Posted by: adbhutam | December 15, 2016

THE CONCEPT OF ‘KULADEVATĀ’ (FAMILY DEITY)

The concept of Kuladevatā (Family Deity)

In the sanātana dharma there is a very important place for kula devatā worship. However, the vaiṣṇava bloggger, driven purely by bigotry makes this remark:

http://narayanastra.blogspot.in/p/on-symbols-and-practices-of-vaishnavism.html

//In addition to all this, concepts such as kula-devatA (which has no sanction in smR^itis) and notions of bad omen arising out of not worshiping this and that deity (mostly shiva, durgA, skanda, and gaNapati — none of them really cares if Vishnu is not preferred for worship) have been thrust upon them to keep them ignorant of the true tradition.//

 

The Advaitin’s response to the above misconceived, mischievous remark:

It is evident that his ulterior motive is to make his gullible readers believe that the worship of any deity other than Viṣṇu has no sanction in the scriptures. However, one can find innumerable proofs for the concept of ‘kula devatā/kula deivam’ prevalent in the scriptural works, the Rāmāyaṇa, the smṛti-s (dharma śāstra) and independent works of famous poets and others of the tradition:

Valmiki Ramayana: Bālakāṇḍa  sarga 70:

विदितं ते महाराज इक्ष्वाकुकुलदैवतम्।।1.70.16।।

स॥ मंत्रिसहितः स उपाध्याय स बांधवः सः वाक्यविदां श्रेष्ठः राजा वैदेहं इदं अब्रवीत् ॥ महाराज वसिष्ठः भगवान् ऋषिःइक्ष्वाकुकुलदैवतं सर्वेषु कृत्येषु वक्ता (इति) विदितं ॥धर्मात्मा वसिष्ठः विश्वामित्राभ्यनुज्ञातः सर्वैः महर्षिभिः सह एष वक्ष्यति मे यथाक्रमम् ॥

पद्मपुराण, Padmapurana:

प्रददौ तस्मै स्वविश्लेषासहिष्णवे।

श्रीरंगशायिनं स्वार्च्यमिक्ष्वाकुकुलदैवतम्।

रङ्गं विमानमादाय लङ्कां प्रायाद् विभीषणः॥

Bhāgavatam: 9.9.43:

na me brahma-kulāt prāṇāḥ

kula-daivān na cātmajāḥ
na śriyo na mahī rājyaṁ
na dārāś cātivallabhāḥ

Veeraraghavacharya accepts kuladeiva concept in the  commentary on the above.

Another verse from the Srimad Bhāgavatam

SB 5.17.2

yatra ha vāva vīra-vrata auttānapādiḥ parama-bhāgavato ’smat-kula-devatā-caraṇāravindodakam iti yām 

 our; kuladevatā — of the family Deity;

Vasiṣṭha dharma shāṣtra:

गृहदेवताभ्यो बलिं हरेत्  [a variant of the term ‘kuladevatā’]

Gautama dharma sutra:

गृहदेवताभ्यः प्रविश्य

Bṛhaspati samhitā of the Garuda purana says:

विधाय पूजां कुलदेवतानां मध्ये ततोऽष्टास्वपि दिक्षुदेयम् ।

Yajnavalkya smriti says:

yasmin deśe ya ācāro vyavahāraḥ kulasthitiḥ /
tathaiva paripālyo ‘sau yadā vaśam upāgataḥ // Yj_1.343 //

The ācāra vyavahāra is to be conducted as per the deśa, kula. This will include the worship of deities too as per one’s kula.

Mahākavi Bhāsa’s ‘Ūrubhangam’: [2BC – 2CE]

कुरुयदुकुलदैवतानां  प्रत्यक्षं प्रवृत्तं….

https://sa.wikisource.org/s/78s     Naishadhīya charitam (12CE):

श्रद्धालुसंकल्पितकल्पनायां कल्पद्रुमस्याथ रथाङ्गपाणेः ।
तदाकुलोऽसौ कुलदैवतस्य स्मृतिं ततान क्षणमेकतानः ॥ १०.६९ ॥

Panchadashi of Vidyaranya  (13CE):

एवमन्ये स्वस्वपक्षाभिमानेनान्यथान्यथा । मन्त्रार्थवादकल्पादीनाश्रित्य प्रतिपेदिरे ॥१२०॥

अन्तर्यामिणमारभ्य स्थावरान्तेशवादिनः । सन्त्यश्वत्थार्कवंशादेः कुलदैवत्वदर्शनात् ॥१२१॥

  1. There are many other sects which try to declare their own favourite deity to be the supreme. They quote hymns from Shruti and alleged traditions in support of their views.121. So every entity from the Inner Ruler to inert objects is considered as Ishvara by someone or other, for we find that even the sacred fig tree, the sun-plant and the bomboo etc., are worshipped by the people as family deities.

http://lokacharyapanchasath.blogspot.in/

यस्यासीत् कुलदैवतं रघुवरॆणाराधितः श्रीसखः ,
कावॆरीसरिदन्तरीपनगरी वासस्थली पुण्यभूः ।
कृष्णॊ मान्यगुरुर्वरॆण्यमहिमा वॆदान्तविद्यानिधिः ,
भ्राता सौम्यवरः स्वयंच भुवनार्यॊऽसि कस्तॆ समः ॥ 50

http://sanskritdocuments.org/doc_shiva/aTTAlasundarAShTakam.html?lang=sa

कुलशेखरवंशोत्थभूपानां कुलदैवतम् । परिपूर्णं चिदानन्दं कलयेऽट्टालसुन्दरम् ॥ ८॥

http://stotram.lalitaalaalitah.com/2011/09/sristotraratnam-yamunacharyakruta.html

यन्मूर्ध्नि मे श्रुतिशिरस्सु च भाति यस्मिन्

अस्मन्मनोरथपथः सकलं समेति।

स्तोष्यामि नः कुलधनं कुलदैवतं तत्

पादारविन्दमरविन्दविलोचनस्य  ॥६॥

http://sanskritdocuments.org/doc_shiva/dashashlokIstuti.html?lang=sa

॥ दशश्लोकीस्तुती ॥ साम्बो नः कुलदैवतं पशुपते साम्ब त्वदीया वयं साम्बं स्तौमि सुरासुरोरगगणाः साम्बेन संतारिताः । साम्बायास्तु नमो मया विरचितं साम्बात्परं नो भजे साम्बस्यानुचरोऽस्म्यहं मम रतिः साम्बे परब्रह्मणि ॥ १॥

shrIlaxmInR^isiMha hR^idayastotra ” from ” bhavishhyottara – purANa …

https://groups.google.com/d/msg/sathvishayam/…/DJup-blDhZYJ

May 12, 2011 – नृसिंहात्परमं नास्ति नृसिंह कुलदैवतम् । नृसिंह भक्ता ये लोके ते ज्ञानिन इतीरिताः ॥५॥ विरक्ता दयया युक्तास्सर्वभूत समेक्षणाः । न्यस्तसंसारा नृसिंह प्राप्नुवन्ति ते ॥६॥ महात्म्यं यस्य सर्वेऽपि वदन्ति निगमागमाः ।

श्रीमद्‌देवीभागवत महापुराण – षष्ठः स्कन्धः …

satsangdhara.net/devi/devi06-06.htm

पद्मरागमयीं मूर्तिं स्थापयामास वासवः ॥ ६३ ॥ त्रिकालं महतीं पूजां चक्रुः सर्वेऽपि निर्जराः । तदाप्रभृति देवानां श्रीदेवी कुलदैवतम् ॥ ६४ ॥ विष्णुं त्रिभुवनश्रेष्ठं पूजयामास वासवः । ततो हते महावीर्ये वृत्रे देवभयङ्करे ॥ ६५ ॥ प्रववौ च शिवो …

हैमोर्ध्वपुण्ड्रलावण्यलसद्वदनपङ्कजम् । वैखानसैर्महाभागैरर्च्यमानं निरन्तरम् ॥ ३७.१५२ ॥ कृतास्पदं कलियुगे तदीयं कुलदैवतम् । “अरायि काण”इत्याद्यैश्श्रुतिवाक्यैरभिष्टुतम् ॥ ३७.१५३ ॥ “रयिः ककुद्माऽऽनित्याद्यैर्मन्त्रैर्वैखानसैः परैः …

संस्कार-रत्न-माला samskAra-ratna-mAlA: – Google Books Result

https://books.google.co.in/books?id=sbmRCwAAQBAJ – Translate this page

Bhatta Gopinatha Dikshita भट्ट-गोपीनाथ-दीक्षितः

एवमन्नं निवेद्य कुलदेवतां संपूज्य ‘यन्तु नदयः’इति पठित्वा नान्दीमुखाः पितरः मीयन्तामिति वाचयित्वा मीयन्तां नान्दीमुखा: पितर इति तैरुके तान्नमस्कृत्य ब्रह्मार्पर्ण कृत्वा परिविष्टाझेषु सर्पिरासिच्यापोशा(ऽऽपोश)नोदकदानादि …

விண்டாரை வென்றாவி விலங்குண்ண . மெல்லியலார்

கொண்டாடும் மல்லகலம் அழலேற வெஞ்சமத்துக்

கண்டாரை, கடல்மல்லைத் தலசயனத்துறைவாரை

கொண்டாடும் நெஞ்சுடையாரவர்கள் எங்கள் குலதெய்வமே

(பெரிய திருமொழி2.6.4)

In the 8 CE ruled a Pallava King called Nandivarma Pallava. For him Goddess Mūttha devi was the family deity: kuladeivam. 

http://tamilaavanam.blogspot.in/2014/12/blog-post.html#more

//8ம் நூற்றாண்டின் பல்லவர்களின் தாய் தெய்வம். நந்திவர்ம பல்லவனுக்கு குலதெய்வம். வைதீக மரபை ஏற்காத குடவரை கோவில்களில் மூத்த தேவிக்கு சிலை உள்ளது. மூத்த தேவி ஜோஷ்டா தேவி ( வட மொழியில் மூத்தவள் ) என்றும் அழைக்கப்படுகிறாள். சங்க இலக்கியங்களில் இவள் மாமுகடி, தவ்வை, காக்கை கொடியோள், பழையோள், சேட்டை என பல பெயர்களில் அழைக்கப்படுகிறாள். //

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nandivarman_II

//A temple for goddess Bhagavati (Durga) was built in Nagercoil by Nandivarman and this shows that the Pallavas reigned supreme in the south during his period. He died in 796.//

Thus we see from the above sample (there are countless instances of the concept of kuladevatā) that while the concept itself is happily admitted, there is also no evidence at all for the compulsion/imposition that only Viṣṇu is to be worshiped.

Om Tat Sat

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Responses

  1. The over eager bloggers have not ‘used’ the fact that Adi Shankara’s kula devata was Krishna. Probably Vishnu/Krishna as kula devata may be acceptable for them.

    • On the contrary, their argument is that the concept of kula devata is a rather new development and Adi Shankara’s family worshiping Krishna is not because of any kula devata option but by default it is vishnu that is the worship-worthy deity for all vaidikas. This is their stand which is what is disproved.


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