KULA DEVATHA OR TUTELARY/FAMILY DEITIES:
ORIGIN AND CONCEPT

-Santhipriya-

-5-

MOLDING THE UNIVERSE

63. Once emerged from Parabrahman, before activating the Universe with souls of several nature, Lord Brahma meticulously worked out various aspects of the creations, the characteristics of each of the Yugas, divines who would manifest in each of the Yugas including Kula Devatha or Tutelary/Family deity, the time- frame for each of their manifestations in places assigned to them across the universe etc. How much humans were created and how much divines were needed are explained in later paras.
64.
Lord Brahma assigned life cycle for each of the Yugas for certain reasons. Accordingly, he decided that the Universe would have four Yugas, each named as Satya Yuga, Thretha Yuga, Dwapara Yuga and finally Kali Yuga. All the four Yugas would be called as Chathur Yugas and seventy one blocks of Chathur Yugas to be called as Manvantara. Lord Brahma set 1,728,000 years for the first Yuga called Satya Yuga, 1,296,000 for the next Yuga called Thretha Yuga, 864,000 for the third Yuga called Dwapara Yuga and finally the fourth Yuga called Kali Yuga was assigned 432,000 years. Thus the total life of the four Yugas work out to 4,320,000 years. The total life period of one Manvantara thus becomes  4,320,000 x 71 = i.e. 306,720,000 human years or roughly 306 million years. 14 Manvantara constitutes a Kalpa which is 4294.08 (306.72 x 14) human years (Ref: Brahmanda Purana Chapter-29)


65. If we read the texts and oral stories transmitted by generations, it would become clear that while activating the universe, Lord Brahma foreknew that the moral characteristics of the folks may decline from good to worse in each of the Yugas and therefore imbibed the qualities of honesty and truth as the moral characteristics of the folks who were created in the Satya Yuga. In the Treta Yuga, the universe would lose one-fourth of the truth and honesty that prevailed in Satya Yuga. Dwapara Yuga would lose further one-half of honesty compared to Satya Yuga and Kali Yuga would be left with only one-fourth of honesty, the simplest expression being evil dominated land where dishonesty and chaos would have replaced honesty and truth because of the Yuga specific nature. Similarly the terrestrial area of spaces were also imbibed with certain characteristic such as divine in nature, sinners’ paradise, and lands with various degrees of characteristic like distracted and wavering mind etc. Therefore Lord Brahma had to carefully work out the aspects to get more divine forces like Kula Devatha or Tutelary/Family deities to effectively tackle the folks of the land to control the falling standards of character yugas after yugas.


66. Parabrahman had also set time limit for refreshing the Universe. According to Hindu cosmology at the end of one Kalpa, Lord Shiva would destroy the universe when the divines including Lord Brahma and other creations merge into Parabrahman’s body and disappear. After dissolution of the Universe, Parabrahman would once again recreate the cosmos along with Lord Brahma who would as before re-create the universe. However the Shrimad Bhagavatham says that ‘At the end of every 4,320,000,000 solar years (432 billion), when Brahma, goes to sleep, there is one annihilation. As per the generally accepted Hindu cosmology, one day of Lord Brahma is 4.32 billion human years and one night similarly works out to 4.32 billion human years.
67. Reference is available in the texts like Devi Bhagavata and Vishnu Purana wherein it is mentioned that ‘along with the universe consisting of vast Sea and Land, the entire fleet of divines including Lord Brahma, the creator of universe meet death and vanish into the energies of Parabrahman to get newer birth again in a new Cosmic to be created by Parabrahman at the dawn of 14 Manvantaras when the titles of Saptha Rishis, Lord and divines too Changes (Ref: Chapter-Manvantara, in Brahma Purana).
68. After they completely merge into the body of Parabrahman along with Lord Brahma, the cosmic gets dissolved. Thus, newer and newer manifestations besides the already manifested prime divines would emerge in subsequent Yugas as is described in the texts of Puranas and other epics. This is perhaps the reason why we are able to see in the present period, manifestations of more and more divines in newer forms and appearances.
69. As said earlier, entire fleet of numerous divine forces, semi and demigods including tutelary and family deities in different appearances and shapes were the divine energy rays of Parabrahman emanated through the prime divines. Since Parabrahman is eternal and the entire divine forces are from his divine energy rays, the temporary act of merging into the body of Parabrahman to re-emerge along with Lord Brahma in every Manvantara naturally confirms that they are all certainly eternal.
70. Lord Brahma realized that the area in terms of land would have to gradually get expanded after the end of Satya Yuga. The decision of Lord Brahma to expand the land space was meant to accommodate expanded populace who would get birth from the souls in the floating plane and alter the strength of souls from X quantum in first Yuga to 2x, 3 x etc in gradual stages and made the characteristics of the land accordingly.

LORD BRAHMA CREATES
71. After the Earth was made ready to accommodate the living creatures, before releasing souls of different nature, firstly Lord Brahma created seven rishis in human form for specific acts to spread divinity. There are contradictions on the first batch of Hermits- Seven Rishis- created by Lord Brahma. The Vedic school of thoughts, Jaiminiya (The Jaiminiya Upanishad Brahmana –जैमिनीय उपनिषद्-ब्राह्मण) mentions the list as Agastya, Atri, Bharadwaja, Gautama, Jamadagni, Vashishta and Vishwamitra, while another principal text called Brihadaranyaka Upanishad mentions same list but listing the seventh hermit as Brigu instead of Agastya. Similarly, the names of seven hermits vary in other principal texts of varying schools of thought.
72. One of the principal reason for the creation of seven Rishis by Lord Brahma was to categorise the entire human population under seven groups or Kulas, each Kula representing one of the seven Rishis initially created. The Kula represents the family of persons or descendants of a family related by blood. Therefore the entire descendants of each Kula will have single distinctive Gothra representing one of the Saptha Rishis. Here again we find that in some caste they have more no of Gothras and up to 2500 Gothras are reportedly existing.
73. Lord Brahma, though created highly knowledgeable seven Maharishis and arranged to bring out many divine forms from the body of Parabrahman, he perhaps did not intent to activate them in the land immediately and took time to first allow things to settle down in each of the four Yugas and rehearsed everything in the first few Yugas.
74. Once created, the seven hermits stood before Lord Brahma confused as they did not know why they were created. Lord Brahma informed them that they were created to act as his Prime messengers when the universe gets activated.


75.
He explained to them  all aspects of four Yugas, characteristics of souls in each Yugas, birth-death-rebirth circles for each of the souls, male-female theory, their partnership, children, ethics, norms in life, good and bad deeds, sins, their worship pattern, the manifestation of several divine forces in different appearances and shapes in different periods of time in different parts of the land.
76.
He further explained the importance of Kula Devatha or Tutelary/Family deity and how the souls would remain under the control of the divines, Kula Devatha or Tutelary/Family deity who would guide and guard them in the lands they manifest and many more such details and directed that they wait in invisible and inactive form for the present till they get activated by him (Lord Brahma).
77. They were clearly told that as and when Lord Brahma activate the hermits at appropriate time, they would have to begin converting part of humans in different lands as their messengers and educate them on need of divines and paths of divinity so that the divine messengers in human form could also carry forward the preaching and teaching initiated to them thus articulating the Guru-Shishya relationship.
78. At the end of the doctrine by Lord Brahma, the invisible Maharishis waiting for an opportune time to appear before public, got married with certain female souls created for them and entered in the land to accomplish their task. All of them remained inactive and invisible studying the aspects of the universe in silence. It took millions of years for the Maharishis to understand the entire philosophy of the Universe created and the doctrines of Lord Brahma as the subject matter was vast and complicated.
79. The next act of Brahma was creation of souls to be sent to the Universe. All the souls released by him did not instantly take birth as humans. The initial souls released by Lord Brahma turned into 15 to 20 categories of species from whom some percentage of the species turned into humans millions of years later in the course of four to five stages of evolution. Why was the said situation created and why not humans directly created?
80. Lord Brahma needed time for the living creatures to slowly settle down on earth, get accustomed to the environment before a percentage of them turned into humans. It again took thousands of years for those to gain knowledge and to understand what was around them and get accustomed with natural inhabitant places like mountains, caves, rivers, lakes etc.
81. Initially Lord Brahma released from his body four broad based souls. Several thousand years later those four broad based souls took the form of humans and further got divided into several groups or castes with endless branches after they gained sufficient knowledge.
82. He meticulously worked out specific time frame, Yuga specific characteristics to the souls who would live there and gain sufficient knowledge to distinguish each from the others. Lord Brahma decided that the entire souls created in the first Yuga would not instantly get converted into humans from the species born, but part of the souls would remain floating on the plane awaiting their conversion to some form in the land in Satya Yuga itself or would still be floating without gaining any form till end of Satya Yuga. This concept of floating souls was to display to the Universe, the male-female theory, which would fructify when the male-female souls interact with each other to give birth to some of the floating souls on the plane.
83. From the findings of the scientists of Archaeological and Anthropologists, it is clear that the initial creations of Lord Brahma might have been in the category of Anthropoidea (the bigger-brained monkeys and apes) and 15 to 20 categories including dinosaurs, and chimpanzees like figures, mammals, trees and plants of nature. The movables lived by the side of mountains and rivers in plain land or thick forested areas created by Lord Brahma.


84. The scientists who studied the aspects of the Universe (Anthropologists) opine that some form of humans appeared only few million years ago from the present Yuga. Though the first primitive primates in the category of Anthropoidea (the bigger-brained monkeys and apes, including humans) appeared 55 million years ago, our oldest human ancestor thought to have walked on two legs evolved only about 6 million years ago due to the biological changes that caused the tailless apes and chimpanzees turn into the form of humans walking with two legs without knowledge. We can thus believe that the first stage of human race may have been evolved only after approximately 13.799 Billion years after the cosmic was born and humans without knowledge appeared 6 to 7 Million (not Billion) years ago. This means that no divines including Kula Devatha or Tutelary/Family deities appeared for over 13.699 years after the cosmic was created and during this period as said in previous part they were getting shaped in Parabrahman Loga.
85. If we properly understand the Garuda Purana text, which is stated to be the most authentic text in Hinduism, Lord Brahma created 84 lac souls per Deva Year (God Year) in Satya Yuga. One Deva year accounts to 306 human years. The life of Satya Yuga was 1,728,000 human years which is equivalent to 4800 Deva Years. Thus total no of active souls created in Satya Yuga by Lord Brahma, at the rate of 84 lac per Deva year, could have been 403.200 million which may have included all creations like humans and animals and other creatures which had active life in them.
86.
As per Garuda Purana, out of 84 lakhs created by Lord Brahma, 21 lakhs came from eggs, 21 lakhs from tree and plant vines, 21 lakhs from humans and mammals, and the remaining 21 lakhs were from worms and insects. This means only 25% of the souls created by him initially would have been in human form. Based on this information we can conclude that in Satya Yuga, out of 403.200 million souls created by Lord Brahma, hardly 100 million souls may have been humans. However how much divine forces were released simultaneously is not made known in any puranic texts or even folk lores.


87. When we take information in pre paras into consideration few things become clear.
• At the end of each of the Kalpa, Lord Shiva would destroy the universe along with entire souls and divines including Lord Brahma who would merge into the body of Parabrahman and resurface when the next cosmos is revived.
• Since the first primitive primates in the category of Anthropoidea (the bigger-brained monkeys and apes, including humans) appeared 55 million years ago and our oldest human ancestor thought to have walked on two legs evolved only 6 million years ago, the cosmos may not have been recreated afresh by Parabrahman till completion of 13.799 billion years because the creations of divines and other moving and non-moving creatures from Lord Brahma including divines begun to appear only in the present cycle of Chathur Yugas, in the present early cycle of Manvantara.
• The family/ tutelary deities or Kula Devatha who are not subject to the cycle of birth-death and rebirth would continue to retain their appearances and forms till the completion of the present Manvantara which is approximately another 302.400 million human years away {(306720000)-(1728000+1296000+864000+432000) =302.400} from the present Chathur Yuga.
• The humans and other creations who were subjected to the cycles of birth-death and rebirth would however continue to be governed under the same cycles of birth-death and rebirth for another 302.400 million human years in the present Manvantara.
88. After creating land (earth), Lord Brahma divided the space into several pieces to facilitate the souls to go and settle in the spaces of their choice. He deliberately left the choice to the decision of human souls where to settle down. The clear picture on the demographic structure or terrestrial area of space created is not known, but pundits opine that they included entire universe covering space for mountains, rivers, and spaces to live beside forested areas covered with thick trees and animals.
89. The body of those souls which settled in spaces like divine in nature automatically absorbed the qualities of divine in nature embedded in those spaces. Similarly whichever souls entered other spaces imbibed with other qualities, their bodies too automatically absorbed those qualities. This was one of the basic norms in canon of creation, lest one would not be able to realize the impact of good and evil or aftereffects. The spaces imbibed with divine in nature were mostly occupied by the souls of saints, rishis and other pious people while the rest of the spaces were occupied by other souls.
90. Canon of creation stipulate that the souls who would demise may not get rebirth in the same form in which they demised, but may reborn as humans, animals or even in any other form of any other objects adhered to the cycles of birth-death-rebirths depending upon the good or bad deeds (karmas) accrued by them in each of the Yugas.
91. If we believe the scientific theory that the cosmic was created 13.8 billion years ago, then we are in 46th Manvantara or almost in the beginning of 3195th cycle of Chathur Yugas (13800000000÷432000=3194)*. It is therefore clear that since life cycle of one cycle of combined four Yugas is 4.32 million years which is one Chathur Yuga, in the first 3194 Chathur Yugas, the cosmic may not have had humans in active form and therefore no divine forces too to guide and guard them existed.
92. In light of the above facts, it is fair to assume that the tutelary and family deities or Kula Devatha and other divines including the Maharishis created by Lord Brahma may have begun to appear in the universe only from the end of Satya Yuga to the beginning of Thretha Yuga in the *3195th Chathur Yuga which is in the present Yuga cycle to guide and guard the souls which took the form of humans.
93. After the humans were activated, the hermits entrenched in different parts of the land, too got activated and created a task force in the form of disciples and moved all around where humans had settled preaching spiritual specific doctrines and revealing to the mankind the divine acts & plays. The first passion that was infused in the minds of humans was fear on divines followed by ethics and norms to be practiced in one’s life. Infusion of fear was necessary to force them to accept the invisible divines who were to manifest to guide and guard them as Kula Devatha or Tutelary/Family deity at much later stages.
94. The established principle of Parabrahman was that even though the cycle of birth- death- rebirth would be the norm for the souls created by Lord Brahma, some of the souls would also turn into angels or divine ganas (forms) due to the good deeds accrued by them over Yugas and there was scope for those deva ganas to also manifest as tutelary or family deities from the energies of prime divines.
95. As per another theory which suggest that the entire acts of ‘creation to destruction’ and play of divines in the universe if any held till 3194th Chathur Yugas remained completely a mystery, unknown to the souls, as well to the to the present scholars, scientists and historians.

Part- 6 Continued…….

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References:- Some of the information found in the following sites, folk lores, discussions with temple Pundits and elders of yester year generations helped me in compiling the above article. 

1)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yuga_Cycle
2) https://www.cs.ubc.ca/~goyal/age_of_universe.php
3) https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/f0633e_99240cde252e424cbd5b71c832d8dfef.pdf?index=true
4) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yuga_Cycle
5) https://www.wisdomlib.org/hinduism/book/the-brahmanda-purana/d/doc362847.html
6) http://www.findmessages.com/now-about-the-four-yugas-its-characteristics
7) https://www.hinduwebsite.com/timecycle.asp
8) https://m.dailyhunt.in/news/nepal/english/the+sentinel-epaper-senteng 
9) https://www.iimb.ac.in/sites/default/files/inline-files
10) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu_units_of_time
11) https://docs.wixstatic.com/
12) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saptarishi
13) https://pravase.co.in/gyan-detail/82/saptarshi-seven-sages-sanatan-dharma-vedic-time
14) https://www.researchgate.net/publication/335929735_Article_23_Ancient_Saints_of_Hinduism_-Saptarishi
15) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gotra
16) https://www.britannica.com/topic/gotra
17) http://www.vedah.net/manasanskriti/Brahmins.html#13
18) https://ramanuja.org/sri/BhaktiListArchives/Article?p=aug95%2F0027.html
19) https://humanorigins.si.edu/education/introduction-human-evolution
20) https://www.quora.com/Are-Brahmins-are-born-from-Brahmas-head-Kshatriyas-from-this-gods-arms-vysyas-from-this-creators-thighs-and-shudras-from-his-feet
21) https://zeenews.india.com/spirituality/decoding-the-story-behind-four-faces-of-lord-brahma_1956584.html
22) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primate
23) https://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/human-evolution-interactive-timeline
24) https://ia802900.us.archive.org/0/items/acc.no.25554srigarudapuranam1968/Acc.No.25554-Sri%20Garuda%20Puranam-1968.pdf
26) https://www.quora.com/How-can-one-know-that-there-are-4-lakh-species-of-human-being-out-of-84-lakhs
27) https://www.quora.com/Who-discovered-that-there-are-84-lakhs-varieties-of-living-being-present-on-earth
28) https://iskcondesiretree.com/forum/topics/84-lakh-species
29) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Para_Brahman  

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Acknowledgement:
I acknowledge with grateful thanks, Dr. V. Sankarkumar, consultant medical officer in USA, who edited my article with valuable inputs before publishing it. He has been writing articles of spiritual nature in both Tamil and in English and has contributed much in one of the Shirdi Saibaba blogger (https://shirdisaibabatamilstories.blogspot.com/-in which I was one of the two coordinators) by translating the English articles into Tamil. …..N.R. Jayaraman (nrj1945@gmail.com).