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In Tulunad, who, when, how and why can attain daivatva/ divinity?

Karavaliya saviradondu daivagalu book

01 May '24
5 min read


In Tulunad, who, when, how and why can attain daivatva/ divinity?

There is no set formula for who attains divinity when, how and why in Tulunad. Generally, those who were born as human beings and had superhuman adventures, became divinity through illusion and were worshiped as gods. Superhuman adventurers like Koti-chennayas, Mudda-kalalas, Enmuru Deyu-Kelatta Perne, Kanada- Katadaras, Babbu-Tanni Maniga are deified and worshipped.

 Daivas bless the unique devotees who have worshiped the gods and disappear them and add them to their company or presence. Akka Arasu, a Jain princess who was her unique devotee, was abducted by the goddess Rakteshwari and taken into her fold. This Jain queen is worshiped as Akkacchu Deity. Similarly, there is a story of how the goddess Berentolu, who was a unique devotee of Babbu Swami , was enchanted by Daiva and added to his retinue. Berentholu, the grandmother of Babbu Swami , is also worshiped as a deity.

Oru baniyetti and Nelluraya 

Lord Bhagwati has taken her unique devotee, a Baniyetti (a woman from the mining community of Malaya) into her presence. 

This woman is deified and worshiped in the name of Oru Baniyetti. 

The Brahmin priest, who was worshiping him with great devotion, was made divine by Panjurli. He is deified and worshiped under the name Panjurli, the priest of God. Ippatajja, Kanalthaya Bhatru Bhuta, Kachche Bhatta, Brana Bhuta etc. got divinity in this way.


Those who have done great deeds and attained divinity

In the same way, many who have done great work to make a place for the Gods are being worshiped as deities. Karinjettaya, Adkattaya, Dei Baidyeti of sujeet , Chennigaraya,,Janu Nayka or Baidya, Dei Baideti of Kamrbhishthan, Achu Bangeti etc. were deified for such a reason.

 A Brahmin woman who used to give village/ home  medicines as a beneficence to the people is being worshiped as her Daiva called as Illathamma 


Those who became divinity due to anger

There are many stories where even those who are angered by the demands of the daivas peculiar gods of Tuluvas)are worshiped as Daivas/deities. Chamundi, a Brahmin who had betrayed the Lord, was banished by the Lord and taken into His laps . He is worshiped as the universal deity.

 A Muslim man named Ali Byarry, who tried to capture the daughter of the owner of the house who had given him shelter with his magical powers, was joined by Rakteswari daiva by drowning him in water. He is deified and worshiped as Ali Bhuta or Ali Chamundi.

In Mangalore’s Urva Chilumbi, an Arab trader molests a Brahmin girl who is a devotee of the  Malaraya daiva 

Then, to protect the honor of his devotee, the Malaraya daiva vanishes the girl. As punishment, the Arab merchant disappears. These two who have disappeared are worshiped as Daivas Arabi bhuta and bramanathi bhuta   association of the same deity. Malaraya daiva 

They will disappear even if they forget what they said

Kanteri Jumadi daiva appears on Devu Poonja who forgets the said ritual and causes disaster. Later Dev Poonja also  worshiped as a sub-deity/ daiva  of Kantheri Jumadi daiva /deity. Apart from forgetting the said harake,  punishment for the Manjanalva who cut and ate the fruit of the jackfruit tree of the daiva jumadi . Kambala baffalo and Narya’s Babbu are deified and worshiped as Erubanta and Urava deities 

A deified Muslim woman, Byardi is worshiped as a Daiva 

As if ritual prohibitions were the unwritten edicts of primitive man, many transgressors have been magically deified. Byardi, a Muslim woman who went beyond the rule that women should not look at Babbarya’s kola was deified as a daiva

The two Brahmin girls who saw Ullakula daiva kola  bent from the left side of a jackfruit tree are being deified and worshiped as Nurgimadimal Durgimadimal.

 A fisher woman who saw the Arasu ( King)daiva kola was then made invisible by the Arasu daiva 

Even when there is no special reason, they fall into the sight of God and are worshiped as Gods in the presence of the respective Gods. Kunhi Bhuta, Byari Bhuta, Mapule Mapulti Bhuta, Mapulti Dhoomavati Brana Bhuta and Mani Bhuta, Daru Kundaya etc. are being worshiped as divinity without reason due to the sight of God and the presence of other gods.

British Subhedara worshiped as Kannada Beera daiva - Dr Lakshmi G prasad ,

Many Kannadigas are worshiped as deities in Tulu Nadu. Bachcha Nayaka Thimmanna Nayaka Baisu Nayaka Kannada Beera Kannada Bhuta, Kannada Yane Lurusha Bhuta and many others are deities of Kannada origin. A British Subhedara also  gets deity for some reason and is worshiped as a deity named Kannada Beera.

© Dr Lakshmi G prasad 

While taking daiva from one place to his house, a policeman dies in the man’s lap due to some reason. He is deified and worshiped as Police Theyam.

 Pilichamundi Deity Maveri Tirtha  / holy bath enjoins all the thieves, policemen, bee sellers, Shanu bhoga ,Senava Patela Gurikara, etc. to join her. All these are worshiped as consorts or retinue deities of Pilichamundi.

Stories are prevalent in many places where those who have disappeared due to the grace or demand of the gods join the presence of the respective Daivas s and are worshiped as Daivas. 

What was he here before becoming a divinity? Good or bad doesn’t matter. These are the powers that protects us after becoming Daivas. 

All Daivas have equal respect and devotional worship. This is typical of Tulu culture. People of all castes and creeds are worshiped here as deities. Also, people of all castes and creeds here believe and worship Daivas. There is a harmony of caste votes in the deity worship here. So it is a great form of worship that is a model for the world.

Article: Dr. Lakshmi G Prasad,

Author KARAVALIYA SAAVIRADONDU DAIVAGALU   Tulu Researcher, Kannada Lecturer Government PU College Batarayanapur, Bangalore Mobile 9480516684 

Category : Spirituality


Written by Dr Lakshmi G Prasad