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Important Of Subsidiary Deities In Hindu Temple – Parivara Devatas

Parivara Devatas, or subsidiary deities, are an important aspect of a Hindu temple. As per Hindu belief, the chief gods are accompanied by a host of attendant gods known as Parivara Devatas.

Symbolically, Parivara Devatas are a concept based on the extended family system followed in ancient India. Human body may be seen to form the basic layout of the temple. The Hindu temple is a mirror of the cosmos and on a lower a mirror of the Hindu family.

Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva are often described as adoring their respective regions brahmaloka, Vaikuntha and Kailasa. In these regions they are surrounded by a host of gana or attendants.

Lord Shiva is guarded by the sentries Chanda and Prachanda and accompanied by a host of gods such as Nandikeshwara (bull), Bhringi, Veerabhadra (the Shiva Ganas), the seven divine mothers, Lord Vinayaka (himself the Lord of several bhuta ganas) and Kartik (Devasenapathi).

In South India, a Shiva temple has Shivling in the sanctum and the murtis of attendant gods and sixty three Shaivite saints in different places.

Similarly, in a temple of Lord Vishnu, the sentries Jaya and Vijaya stand at the entrance of the sanctum; the insignia of Vishnu, such as Garuda and Sudarshana, represented with anthropomorphic features are near the entrance of the temple.

The images of various avatars of Vishnu along with Ganesha and Hanuman form the general characteristic parivara devatas (attendant gods).

The chief deity in the sanctum is one of the manifold forms of Vishnu, accompanied by goddesses Sridevi (Lakshmi) and Bhudevi (earth), or different forms of Rama and his brothers, Sita and Anjaneya or one of the forms of Krishna, as the case may be.

Surya (sun) is held as the chief among the nine planets, and so his image at the center, surrounded by the images of the other eight planets which are regarded as parivara devatas is found in special enclosures in all Shiva temples.

In the worship of gods in a Hindu home puja room, different sacred murtis represent Shiva, Vishnu, Ganapati, Surya and Goddess Ambika in the panchayatana puja; the murti representing the favorite deity of the votary is placed in the center surrounded by the other stones as subordinate ones.

At the time of festivities in many Hindu temples, the festival icon is taken outside the temple in a procession, accompanied by the festival icons of other attendant gods.