|Pateeswaram Durga temple, near Kumbakonam.Native Planet|
|Pateeswaram Durgai temple. Dhivya Dharsanam|
The word Kuladevata is derived from two words: Kula, meaning clan and Devata, meaning deity. On the other hand Kudumba Devita refers to family deity which defers from family to family. Let me confine myself to Kudumba Devta (in Tamil: Kudumba Deivam). The deity that has been worshipped by our forefathers on the paternal side for several generations is our Kudumba Deivam (Kudumba Devta). The Kudumba deity can be a male or female. Invariably in countless families Parasakthi seems to be the family deity. Equally common are the various forms of Vishnu, Shiva and a form of Parasakthi called Mariamman. The last one is quite common in states like Tamil Nadu, Andhra and Karnataka. Kali is widely worshiped in Kerala, so in West Bengal. Guruvaurappan (Sri Krishna) and Bhagavathi (a form of Kali) are yet another Family Gods in Kerala.
Some interesting facts of worship of Kudumba Devta (Kuladeivam):
|Chakkulathukavu Sree Bhagavathy Temple,Kerala Tourism|
01. Among the Hindus,it is believed, that the family deity is the one who protects the family and the succeeding lineage / generations. Worshiping of family deity should not be ignored as it helps the family lineage grow and take strong roots.
02. Kudumba Devta temple is the place where our paternal forefathers once worshiped. The belief has been that when we visit the temple the souls of our forefathers will be happy and bless us with good, prosperous and healthy life. This is true of Hindus belonging to various castes. As for Brahmins, they can trace their paternal lineage to one sage / Maharishi. So, members of a particular family having the same Gothra never fail to visit the family deity's temple once a year.
03. When you stand before the Garbagraha (sanctum) or Srikovil 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!!.
04. The temple of you family deity assumes much significance because it is 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.
05. Worship of Kudumba Devta (in Tamil: Kudumba Vazhipadu), tradition has it, governs only the paternal lineage - pithas Vhamsavali. (your mother is part of this lineage).
06. Kudumba Devatas, it is strongly believed by the learned Pundits, are capable of reducing the effects of Karma from which no one can escape. This dogma permeates in all aspects in Hinduism. Our protecting shield against the effects of Karma is sincere prayer or "Kudumba Deiva Vazhipadu".
07. 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.
08. 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.
09. When there is a wedding, Upanayanam, Grahapravesam or any other joyous family function, visiting the Kudumba Devta temple is a must.
10. 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.
11. In the case of elderly couple celebrating 60th birthday (Saishtiaptapoorthy) or 80th birthday (Sathabishekam), worshiping the family deity is highly recommended.
12. If the elderly couple have health problems, etc., they can pray to the image of the family deity kept in the Puja room at home..
13. If there is a birth of a child or grand child in the family, it will be well and good to pay a visit to the family deity's temple for prayer and blessings.
14. As for tonsuring of young kids, which is a common ritual in South India, if your family temple is not Praththanasthala, it should not be done there unless specified. For such a prayer involving tonsuring -"Mudikooduthal", Prarthanasthala is the best bet.
15. When you go to your family deity's temple, it is a great thing if make monetary contribution to the temple liberally.
16. An important charitable act is offering Annadhanam - giving free food to the devotees and the poor people.
17. After your payer at the temple, keep the Prasadam,in particular, Kungumam or veeputhi in your Puja room.
18. 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.
19. Mind you, in the family deity reside the souls of your forefathers who never fail to protect you and your family members from any other evil forces or witchcraft.
20. 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.
Ref: from various sources