Historical facts of Devathasees
Devathasees are known as the devotees of God and Temples to serve god solely. They were greatly respected from the 6th century, at that time religious aspects are highlighted and devotional thoughts, believes are uprooted.
When the time passes Devathasees tradition, culture, respects on them also faded. Devathasees were not given enough recognition and secure. So they became more disrespectful and considered to be lower society.
These Devathasees were enriched Tamil culture and fine arts during their lifetime. They sacrificed themselves for god and temple related customs. They are mostly considered as the devotees of god and religious customs. They were given to the god as gifts.
In early days if a girl wish to be a Devathasee she will undergo some rituals and customs to get her recognition of promoting as Devathasee.
Rituals as follow:
- Ritual based Marriage
- Holy ceremony of recognition
- Initiating on various Fine Arts
- Maiden stage performance
- Prestige of bearing funeral rituals
Most of the monuments from 900 A.C were remarkably addressed Deva Adiyaarkal (Devotees of God) had been entitled with temple rituals as well as dance and musical composers and performers.
Between 1230 A.C – 1240 A.C the King Ragavashariya of nowadays known as Maharastira was made a note about Devathasees is believed to be the beginning of Devathasees culture.
‘Mehathooth’ literary creation of Kalithas was enlightened the Devar (God) Adiyaarkal (Servers) in Mehathooth. The entire word of Devathasee means that she is the person who serves only for god. Priests and Devathasees were given respect and treated with higher values. We come to know from historical evidences that Devathasees are kept next to Priests and given more respect in the society.
Devathasees are not known as Fine Arts promoters but also given rural services as tunnel construction and lived a grateful life. There was a water reserving tank in ‘Vinnamankalam’ has been renovated every year for rural services by Devathasees. There were two Devathasees Naatpaththu Ennayiram Pillai and his sister Mangaiyarkarasi were given their wealth and full stand of support to rebuild the drown lands by a lake.
They were also given their hands to fill up the ‘Thirunthikai’ lake and built the tunnel to recover the abandoned lands.
Devathasees are remarkably considered as blessed people and their social status changed after the Englishmen capturing the country. Devathasees were misused and led down to lower status values.
Devathasees were valued and secured by most of kings and Emperors. But some misused them as sexual slaves. When the caste system was penetrated in the society Devathasees were thrown into lower caste and they were called as prostitutes. At present Devathasees purity and culture have faded and they become sexual objects.