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Avarana Devatas In Hindu Temple

The concept of Avarana Devatas in Hindu temples is deeply rooted in the rich tradition and symbolism associated with the worship of various deities. The garbhagriha, or sanctum sanctorum, forms the core of the temple and is surrounded by a series of enclosures known as avaranas. These avaranas not only provide space for devotees to perform pradakshina (circumambulation) around the main deity but also serve as dedicated spaces for the worship of subsidiary deities known as avarana devatas or parivara devatas.

In Vishnu temples, the Vaikhanasa Agama outlines a comprehensive list of 135 parivara devatas distributed across seven avaranas. These deities are considered attendants or part of the retinue of the main deity, Vishnu. Examples of such avarana devatas include Brahma, Aniruddha, Trivikrama, Varuna, Shukra, Brihaspati, and Subhadra, among others. Each of these deities holds a specific significance and is venerated as an integral part of the divine assembly.

Similarly, in Shiva temples, the avarana devatas may include Devi, Chandeshwara, and Brahma. These deities are believed to complement and surround the primary manifestation of Shiva in the sanctum sanctorum. The presence of these avarana devatas enhances the overall spiritual ambiance of the temple, reflecting the interconnectedness of various divine forces in Hindu cosmology.

In Devi temples, where the central deity is a form of the Divine Feminine, it is common to find avarana devatas such as Shiva, Vishnu, and Ganapati. Additionally, Kartikeya or Subrahmanya, the son of Shiva and Parvati, may also be present. This inclusion symbolizes the harmonious coexistence of various deities within the sacred precincts, emphasizing the unity of the divine energies.

The worship and rituals associated with avarana devatas vary based on regional traditions, temple practices, and specific sects within Hinduism. Devotees often offer prayers and perform rituals not only to the main deity in the garbhagriha but also to the avarana devatas, seeking their blessings and divine grace. The arrangement of avaranas and the selection of avarana devatas contribute to the overall spiritual experience within the temple, fostering a sense of completeness and interconnectedness in the worship of the divine.