Friday, April 24, 2009

Our Family Deity.

Our family deity is Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy of Nampally Gutta. The temple is situated on a hill at Nampally village near Vemulawada in Karimnagar district. The temple is 145 Kms. from our residence at Paradise in Secunderabad. Sri Narasimha Swamy is an Avatar of Sri Vishnu and one of Hinduism's popular deities. He is in the form of half-man and half-lion. He has a human like torso and a lower body but with a lion-like face and claws. He is known as a great protector of his devotees. The purpose of his Avatar was to kill his devotee Prahalada's father Hiranyakashipu who was torturing his son for praying Vishnu. Hiranyakashipu had a boon that he cannot be killed by any God, man, animal, during day time or night, indoors or outdoors. Hence the Avatar of Sri Narasimha, half-man & half-lion. Hiranyakashipu is killed during twilight on the threshold of his house by placing him over his lap. Since the time of my forefathers, all their descendants, wherever they are, have prayed and continue to pray Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy of Nampally as their Ilavelpu/Kuladevatha and Ishta-daivam.
We sincerely pray at many temples of all Gods and Goddesses in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad on regular basis. We go on frequent pilgrimages to Yadagirigutta, Nacharam, Chilkur, Vargal, Mangalpalli, Warangal, Vemulawada and other nearby temples. We also visit Tirupati almost every year.  We have visited almost all other important temples in Andhra Pradesh more than once that is Bhadrachalam, Annavaram, Srisailam, Basara, Kalahasti, Kanipakam, Vijayawada, Mangalagiri, Kotappa konda, Simhachalam and many more temples in the State. We have also gone on pilgrimage to temples in other States like Madurai, Srirangam, Tanjore, Kanyakumari, Kancheepuram, Chidambaram, Thiruvananthapuram, Udipi, Kolkata, Varanasi, Badrinath, Puttaparthi, Shirdi etc. And also many other temples in places we have visited on holidays or for business. My youngest son Srinath who is in Birmingham visits the Tividale temple every week. All these temples in above places are of every known Hindu God and Goddess. We pray at all these places and fulfill our vows for receiving divine blessings.
However for some auspicious occasions we also have to compulsorily go to the shrine of our family deity and pray. This is a custom we learnt from our parents and they from their ancestors. In the good old days of our forefathers they travelled for miles and days by bullock-carts to reach Nampally and comply this tradition. We are very comfortable with personal transport these days but unfortunately we find it difficult to upkeep this tradition. Our visits to Nampally shrine are less frequent now; but compulsorily for the Kesha-kandana/Puttu-Ventrukalu/First haircut Ceremony of all male children in the family. The first five-locks of hair are cut by the child’s maternal uncle and then the head tonsured by a barber in the temple premises. A few locks of hair are placed in the temple Hundi. Our visits to the family deity have certainly reduced but Nampally Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy is always in our thoughts and prayers.

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