literary Sources: