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Nunmai Pathippagam

Devadasis Of South Indian

Devadasis Of South Indian

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This book is written with the ambitious wish to be used for reference as well as readable for the lay readers who are interested in knowing about the wretched females called as Devadasi. It tries to make an attempt to cover the whole subject with particular reference to South India. Is there a need for a book about the dévadäsi system that has been done away with at least two centuries ago. I think yes, there is a need. With the kind of active revivalism that is now sweeping Indian subcontinent it is better to know the blunders of the past so that we may avoid them in the future.“Devadasi means a woman who performed the service for some deity in a temple. They were unmarried temple servants who had been dedicated to temple deities as young girls through rites resembling Hindu marriage ceremonies. Devadasi (Skt. devadasi, Ta. tevataci, lit. ‘slave of god), the term is to be a sanskritized form of the Tamil term tevaratiyal which means a woman who enslaved for the service of some specific deity or sacred object. The word is the feminine form of deva- dasa, a man who is enslaved for the service of a deity but is not much in use in the common parlance. Devadasis were a common feature in almost all the major Brahmanical temples. The devadasi or the temple women was one, who was a dancer and one who is associated with temple, either by having some kind of regular service function in a temple or because her primary social identity is defined with reference to a temple. Many times, these girls also provided sexual services to their clients.”“ The prostitutes of the Sangam age may be whores but were independent . They were free to choose or decline their customer/s .More important they were not bound to any god or any place of worship. She can accept or refuse a customer as long as she has the youth ,agility and beauty o attract another one. . But as the body withers with age.what happens to her is not told in many verses of the sangam poetry. She could spend her old age by doing some menial work in the house of the other prostitutes who usually are related. Though there is no hard evidence to prove that prostitutes belonged to a single caste , it is very likely. And usually dies a death , unsung and unwept.”“The first real evidence of the dancing girls is found in the Pallava inscriptions of Nandhiverman. But at time they were called as the dancers only koothi கூத்திThere was no indication of being a slave to the god. Thasi or DEVADASI. The system of being a slave to the god came much later.. The spiritual idea is that the dancing woman being a sort of the property of the God and, hence, can be a public property of the man took some time to evolve. Once it evolved, it had a vice like grip on the community. The devadasi community had to wait for many centuries to get out of the slavery imposed on them by the society.The Kalappirar came to power somewhere between the end of the Sangam age and the Pallava dynasty. Their origin and nature of the the Kalappirar community is deeply buried in the mystery. All that one can say is that they are not as patronizing to the Brahmin community as the earlier and the later kings.. So, one cannot expect any details from the history which was and still is written by the Brahmin community intellectuals.But it can be said without any doubt that the devadasi system got organized as an institution, if not as a trade during the subsequent rule of the latter cholas or the imperial cholas. Though Lesley Orr could deny that there was any unusual temple building activity during the reign of the latter cholas, based on study of inscriptions, it is generally believed that the cholas are a great temple building dynasty.Any dynasty that could be a temple like the Big Temple of Thanjavur cannot be simply dismissed as just another dynasty.

 The author of the book Durai Ilamurugu is a freelance author of books both in English and Tamil. He was born in the city of Tiruchirapalli, Tamilnadu ,India of well- educated parents . He did his professional course both undergraduate and post graduate course in Health and sanitation and is practicing both as his profession. Seeking the truth from the facts brought him to book writing as a freelancer.

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