Bhagawan has numerous roopams, He has numerous names.
No one roopam or no one name is inferior or superior to another.
Each one of us connect with some roopams or
some names due to various reasons - known and unknown.
But beyond all this, there is something as tradition which we follow.
In that way, kula deivam comes as a tradition - as a protector of a kulam.
Kula vazhakkam – Kudi vazhakkam.
Kulam is defined as something different from Kudi.
Kudi is the root word for Kutumbham (we can quote texts in Tamil).
A kudi vazhi is something that comes in a family for generations.
There is 'kudi vazhakkam' coming down in the family.
But Kula vazhakkam is different from Kudi vazhakkam
A kulam is defined as "koottam" that is not homogenous in all aspects
but is united on some specific trait.
In this way, there is manushya kulam, deva kulam, asura kulam etc.
Vishnu worshipers belong to vaishnava kulam, as Vishnu worship is the unifying thread.
It is with reference to this unifying factor,
we have been given a single form as the form common to all.
That form is Venkatavan's.
Specific forms of God are worshipped as kudi vazhakkam.
The shalagrama worship is transferred from generation to generation as Kudi vazhakkam.
The veettu vazhipaadu is kudi vazhakkam.
However the root of Kudi vazhakkam is always the root of Kula vazhakkam.
As a kulam, all people of a kulam worship one form as the foremost.
If we say Koil, it denotes Srirangam.
If we say PerumaL, He is always the one associated with the chanting of
"Govinda Govinda" –He is the Malaiappan.
Seeing the 'para- vasthu' on Garudan,
Periaazhwar, remembered Venkatavan, his Kuala deivam,
the one worshiped by "enthai, thanthai.."
and who enjoys "ThiruvOna –th- thiru vizhavu".
Aazhwar has thus indicated the Kula deivam for all!
Malayappa swami in Garuda vahana
The Kula dhanam
Dhanam has been identified as four in number.
Sriranga mangala nidhi, the nidhi at Venkatam, at Hasthigiri and at Yadugiri.
The common thread in these four is veLLam (flood waters) and verpu (hill or mountain)
This is further fine-tuned by aazhwars who have seen 3 forms in their vuLLam
(vuLan kandai pasurams)
One is at veLLam, one is at verpu and the other is 'maN aLAndhaan'
These three are glorified, as they remind one of the cosmic forms of Lord!
The first is about his sthithi in milky ocean (veLlAm / Srirangam)
The second is about Koorma avatara (venkatam)
And the third is about Vamana avatara. (maN aLandhaan)
if we look at a river, or waters or floods, we are reminded of milky ocean and
the worlds that are yet to be born
If we look at a hill or mountain, we are reminded of Thirmaal in His original ThirumEni.
The tall mountain reminds us of His tall figure.
The sun and the moon are His charka and shanku.
The blue sky and the dark clouds are Him only.
His dress is bright, made so by the lightening in the hill tops.
We can be near Him only when we reach the clouds and sky in the hill tops.
This is a cosmic form of lord which can be experienced only on the hill top.
The mountain resembles the Manthara parvada
with the serpent around it as was in Koorma avatara. (Nanmugan Thiruvandhathi 49)
The lord at Venkatam with His 'Thiru mangai" and
the Parivar (and nithya sooris) is in the Ultimate form –
reminiscending the world that has just been formed after the churning.
In the avatars after these two only, Bhoodevi is taken out and
specific acts of protection are carried out.
In all these avatars, Bhagawan's imprint is on the world we live.
But the first two as personified at Vellam and Venkatam are
the result of Lord's mercy on us to make Himself accessible to us
in His traits as not felt by the inhabitants of this world!
The four forms of dhanam (nidhi) are worshipped everyday.
But no one knows the origins of two of them.
The one at Srirangam is the kula dhanam of Sri Raman himself.
No one knows its origins.
The one at Venkatam also has no beginnings.
His is the eternal swaroopa of the Nedu-maal.
Specialty of Venkatam as Verpu.
'Verpu' -the mountains - are lofty, can be seen from anywhere.
Such lofty abodes are 3 in number.
Venkatam, Vaikuntham and Maal Irum cholai are His iruppidam
In addition we have Emperumaanaar's manas.
Since they are lofty abodes, we don't have to go to them.
( Appillai urai for "sendru vaNAnguminO SeNuyar Venkatatthai" – Nanmugan T– 42)
From wherever we are, we can see them and worship.
Just look at the direction of verpu.
Look at the sky and clouds and the sun and the moon.
You have had the dharshan of Him.
That is why that 'verpu' of Venkatavan is characterized as 'senni vOngu' –
high in the world by Aazhwar.
In previous births as "pazhavadiyen",
aazhwar would have served the Lord in different divya desas.
But at all those times, Venkatam and Thiruvarangam must have been
at the top of his list.
Thiruvarangam is final destination.
Once one has gone there, it is all over.
It happened with Andal, Azhwars and Emperummanaar!
Raman as Venkatavan.
Raman is another form of Venkatavan (Naan .Thiru 47)
(Peria vaacchaan and Appillai urai) due to the kind of protection He does.
Venkatavan does rakshanam in the forests of Venkatam
where elephants and lions co-exist.
Similarly Raman carried out his rakshanam not in Ayodhya
but in the forests where he protected the rishis.
Malayappa swamy as Rama!
Thirumagai aazhwar who vows not to see any other God than ThirviNNagaraan,
remembers Raman in Him (mattrOr deivam…Peria Thirumzhi -6-3-5)
Periaazhwaar also sees Raman at first in the 'para-vasthu' and
then remembers the ThiruvOnatthaan.
As "Kaakkum deivam" Raman and Venkatavan have been identified as one and the same.
Venkatavan established this to Saint Thyagaraja too.
When Sri Thyagaraja went to Thirumalai,
he could not see the Lord as the 'thirai' was down.
It fell when Thyagaraja sang,
'Thera theeyagadhaa Rama.." (thirai vilagaadha Rama)
He saw Raman in Thiruvenkatavan, not vice cersa!
One can see Venkatavan in Venkatam only!!