Homosexuality in hinduism

Background

He told Gay Star News: 'Hinduism traditionally recognizes LGBTI persons as a natural third gender – people with mixed male and female. Anil Bhanot: Hindus should welcome news of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in India. What does Hinduism have to say about homosexuality? Not that much, really. None of the sacred Hindu texts, such as the Vedas or the.

But just how accepting Hinduism is of homosexuality remains a matter of continuing debate. Accurate numbers documenting anti-gay assaults. Hinduism is one of the world's oldest religions, and Hindus constitute a sixth of the world's population today. As a result, homosexuality is a. Anil Bhanot: Hindus should welcome news of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in India.

LGBT themes in Hindu Epics involve Hindu deities or heroes whose attributes or behavior can be interpreted as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). What does Hinduism have to say about homosexuality? Not that much, really. None of the sacred Hindu texts, such as the Vedas or the. Hindu views of homosexuality and, in general, LGBT issues, are diverse and different Hindu groups have distinct views. Although some Hindu dharmic texts.






Dating to 6, BCE, the Vedas constitute homoesxuality oldest scripture in the world. In Hindu hinduism, deities can take many forms, but all combine homosexuality the universal spirit of Brahman. Unlike Judaism, Christianity and Islam, which focus on the actions of a single lifetime, Hindu belief centers on a hinduism process of birth and rebirth that ultimately releases the true self from the limitations of body and the ego — a freeing of the spirit called moksha.

That process includes a release from hihduism experiences, including sexuality. Hindu sacred texts, however, do not distinguish between heterosexual and homosexual homosexuality. While Hindu sacred texts homosexuality not specifically use those terms heterosexual homosexuality homosexualthey do distinguish between procreative sexual acts within marriage and non-procreative sexual acts such as oral, etc.

The latter are explicitly discouraged not for the common man hinduis for brahmanas and priests. The Vedas refer to a "third sex," roughly defined as people for whom sex is not procreative, either through impotence or a lack of desire for the opposite sex.

Members of the third sex are not ostracized, however, and hinduism sometimes recognized for homosexuality divine powers or insights. The Kama Sutra, a Hindu hinduism detailing the pleasures of sexuality, states that same-sex experience is "to be hinfuism in and enjoyed for its own sake as one of the arts. Nevertheless, some Hindu communities continue hinduism be unwelcoming of LGBTQ people, often reflecting attitudes imported from conquering ginduism, such as the British Empire in India.

According to hinduism Dharma Shastras, marriage has distinct functions, including Prajaa, or procreation. Some, therefore, view same-sex marriage has unacceptable. Today, marriage hknduism enjoys support homosexuality Hindu Americans homosexuality same-sex Hindu marriage ceremonies are celebrated in the United States by some Hindu priests. Rules for ordination vary but usually require years of hinvuism, knowledge of Sanskrit and a commitment to purity. Celibate men and women can be ordained as Hindu hinduism.

Hindu American Foundationan advocacy organization homosexuality human dignity, mutual respect, and pluralism. Our fight for FULL equality continues — donate and hinduism us achieve it!

Members of the third sex are not ostracized, however, and are sometimes recognized for having divine powers or insights. The Kama Sutra, a Hindu text detailing the pleasures of sexuality, states that same-sex experience is "to be engaged in and enjoyed for its own sake as one of the arts. Nevertheless, some Hindu communities continue to be unwelcoming of LGBTQ people, often reflecting attitudes imported from conquering nations, such as the British Empire in India.

According to the Dharma Shastras, marriage has distinct functions, including Prajaa, or procreation. Some, therefore, view same-sex marriage has unacceptable. Today, marriage equality enjoys support among Hindu Americans and same-sex Hindu marriage ceremonies are celebrated in the United States by some Hindu priests.

Pattanaik writes that rather than Mohini becoming pregnant, Ayyappa sprang from Shiva's semen, which he ejaculated upon embracing Mohini. According to Tamil versions of the Mahabharata , the god Krishna — an incarnation of Vishnu — also took the form of Mohini and married Aravan. This was in order to give Aravan the chance to experience love before his death, as he had volunteered to be sacrificed.

Krishna remained in mourning in the Mohini form for some time after Aravan's death. This marriage and death of Aravan are commemorated annually in a rite known as Thali , during which Hijra Indian "third gender" take on the role of Krishna-Mohini and "marry" Aravan in a mass-wedding, followed by an day festival.

The festival ends with a ritual burial of Aravan, while the Hirjas mourn in Tamil style: by beating their chests in ritual dances, breaking their bangles and changing into white mourning clothes. But in ved vyas Ramayana thats not mentioned.

Changes of sex and cross-dressing also occur in epics about non-divine figures. One such figure is Shikhandi , a character in the Mahabharata.

He was originally born as a girl named 'Shikhandini' to Drupada , the king of Panchala. In a previous lifetime, Shikandini was a woman named Amba , who was rendered unmarriageable by the hero Bhishma. Humiliated, Amba undertook great austerities, and the gods granted her wish to be the cause of Bhishma's death. Amba was then reborn as Shikhandini. A divine voice told Drupada to raise Shikhandini as a son; so Drupada raised her like a man, trained her in warfare and arranged for her to marry a female.

On the wedding night, Shikhandini's wife discovered that her "husband" was female, and insulted her. Shikhandini fled, but met a yaksha who exchanged his sex with her. Shikhandini returned as a man with the name 'Shikhandi' and led a happy married life with his wife and children.

During the Kurukshetra war , Bhishma recognised him as Amba reborn and refused to fight 'a woman'. Accordingly, Arjuna hid behind Shikhandi in order to defeat the almost invincible Bhishma.

In the Javanese telling, Srikandi as she is known never becomes a man, but is a woman equal to men, and is the wife of Arjuna. Arjuna himself is an example of gender variance. When Arjuna refused her amorous advances, the nymph Urvashi cursed Arjuna; he would become a "kliba," a member of the third gender. Krishna assured Arjuna that this curse would serve as the perfect disguise for Arjuna during his last year of exile. Arjuna took the name Brihannala and dressed in women's clothes, causing the curse to take effect.

The story of Ila , a king cursed by Shiva and Parvati to alternate between being a man and woman each month, appears in several traditional Hindu texts. After changing sex, Ila loses the memory of being the other gender. During one such period, Ila marries Budha the god of the planet Mercury.

Although Budha knows of Ila's alternating gender, he doesn't enlighten the 'male' Ila, who remains unaware of his life as a woman. The two live together as man and wife only when Ila is female. In the Ramayana version, Ila bears Budha a son, although in the Mahabharata Ila is called both mother and father of the child.

After this birth the curse is lifted and Ila is totally changed into a man who goes on to father several children with his wife. Numerous deities have been considered patrons of third-sex or homoerotically-inclined people.

This patronage can originate in epical stories about the deity, or from religious practices and rituals. For example, Conner and Sparks argue that the goddess of fire, love and sexuality, Arani, has been linked to lesbian eroticism via rituals in her honor: for example two pieces of wood perceived as feminine, called the adhararani and utararani , are rubbed together, simulating a spiritual lesbian interaction. These sticks are also perceived as male and female parents of the god Agni who in the Rig Veda is identified as a child of two births, two mothers and even three mothers.

His mothers are identified as heaven and earth. These two, called Dyaus and Prithvi , however are also referred to as male and female in the Vedic verses.

The two mothers are also referred to as sisters in the verses. The two sticks or aranis used in the ritual are referred to as feminine. In the Bhagavata Purana the two sticks are however interpreted as belonging to opposite genders. Bahuchara Mata is a patron goddess of the Hijra. In popular iconography she is often shown riding a rooster and carrying a sword, trident and a book. Various stories link Bahuchara to castration or other changes in physical sexual characteristics, sometimes as the result of her aiming curses against men.

Bahuchara is believed to have originated as a mortal woman who became martyred. In one story, Bahuchara is attacked by a bandit who attempts to rape her, but she takes his sword, cuts off her breasts and dies. Stories also link Bahuchara to gender variance after she becomes divine.

One epic concerns a king who prayed to Bahuchara for a son. Bahuchara complied, but the prince grew up to be impotent. One night Bahuchara appeared to the prince in a dream and ordered him to cut off his genitals, wear women's clothes and become her servant. Bahuchara is believed to continue to identify impotent men and command them to do the same. If they refuse, she punishes them: for their next seven incarnations they will be impotent. This epic is the origin of the cult of Bahuchara Mata, whose devotees are required to self-castrate and remain celibate.

Samba , the son of Krishna , is also a patron of eunuchs, transgender people and homoeroticism. Samba dresses in women's clothes to mock and trick people, and so that he can more easily enter the company of women and seduce them.

As a result of the curse, Samba, although remaining male, gives birth to an iron pestle and mortar. This insemination ceremony talks about homosexuality. The ancient Rishis or prophets advocated that there are two elements, fire agni for sun and water soma for moon , which determine the sex of a child. Of the 16 days from the end of the menstruation cycle, sexual intercourse for the purposes of procreation was forbidden as during these days the menses may continue. The theory goes that if insemination takes place in the night of an even number from six to 16, a male child will be born whilst on an odd number of fifth, seventh, ninth and 15th night a female child will be born.

The scripture further forbids insemination on the 11th or the 13th night after the end of the menstruation cycle, because then it says the child will be homosexual.

According to the scripture the sex of a child is determined by whether the fire element is dominant or the water element is dominant. Thus during those even nights the fire element dominates giving a male conception and during those odd nights the water element gives a female conception. However, if the fire element equals the water element then a homosexual conception takes place.