Chettinad Temples » Kula Deivam

Kula Deivam

Family Deities Of Chettinad : (Kula Deivam : Kulam — Lineage/Family, Deivam — God)
In chettinad tradition, mainly each family will have a family deity – a guardian angel called KULA DEIVAM. These Kula Deivams are considered as the ANCESTRAL God, meaning our forefathers and relatives have been worshiping that god for ages. It is the unshaken belief of most of us that these family deities take care of our family and save from all hardships and hindrances.  The deities tend to be different from the Hindu Gods that are generally worshiped in a common temple. A temple to a Kula deivam constructed in one’s ancestral village/town, will have it as the main deity (Sanctum Sanctorum) while other Gods may also be present in the periphery. The Kula deivam can be formless as well. People who have migrated to other places still visit their ancestral village/town and pay their respects by offerings /donations /charity /breaking coconuts) and feasting (called pongal vaikiradhu — which is also the name of Thanksgiving festival and a dish made of rice). Since in most of the villages, people of the same community tend to be related, everyone will have the same Kula Daivam.
One can have one or more chosen deity (Ishta Deivam). But the roots will still connect with family deity.

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