DEVDASIS Topics in Hinduism

1 points | Post submitted by suyash95 39 days ago | 1 comments | viewed 46 times

Some Notess

  • suyash95 39 days ago | +0 points



    Devadasis of ancient India were not sex-slaves. They were married to the God and therefore nitya-sumangalis - blessed with never experiencing widowhood. They were primarily dancing girls attached to the great temples of South India.

    • They had allocated quarters within the compounds of the great Temples and were paid a stipend and given gifts of clothes and Jewellery on special occasions.

    • They were revered and respected members of society whose blessings everyone desired at every auspicious occasion.

    • They were highly educated - among the few women in society who could read and write.

    • Were well versed in the Natya Shastras (Dancing treatises) and epics - Mahabharata and Ramayana.

    • Were highly skilled singers, dancers, musicians and entertainers - and any children they had were raised as dancers and musicians.

    • They had important functions to perform during the daily temple services and during the processions and temple festivals.

    • Were sexually free and independent and could choose “patrons” if they so desired but were under no compulsion to do so.

    Unknown facts about Devadasis Photos




    CLAIM -

    The Devadasi system ended up to be sexual slavery.

    The derogatory Tamil word “Thevadiyal “ now used to abuse People, has its roots in Deva dasi

    Deva Dasi - in Tamil is Thevar Adiyal

    It became Thevadiya - which means prostitute.

    So any one who was a Devadasi was considered a prostitute.

    Leaving girls in temples to be Dasis of God is the worst thing ever to happen to girls in those days

    I wish people don’t go about defending this horrid system. The original premise of the system is dumb and what the system ended up to be is horrific.



    You are doing presentism - projecting modern values onto ancient systems.

    You obviously have no idea about the Devadasis and what they themselves thought about themselves or what the Shastras say about them.

    Please read up on the subject from their point of view and don’t project 21st century feminism onto a thousands year old tradition. Wives of the God-King


    CLAIM - 

    I am not projecting modern values on Ancient system .

    I am just saying how the system ended up to be very Discriminatory in nature.


    RESPONSE - So in your feminist view - would it have been preferable for the girls instead of becoming nitya-sumangalis and live a privileged life in the temple, dancing and singing to be married off at 12 have 10 children perhaps die in childbirth, lose at least half her offspring before the 1st year of life, and slave on the family farm and die at the age of 40 - illiterate, poor and exhausted?


    CLAIM -

     I am glad my Grandma wasn’t gifted to temple to be abused by random men, she didn’t have the privileged life of dancing, singing and satisfying the lust of random men.

    She led a more average life raising her children.

    Devadasis bore children(fatherless) too, So didn’t they have the risk of dying during childbirth ?



    She was born 1000 years ago ?

    How do you know that Devadasis were abused by random men? Do you have some documented records?

    If not for the Devadasis would we have Bharata Natyam, Kuchipudi, Odishi dance today? Or do you think these art forms too are a form of female oppression and exploitation for the perverse pleasure of men? And that women from the beginning 2000 years ago should have all had careers and professions like engineering, medicine, finance, legal etc?

    The Devadasis were privileged women with their own finances - they could have paid for higher care than the village women.


    CLAIM - 

    If Devadasis weren’t abused, could you please tell us why the word “Thevadiyal “ is synonymous with prostitutes and is considered a derogatory word ?

    What I am saying is : they may have had high social status in the past, the system became degraded.



    Common Tamil words used by the common people is not indicative of anything other than their personal base attitudes. If you want to make accusations of abuse then you will need to prove it through documentation.

    Ramanujacharya had a prostitute as one of his disciples and she was an extremely wealthy woman. A wealthy prostitute donate a mango grove to the Buddha and the sangha. .Thondaradipodi Alvar fell in love with another extremely wealthy prostitute. These are documented cases of examples of public women and their high status and wealth in society. Not to even speak of the status of the Devadasis.

    As a Tamilian with a passion for history do you know the history of Bharata Natyam? Did you know one of the great revivalists of the Dance Form in the 1900’s was Balasaraswati a scion of the matrilineal Devadasi clan? Did she claim that her ancestors we debased and abused by random men?

    Why as a feminist do you (like a Christian Victorian Englishwoman) immediately link “Devadasi” with “prostitution” and not the most noble and ancient Tamilian dance Bharatanatyam. Why the negativity bias I know you hate all religions but do you also despise the culture that is linked to that religion as well? Do you hate Bharata Natyam because it is part of Hindu Tamil temple culture?


    The Dance is the art of the Devadasis who passed it down for millennia - instead of denouncing them like a victorian feminist you should be grateful to them and expressing your admiration for their talent. It was not done “at their expense” - they were not forced into it and there were no sickular dances at the time. The British banned temple dancing and the art was being lost until ex-devadasis like Balasaraswati and others took up the challenge to preserve it.

    To suggest they were common prostitutes is shameful for an educated Tamilan.

    The fact is that EVERY system no matter how elevated in theory is liable to be corrupted by human beings - that is the human nature.

     in Japan - the Devadasis were the equivalent of the Geisha but attached to the temples.


    CLAIM -I still don’t understand why people would leave small girls in temples and get them married to Gods. Don’t they know that there are chances that someone would eventually abuse the girls ?

    RESPONSE -You obviously did not know about what the Shastras says.

    Even today there's a chance of a doctor molesting a patient in her state of weakness. Does it mean doctors are bad?

    See. You are missing one point. Before something was even written in the books (scriptures), it was a vibrant living experience. Naturally when something gets into the books and then gets propagated, it becomes as ugly as religious conversion.



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