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Devadasi

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  • I publish your presentation dear Chitra on my blog HARDY'S CORNER (http://hardys-corner.blogspot.com/) Thanks for sharing and congratulations my friend. Good day. Bernard
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Devadasi

  1. 1. DEVADASI<br />
  2. 2. The Devadasi dance tradition which developed through the temple Dancers is an important type among the dance patterns of India. <br />Bharatnatyamin Tamil Nadu, Kuchipudi in Andhra Pradesh, Odissi in Orissa and Mohiniyattam in Kerala <br />took shape in the tradition of Devadasi dance. <br />These dance forms grew and developed a classical status.<br />Click to advance slides…<br />
  3. 3. In the Puranas,(ancient Hindu religious texts)there are references that a custom of dedicating maidens to the deity in temples was prevalent in India from very early times. <br />They later came to be known as 'Devadasis‘ or ‘ <br />Servants of God’. <br />They were in charge of the music and dance aspects of temple rituals. <br />In India the dancing and singing of Devadasis was an integral part of temple worship. <br />
  4. 4. Devadasis were attached to temples in various parts of India, <br />like Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Mysore, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Bengal, Orissa and Kashmir. <br />It was a common custom in all places that maidens under went a symbolic marriage with the deity before she became a Devadasi. <br />In Kerala, it was called 'Penkettu'.<br />
  5. 5. The Saiva section of Hinduism fancied the Devadasi custom more than the others. <br />The 'Shiva Purana' lays down that when Siva temples are built and endowments made for the conduct of the daily rituals, the gift of damsels well versed in dance and song should also be made to the temple. <br />History records the fact when in the 9th century A.D. Raja Raja<br />Cholabuilt the Brahadeesvaratemple in Tanjore he gifted four hundred Devadasis to the temple. <br />
  6. 6. Though in the beginning the Devadasi institution was confined to Siva worship, <br />as times passed other forms of religion also adopted the Devadasi tradition. <br />By about the 1st century B.C, the Devadasi system had found a place in Buddha, Jama and Hindu temples. <br />Various references in ancient literature gives us an idea of the Devadasi tradition and their dance performances. <br />
  7. 7. In Kautilya's (also known as Chanakya) Arthasastra (considered to be written in the 3rd century B.C) <br />there are references to Devadasis and their training in dance. <br />
  8. 8. The original 'Katha-Sarit-Sagara' (the ocean of streams story) written in Paisachi dialect is deemed to have been composed before the birth of Christ. <br />Though the original is lost, its Sanskrit translations are available. <br />In the story entitled 'Alajala', a dancing girl 'Sundari' who performed in temples is mentioned. <br />
  9. 9. The earliest and <br />the greatest <br />Tamil epic poems, ‘Silappathikaram' and 'Manimekhalai' <br />are the main sources <br />of information about <br />the life of the dancers of <br />Tamil Nadu and Kerala of that age <br />and their special <br />styles of dancing.<br />
  10. 10. In the course of time, separate subsects of Devadasis<br />came into being. <br />The duties of Devadasis included dancing as well as cleaning the temples, providing flowers and <br />other items <br />needed for the conduct of the daily propitiations in the temple, cleaning the rice and the articles <br />of offerings to the deity <br />to help the work <br />of the priests. <br />In addition, they were called upon to perform dances in the King's court and serve the palace in general; they came to be known as “Rajadasis”. <br />This variety in their work pattern gave rise to various types with separate distinctive names.<br />
  11. 11. The Devadasis known as 'Basavis' in Karnataka, are of 4 types. <br />Those who danced in temples were considered the most prestigious and they belonged to the highest class. <br />The Maledavaru indicated the section which took part in dance recitals in marriages and other festivals, while the Maleyavaru prepared garlands of flowers etc. for the temple and the Subyavaru were plain prostitutes.<br />
  12. 12.
  13. 13. HistoryTheDevadasi system has a long history, and, <br />like many Hindu practices <br />has evolved into a <br />number of forms. <br />Evidently the first Devadasi were celibate temple dancers, who eventually fell out of favor and <br />some were forced into prostitution.<br />
  14. 14. Ancient and Medieval HistoryOriginally, devadasis were celibate <br />all their life. <br />Reference to dancing girls in temples is found in Kalidasa's "Meghadhoot". <br />It is said that dancing girls were present <br />at the time of worship in the <br />MahakalTemple of Ujjain. <br />Some scholars are of the opinion that probably the custom of dedicating girls to temples became quite common in <br />the 6th century A.D., <br />as most of the Puranas(ancient Hindu religious texts)containing reference to it have been written during this period. <br />Several Puranas recommended that arrangements should be made to enlist the services of singing girls at the time of <br />worship at temples.<br />Photo of Devadasis from<br />The 1920s<br />
  15. 15. There can be no denial of the fact that by the end of 10th century, the total number of <br />devadasisin many temples was in direct proportion to the <br />wealth and prestige <br />of the temple. <br />During the medieval period, <br />they were regarded as a part of the normal establishment of temples; <br />they occupied a rank next only to priests and their number often reached high proportions. <br />For example, <br />there were 400 devadasis attached to the temples at Tanjore and Travancore. <br />
  16. 16. Local kings often invited temple dancers devadasis to dance in their courts, the occurrence of which created a new category of dancers, rajadasi's(servants of kings) and modified the technique and themes of the recitals. <br />A devadasi had to satisfy her own soul while she danced unwatched and offered herself (surrendered) to the lord, but the rajadasi's dance was meant to be an entertainment.<br />
  17. 17. The rise and fall in the status of Devadasis can be seen to be running parallel to the rise and fall of Hindu temples. <br />Invaders from West Asia attained their first victory in India at the beginning of the second millennium A.D. <br />The practice that probably started around 6th century A.D. seems to have reached its pinnacle around 10th and 11th century A.D. <br />The destruction of temples by invaders started from the north-western-borders of the country and spread to the whole of the India. <br />
  18. 18.  Thereafter the status of the temples fell very quickly in North India and slowly in South India. <br />One may possibly say the same about the status of <br />Devadasisin India. <br />As the temples became poorer and lost their patron kings <br />(and in some cases temples were destroyed), <br />the Devadasis were forced into a life of poverty, misery, and, in many cases, prostitution.<br />
  19. 19.
  20. 20. Until the 1930s, the dance form was exclusively the domain of temple dancers, or Devadasis.  <br />Due to the social and political mores at the time, dancing in temples was abolished and the era of Bharatanatyam<br />on the public stage <br />was born.  <br />
  21. 21. DIVINE <br />courtesans or Apsaras who adorned the court of Indra, lord of the firmament, entertained the gods by dancing merrily to the accompaniment of music by Gandharvas. <br />Urvashi, peer among theApsaras is said to have been born on earth as a devadasi and imparted the divine knowledge of dance and music to human beings. <br />Dasis in various postures from south Indian temple wood carvings<br />
  22. 22. The devadasi institution was established all over India. <br />The Chinese pilgrim <br />Hieun Tsang who visited India in the 7th century, <br />testified to the <br />existence of a well established institution of temple dancers. <br />After the advent of <br />Muslim rule, <br />devadasis disappeared <br />from the scene in North India but the practice <br />continued in the South <br />until the beginning of <br />the 20th century.<br />
  23. 23. Dasis in various postures from south Indian temple wood carvings<br />
  24. 24. In their heyday, under the generous patronage of the Pallava, Chola, Pandya and Nayaka Kings, devadasis were honoured with titles and gifts and their names are even mentioned in temple chronicles and inscriptions.They were trained from childhood in the arts of dance and music and were also taught classical literature in <br />Sanskrit, Tamil and Telugu. <br />Devadasis commanded respect in society and were treated as symbols of good luck. <br />The exchange of devadasisbetween the temple and the court was an accepted practice. <br />Though married to the temple deities, some of them gifted with rare beauty and accomplishments became royal courtesans and consorts of kings.<br />
  25. 25. The Courtesan was also a Scholar<br />Devadasis from Andhra dominated the cultural scene in South India. <br />The classic example was the celebrated devadasiMuddupalaniwho adorned the royal court of the <br />NayakaKing of Tanjore, <br />Partapsimha(1739-1763), <br />a great patron and lover of music, literature and the arts. <br />He honoured and rewarded <br />Muddupalaninot only for her accomplishments in performing arts <br />but also for her scholarly achievements as a learned poet being well-versed <br />in Telugu and Sanskrit.<br />
  26. 26. At that time, Tanjore court was one of the few surviving Hindu patrons <br />of the arts in India and therefore attracted the <br />best talents from other parts of the country.<br />Muddupalani’smarvellous erotic epic RadhikaSantwanam (Appeasing Radha),<br />a mid-eighteenth century literary masterpiece and <br />virtual gem of Telugu literature was little known outside Andhra Pradesh. <br />Credit goes to Susie Tharu and K. Lalita for <br />bringing to light this great work through their excellent compilation, <br />Women writing in India-600 B.C. to the Present <br />published in the early nineties. <br />RadhikaSant-wanamconsisting of 584 poems is <br />replete with Shringar Rasa or erotic pleasure and <br />presents the story of <br />Radhaand Krish-na in a new light.<br />
  27. 27. Which other woman of my kind hasfelicitated scholars with gifts of money?To which other woman of my kind haveepics been dedicated?Which other woman of my kind hasWon such acclaim in each of the arts?You are incomparable,Muddupalani among your kind.<br />She adds:A face that glows like the full moon.Skills of conversation, matching the countenance.Eyes filled with compassion,matching the speech.A great spirit of generosity,matching the glance.These are the ornamentsthat adorn Palani, When she is praised by kings.<br />
  28. 28. Dasis in various postures from south Indian temple wood carvings<br />
  29. 29. Dancing Devadasi<br />
  30. 30. Young Devadasis<br />
  31. 31. Dasis in various postures from south Indian temple wood carvings<br />
  32. 32. (Veena music by PunyaSrinivas)<br />Images-Google Search,<br />Text-Google Search.<br />Slideshow Presentation <br />Created <br />By <br />

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