The soft music from a temple, made me explore and find today a temple that I had never seen before. A quiet and calm place, I decided to sit a while, looking at the inner sanctum. I suddenly saw the temple Pujari bring a bucket of water and splash it on the deity. The very act made me cringe. Worship comes only with love and love always begets gentleness.
Strangely I was reminded of the Devdasis a much maligned community of dancers, who devoted their lives to the lord. In the attempt to improve their lot much has been mis-interpreted about them. Fore-bearers of many Indian classical dance forms including the Bharatnatyam. They were highly regarded in the ancient days( much before the middle men got into it and made it a trade, that gave it the name of prostitution). Classical singers like ms subbulakshmi traced their roots to the Devdasi tradition.
As a part of the tradition of Tantric worship in ancient Assam, the practice was to be found there too, alive till very recently in little pockets here and there. Though not allowed to enter the inner sanctum, most of these women were seen having that immense grace that comes from the love of the lord.
As I stood there and watched the priest, who seemed to so callously throw water at the lord he worshipped day after day, I couldn’t help but think that the Devdasi in spite of her ill reputation did a far more commendable of loving the lord, and in that perhaps her worship was far more true!
( Image courtesy Google)