Kula Deivam(குல தெய்வம்- Family Deity)

Staying away from worshipping Kuladeivam is like keeping a vessel with a hole. Nothing will stay on the vessel with a hole. Likewise, no good thing will dawn on the person who does not worship his Kuladeivam.”- Kanchi Perivaya

ஆலயம் தொழுவது சாலவும் நன்று.  ஆலயம் இல்லாத ஊரே இல்லை என்று சொல்லலாம் . ஆனால் குலதெய்வ வழிபாடு பலருக்கு தெரியவில்லை . ஆம். . Many are not even aware of their family deity and significance of worship of family deity . Among my friends and relatives at least half of them said that they were not aware of family deity and none had told them about it . They worship Lord Balajee of Tirupati or Lord Vaidhyanathaswamy of Vaidesswaran Koil . Usually the Kula Deivam shrines will be in the ancestral village. They misinterpret Ishta Deivam with Kula Deivam.  One  can select their own Ishta Deivam but not Kula Deivam. Kuladeivam is the foremost God in each one our generation. After worshiping Kuladeivam only you can go temples of other form of God. Due to various unexplained reasons, one (or) one’s family may totally forget  and may have discontinued worshiping their  Kula deivam. Its also possible that families gets confused between their Kula Deivam and Istha Deivam  generations together and totally forgetting (or) ignoring their Kula Deivam. Some times, due to busy life style (or) location changes one’s generations would have totally missed to know about their Kula deivam and would have no clue on how to find it again.  
The word Kuladevata is derived from two words: Kula, meaning clan and Devata, meaning deity . Thus, it can be said that Kuladevatas are deities which are worshiped by particular clans.  The Kula-devata is the guardian and sole protector of the family, of the lineage. Ancestors of the family have worshipped the deity and there is a bond between the family and the deity . Hence the family should first worship the family deity .One who worships his/her family deity is said to be protected by the deity in times of calamity. Actually,  Any puja is incomplete without first invoking the Kuldevta/Kuldevi.
Kula Deiva Vazhipadu is not confined to Brahmins only . It is true of all Hindus belonging to various castes. There are several families who do not know their Kuldevta/Kuldevi. But it doesn’t mean that Kuldevta/Kuldevi have ceased to exist. They are very much there. If you do not know about your Kuldevta/Kuldevi, you can enquire it from the elder members of your family.
Kula Devataor Devi  temple is the place where our paternal forefathers once worshiped. The belief has been that when we visit the temple  the confluence of countless divine souls of  our grandfathers and great grandfathers and their blessings will never let us down in our endeavours and in our time of distress. Our protecting shield against the effects of Karma is sincere prayer or “Kudumba Deiva Vazhipadu“. 
When you stand before the Garbagraha (sanctum) at such a temple, let it be borne in your mind, you are standing in the  same spot where, way back a few centuries ago, your forefathers stood and prayed to the deity with intense devotion and bhakti for their welfare and their descendants, including you!!. Kanchi MahaPeriyava has stressed the need to visit and worship family deity at least once in a year with entire family .
According to our traditions , Worship of Kudumba Devta   governs only the paternal lineage  – pithas Vhamsavali. (your mother is part of this lineage).

 Hindu women, normally, worship two family deities. One is of the family in which they were born and the other being (in Tamil: Puguntha veetu Deivam or Devta) that of the groom’s family after marriage. Women usually stop worshipping their  family deity after marriage. Some Pundits are of the opinion that it is wrong for the women to forget their  family deity and they can carry on  their worship on festival occasions. The link with wife’s family deity should not be broken. 

If a girl gets married into  another family, the family deity of her husband   becomes her deity and her descendants (Vamsavali) who  take the leneage forward.  it is imperative that she must have more involvement with her husband’s family deity than other deities. 

When there is a wedding, Upanayanam, Grahapravesam  or any other joyous family function, visiting the Kudumba Devta temple is a must.In the case of wedding, the family must take the groom and the bride to the Kudumba  Devta temple soon after wedding. If time is not ripe, it should be done within a year from the day of wedding.
In the case of elderly couple celebrating 60th birthday (Sashti aptha poorthi ) or 80th birthday (Sathabishekam), worshiping the family deity is a must .

Never fail to allow a few minutes daily to pray to your family deity.  Be assured that the God or Goddess  will follow you wherever you go and protect you or at least save you from big obstacles. 

When you stand before the deity –  any god or goddess,  trust is an important factor. This trust is the driving force behind you that helps you  improve the confidence level in you.
                                        It is always said that the tutelary deities safeguard seven of seven generations of a family ( in Tamil ‘ezhezhu jenma vaarisugal’ ). The true meaning of this is that a tutelary deity of a family safeguard the interest of 49 lineages of the same families and the 50th generation will be free to choose another deity as their tutelary deity or continue to  worship the same deity.  A catch here again. If the 50th generation opts the same deity as tutelary deity, then the next 49 generations in their lineage will also have to continue the worship of the same deity. But it never happens so say the pundits. No tutelary deity is worshiped by continuous 49 generations and the link misses somewhere on mid-way because the lineage of a family is kept continued only through the direct male members of the family. The female members in the families after their marriage are obliged to only adapt husband’s side deity.

Generally, the Brahman rule was that a family do not survive beyond 49 generations because in the lineage chain some member may not have male issues, and some may not have children too. Therefore, at some point of time under those circumstances, the continuation of worship of tutelary gets disconnected much before a lineage reaches 49th generation so say the pundits. Some times it happens(which should not), the children  are not  informed of the Family Deity by the Elders.As a Result. the generation remains ignorant of the Family Deity.

In such cases, one can ask  Family elders who are still alive.There are various proven methods for finding one’s Kula deivam. Couple of methods involves reading of one’s horoscope (male children in a family line) or through Prasanna Jothidam. A professional astrologer may help you on performing couple of simple pariharams and some good advice that will bring back your Kula Deivam in to your family focus. 

Remember KulaDeivam is our family deity and worship everyday Kuladeivam .



One thought on “Kula Deivam(குல தெய்வம்- Family Deity)

  1. Pingback: Kula Devatha or Tutelary/Family deity -2 | Santhipriya Pages

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