Kanchi Maha Periyava is a great Mahan known for rendering practical pieces of advice that can be followed by even a common man.
Kanchi Mahan was observing Chathurmasya vrata and was visiting many places. In a village, a farmer came to seek Periyava’s blessings and was at the brim of desperation expressing his sad plight. He said that he felt like committing suicide as he faced lots of sufferings in life.
Periyava asked whether he worshipped his Kuladeivam regularly.
The man did not even know who his Kuladeivam was as one of his ancestors broke from the path of worshipping Kuladeivam and his descendants followed him including himself. So, he did not know anything about his Kuladeivam.
Periyava said that staying away from worshipping Kuladeivam is like keeping a vessel with a hole. Nothing will stay on the vessel with a hole. Likewise, no good thing will dawn on the person who does not worship his Kuladeivam.
He also raised a question -why Periyava was so particular about the Kuladeivam when there are various other deities to worship in different temples?
The Mahan did not answer his query. He just asked the man whether any of his ancestors was still surviving.
He replied positively that one of his ancestors was living in the village.
Periyava asked him to contact the old man and gather details about his Kuladeivam. He advised the man to visit the place of his Kuladeivam, do pooja and come back to him after that.
The farmer came after 10 days and was looking happy. He rendered his salutations and said that he did as per the advice of the Mahan. He contacted the old man in the village, came to know about his Kuladeivam, went to the place and worshipped the deity.
His Kuladeivam was Pechiyamman and the place was covered by a bush when he went to worship his Kuladeivam. He and his sons removed all the bush and found a stone in the place and offered their prayers through anointing the stone with water, milk and performing camphor arathi.
Periyava said to the farmer that he should build a temple for his Kuladeivam in that place. He should take care that the lamp should be lighted in his Kuladeivam temple every day and he should visit the temple regularly. On doing so, he would be blessed by the deity and get all good benefits in life.
The happy man now asked Periyava why he did not answer his question – why one should worship Kuladeivam in particular when there are various other gods for worship?
Periyava asked him to come back after one year on exactly the same date. The man came and looked happy. He offered fruits and money to Periyava.
Now Periyava answered his query about Kuladeivam. The answer given by Periyava is worth thinking and following.
The ancestors of a man form a lineage called Gothram and their worship of a particular deity brings prosperity to them as the deity showers all His blessing upon the family for generations after generations and makes them prosperous and happy in life. All these members of this gotra are united by a sense of brotherhood though they may differ in personality, complexion and other such traits.
Our ancestors are the starters of our Kuladeivam worship and our generation continues that. Our worship of Kuladeivam becomes our family tradition. That is why worshipping Kuladeivam is important and it should not be neglected by any man.
When we pray to our Kuladeivam, we not only gain the grace of our Kuladeivam but our ancestors also bless us from their heavenly abode watching our prayers to Kuladeivam. Their sins are also washed away. That is why one should not break from worshipping Kuladeivam and should do it for a lifetime.
So, worshipping Kuladeivam is very important in life as it unites us with our ancestry and helps us gain the blessings of them along with the grace of our Kuladeivam.
Married women should adopt the Kuladeivam of the husband’s family as their primary Kuladeivam however they should also continue to worship with same devotion, the Kuladeivam of their parents for more prosperity and Blessings.
When you visit your Kuladeivam Temple, you must pray with your mind fully involved, stay clean and be Veg on the day of worship, visit if possible along with other family members or close relatives and well wishers.
Performing special rituals at your family deity temple, – such as lighting mavillaku, abhishegam, santhana kappu and annadhanam, will bring more benefits.
If there is a tank at the temple, take a bath in it or sprinkle the tank
water on your head before going for darshan. Always buy garlands for deities and prepare some fresh food (neivedhyam) to offer to deities as per traditional requirements.
If you have a long pending wish or desire unfulfilled, pray to your ishtadevata or kuladevata and take a vow to visit the deity after your wish is fulfilled. To offer thanksgiving, do Anga- pradikshana (circumambulation by lying flat on the ground and rolling your body around the temple instead of walking around it) for family matters or offering your hair (tonsure) for health issues. Also donate some money to the temple as per your wish and capacity.
Always contribute proportionately to your capacity and available resources for the renovation, decoration and maintenance of your family deity Temple and development of your native village for steady state happiness and prosperity to flow.