Superstitions related to the system [Devadasi]

Superstitions and blind faith have been a major cause for the continuance of the practice. The ‘Jogin’ system of Andhra Pradesh is based on the belief that evil befalling a family or the village can be kept at bay by dedicating a girl from the family to become a Jogin.




In Karnataka, also there is a traditional belief that whenever there is a natural calamity like a flood or drought or an epidemic or famine, a girl (generally she is of low caste) has to be offered as a devadasi to the local goddess Huligamma. At times, priests convince poor parents that dedicating their daughters would help family members be reborn as high caste Brahmins in their next life. They even allow family members the right to enter temples normally closed off to the lower castes.
Legend in Purana says that the if girls go naked and pray to the devi they get good husbands and married women get all their wishes fulfilled, the childless women get children, and that those shudras women and girls who do not follow these traditions meet with a lot of calamities. Naked dalit women praying to the deity is still in practice.
For making the mangalsutra for a married woman, a bead is taken from the Devadasi’s necklace; it is considered auspicious and a symbol of long-lasting devotion.
Vasant Rajas describes another custom, called "Sidi attu" in town Madakeripura in Karnataka which was in vogue till 1987, when it was banned by the Govt. Here a devadasi is suspended with a hook in her back on one end of a transverse rod placed on a vertical pole planted in ground, and rotated by a rope at the other end. She salutes the gathering, while her garments fly and all the naked lower part of her body is visible to all, for their amusement. This was supposed to bring prosperity to town, and the devadasi used to get a sari, a choli, a coconut and a betel nut, for which she thanked the gathering.

Mayank Rai

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