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Do all Brahmins need Kula Dhaivam?

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sankara_sharmah

Active member
The answer is NO. They do not need one. It is not necessary.

The concept of Kula deivam or Kula Devata is basically Non Brahmin in origin.

The Brahmins mode of worship was Panchyathana or worship of five deities for Smarthas. For Vaishnavas it was Narayana or Vishnu.

Non Brahmins did not have this kind of worship. Of course for Saivas it was Shiva and Vaisnavas it was Vishnu. But most of the people staying in villages the worship was of the Village deities. Mariamman, Renuka Devi, Bhairava, Karuppanna swami were some of the deities. These deities were called Kula Devata. The Chettiar community in Tamil Nadu are mainly Bhairava worshipers. Having lived with these communities for hundreds of years some of the Brahmins also adapted the system of Kual Devata. For most Brahmins in Thirunelveli district it was Gomathi Amman in Sankaran koil.

The concept of Kula Devata is very popular among the Nair community of Kerala. All of them were attached to a particular Deity. Mostly Goddesses/Bhagavathis. Bhagavathi of a particular kavu. They visit these places and offer worship. They considered themselves to be the slaves of the deity. Adimai kavu. Many of the Tamil Brahmins who have settled in Kerala also adapted this practice. My wife's family considered themselves to be Adimais of Manappully kavu in Palghat.

For a long time Tamil Brahmins were happy with this kind of arrangement with most of them not having a Kula Devata.

But Astrologers, Cinema, and Politics played a role in increasing the importance of Kula Deivam. This is what has led to a search for Kula Deivam.

I will detail that in my next post.
 
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Raji Ram

Gold Member
Gold Member

Dear Sir,

Almost all the Kerala based brahmins have one Devi (temple is called kAvu) as their kula Deivam. They sometime

mention as 'adimai kAvu', which means that they have to visit the temple at least once in a year. Many Tambrahms

I know have Tirupati Balaji or other Deities in the temples down South, as their kula Deivam. :hail:
 
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sankara_sharmah

Active member

Dear Sir,

Almost all the Kerala based brahmins have one Devi (temple is called kAvu) as their kula Deivam. They sometime

mention as 'adimai kAvu', which means that they have to visit the temple at least once in a year. Many Tambrahms

I know have Tirupati Balaji or other Deities in the temples down South, as their kula Deivam. :hail:

Only Palghat Brahmins. I had mentioned this in my post. The Travancore Brahmins do not follow this practice. Again the Palghat Brahmins have all changed their Kula Deivam. My FIL's family has changed it.

Just because many Tamil Brahmins have Kula deivam it is not necessary for all Tamil Brahmins to have it. It is not required as per our Sampradhaya.
 
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sankara_sharmah

Active member
Now the astrologers are asked to give reasons and pariharams for all the problems.

Decades back the astrologers in Tamil Nadu who were all Brahmins used to advise about the good and bad periods in one's horoscope. If it is a bad period they would ask you to pray to GOD. Not any particular God. For some Dasas some particular god was suggested. For example for Sani Dasa, prayer to Hanuman was suggested.

Homams were suggested but not very often.

They did not talk about தெய்வ குற்றம் daiva Kurram and pithru sabham. The reason was that almost all Brahmins did some puja and also shraddham.

The Tamil Nadu Astrologers relied on Hindu Astrology and not Prasna.

Kerala Astrologers.

The Kerala Astrologers were mostly Panickers who are not Brahmins. They relied on Prasna Sasthram. These people were dealing mostly with non-Brhamins. People who did not do Puja and who did not perform Shraddam.

Long back the astrologer would always attribute it to some Abhichara Mantra and ask them to do pujas and homams for dealing with it. They would also ask them to wear a rakshai. Most of the Keralites used to wear a rakshai. In general this rakshai consisted of Sudhrshana chakram inscribed in copper which a Pujari would energize.

Because the Malayalees had their own Kavu and believed in Kula deivam the astrologer would suggest lighting lamps in the Kavu and maintaining it.

Then they were asked to do Samskaras for Pithrus because they were not in the habit of doing it regularly.

Generally the Malayalam astrologers blamed Deiva Kurram and Pithry sapam for everything. Again this is an offshoot of the mantrika school where gods had limited powers and Mantras could control and overwhelm gods.

Developments in the last 30 years.

Many Kerala astrologers have migrated to Tamil Nadu. They have also become famous because of their association with political figures. Ministers and chief ministers consulting Panickers.

The panicker's formula of Deiva Kurram and pithru sapam has run into problems in Tamil Nadu because many of them do not have Kula deivam. The non-Brahmins run to their village deities. But for Brahmins who have left their village generations back, it poses a problem. Even if you know the village there may be half a dozen temples in the village. Which is the kula deivam?

Again the astrologers have stepped in and are finding the Kula deivam through Astrology.

The basic problem is that We the Tamil Brahmins have let Astrologers become religious advisers. Astrlogers have become the authority on our religious practices.

More about this later.
 

prasad1

Gold Member
Gold Member
Mr. Sharmah post#4,
Sir,
Your post is excellent, may be the title of the thread should be more to the point you are making.
I believe the blind faith in Astrology is the problem. I am a non-believer of astrology and have written against it in number of my posts.
 

Raji Ram

Gold Member
Gold Member

Dear Sir,

Many Tambrahms are not doing the 'nithya poojA' and many of them do not care to perform 'srAddham' for their parents.

Can these be classified as NBs? I have heard that members in a brahmin family, in which 'sandhyA vandhanam' is not done

for three consecutive generations, are not brahmins anymore! Do you say that only these kind of 'brahmins' need to have

kula Deivam?
 

Raji Ram

Gold Member
Gold Member

In most of the families I know, the 'kula Deivam' is only as per that family's tradition and not thorough astrology!
 
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sankara_sharmah

Active member
Mr. Sharmah post#4,
Sir,
Your post is excellent, may be the title of the thread should be more to the point you are making.
I believe the blind faith in Astrology is the problem. I am a non-believer of astrology and have written against it in number of my posts.

Prasad,

I believe in Astrology. I am sort of an ameteur astrologer myself. My wife is a better Astrologer. I have a number of books on astrology in English (B.V. Raman mostly) and also books like Saravali in Sanskrit. I inherited a number of books on Astrology from my Father who was addicted to Astrology.

I am aware of the limitations of Astrology which is not an exact science. A good Astrologer needs not only book knowledge bur also Intuition. I know the use of Karna Pisachini Mantra in Astrology.
 

sangom

Well-known member
In our astrology, AFAIK, the fifth and ninth houses from Lagna are supposed to represent (indicate) the state of poorva janma punya and the course of the soul after the current janma and hence the bhaagyam inherent in the horoscope.

Astrologers in Kerala usually associate the fifth house in the "Prasna Lagna" (after counting with random number cowrie shells) as indicating "Kula deivam". I feel this could also be used to refer to any deity/temple with which the family of the person has been associated for considerable time. Of course, the kind of deity can be generally said with reference to the fifth house in the birth horoscope.
Therefore, there is a fit case for people to consider any temple of the deity so indicated as their "kula deivam".
 
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sankara_sharmah

Active member
If you see the people who are searching for Kula dhaivam, you would find that these are pretty desperate people who are facing insurmountable problems. Loss of Wealth, Loss of job, serious illness and so on.

These people are looking for some solution. It is like

எத்தைத் தின்னா பித்தம் தெளியும்?

They seek help from Astrologers.

Astrologers do not have all the answers. There is an aspect called Divine Grace. We find it lacking in some horoscopes. The other aspects of the horoscope may be good and the person may reap benefits out of that. But then he/she faces a big almost insoluble problem. That is the effect of his/her karmas of previous Jenmas.

Do you expect the Astrologer to tell him that? He can not. He is in a profession which gives hope to a number of people. So he falls back on the belief that GOD can help in overcoming the effect of your past Karma. He asks the person to go to his/her Kula Dhaivam and pray. It will prove successful in mitigating the problem.

But I have seen from my experience that many of the people who lack God's grace in their horoscope will not even do that sincerely. They only make a pretense of doing it.

Please go to a good astrologer who has intuition. Not one who inserts the maximum number of advertisements or just because he has been consulted by a V.I.P. You should understand that when a V.I.P consults an astrologer, the astrologer spends a lot of time studying the horoscope, consults books if necessary and then gives an answer. But when you go to him he does not spend much time.

Astrologers who quote a lot about Kula Dhaivam and
தெய்வ குற்றம் Dhaiva kurram are many a time people who are not able to diagnose your problem or find a solution. They are like the Doctors who prescribe a wide spectrum anti biotic because they are not able to diagnose the disease.

"தெய்வ குற்றம்" என்பது எந்த வேதத்திலும்,புராணத்திலும் இல்லாத ஒரு கோட்பாடாகும். பஞ்சமாபாதகம் என சொல்வார்கள்.அது கூட தெய்வ குற்றம் கிடையாது. பாவத்திலும் பெரும்பாவம்,மன்னிப்பே இல்லாத பாவம் என சொல்லப்படுவது பாகவத அபச்சாரம் தான்.அதாவது பக்தர்களை துன்புறுத்துவது. அதற்கு பகவானால் மனிப்பு தர முடியாதாம். அந்த பக்தர்களாலேயே தர இயலுமாம்.

பகவான் அபச்சாரத்தை கூட பொறுக்கலாம்,பாகவத அபச்சாரத்துக்கு மன்னிப்பில்லை என்பார்கள்.

தெய்வ குற்றம் என்பது சொல்வடை மட்டுமே. நிஜமல்ல.

Please do not waste your time searching for Kula Dhaivam. Pray to your family deity or favorite deity. That will help mitigate the effect of purva jenma Karmas.
 

renuka

Gold Member
Gold Member
Technically speaking all of us walk around housing God in ourselves.

The body itself is a temple for God.... cos Jeevatama is but a reflection of Paramatma.

In fact only after reading forum I knew that even Brahmins have the concept of Kula Devata which came as a surprise to me.

Previously I thought a South Brahmin worship either Shiva or Vishnu or both.

I am aware that Non Brahmins take the worship of Kula Devata seriously and they feel every Devata is different from each other and one might get angry if not worshipped.
They do not really think on lines of Advaita most of the while.

If we just accept every form of Divinity known to mankind as speck of Brahman..there should be no desire to be hard fast and rigid in any form of worship and even the need for a Kula Devata might not even arise(even though it is up to the individual to decide what is best for him/her).

People need to be educated that no Devata is going to get angry with us.

In Geeta Lord Krishna does say..that no matter what path a devotee follows or worships the prayers ultimately reach Him.

So for those who want to follow Kula Devata concept let them continue for is just worshiping God in another form cos at least they will have their mind focused on something good.
 
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tks

Well-known member
Technically speaking all of us walk around housing God in ourselves.

The body itself is a temple for God.... cos Jeevatama is but a reflection of Paramatma.

In fact only after reading forum I knew that even Brahmins have the concept of Kula Devata which came as a surprise to me too.

Previously I thought a South Brahmin worship either Shiva or Vishnu or both.

I am aware that Non Brahmins take the worship of Kula Devata seriously and they feel every Devata is different from each other and one might get angry if not worshipped.

So if we just accept every form of Divinity known to mankind as speck of Brahman..there should be no desire to be hard fast and rigid in any form of worship.

After all in Geeta Lord Krishna does say..that no matter what path a devotee follows or worships the prayers ultimately reach Him.

Dr Renu -

Many of the TB families I know (including my own) had the concept of Kula Dhaivam - usually an Amman that is predominantly managed by NBs.

Ours is Siruvachiyoor Kali Amman (and Vaidyanathan Temple in Thanjavoor).

At the Kali Kovil, in the 70s and 80s the poojaris only did Pooja in Tamil. They used to have killing of goats long ago as part of the offering but that practice has discontinued of late from what I understand.

My parents in law insisted that we visit these places when our children were born..

It is a tradition that is in practice at least for 4 or 5 generations (150 years) that I am aware of on my side.
 

renuka

Gold Member
Gold Member
Dr Renu -

Many of the TB families I know (including my own) had the concept of Kula Dhaivam - usually an Amman that is predominantly managed by NBs.

Ours is Siruvachiyoor Kali Amman (and Vaidyanathan Temple in Thanjavoor).

At the Kali Kovil, in the 70s and 80s the poojaris only did Pooja in Tamil. They used to have killing of goats long ago as part of the offering but that practice has discontinued of late from what I understand.

My parents in law insisted that we visit these places when our children were born..

It is a tradition that is in practice at least for 4 or 5 generations (150 years) that I am aware of on my side.

Dear TKS sir,


I was really surprised when I read in Forum that Brahmins too have Kula Devata concept cos I was always under the impression that Brahmins either followed Advaita or Vishisthadvaita concept and usually worshipped Shiva/Vishnu or either Rama/Krishna most of the while as their Ishta Devata.

I am not saying its wrong for anyone to have a Kula Devata concept but what surprised me was that I was always under the impression that Brahmins had a rather broader outlook when it came to worship and were always aiming for a more all encompassing form of worship...in other words a mode of worship which was either heading towards a Supreme form as in Brahman of Advaita or Vishnu of Visisthadvaita.

So if we go by the fact that both Brahmins and Non Brahmins have the same concept of Kula Devata that goes to show that there is really not much difference in the concept of worship for all types of Hindus.
 
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tks

Well-known member
Dear TKS sir,


I was really surprised when I read in Forum that Brahmins too have Kula Devata concept cos I was always under the impression that Brahmins either followed Advaita or Vishisthadvaita concept and usually worshipped Shiva/Vishnu or either Rama/Krishna most of the while as their Ishta Devata.

I am not saying its wrong for anyone to have a Kula Devata concept but what surprised me was that I was always under the impression that Brahmins had a rather broader outlook when it came to worship and were always aiming for a more all encompassing form of worship...in other words a mode of worship which was either heading towards a Supreme form as in Brahman of Advaita or Vishnu of Visisthadvaita.

So if we go by the fact that both Brahmins and Non Brahmins have the same concept of Kula Devata that goes to show that there is really not much difference in the concept of worship for all types of Hindus.

There is really none.

Many equate 'recitation of Vedic Mantras' as knowledge which itself is meaningless.

Basically for all those that go after security and desires primarily there are all kinds of religious traditions that cater to that.

But for most part the prayer is: I want more stuff, I dont want problems, I want security etc

All religions cater to the above need. Some does a superficial traditions to introduce Karma/Dharma in the mix.

The ultimate security and fulfillment of desire is to go to some place called heaven. Only that Hindu heaven is not forever :)

Vedanta thinking can only start when the Artha and Karma pursuits are not the significant part in a prayer and a conflict free life style is realized with a natural focus on Dharma. Epics like Ramayana provides a 'container' to discuss Dharma.

But prayer is driven by fear (need for security) and desires (I want this, also want this etc).

Kula Dhaivam helps like all other forms of Isvara.

Many people take their children (I am sure it may have happened to me also) to shed their hair at these places. They may give their first pay check of their earning to Kula Dhaivam etc
 

Jaykay767

Well-known member
folks - let me add to this.

Kula Daivam is a deity that protects our family & clan. These were in the historical past dieties in the Village or a groups of Villages that protects them from any untowards incidents. Hence both B & NBs worship the same deity. why is this manged by NB's ? Because it was the NB's who were mostly warrior communities that protected all of us & they woshipped the Kula Daivam before going for any war in the belief that this God will protect their lives & grant victory !!. so for the Bs this is the deity that protected them in the past & in the future !! Hence they pray to this God !!

TKS - we also worship the Sirivachur Kali Amman. The reason why we Bs worship her is because we are all the descendants of the relatives of Kovalan/Kannagi who worship Kannagi in the form of Srivachur Kali Amman. The belief is that Kannagi only wanted a life with Kovalan & nothing else, which was unfortunately destroyed by the Kings guards, worshipping her will protect our family & prevent any untoward incidents for our families for generations !! Kannagi shadows our families where ever we go & protects us at all times. !! This tradition is more than 1500 + yr old & our ancestors have religiously followed this despite all the migration !!. So if you or I want to trace our history back, we should go to Sirivachur because thats where our ancestors lived at one point of time & then subsequent migration took us to different places !!

thats why for Bs & also for NBs, Kula Daivam takes precedence over all the other Gods when we face issues & problems. And then we worship either Shiva/Ganesha/Murugan or Vishnu/Rama/Krishna (or their Avatars) as the main Gods depending on whether we are Shaivities or Vaishnavites.

so why do we have both these Gods ?. Kula Daivam protects us from all physical & mental harm !! Shiva & Vishnu (and their descendants / Avatars) are the Gods that will lead us to Salvation / Mukthi from this life !!

Hence we worship both these Gods !!.

Kula Daivam is mostly Amman (except for some Vaishnavites who worship Venkateshwara/Narasimha), because for warrior communities, it is always the Mother that protects the Children !! hence most of the families will have Amman as their family diety !!

Post the Ramayana war, those who aligned with Rama, started worshipping Vishnu & the avatars as the Kula Daivam !!& mostly these are the Vaishnavites !!

for Shaivites, it is Amman (Goddess Parvathi) who is the family diety in almost all cases !!!!
 
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sankara_sharmah

Active member
Dear TKS sir,

I was really surprised when I read in Forum that Brahmins too have Kula Devata concept cos I was always under the impression that Brahmins either followed Advaita or Vishisthadvaita concept and usually worshipped Shiva/Vishnu or either Rama/Krishna most of the while as their Ishta Devata.

I am not saying its wrong for anyone to have a Kula Devata concept but what surprised me was that I was always under the impression that Brahmins had a rather broader outlook when it came to worship and were always aiming for a more all encompassing form of worship...in other words a mode of worship which was either heading towards a Supreme form as in Brahman of Advaita or Vishnu of Visisthadvaita.

So if we go by the fact that both Brahmins and Non Brahmins have the same concept of Kula Devata that goes to show that there is really not much difference in the concept of worship for all types of Hindus.

Your first impression is correct. Most of the Brahmins do not have a Kula Devata.

In fact even temple worship is not a must for Brahmins. My father was a traditional Brahmin. He did Panchyathana Puja throughout his life. He rarely visited temples except when on Pilgrimages. In my village men hardly ever visited the temples. Women who were denied the right to perform Puja thronged the temples.

As I said earlier the importance of Kula Deivam has spread through the Kerala Astrologers because the entire Nair community had Kula Deivams.

As far I have read, the worship of Kula Devata does not have any scriptural reference.

This thread was started by me just to emphasize the fact that not all Brahmins have Kula Deivam nor do they need one.

Frantic search for Kula Deivam just because an ignorant astrologer said so is futile and uncalled for.


The Astrologers especially from Kerala are not conversant with the higher aspects of Hinduism. Kerala has its own brand of Hinduism which is in total variance with the Hinduism of rest of the country. Basic rules of Hinduism are flouted.
 

tbs

Well-known member
hi
we have kula deivam....even though we are iyers....we worship mondipalayam venkataramana swamy temple near coimbatore...

its still a small village... its a swayambu vishnu roopam and vaishnava temple too..when i was young ...we used to go to temple by

bullock cart wth whole family...our first hair offering to be done there...still we go there

....its more 150 yrs old family tradition...now a days we do sometimes in tirupati temple....

my mother side have adima kaavu near palakkad...its called MEENKOLATHI AMMAN TEMPLE IN PALLASENA NEAR PALAKKAD...

so we have family kuladeivam traditions for brahmins..........especially all palakkad pattars have bhagavathy amman kula

deivam....but no agraharams/pattar familues really attach with any Mutt/godmen....i never heard abt kanchi mutt/sringeri mutt

in my child hood.....
 
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renuka

Gold Member
Gold Member
folks - let me add to this.

Kula Daivam is a deity that protects our family & clan. These were in the historical past dieties in the Village or a groups of Villages that protects them from any untowards incidents. Hence both B & NBs worship the same deity. why is this manged by NB's ? Because it was the NB's who were mostly warrior communities that protected all of us & they woshipped the Kula Daivam before going for any war in the belief that this God will protect their lives & grant victory !!. so for the Bs this is the deity that protected them in the past & in the future !! Hence they pray to this God !!

TKS - we also worship the Sirivachur Kali Amman. The reason why we Bs worship her is because we are all the descendants of the relatives of Kovalan/Kannagi who worship Kannagi in the form of Srivachur Kali Amman. The belief is that Kannagi only wanted a life with Kovalan & nothing else, which was unfortunately destroyed by the Kings guards, worshipping her will protect our family & prevent any untoward incidents for our families for generations !! Kannagi shadows our families where ever we go & protects us at all times. !! This tradition is more than 1500 + yr old & our ancestors have religiously followed this despite all the migration !!. So if you or I want to trace our history back, we should go to Sirivachur because thats where our ancestors lived at one point of time & then subsequent migration took us to different places !!

thats why for Bs & also for NBs, Kula Daivam takes precedence over all the other Gods when we face issues & problems. And then we worship either Shiva/Ganesha/Murugan or Vishnu/Rama/Krishna (or their Avatars) as the main Gods depending on whether we are Shaivities or Vaishnavites.

so why do we have both these Gods ?. Kula Daivam protects us from all physical & mental harm !! Shiva & Vishnu (and their descendants / Avatars) are the Gods that will lead us to Salvation / Mukthi from this life !!

Hence we worship both these Gods !!.

Kula Daivam is mostly Amman (except for some Vaishnavites who worship Venkateshwara/Narasimha), because for warrior communities, it is always the Mother that protects the Children !! hence most of the families will have Amman as their family diety !!

Post the Ramayana war, those who aligned with Rama, started worshipping Vishnu & the avatars as the Kula Daivam !!& mostly these are the Vaishnavites !!

for Shaivites, it is Amman (Goddess Parvathi) who is the family diety in almost all cases !!!!


Dear Sir,

I have a question here..since you brought up the topic of Kannagi.

You see if the Kula Deivam is one of the forms of Durga than it seems fine cos Parvati/Durga/Kali are the Shakti aspect of Shiva.

But from my general knowledge sometimes some Kula Deivams would have been just a normal woman in a village for example Kannagi.
I am pretty sure she was a devoted wife(for a good for nothing husband!) and not a form of Shakti of the Durga/Parvati/Kali.

So Kannagi is a deified personality I feel and so are many Kula Deivatas.

Surely Kannagi would have been re born and could be anyone today right now.

So just imagine Kannagi already re born as someone else and is leading a life as a normal person but people are still worshiping her as a deity.

So who is answering the prayers?

Not Kannagi for sure cos she is already reborn.

So thats why it makes perfect sense that what ever prayers done reaches the Supreme and it is the Supreme who is "answering" all our prayers.

So when we already know this fact why do we need to still go through step by step all over again instead of directly contemplating on the Supreme?
 
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