Family Deity (Kuladevata) Dr. Shriniwas Kashalikar
GOD & DEITIES
To visit the place named Walaval has been a very
pleasant experience. In my early childhood we
used to go to Walaval in our neighbor Patankar’s
hired; van like private vehicle.
The narrow brick red roads sandwiched in the
greenery, the small shacks selling hot tea and
bhaji, the smell of which percolated in the
atmosphere and titillated the olfactory sense, the
houses with tiled roofs and lastly the temple of
Laxmi-Narayan (also called Dev Narayan) are
still very fresh in the memory.
The Laxmi Narayan temple is several centuries
old. There is a lake by the side. In those days the
lake appeared fearsome as I did not now
swimming. Moreover there was the belief that at
least one or two persons lost their life in that lake!
The taste of simple but fresh and hot food served
by our distant relatives, who used to perform
daily pooja, also kept on lingering on my tongue
for long time.
But later I came in touch with Marxist analysis of
poverty and misery in the society. Since I had no
strong enough argument to counter the Marxist
analysis, my beliefs somewhat drifted (in search of
truth), from the family deity Dev Narayan, who
appeared to be redundant and restricted to the
temple and provide no solutions to challenges in
personal and social life.
But today I am convinced that Marxist analysis;
(though definitely more advanced than the
indolent, parasitic, helpless and deterministic
outlook prevalent in society), has to be culminated
quickly into the globally blossoming perspective
Thus God is one, but deities are many. Every
family has a family deity. The child is introduced
to the deity right from the birth.
This introduction is immensely important because
it keeps reminding the individual about the
destination viz. blossoming into comic
Thus the family deity is a forward step, made easy
by parents, towards the realization of truth! At
that age, no amount of philosophy can work. In
fact it can counterproductive and convert young
minds into fanatic fascist robs. It is this
introduction, familiarity and actual participation
in the activities meted out for individual and
social blossoming that constitute some of the
valuable aspects of acculturation called
The family deity conceptually then grows into
cosmic consciousness and the individual develops
cosmic perspective in the course of time.
Now I feel the urgency to share the feeling that
family deity is a very important and vital
component of the process of individual and global
blossoming and emancipation!
My family deity lives in the beautiful temple
located in the scenic place mentioned above viz.
Walaval in Kudal Taluka, Sindhudurga district,
Maharashtra state, India. Walaval is near Kudal
Vengurla and Savantwadi.
I am sure even if Dev Narayan is my family deity,
any one who visits the temple, would be reminded
and reoriented to the cosmic consciousness in the
course of time, besides being rejuvenated by
virtue of the especially invigorating ambience!