Periyatambiran | Grama Devata in Sri Lanka



Periyatambiran was a 9th century king who has later become a demigod, and he was still worshipped by some villagers in the eastern part of Sri Lanka, as their Kula Deva. He is mostly worshipped by the Washermen community of people, who are also known as Vannars. There is also a famous Temple dedicated for him, and it is known as Sri PeriyaThambiran Kovil, which is located in Sri Lanka.

Periyathambiran, who, was once a popular king was also a great warrior and archer. Once, while waging a war with an enemy king, Periyathambiran fought boldly with him, but, however he was defeated, and hence, he fled away from the battle field and escaped into a forest. Then in course of time, after getting friendship with the tribal people in the forest, with their help, he once again waged a war with his enemy king, defeated him, and restored his kingdom at Srilanka.

Periyathambiran is also known as Periyathambiran Swamigal, after ruling it for a long time, had crowned his son as the king for his kingdom, and then he resided at a cave in a mountain, meditated on Lord Vishnu, and as per the wishes of Lord Vishnu, he has become a popular village deity in Srilanka, and still he is worshipped by most of the Sri Lankan Tamil people by considering him as an aspect of Lord Vishnu. The image of the deity present in the Periyathambiran Temple looks exactly similar to Lord Vishnu, and even some of the foreigners who visit Srilanka worship him at his temple.

There are lot of temples dedicated for the village gods and goddesses, and those deities contain the powers equivalent to the major gods like Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Some of the kings who had attained a heroic death during the times of battles have also attained the status of “VILLAGE GODS”, while some of the chaste women, who have lost their lives, by committing suicides, due to the cruelty of their in laws, have become “VILLAGE GODDESSES”, and they are also worshipped as the popular goddesses in some villages of South India.

Hence, let us worship the village deities as our beloved deities, and let us be blessed.


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