Which Name does one repeat (chant) if the Guru has not imparted a Name?
In this case one should repeat (chant) the Name of the family deity (kuladevata), which refers to both the male or the female family deity.
A. A family (kula) is made up of those people who are closely related to each other. Depending upon which family deity’s worship is conducive for his spiritual progress, an individual is born in that particular family.
B. Kula also means the Muladhar chakra, energy or spiritual energy system (kundalini). The kuladevata means that deity with the worship of which the dormant spiritual energy (kundalini) in the Muladhar chakra is activated, that is spiritual progress starts. If one has both a male and a female deity, then one should chant the Name of the female family deity because She is appeased faster due to Her closer link with the pruthvi (absolute earth) element than the male family deity.
C. If one is not aware of the Name of the family deity, then one should repeat (chant) the Name of one’s favourite deity or “Shri Kuldevtayai namaha.” Once that is completed one comes across someone who tells one who the family deity is. Once the chanting of the family deity is completed the Guru Himself comes into a seeker’s life and blesses him with a gurumantra.
D. Worship of the family deity began in the post-Vedic and pre-Puranic period.
E. When all the principles in the universe are imbibed into the subtle body, the spiritual practice is said to be complete. Just as the cow is the only animal which has the ability to attract the frequencies of all the deities in the universe (that is why it is said that there are 33 crores of deities in the cow’s abdomen), so also only repeating (chanting) of the family deity’s Name has the potential to attract all the principles in the universe and increase them all upto 30%. Contrary to this, repeating (chanting) the Names of deities like Vishnu, Shankar, Ganapati, Lakshmi, etc. increases only that particular principle in which one is deficient. This is akin to taking vitamin A, B, etc. as a supplement to reduce the deficiency of that vitamin in the body.
F. The Guru is the mother, the Guru is the father, the Guru is our family deity.
When a prayer so intense is made unto the Guru,
He always protects in every way.
Let the body, speech and mind be offered at the Guru’s feet.
Eknath surrenders to Lord Janardan and considers Lord Janardan as His Guru. – Saint Eknath
G. An example of one who made both worldly and spiritual progress by worshipping his family deity is Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Saint Tukaram Maharaj who attained liberation along with the physical body (sadeha mukti) by intensely worshipping Lord Pandurang, was the family deity of Tukaram Maharaj.
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