|The name Kaushik is derived from Kaushika, an ancient gotra of an Indo-Aryan clan. The term Gotra, as used in the historical Sanskrit language, refers to the descendants of an unbroken male line. The name Kaushik can be referenced in ancient Hindu texts, as Sanskrit is the primary liturgical language of Hinduism. Some theorize Kaushik to mean “son of Kaushika” and Kaushika’s meaning is “descendant of Kusha.
King Kaushika was a valiant warrior, son of Kadhi who was obtained by his father, Kushanubha’s performance of the Puthrakameshti sacrifice. Kushanubba was one of the four sons of a sage named Kusha, hence the meaning of Kaushika. King Kaushika was well liked by his people, as he spent many days touring his kingdom and remedying any complaints they had.
One day he came upon a sage named Vasishta, who had conjured up a magnificent feast for his army. King Kaushika was amazed and pressed Vasishta for his talent. Vasishta explained that Indra, the King of Gods had gifted him a cow which provided him everything and anything he needed. King Kaushika was excited by this news and wanted nothing more but to possess this wondrous cow. He expressed his desire to Vasishta who was steadfast in his refusal, for no price could come close to a cow that could readily yield all the riches in the world.
King Kaushika was outraged and sent his powerful army to seize the cow. The Great sage Vasishta, using the cow’s gifted powers, brought fourth an army full of fierce warriors. They fought the King’s army and defeated them, capturing Kaushika. Vasishta willingly pardoned King Kaushika with the promise that he would leave the kingdom. The incident made a deep impression on Kaushika. He came to understand that the power of a penance was far greater than any physical might. He gave up his kingdom and began his quest to become a more powerful sage than Vasishta. After undergoing intense meditation and severe asceticism, Kaushika was bestowed with the title of Brahmarishi by Lord Brahma, the Hindu God of Creation. Kaushika then took the name of Vishwamitra.
Eleven royal clans of the ninety-six clans of Marathas, a major Hindu Kshatriya group, belong to the Kaushika gotra. Kaushika is also one of the gotras of the influential Brahmins, priestly groups, of Haryana. Brahmins consider themselves the descendents of seven different sages, the main being Vishwamitra, who was once King Kaushika.
Vishwamitra descendants still use Kaushik or Kaushika as their first or last name. As a last name the two versions of gotras are mostly seen in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, India. As a first name, Kaushik is most common in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, India. Kaushik ranks 3227th as the most popular name in the United States, meaning that one in every thirty thousand Americans is named Kaushik.
There are two famous Indian cricketers with this first name. Kaushik Amalean from Sri Lanka and Kaushik Tailor from Bangalore. The name also belongs to a great Indian Economist, Kaushik Basu the Professor of International Studies at Cornell University. Kaushik Tailor as a whole is a popular name as there is also a director at Tai Computers in London with the same name. Statistically, the surname Tailor, is as popular as the use of Kaushik as a first name.