Information about Devdasi Custom: Devdasi was an ancient religious custom of Hinduism. In which, girls were dedicated or married to a deity or Dev. They took care of the temple and performed rituals. These women learned and practiced classical music, dance, and other Indian artistic traditions. They enjoyed a high social status. But, in medieval era, this tradition became corrupted.A Devdasi no longer remained Dasi of Dev (or love of God) instead; she became prostitute of the hungry society.She had to entertain the sexual hunger of priests, king and some powerful men of society.
Dasi:- Literally means maid-servant. But often a lover or a devotee preferred addressing herself the dasi to her beloved or Lord.
Devi:- Goddess, also used to address ladies with respect.
Lord Murlimanohar:- another name of Lord Krishna
Sri Radha:- Lover of Sri Krishna. She is always worshiped with Him.
Holi:- A festival of color; it takes place during Spring.
Krishnaa:- Nick name of Krishnapriya
Kaka:- literally means uncle, but often used to address an elder man with respect.
Ekvastra:- One single cloth
Sindoor:- Vermillion powder . Married women put it in between their parted hair. A Devdasi used to wear it, as she was considered to be married to the God.
Sanyas:- 4th stage of life as per Veda. During this phase,a person leads the simplest life till his/her death.
It was a starry night in the kingdom of Rajatpura. But those shiny stars barely mattered to any Devdasi of Murlimanohar temple. Their lives only knew darkness. A star of hope was luxury for them. They did not live. the slaves of the society only survived. Still some souls believed in life and thus wanted to live it with their love!
Kanaklaxmi, the Pradhana Devdasi of the Murlimanohar temple was dressing in her chamber for the night prayer. Little Krishnapriya was playing with her dolls.
"Mai, look my doll is getting married!"
Though the girl of eight is not exactly Kanklaxmi's daughter, but she was fond of this orphan child since the day she met her.
"Oh that's a great news!" Kanaklaxmi smiled, "So with whom your doll is getting married?" Playfully she queried.
"Purohit ji told me he will find a perfect groom for her!"
By the mention of Purohit ji the chief Devdasi froze, " That corrupted priest is eyeing this girl from now itself!" she closed her eyes in fear and then hugged the little girl like a mother and her mind trailed back to a memory. She remembered the day when she became the Pradhan Devdasi of this temple, or rather dasi to the demons of this society.
A crowd of people was waiting eagerly to watch the final dance of the Lady who would become the Devdasi of the Holy Murlimanohar Temple. They came to greet her and thus have a holy glance of her ‘Ekvastra’ dance. As per the custom, the chosen Devdasi had to sing and dance wearing one single long cloth or sari. Though she will be in Ekvastra, she can't reveal. The dance art was like that. It will express her beauty, but would not disclose any bare skin of her curves.
Watching a Devdasi ceremony was considered sacred. After the ceremony, the lady will enter the main temple where the Pradhan Purohit will accomplish her marriage to Lord Murlimanohar. Following this, the door of the temple will be closed, with only the head priest and the Devdasi inside.
It was done to complete the last ritual i.e. offering the Devdasi to her Dev or God. However, it was not hidden, that the Dev (or the demon) was none other than the corrupted head priest.
After undressing or rather disrobing her the head priest gives her cloth to a blind man, through the back door of the temple. The blind man then puts a few pieces of the Ekvastra like a flag at the peak of the temple. The flag was considered to be the holiest and that was the only prize of the chief Devdasi. People used to bow to it with respect. The other Devdasi, who didn't get the chance becoming "Pradhan" were devoid of even that single pleasure. No one was unaware what happens with a Devdasi inside the temple and the flag, to which they bend their heads, is just a sin of a tainted priest! Yet people considered it an object of respect. The darkness of their minds were darker than night. The head priest was equal to the God of the society. None dared to question his activities.
Kanaklaxmi still remembers the day when the old Purohit closed the door of the temple with her, or rather closed all the doors of her life. When he disrobed her in the sanctum sanctorum and claimed her body, his round bald face hid the celestial face of the Lord. While crying in pain, she somehow noticed the melancholy smile of Sri Radha. Before she tried to wonder why Sri Radha looked so sad while keeping her head at her Krishna’s chest, Kanaklaxmi lost her senses. It was the first time she has been offered to a Dev. After that, she lost counts how many times she has been offered to a Dev or rather the Demons.
"No!" Kanaklaxmi nearly screamed as she recollected those nightmares. "I have to protect Krishnapriya, I can't let her become a Devdasi like me!"
But how! How would she protect her! She had seen the Head Priest spending hours while playing with this beautiful little girl. Though, that old hag never had any interest in it. His greedy eyes did not miss that little Krishnapriya would be a jewel one day. Her beauty is the blessing of the God.
"Listen to me Krishnaa!" Kanaklaxmi cupped the little girl's face with anxiousness, "You don't have to disturb the Purohit ji for your doll's groom, I will find a perfect groom for your doll!"
The little girl smiled, "Okay Mai, will you find a groom for me as well?"
To this query, the Chief Devdasi had no answer, so she chose to remain silent.
"Mai, wouldn't you find a groom for me! Purohit ji says I am a Devdasi I can't have a husband!" The little girl's face fell.
Kanaklaxmi's heartbeat rose with worry, she took the girl on her lap and said to her something, to which she was half aware of. How would she know then that her statements will change the history of this temple one day!
"You are Dasi of your only Dev lord Krishna, He is your groom!" Kanaklaxmi cupped the little girl's face, "Next time if the priest says that you can't have a groom, tell him that, you are Krishnapriya, love of the God of this temple. Lord Murlimanohar resides in your heart, in your name." Little Krishnapriya smiled her innocent smile while finding a content answer.
Ten years later
Kanaklaxmi's youth was at dusk. Her beauty no longer interests the Gods of the society. Sitting at the Sanctum Sanctorum of the temple, the woman of forty smiled, "Oh lord Murlimanohar now it's time to offer myself to you!" The old woman realized why Sri Radha's beautiful face looks sad even if she rests at her love's heart. It is because love is painful; it makes you content with its own tinge of melancholy. Kanaklaxmi was happy that she could love Krishnapriya like a daughter. Her wrinkled eyes gleam each time she watches her. Then soon her happiness vanishes, as she knows what fate would occur to her! She would become the next chief Devdasi. The Head Priest, Jagat Mohan has decided it and no one can alter that , not even Lord Murlimanohar. But, Krishnapriya was totally unaware of the darkness of this society. To her dark means only the complexion of Lord that enlightens this universe. Ignorant of the fate which would occur to her, she just dedicated everything to her Krishna. Night and day she used to sing and dance with the name of her Lord.
“Who knows what is destination?
My lord, you are my salvation.
Hundreds of times, I lose my way
And thousands of time you show me the path
I want to forget me and lose myself
Why do I still exist!
Would you prefer me to cry?
And listen to the melody of my tears?
Then bind me, bind me with the vows of your love!
Give my heart thy shelter-
Oh lord of Krishnapriya!
Hear me, listen to my tears-
Each moment is motionless,
No more can I bear!
Come to me oh Lotus- eyed-
Like the whisper of my prayer!
Take me to your abode,
Like the sun embraces the fire!
You are the only hymn
Which my soul wants to hear!
Make me your flute,
Caress me with your melody,
Darling lord of Krishnapriya-
Would you prefer me to cry?
And listen to the melody of my tears?
Her voice was sweeter than honey. Her song belonged to her soul. Whoever heard it became content, but her dearest Mai Kanaklaxmi goes restless with it. "Krishnaa!" with affection she called her, "What kind of song you are singing, you are praying to the Lord for tears!"
Krishnapriya with her moon-like serene face and night like hair looked at her Mai, "What more can I desire from my Lord Mai! Only my tears bring Him nearer to me every time! "
”When will you understand you are going to be the PRADHAN DEVDASI!"
"I am a Devdasi! Haven't you told me once Mai, darling to the Lord!" Krishnapriya's voice sounded like a melody.
"Yes, but you were a child then, but now...
"My dear Krishnapriya, how are you doing?" As she heard the head priest Jagat Mohan's grave voice Kanaklaxmi's sentence remained incomplete.
Krishnapriya bowed to the priest with respect and the old hag kept his palm over her head for some extra moments, pretending to be blessing her.
Kanaklaxmi was scared to death witnessing it. From the days of her childhood, Krishnapriya considered herself a dasi to Lord Murlimanohar. For her, being the chief Devdasi means devoting herself completely to the Lord.
“Oh Lord Can't you see how the demon taking advantage of your purest devotee, pretending to be her affectionate father! Don't you know how he would end up with my Krishnaa!" Kanaklaxmi's motherly heart cried in pain, desperation, and agony.
“I can't save my daughter from these demons, but won't you Lord! Won't you save your darling, Krishnapriya!"
Cupping Krishnapriya's moon like face the priest Jagat Mohan smiled, "It’s time for you to visit the sculptor."
"Okay Purohit ji." With same innocence, she replied.
The head priest has decided to make some new idols in the temple, including the icon of the deity Murlimanohar. Famous sculptors were brought to complete the assignment. They had to work with various Devdasi, but Krishnapriya could meet only the head sculptor, Indranath. The man of forty-five once in his youth fell in love with Kanaklaxmi. Learning this, the head priest wiped out an eye of the sculptor. Priest Jagat Mohan thinks that he has earned Indranath's fear. So, now he can have fun seeing him in pain.
Somehow Krishnapriya's eyes fell on the weeping eyes of her Mai.
Delicately she wiped her tears, "A few moments ago you scolded me for wishing tears from my Lord! Now, why can't you hold back yours Mai?" Her buds like lips were full with a honey sweet smile. Kanaklaxmi forgot all her anxieties within a moment.
"Mai, I will return back within few hours promise!" hugging her Krishnapriya left.
Right after that the priest shut the door of the room tightly. Kanaklaxmi's heart paced fast. He is a man of sixty, but his physical strength was no less than a devil. With his white attire and a solemn face, he manages to earn everyone's respect except the Devdasis of this temple!
"Laxmi!" he yelled, his eyes full with devil's desire. Kanaklaxmi froze in fear. He pressed her throat tightly, but his face looked same solemn. Then gravely he asked, "How many times I have to tell you that I don't want Krishnapriya to learn anything about the Devdasi custom!" anger burst from his eyes. She tried to say something, but words did not come out. Her breathing almost stopped due to the strong grip of the priest. She wished secretly it to be stopped forever. She can't bear watching her beloved Krishnaa becoming something like her!
"Krishnapriya is a beauty. Her innocence makes her divine!" his cunning eyes danced with the pleasure of lust, "and I want her like that!" he jerked Kanaklaxmi and a sly smile crossed his lips, as if he could read her mind and he don't want to miss the joy seeing her burning with agony. "Laxmi how dare you were to fall in love with a sculptor when I am the one who made you the Pradhan Devdasi!" He thought.
"If Krishnapriya ever learns about the original Devdasi custom before her first night, Indranath's another eye will be gone!" Kanaklaxmi looked furious and her fear gave the priest an utter joy, "or do you want me cut his fingers!" he ended with a snicker.
"No!" she managed to state somehow.
Pleasure crossed his lips, "I knew your mother like attitude is fake, once a dasi, always a dasi." He let out laughter.
Kanaklaxmi burst into helpless tears; she didn't know how she would save her Krishnaa, "Oh Lord Murlimanohar, have you turned lifeless like your flute? I don't hear any tune, it's misery and only misery I have got, and the same misery will be fated to my Krishnaa, your Krishnapriya!"
Sculptor Indranath has seen many a Devdasi in his life, curved quite a lot idols of them. Some were rare beauties like his Kanaklaxmi, but Krishnapriya was different. She is not just a beauty. Her appearance is just like raindrops in an unpleasant summer afternoon, warm sun in the frosty winter; wherever she goes spring comes. Her beauty is celestial no doubt, but she does not have any pride. Each time Indranath tries to shape stones with this maiden's feature he fails, “ your feature is like the tune of Lord's flute, how can l shape you in a lifeless stone!" he thinks and sighs, " Dear Kanak, you are lucky to hear "Mai" from this maiden's lips! She is not a Devdasi, she is surely a Devi”
"Pardon me lady! I think you can see my age is not permitting to make something as beautiful as you!"
"Kaka, nothing in this universe could be as beautiful as my Lord!" Krishnapriya uttered in her honey- sweet voice, "I think you need some rest".
"Anyway, Mai has sent some sweets to me, would you have some?" She asked.
Tears escaped his eyes while uttering a soft “yes”. His Kanak still remembers what kind of sweet he likes the most.
“Petal eyes are full with hope,
It rests with serene peace-
Wide awake at the very next moment-
Happy she is,
As her god knows what she desires.
She feels sad!
“Does my Lord know”!
She cries, but sadness escaped her eyes-
If flowers can bear thorns-
Radha is ready to die
With the fire of your love!
Oh my Hari,
Each time you play your flute,
Every time I lose myself-
I want to fly, fly with your color of love!
But I fear to lose myself!
Still each time you play your flute,
Every time I lose in it
The passion of your love engulfs Radha-
It's brighter than every light!
Deeper than each color of Holi!
Even if I fear to lose myself-
I am lost already.”
It was a divine view when Krishnapriya sang and some Devdasi in the temple danced. Except a one eyed man no one noticed her silent sadness. Was it the affection for her Lord or something else? That was unreadable. May be the deity of stone knew what troubled His beloved! Indranath thought.
"You made the stone icon a deity, and foolish I am going to curve you on a stone!" he uttered slowly.
Finally, the day of the newest Devdasi announcement has occurred. The head priest sent a beautiful scarlet sari to Krishnapriya for her "Ekvastra" dance. She touched it at her forehead. Kanaklaxmi saw that her nightmare is coming true, yet she could not say anything except sighing silently, “Oh my innocent Krishnaa, you are touching the very cloth on your forehead that will shatter your dream!" tears fell from her eyes.
"Mai, I deeply respect what Purohit Ji gifted me, but I can't wear it! I want to seek his forgiveness!" Hearing it Kanaklaxmi felt glad.
" My love for Lord is simple and dull like this color white!" Krishnapriya's eyes glowed while showing a red-bordered white sari to her Mai.
"Krishnaa your love for your Lord is purer than the white of this sari!" Kanaklaxmi hugged her.
"Oh Lord Murlimanohar!" Kanaklaxmi made a silent prayer, "Today I am preparing your bride not any new Pradhan Devdasi of this temple. If I was ever a true mother, let those demons touch only the feet of my daughter!"
That year more people came to watch the Devdasi ceremony. Apart from the chief Devdasi announcement, it was also the establishment day of the new idol. However, it was decided only the Head Priest and the newest Devdasi will witness the deity's face first.
The stage for dance was prepared beautifully; it looked no less than a bride. Flowers and oil lamps adorned it. Magnificent stars embraced the dark sky. When Krishnapriya came in her Ekvastra, her cloud eyes touched the sky first. It always reminds her the complexion of her Lord. Smiling with devotion, she started to sing and lost in her dance.
“Who am I without your affection?
Oh lovely Lord, Lord of my love-
I am just a statue
A lifeless body of dust-
Color it with the hue of your affection,
Fill it with your flute of your adoration,
Shower me with your seven-colored love!"
She took some yellow color dye and put it over her cheek, as it is her Lord's favorite color. Every taala of her dance and raaga of her song spoke her love and devotion. The person, who drummed the dhol, also shed tears in sorrow. None was unaware what fate would occur to her within a few moments, but the love of God looked ignorant of everything.
"This yogini's yog is as dull as white
Bathe me with the ailment of your love!
She closed her eyes in passion, a smile crept her lips.
This is the only jewel I crave for day and night!
Oh lotus eyed adorn me with it,
Make me smell like a lotus!
The beautiful night is as smooth as your dark hair,
A moment's distance stabs me like a dagger"-
She looked at the dark sky again; tears welled up in her eyes. She was happy; extremely happy, yet cannot refrain from being sad. She closed her eyes and let the river flow from it.
"My soul resides in your heart -
If you breathe then I burn!
Burn me, with the fire of your affection-
This is your yogini's only aspiration"...
When her performance ended, the crowd did not applaud for few moments. They were lost, lost with her song and dance.
Kanaklaxmi ran from there to a deserted corner of the temple. She can't witness her Krishanaa's dream is being crushed.
"You have proven Lord that I am only a dasi! I can't be a mother. So this dasi of yours will prepare the pyre for another dasi!"
She started gathering wood sticks from here and there; her tears were dried.
Just in that moment she felt the touch of a pair hands from her back. Those hands once used to be the reason of her heart beat! And it still is. So, she finally let her emotions flow. "Indra!" she burst into tears immediately.
"Kanak, don't cry!" the sculptor cupped her face. But, it was impossible for her to control it, "Oh Indra! My Krishnaa will die; she will die today! When inside the temple she will meet the demon instead of her Lord, she will burn herself alive!" Kanaklaxmi fell on the ground.
"Calm down Kanak !" Indranath hugged her tightly. But, how could he stop her! She was a mother after all! His embrace was not enough to heal her broken heart. Still Indranath kept trying his best, "It is easy to find your God in a human, as you know your God is hearing you, feeling you, answering you back. But, your Krishnaa dedicated her affection to a piece of lifeless stone, she makes HIM God every moment. Don't consider her that weak Kanak."
The door of the temple was closed with the newest Pradhan Devdasi and the Priest. The crowd cried out some devotional songs. Krishnapriya sat solemnly in front of her Lord.
The head priest Jagat Mohan looked at her from top to bottom. In her Ekvastra she was looking the most appealing lady of this mortal world, yet she is completely unaware of it. His eyes burned with lust.
The deity was still veiled with a sacred blue cloth. As color blue is the favorite of Lord's beloved Sri Radha, the devotees chose to cover Lord's new idol with the similar colored cloth.
Krishnapriya's beautiful lips curled into a smile. Her eyes still closed, the only hymn which came out of her lips were
“My soul resides in your heart
If you breathe then I burn
Burn me, with the fire of your affection
This is your yogini's only aspiration”
"Krishnapriya your Lord haven't given you sindoor yet!" The Purohit uttered half- smirking, as the time of having his jewel came nearer.
She did not answer instead continued singing the same lines in front of the veiled deity.
[As per the custom, the Pradhan Purohit himself gives the vermillion (sindoor) to the Devdasi in front of the whole crowd. However, the Head Priest Jagat Mohan has not done this saying, that Lord Krishna Himself will provide Sindoor to His Krishnapriya. That will naturally cause more donation money].
The priest started to come nearer, "why are you praying to the Lord who can't even witness your beauty!"
She still did not stop singing, her lips were holding the same beautiful smile like any other day. The priest in his rage pulled her buns.
"So, you dasi know everything huh!" He slapped her and losing her balance Krishnapriya fell on the feet of the Lord. Her parted hair went red with blood when it struck to the stone feet of the deity. Tears escaped her eyes as she looked at her lord.
When she rose from the ground, her voice was clear and confident, "Mai never said me anything about the custom, but I always used to wonder why her beautiful face is bruised. Then one day in my childhood, when I wanted to show you, my groom Lord Krishna, I found you entering her room. You closed the door before I could enter, and then I....
She could not complete as the painful memory came back. She always wanted to protect her Mai with her silence but, failed.
"So your innocence was fake then!" Said the enraged Head Priest.
She cried in agony, "I was only protecting Mai".
"I agree my love for lord can never be as pure as white, no matter how much I love Him, desire Him; I have to serve those where I can't see my Lord at all. Yet I loved Him and it's not for escaping the life which is laid for me. If the other Devdasi and my Mai has lived it, I can live it too." Passionate tears escaped her eyes. But, she breathed calmly, "So Purohit Ji, go ahead, do whatever you wish but, do not call my Mai just a dasi again. She is a mother." Firmly she said.
The Purohit went furious and he pulled her hair.
"Now, who will protect her?" His let out a demonic smile, "I wanted that naive you, who haven't learned the secrets of love yet, but here I see you know everything girl!" he slapped her. Losing balance, she fell in front of a small lamp.
Immediately, Krishnapriya took the lamp and rose from the ground, “If you don't accept my request I will burn my face!"
"Do you think that will make Laxmi safe?"
"As you have already declared me the Pradhana Devdasi, you cannot alter it even if my face is ruined. Who will look at a burned-faced Devadasi! You cannot offer me to any royals and aristocrats then. No one will donate in this temple and where will be you, Priest, then!" For the first time, the Purohit heard Krishnapriya's fragile voice rang like a storm!
And he hated it but, he found no other way except accepting her offer. “Okay I agree, I will not touch Laxmi again." Saying he came near to her. "And why will I need to touch Laxmi again, now you will be entertaining me, innocent or not your beauty is truly divine Krishnaa". He ran his finger across her face; she closed her eyes in abomination. Seeing it, he Priest pulled her hair again.
"Dasi don't you dare to disrespect me because in this temple I AM THE LORD!" He burst out in a devilish laughter and then started to pull her sari. Krishnapriya closing her eyes, keeping her beautiful smile on her face intact started to hymn the song of hers..
“My soul resides in your heart
If you breathe then I burn
Burn me, with the fire of your affection
Oh my Lord
This is your yogini's only aspiration”...
The Head Priest fumed and pushed her harshly, “Sing something else for me. I am bored with the same song from the evening repeatedly!"
His torture could not affect Krishnapriya; she went on humming. The Priest slapped her and hit her. Again she fell on the floor and this time she did not make any move to stand, just went on singing those same lines.
"Your silly songs and prayers will bring you nothing Krishnaa. The thing you consider your Lord, is just a curved stone, look at me I am your Lord!"
“My poor heart just cannot stop humming my Lord's name!" a drop of her tear fell on the ground.
Right, then a disastrous storm came as if it wants to destroy the whole world and wipe out its existence.
The priest lost his balance due to the restless wind, but his lust was still alive and he dragged her sari again!"
Hot tears escaped Krishnapriya's eyes.
The Holy cloth, which was covering the deity, fell on her by the force of the wind. Right after then the oil lamps from the Sanctum sanctorum started to fall on the ground due to the current of air. Fire blazed out, making a circle around Krishnapriya and her Deity. The priest immediately pushed back by the wrath of fire. He could see the object of his desire is standing at the stone deity's feet and when his eyes reached to the unveiled idol, he fell on the ground.
"No!" he screamed, and Krishpriya was shaken hearing his voice, but soon she realized she was at her Lord's feet. She didn't know how much tears escaped her eyes, all she knew it won't be enough to adore her Lord, nor would it be sufficient to stop the fire that He has kindled inside her heart. So, her lord indeed burned her with the fire of his affection! Krishnapriya became so content with it that the hot breath of blazing fire could not irritate her.
“Burn me, with the fire of your affection
This is your yogini's only aspiration”
Again and again she sang and hugged the Lord's lotus feet.
"This can't be true, this can't be... The priest can't complete his statement as he witnessed something through the light of the glowing fire in front of him.
The idol of Sri Radha beside Lord Krishna's is the exact replica of the Devdasi Krishnapriya!
When the Purohit's eyes fell on the Krishnapriya of blood and flesh he saw blood on her forehead looked just like a sindoor from her Lord and the Holy cloth which used to adore only the main deity till date was protecting her dignity.
"Krishnapriya- Love of God!" he murmured, for the first time. He stayed on the ground bowing to her.
Workers came as they noticed the fire in the Garvashai (Sanctum Sanctorum). After the fire was controlled, all eyes fell on the deity then on the newest Devdasi.
"She is no Devdasi, she is a Devi!" uttered one and everyone joined him. Soon the news reached the crowd, which was distracted due to the heavy storm. However, while learning about a Devi in a Devdasi many came back ignoring weather.
"Jai ho Devi Krishnapriya ki!" all said together.
Just in that moment, Kanaklaxmi entered the temple with Indranath. She rushed to her Krishnaa and hugged her tight. From her Krishnaa's back she could see the stains of blood at the Lord's feet; she broke the hug and then noticed her daughter properly, then to the idol and saw the head priest bowing to the deity. She heard the crowd's loud cry humming the name of Krishnapriya and started weeping immediately. Kanaklaxmi found out that she is not just a dasi, but a MOTHER.
When the storm passed all left the temple except one. Smiling with delight Indranath preceded to the Garvashai, he touched the deity's feet with devotion. Then he looked straight to the idol, which he had made with his soul.
"Oh Lord of love, your Krishnapriya deserves to rest at your heart only!"
He wanted to leave Rajatpura silently, but when a familiar voice called him addressing "kaka" he had to stop.
"I am sorry!" A devastated Krishnapriya fell on his feet.
He immediately embraced her, "Dear, what happened?"
"While being in love with my lord also I have failed to realize sometime that he resides in every soul." She looked at him and continued," The way you have saved me Kaka, thank you won't be enough for it."
"Oh dear Krishnapriya, I didn't do anything, only your love became the armor" Said he."Do you think I curved your face as Sri Radha on purpose!"
There was a moment of silence as Krishnapriya didn't find any answer.
"Lady, I am a sculptor not a politician. My hands work as per my heart's command." He continued,"One, who makes the stone deity breathe; deserves to rest at His heart."
"But, why only me?" She queried, "Why not Mai or any other Devdasi?"
"Oh Krishnapriya, haven't you loved your lord even after knowing the fate of a Devdasi?"
"But, Kaka people are considering me an incarnation of Sri Radha! They think I am a Goddess. I only wanted to be my Lord's dasi!" Said she.
"That you already are and you always will be my dear. But now, you can do some good to this society!" Indranath smiled," Change people's dark minds so that no Kanaklaxmi need to shed tears for their daughters again."
"I will pour my heart and soul to help those, who suffer." She said, "But, please Kaka don't leave! Mai and I, both need you!"
Indranath realized that he can't say "no" to her.
She had no wish to become a Goddess; neither had she wanted to be worshiped by people along with her deity! Krishnapriya only wanted to be His dasi. But, she understood, this is the only way to give freedom to the suffering souls and ensure the lives of people, who dare to dream. She sent the Head Priest to Sanyas for the rest of his life. No men in the kingdom were allowed to touch a Devdasi against her wish anymore. A Devdasi in Rajatpura no longer remained the slave to the society; again she became the figure of respect.