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Secrets of Bhootaraadhana in Karavali | #daiva #coastalindia #kaantara

'Bhootaradhana' is getting discussed a lot, especially after the success of the move Kanthaara. Bhootaradhana isn't a new practice in Sanatana Dharma. It's been an inherent ritual since time immemorial. In every temple, you have 'Deva' and 'Daiva'. Deva is the main deity, and Daiva is the supportive deity for Deva. Normally, it will be another avatar of Deva. Ex. In certain Shiva temples, you have Kaala Bhairava or Chandikeshwara. In Parvati Amma temple, you have Kaali or Kaala-Bharavi.

In some temples, Daiva will be the deity protecting the temple land or place; in common language, such a deity is called Gramadevi or Devi, protecting the village. Ex.: Manchalamma at Mantralaya. Manchalamma is the avatar of Maa Durga.

Daiva is different in Karavali, or the coastal region of India. Sage Parashurama, an avatar of Vishnu, is the primary deity protecting the Karavali region of India. That's why these regions are called Parashurama Kshetra. The coastal regions of India are very holy, apart from Himachal. All three Vedacharyas— Shankara, Ramanuja, and Madhwa, come from the coastal regions of India.

Daivas in Karavali represent the kshetrapalas, or deities, of the respective regions in coastal India. Daivas, or Bhootas, are divine paranormal creatures created by Lord Chaturmukha Brahma through Shiva. That's why Lord Shiva has the name Bhootanatha. As soon as they were created, they started destroying everything. So Shiva banished them and sent them to earth to serve as Khsethrapalas, or protectors of regions. They are called 'Bhootas', "Daivas', or Demi-Gods. Kshetrapala Daivas protects the region from natural calamities and evil forces. All these Daivas, or Bhootas, serve Lord Shiva. There are different Daivas here, as per the geographical location of the village or grama.


A boar spirit that is worshipped to ward off the menace of wild boars in order to protect the crops. According to Tulu mythology, a wild boar died in Lord Shiva's celestial garden. The boar's offspring were adopted by Goddess Parvati. The young boar became destructive as he grew older and began destroying the plants and trees in Lord Shiva's Garden. Lord Shiva became upset by this and decided to kill him. Goddess Parvati, however, defended the boar and asked her husband to pardon him. So instead of killing him, Lord Shiva banished the boar to Earth as his gana (flock of servants), tasked him with protecting the people of Earth, and assured him that he would be revered by the people as a protector god. This particular boar became a Bhoota (divine spirit) known as Panjurli. Panjurli Daiva of Tulu Nadu has the presence of both Shiva and Varaha avatars of Vishnu. 

As the devotional song goes -

"Varaaha Rooppam Daiva Varishtam .... Shiva sambhoota Bhuvi sanjaatha.

Panjurli Daiva is also one of the earliest daivas who is worshipped all over Tulunad; his earliest worship dates back to 700 BCE–800 BCE, along with Bermer Daiva (Brahma). The idea behind the worship of Panjurli is that wild boars destroyed crops, and thus, farmers started worshipping a boar king who was known as Panjurli, and in return, they believed that Panjurli protected the crops.

There are many affiliated demi-gods or Bhootas with Panjurli, the prominent ones being Guliga Panjurli, Kallurti Panjurli, Annappa Panjurli, Bobbaraya Panjurli, and so on. Panjurli is a collective entity that has the presence of Lord Shiva and Varaha, apart from other Daivas like Guliga, Annappa, and so on. In this collective entity, the daiva nartaka, or the person who participates in Kola or Daiva-Aradhana, with the presence of all the deities of Panjurli, after his servie, will become a part of this collective entity or deity called 'Panjurli'. This can be witnessed in Kanthaara, where Shiva's father (Rishab Shetty's father) vanishes inside the deep jungle. 

Bhootaradhana is not just limited to the coastal region (karavali) of Karnataka; it's evident in the coastal regions of Kerala and Tamil Nadu as well. In previous centuries, Bhootaradhana was evident in all parts of coastal India. Unfortunately, with time, these rituals faded away. People should conserve the ancient rituals of their regions and places. Not worshipping regional deities will have disastrous impacts on the regions, like floods, droughts, and so on. 

All this information is given in Agama shastras. Agama Shastras gives a detailed information about temples, their building architecture, and Vastu Shastras. Agama Shastras have information about Bhootas or Kshetrapaalas, or protectors of nature, in various parts of the world. Agamas are also known as Vedas.

In our coming articles, we will be learning about Bhootaraja, or the King of Bhootas, or Patrataapa Rudra, to whom all the Bhootas or Daivas report. 

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