ORIGIN OF DEVANGA COMMUNITY
Devanga ( Devala Maharishi)
is a sub-caste in Hinduism. They were one of the weaving castes in India.
Devangas are Brahmanical
origin. They are Prakrut Brahmins (meaning brahmins by birth). The majority of
them are weavers of silk and cotton clothes. Devangas trace the origin of their
weaving tradition to a sage called Devala Maharshi. According to tradition,
Devala Maharishi was the first person to weave the
the cotton cloth and to give it to Lord Shiva, who up until this time had been
using animal skin. When Devala was taking the cloth to the king, demons came to
attack him. Goddess Chowdeshwari (Chamundeshwari,a form of Durga,a warrior
Goddess created by the Gods Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra, to fight the demon
Mahishasura), perched on a lion, fought and vanquished the demons so that
Devala Maharishi could give the cloth to the king..The woven
clothes were taken to Lord Shiva. you can Check Devanga Purana.
In India quite a many sectors of
people are involved in the occupation of weaving, from North to South. They are
denoted by different names as Devangas, Padmasalias, Sourahtras, Solias,
Sengunthars, etc. People belonging to all these communities occupied the
livelihood of weaving. But they speak different languages. Padmasalias speak
Telegu, Sourashtras speak Sourasjtra, Solias, speak Kannada, Sengunthas speak
Tamil and Devangas speak Telugu, Kannada and Tamil. Though they speak different
languages their communal rites, Deity, and other aspects remained to be the
Sections : Devanga was
originally divided into two groups, the Gandha and Nama. There were Saivite and
Vaishnavite divisions among Devangas in the old days. Every one of the warrior
sub sect have a sword in their homes. After the decline they settled in all
parts of India.. Rigveda
Devanga (Div am ga) was the first ever Bhramin who (OHM) comes to this world to
give clothes to human beings Thiruvalluvar in his eighth poem says one cannot
reach PARAMAPATHA until one surrendered to this Bhramin(OHM).
Now Devangas in weaving profession is far down fall because of not sufficient backing from the government.
(Adopted from web site of Devanga Sangam,Bangalore)
. Nowadays, people
following this caste are mostly spread in southern Indian states of Karnataka,
Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Pondicherry
and Tamil Nadu. The majority of them are weavers of
silk and cotton clothes. They follow Veerashaivism or shivaite practices and
also follow Lingayit practices and consider Viramustis as their traditional
preceptors, from whom they take precepts and wear lingam. Devangas and Padmashalis,
another weaving community were originally same community and later divided into
two communities when Devangas started following Shivite practices and Padma
Sale continued as Vaishnavites.
Devangas in defferent parts of India
In North Karnataka Devanga caste is divided into
two groups - 1.Kulachaar Devanga 2. Shivachar Devanga. The difference between
these two group is only in Wearing the yajnopaveetha (Janivar)by Kulachaar's
and Shivadar with linga by Shivachars. Both groups worships goddess
Banashankari of Badami.
Devangas of Mysore State are divided into several clans:1.Shivachar Devangas, 2. Kannada Devangas (comprising Seeryadavara or from Sira), 3. Telugu Devangas 4. Hatagararu. Some section of Devanga trace their ancestry to Brahmins and consider themselves as Deva Brahmans (Divine Brahmans) and this claim is based on a verse composed by a Devanga priest. Hatagararu are those who gave up lingayitism and started wearing sacred thread. In old Mysore, Lingayat Devangas are strict Shivites and other Devangs worship both Vishnu and Shiva.
In Andhra Pradesh, bulk of
weavers belong to Devanga community, followed by Padma sale community and other
In Telangana, Devangas have 64 divisions and they were also called as Devangalu, Devra, Devanga Sale, Kodekul etc. in Nizam's Hyderabad. They were also divided linguistically as Telugu Devangas and Carnatic Devangas in Telangana.