Kula Deivam / குல தெய்வம்

Devi Kathayee, mother of Sithadi,

we seek your grace,oh, our family deity,

 guide and protect us for ever


Tutelary and Family deities


My ambition for a very long period has been  to understand entirely the concept of Kula Deivam meaning  tutelary and family deities and literally conducting a research on to it for the last few years.  This is a vast subject and I know dwelling into it will be not easier.  Since one has to know the  true meaning and facts between tutelary and family deities  whenever I visited the temples, I met some learned pundits, especially those pundits in temples who practice the art of predictions using cowries and other means and speak to them to cull out some information, some of which were hereto unknown to me earlier. The views were divergent. I have already written few articles on tutelary and family deities earlier too.  There were  some interesting queries from some of the readers on the concept of Kula Deivam after I wrote those articles.  Though I could explain to some of their queries, some were even not clear to me and therefore continued to search for an answer. Now I am able to cull out answers to some more doubts.   

I was excited when two to three unknown senior citizens spoke to me on telephone, complemented me for the information and discussed certain issues and requested for clarifications. Further they suggested that I publish them in English for wider coverage to younger generation who are unaware of such issues. There were numerous other callers too with compliments on my earlier articles on family deities.

One more gentleman, convert to another sect from Tirunelveli district, whose identity has been withheld  for obvious reasons  spoke to me at length and  informed me that after reading my article he began searching for the reasons of conversion of  his forefathers and tried to identify who actually was their family deity and why did they convert?  He somehow managed to trace some relatives from forefathers and spoke to them. He was so excited that he could ultimately identify  his family deity which was in another religion and began worshiping her after which his mental agony on account of several family issues  disappeared. He further sought some more clarification and thanked me for the article. 

  • How and from where did the concept of tutelary and family deity emerge
  • How were the tutelary deities chosen by a family
  • Are there specific rituals by which one can change over to newer  tutelary and family deities  
  • How could there be so many tutelary and family deities and
  • The newer deities when emerge as family deity, from where do they derive divinely powers?

To everyone who contacted me I promised to write an article again on the origin of   tutelary and family deities covering all their queries to the best of my knowledge. The views on my article will be based on the discussions I had with various temple pundits, some persons of deeper spiritual mind, read in several sources, heard in discourses etc as collected by me in person at various periods of time. I plan to write on them beginning from next week to  spread over in few parts. The article will be bilingual.