Hinduism and the Devadasi: Religious Sanction for Prostitution and Pedophilia

This post aims to enlighten people about the concept of the Devadasi and how it has been twisted around its head to justify pedophilia and prostitution.

If you are blindly religious or just weak hearted do not read any further.

Devadasi concept (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devadasi for details) goes back to 9th century BC. It is described as:

The term Devadasi originally described a Hindu religious practice in which girls were “married” to a deity. In addition to taking care of the temple, they learned and practiced Bharatanatyam and other classical Indian arts traditions, and enjoyed a high social status.

This practice has been corrupted over the ages. The initiation process and so called coming-of-age rites for girls are used by the temple priests to have sex with 12-13 year old girls. All this is done willingly, under the cover of ‘religion’.

This practice is still carried out in parts of Northern Karnataka and Andra Pradesh.

I did not want this post to be a one-dimensional attack on this practice. The basic fact is if you want to go and dedicate your life to God then it is your choice. The key word here is choice. Can a 12-13 year old girl choose this? Or is it just something that she is forced to do?

I don’t think a child of that age can understand the implications of what takes place. This practice can be carried out once the girl becomes an adult if she wants to go ahead with it. But no way should innocent kids be pushed into this.

This for one warns us about how religious practices, when carried out blindly, harm society and damage Hinduism! 


  1. Vibha says:

    The fact is that religion itself can be misleading sometimes. Devdasi was a widespread practice in old times. The priests in that age were meant to set examples of good practices. I wonder what message the society received from it.

    What makes me feel even worst is that it is still practiced in some villages in India and such women often turn or sold to brothels to make their living.

    Thirdly and most importantly, be it Hinduism or Islam all religions have some issues. WE should concentrate on our respective religions and initiate appropriate amendments instead of ridiculing one another’s religion.


  2. om shanker says:

    Mr. Azhar,
    you have indeed an eye of a fish so i will not blame of you for your stupidity and narrow intelligence.
    My point is Devdasi system was invented by priests and not the hindu religion, as muslims project that mohamad who distributed the jewish women who were taken captives after killing male members of their family, among his followers and married several of these girls on compassionate basis hindus can too claim that devdasi system was developed to take care of widows!
    devdasi system was a social problem like sati pratha and nowhere in any hindu text it is written that devdasi aur sati pratha are essential in hindu religion.
    hinduism being a progressive religion has continuously made efforts to eradicate such social problems from society so learn first before you vomit your absurd mind.


  3. admin says:

    Hello my dear friend (Om Shanker Ji),
    Thank you for your comment. But I really doubt you have read the post or maybe you did not understand the difference between Religion and Religious Practices?
    Whatever the case there are couple of facts I would like to bring to your attention:

    1) My name is ‘Dr Azahar Machwe’ not ‘Mr Azhar’, furthermore
    – I am a Hindu
    – I am a Deshastha Brahmin having Bhargav gautra, from Madhya Pradesh

    2) After seeing ‘Maya’ the movie I was very angry, as I happen to believe, like you that ‘Hinduism is a progressive religion’. This post was to separate out the fact that peoples belief can be misused for wrong things. I felt just as angry at those priests who did such things and who misused it.

    3) If you had bothered to ‘read’ the post you would have read the following towards the bottom of the post:
    “This for one warns us about how religious practices, when carried out blindly, harm society and damage Hinduism!”

    4) I am talking about ‘religious practices’ in Hinduism. Not the religion itself. Being a devout Hindu myself (like you I guess) I believe you cannot put the religion separate from the people who practice it (that is you and me). Religion evolves with practice and people are the ones who decide where it is going, as god is not coming down every day to guide us on what we are doing right or wrong. That is one of the reasons Islam is in the state it is today. Things that Muslims did reflect on the religion they ‘practice’.

    Hope this clears out any confusions you had.



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