Sunday, July 12, 2009

Any role for Manmatha in homosexuality??

 


Understanding Indian past and its culture can not happen without first imbibing the Hindu Dharma that is the basis of this land.

 

Interpreting Vedas or inventing the invasion of Aryans or even discovering homosexuality in ancient India can not be done in the right perspective unless one has first understood what kind of Dharma that the people of this land had been following from undated past. If the living Dharma of this land that is coming down for ages is understood, there would not have been any Witzels and Max mullers nor even Ruth Vanitas.

 

 

The following observation by Dr Ruth Vanita in her write-up hailing the Delhi court verdict on LGBT left me wonder how it is easy to distort our past.

 

 

"The high court's decision makes India a role model for other Asian countries. Nor, despite what some uninformed leaders claim, is an open attitude to sexuality new to Indian civilisation. The pride parades, with their colours and music, irresistibly reminded me of Madanotsava, the ancient festivals of love that were celebrated in Indian cities such as Pataliputra (modern Patna) as early as the 4th century. Men and women came out in the streets, decked in colourful clothes, flowers and perfumes, to worship Kama, the God of love and desire. Kama was married to Rati (erotic pleasure) and his inseparable companion was the beautiful young Vasant (spring)
Kama inspires all kinds of desire.

 


A life size sandstone statue of Kama from 11th-century Orissa, now in the Seattle Art Museum, shows the God shooting his flowery arrow at two women embracing each other
All three have the same divinely blissful smile on their faces. When I first saw this statue, it induced in me the feeling of bliss that it depicts."

 

 

The festival of Kama or Manmatha or Indra was in vogue throughout this land. It was about the male-female affair and definitely not about homosexuals. In the Tamil text of Silappadhikaram we do find the description of this festival for which a newly married couple from Himalayas came for the honey-moon!

The desire induced by Kama is such that even a God will have to take a female form (Mohini) if He were to mate another He God! Kama himself did not seek a same sex person for mating. Marriage or copulation is between opposite sexes only and not between same sexes. The very institution of marriage is not based on what people think today, towing the Western line of thinking. The details were already posted in the following link:-

Hindu Thought on Gay rights and Transgenders.

 

The statue mentioned above of Kama shooting his arrow on two women is not about inducing love between them. The bliss on their face is due to the love with their respective lovers and not with each other.

 

The Indian cultural scenario must be understood to accept this. In any literary work on love in the Indian past emerging from any part of this country, the female (heroine) will be in the company of her close female friend. This friend knows all the secrets of this girl. This friend will be a conduit between her and her lover. Generally girls cuddle together in this culture (even today) and share secrets within themselves. But when it comes to love affair, there will be only one most confidential girl among them. You will find description of the close friendship between girls in all the Sangam texts on love and family. That is not about homosexual relationship.

 

This is outcome of a cultural behavior in not expressing one's mind by embraces or touches or kisses in public even with one's husband. When the self-imposed / culturally followed restriction is there, it is only natural for the girls to express it within themselves. The Paavai nonbu is about young unmarried girls engaged in austerities praying for a good husband. They all used to go together and giggle their secrets within themselves. The Bull fight explained in Kali-th-thogai comes along with description of the girls in close-knit groups sharing their secrets about the boys they wish to marry. When two girls in physical closeness are seen to be struck by the Cupid's arrow, please, don't ever think that they are in love with each other. It means they are in love with their respective lovers and sharing their feelings about it.

 

In Valmiki Ramayana, we do come across a scene of physical closeness of the women in Ravana's personal quarters. There also, it is not about lesbian relationship. The women were the wives of Ravana. Since they could not enjoy the attention of Ravana, they were seen by Hanuman in sleeping postures of close cuddle, imagining the other to be Ravana himself.

 

The writer of that article has espoused the cause of homosexuality in her other works by quoting from old texts. But the quotes that I happened to read do not hold water.

One is about a 14th century book from Bengal on Bhageeratha's birth from two females. As the writer herself says, there are different versions and this is one version. This version does not concur with other narrations on Bahgeeratha.

 

And there are mis judgments of narrations too. For instance, in Ramayana we do come across a mention of 300 mothers for Rama! It is interpreted by some as 300 wives of Dasharatha while there are others who interpret is as 300 women (mid-wives) who took care of Rama from birth. Like this the interpretations differ, giving rise to versions in due course of time, that are not originally said.

 

The writer also equates ayoni (not of sex) birth to sodomy.

No. This is not so. Ayoni means birth not through the womb of woman.

There have been instances where a child is born without connection with a woman through copulation. This is explained in Brahma sutras in 3-1-18 &19.

A detailed post on this in the context of cloning is already available in this blog.

Does Vedantha support cloning?

 

The birth of Sita, Drona, Draupathi and Drishtadhyumna are of this category.

 

 

The soul goes through 5 stages to enter the womb to take birth.

First it descends through rain water and then enters the earth.

In these two stages, reversal is possible and the soul can abort any further journey.

The 3rd stage is the plant which it enters from the earth and gets fixed in the edible parts. From this stage onwards return is not possible.

 

 

In the 4th stage, the soul enters the man through the plant food and gets fixed in his sperm. Until this stage, there is no Karma (pain or any feeling) experienced by the soul. The 5th stage is when it enters the womb where its karmic cycle begins.

The knowledge of this is known as Panchaagni vidhya.

 

 

This stage can happen only in natural man-woman relationship.

Any mention of birth through unnatural means, if found in Hindu texts must be understood as having skipped the 5th stage.

Such births are ayoni births. This has nothing to do with sodomy.

 

 

Anyone speaking on Hindu past must first understand that Hinduism does not accept certain practices such as polygamy or homosex, though people follow them in practice. The desirability or non- desirability of it is seen only in Jyothisha which is about Karmic result of the past actions. From astrological yogas we know that a monogamous person is rewarded in his next birth whereas a polygamous is not.

 

 

Homosexuality is an aberration arising out of inimical interplay of horoscopic connections which however is seen as an exception than an acceptable norm. This aberration itself is the result of a karmic past according to Jyothisha. No commentator / writer on astrology wishes to elaborate this because of the reason that such a situation is an unfortunate thing to happen to one.

 

 

Thinking on the concluding lines of the famous Purananuru verse by an astrologer-poet "kaNiyan Poonkundranaar", 'Yaadum oorE, Yaavarum kElr',

 

 

நீர்வழிப் படூஉம் புணைபோல, ஆருயிர்
முறைவழிப் படூஉம்' என்பது திறவோர்
காட்சியின் தெளிந்தனம் ஆகலின், மாட்சியின்
பெரியோரை வியத்தலும் இலமே;
சிறியோரை இகழ்தல் அதனினும் இலமே.

 

 

 

One is driven by his past karma to do what he is doing now.

Therefore we don't laud the Great –

nor do we censure the not-Great ones.

 

 

Such a mentality taught by this Sanatana Dharma must not be construed as acceptance of the abominable.

 

That is why I thought it necessary to write this post to set things in the way they must be seen.

 

 

-         jayasree

 

 

 

*********

 

 

 

From

 

 

http://www.dc-epaper.com/DC/DCC/2009/07/12/ArticleHtmls/12_07_2009_009_003.shtml?Mode=0

 

Freedom to Love

 

By

 

Ruth Vanita.

(The author teaches at the University of Montana and has published extensively on the history of same-sex love. She was earlier on the faculty of Delhi University)

 

 

THE LEGALISATION of sexual relations in private between consenting adults of the same-sex, that has resulted from the Delhi high court's reading down of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, is important not just for the gay people but for anyone interested in the unique experiment that India, the world's largest democracy, has been conducting ever since achieving Independence from British rule. Every democracy faces the danger of a majority imposing its prejudices on minorities. Many citizens of democratic countries misunderstand democracy to mean that the majority has the right to dictate how every individual citizen shall live. This misunderstanding comes from ignoring the basis of a democracy, which is each individual citizen's right to life and liberty.

 


This right includes the right to make decisions about one's own private and unique existence, for example, what to read, whether or not to practice a religion and if so, which one, whether or not to produce children and if so, how many, and whether or not to have amorous relationships, and if so, what kind.

 


While most Indians are aware of, even if often hostile to, the rights of religious minorities as groups, awareness of individual rights and liberties is much more limited
Leaders of all kinds of groups routinely demand that the government censor books and films merely because they disapprove of them. We often fail to make the distinction between our notions of morality and the law.

 


Opposition to individual same-sex relationships has no stronger basis than irrational dislike and prejudice in the shape of people's own notions of morality. No one in India today can seriously argue that non-procreative sexual relations are bad for the country because all Indians need to produce more children. Nor in fact is this argument made. Rather, the argument runs: "I don't like the idea of same-sex relations. I find them disgusting, therefore the government should continue to ban them". Without any evidence, and in the face of informed medical and psychiatric opinion, such proponents of an antiquated British law based on debatable interpretations of a couple of lines in the Hebrew Bible, continue to declare that same-sex relations are sick and unhealthy. Even though HIV is widely spread through malefemale sex, they continue to claim that it stems from same-sex relations. They also completely ignore the fact that female-female sex is the lowest risk sexual activity possible, as far as HIV is concerned.

 


Another undemocratic argument repeatedly made is based on religion. Proponents of some religions consider same-sex relations "immoral". The reading down of Section 377 does not in any way interfere with their right to continue to hold and propagate this belief. Why, however, do they think that a secular, democratic government is obliged to force their particular religious beliefs upon those who do not share them? What happens to the beliefs of those who do not belong to these particular religions, who may not have any religious belief at all, or who may have a different interpretation of religion? This illogical desire to impose one's religious morality on others stems from a basic confusion about the nature of democracy and secularism. Secularism does not guarantee every religion's right to force its views on others. It only guarantees everyone's right to practice and propagate their religion.

 


For example, some religious people believe that everyone has a duty to marry. Would they then feel entitled to demand that the government force all its citizens to marry? The reason they feel entitled to demand continuing governmental persecution of gay citizens is that many other countries today are continuing this persecution.

 


As research done by Saleem Kidwai and me for our book SameSex Love in India: A Literary History demonstrates, India, unlike Europe, has no history of such persecution. Hatred and fear of homosexuality on any significant scale was imported into India by the colonial rulers and enshrined in law by them.

 


It is no accident that the first and, perhaps, only documented Indian case of execution for homosexuality took place in Goa in the 16th century, when the Portuguese rulers burnt a 16-yearold boy alive for sodomy.

 


Today, ironically, as a result of one of those cyclical reversals that human history goes through, European countries have removed much of the legal discrimination against homosexuals, while Asian and African countries, which were traditionally much more tolerant, have moved in the other direction.

 


However, a glance at the list of countries that retain anti-sodomy laws and those that have abolished them clearly shows that most democracies worth the name are in the second camp while most dictatorships are in the first camp.

 


Thus, not just Canada, most European countries, and more recently the US, but also South Africa, Brazil, Israel, and, importantly, Nepal, have legalised same-sex relationships.

 


The Delhi high court's decision places India with the world's democracies on the issue of personal freedom. Those who want to turn the clock back should remember that doing so would place India on this issue in the same camp as dictatorships. Many of these dictatorships ban not just same-sex relations but many other personal freedoms, such as freedom of dress, freedom of expression, freedom of religion, and women's freedom of mobility and employment.

 


The high court's decision makes India a role model for other Asian countries. Nor, despite what some uninformed leaders claim, is an open attitude to sexuality new to Indian civilisation. The pride parades, with their colours and music, irresistibly reminded me of Madanotsava, the ancient festivals of love that were celebrated in Indian cities such as Pataliputra (modern Patna) as early as the 4th century. Men and women came out in the streets, decked in colourful clothes, flowers and perfumes, to worship Kama, the God of love and desire. Kama was married to Rati (erotic pleasure) and his inseparable companion was the beautiful young Vasant (spring)
Kama inspires all kinds of desire.

 


A life size sandstone statue of Kama from 11th-century Orissa, now in the Seattle Art Museum, shows the God shooting his flowery arrow at two women embracing each other
All three have the same divinely blissful smile on their faces. When I first saw this statue, it induced in me the feeling of bliss that it depicts. Let the Delhi high court's momentous and enlightened judgment, endorsing the freedom to love, inspire us not with fear and anxiety but with joy and pride.

 



2 comments:

jayasree said...

Balaji writes:-


Madam, you left out the author's views on the birth of Swamy Ayyappa, who is said to have been born of the union of Vishnu and Shiva. Srimad Bhagavatham says that Shiva was attracted by the beauty of Mohini (Vishnu's female form). But actually, it was not because of lust or sexual desire the two united.

The reason is:- Mahishi (the sister of Mahishasura) was enraged at the killing of her brother by Goddess Mahisharuramardhini (aspect of Durga created by the combination of the Trimurti and all other Devas), this was because Mahishasura had received a boon that no man can kill him. That is why the Gods sent a woman. To avenge this, Mahishi wanted a better boon. Just like Hiranyakasipu wanted a better boon than Hiranyaksha to avenge his death, this daemoness wanted a boon that a boy born to Shiva and Vishnu can only kill her. She asked this boon keeping in mind the boon of Soorapadman, who had received a boon that he would be killed by a son born to Shiva and Parvati. Mahishi thought that Shiva and Parvati were of opposite genders, hence they can come together, whereas Shiva and Vishnu being of same gender, they could not.

But God is even clever, and this is why Shiva and Vishnu came together, and not because of sexual lust!

This question was raised by EVR also:- "ஆம்பளைக்கும் ஆம்பளைக்கும் எப்படி கொழந்தை பொறக்கும், அப்படி நா அவங்க homosexuals ஆ?"

when my father told me this, I could not stop laughing. Anyone who has the basic knowledge of Zoology will say only when a male reproductive organism sperm mixes with a female reproductive organism ovum will produce a zygote! How can sperm and sperm produce a zygote? How ridiculous!

Raghu said...

The Paramacharya commented somewhere that due to lack of kshatriya men, rishis produced children through kshatriya women to continue the lineage.
However, he commented, "it is impossible to fathom the purity of these motives today". Even so, the same applies here.It is hard to fathom the morality of such a pristine era from the confines of a semi-foreign culture and language adopted today in India.