TEXTS 38–39
tustas tasmai sa bhagavan
rsaye priyam avahan
svam ca vacam rtam kurvann
idam aha visampate
masam puman sa bhavita
masam stri tava gotrajah
ittham vyavasthaya kamam
sudyumno ’vatu medinim
tustah—being pleased; tasmai—unto Vasistha; sah—he (Lord Siva); bhagavan—the most powerful; rsaye—unto the great sage; priyam avahan—just to please him; svam ca—his own; vacam—word; rtam—true; kurvan—and keeping; idam—this; aha—said; visampate—O King Pariksit; masam—one month; puman—male; sahSudyumna; bhavita—will become; masam—an other month; stri—female; tava—your; gotra-jah—disciple born in your disciplic succession; ittham—in this way; vyavasthaya—by settlement; kamam—according to desire; sudyumnah—King Sudyumna; avatu—may rule; medinim—the world.
O King Pariksit, Lord Siva was pleased with Vasistha. Therefore, to satisfy him and to keep his own word to Parvati, Lord Siva said to that saintly person, “Your disciple Sudyumna may remain a male for one month and a female for the next. In this way he may rule the world as he likes.”
The word gotrajah is significant in this connection. Brahmanas generally act as spiritual masters of two dynasties. One is their disciplic succession, and the other is the dynasty born of their semen. Both descendants belong to the same gotra, or dynasty. In the Vedic system we sometimes find that both brahmanas and ksatriyas and even vaisyas come in the disciplic succession of the same rsis. Because the gotra and dynasty are one, there is no difference between the disciples and the family born of the semen. The same system still prevails in Indian society, especially in regard to marriage, for which the gotra is calculated. Here the word gotrajah refers to those born in the same dynasty, whether they be disciples or members of the family.

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