Indus valley - Mohenjo-Daro - 06 The Dancing girl or Deva-dasi
Type of Spiritual Experience
A bronze statuette dubbed the "Dancing Girl", 10.5 centimetres (4.1 in) high and about 4,500 years old, was found in 'HR area' of Mohenjo-daro in 1926. In 1973, British archaeologist Sir Mortimer Wheeler described the item as his favorite statuette:
"She's about fifteen years old I should think, not more, but she stands there with bangles all the way up her arm and nothing else on. A girl perfectly, for the moment, perfectly confident of herself and the world. There's nothing like her, I think, in the world."
What a very canny man Sir Mortimer Wheeler was. In Shaivism, the High Priestesses were called the Deva-dasi and were very well educated, poets, musicians and dancers.
The archaeologist Gregory Possehl said of the statuette, "We may not be certain that she was a dancer, but she was good at what she did and she knew it".
A description of the experience
Alain Danielou – While the Gods Play
…[the high priestess] is removed from the family, to become part of a new social grouping called the "servants of the gods" (deva-dasi'[s]), whose task it is to perform the arts of love, music, and dance. These servants of the gods have an essential part to play in the transmission of part of the cultural heritage.
This role of women allows … those who have devoted themselves to study and spiritual concerns to maintain their balance without taking on the social obligations and limitations that are part and parcel of marriage. The woman who devotes herself to the arts, to pleasure, or to a spiritual quest finds herself in a similar position to the servant of the gods: her work is incompatible with the reproductive function and therefore with marriage itself. …. the paths of love are no obstacle to intellectual or spiritual achievement.
Once the great temples housed many of these women, who devoted themselves to dance, music, and the erotic arts, in connection with mystical experience. Even today, the greatest singers, musicians, and dancers belong to this much-honoured group, now considerably reduced in numbers by Anglo-Saxon prudishness: the very institution of Deva-dasi was prohibited as immoral, to the very great detriment of the arts. It is not only in India that the theatrical and dancing professions were closely connected to that of the courtesan.
The source of the experienceShaivism
Concepts, symbols and science items
ConceptsStaring and bulging eyes
Science ItemsStaring and bulging eyes
Activities and commonsteps
More High Priestesses from the Indus valley