SHRI LAXMI NARAYAN
DR. SHRINIWAS KASHALIKAR
To visit the place named Walaval has been a very pleasant experience. In my early childhood we used to go to Walaval in our neighbor Patankarâ€™s hired; van like private vehicle. The narrow brick red roads sandwiched in the greenery, the small shacks selling hot tea and bhaji, the smell of which percolated in the atmosphere and titillated the olfactory sense, the houses with tiled roofs and lastly the temple of Laxmi-Narayan (also called Dev Narayan) are still very fresh in the memory. The Laxmi Narayan temple is several centuries old. There is a lake by the side. In those days the lake appeared fearsome as I did not now swimming. Moreover there was the belief that at least one or two persons lost their life in that lake! The taste of simple but fresh and hot food served by our distant relatives, who used to perform
daily pooja, also kept on lingering on my tongue for long time. But later I came in touch with Marxist analysis of poverty and misery in the society. Since I had no strong enough argument to counter the Marxist analysis, my beliefs somewhat drifted (in search of truth), from the family deity Dev Narayan, who appeared to be redundant and restricted to the temple and provide no solutions to challenges in personal and social life. But today I am convinced that Marxist analysis; (though definitely more advanced than the indolent, parasitic, helpless and deterministic outlook prevalent in society), has to be culminated quickly into the globally blossoming perspective of Gita.
Thus God is one, but deities are many. Every family has a family deity. The child is introduced to the deity right from the birth. This introduction is immensely important because it keeps reminding the individual about the destination viz. blossoming into comic consciousness! Thus the family deity is a forward step, made easy by parents, towards the realization of truth! At that age, no amount of philosophy can work. In fact it can counterproductive and convert young minds into fanatic fascist robs. It is this introduction, familiarity and actual participation in the activities meted out for individual and social blossoming that constitute some of the valuable aspects of acculturation called SANSKARA.
The family deity conceptually then grows into cosmic consciousness and the individual develops cosmic perspective in the course of time. Now I feel the urgency to share the feeling that family deity is a very important and vital component of the process of individual and global blossoming and emancipation! My family deity lives in the beautiful temple located in the scenic place mentioned above viz. Walaval in Kudal Taluka, Sindhudurga district, Maharashtra state, India. Walaval is near Kudal Vengurla and Savantwadi. I am sure even if Dev Narayan is my family deity, any one who visits the temple, would be reminded and reoriented to the cosmic consciousness in the course of time, besides being rejuvenated by virtue of the especially invigorating ambience!