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1 Hinduism’s Approach to Sexuality Dr Asavari Herwadkar MD Date: 23.07.2014.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Hinduism’s Approach to Sexuality Dr Asavari Herwadkar MD Date: 23.07.2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Hinduism’s Approach to Sexuality Dr Asavari Herwadkar MD Date:

2 2 Hinduism’s approach to sexuality 1.What is Hinduism ? 2.References from Hindu text with relevance to present times – inclusivity 3.Way forward

3 3

4 4 The Hindu notion of the divine is unique. Its given form and not restricted to a singular idea – there are gods and goddesses who are individually pieces of a puzzle called God

5 “Oldest religion“ and third largest in the world… But it is not exactly a religion! Supreme Court of India : “ Unlike other religions in the World, the Hindu religion does not claim any one Prophet, it does not worship any one God, it does not believe in any one philosophic concept, it does not follow any one act of religious rites or performances; in fact, it does not satisfy the traditional features of a religion or creed… … i t is a way of life and nothing more ” 5 Hinduism is…

6 Subjective … allowing for individual perspective & interpretation 6 Basic essence of Hinduism is… every individual atma (soul) should realize and find the ultimate truth (Parmatma/ Source/ God) in their own unique way… across different rebirths… the physical life and the individual atma (soul) realize ultimate truth… circle of life and death gets over as soul becomes one with source Hinduism is (cont’d)…

7 7 …tradition of many bodies Sthula Sharira GROSS BODY (Physical Body) Linga Sharira SUBTLE BODY (Mind and emotions) Karana Sharira CAUSAL BODY (Samskara – Karma) Atma SOUL Atma SOUL Ultimate source remains constant Unfulfilled desires/aspirations of previous life… … carried forward in next birth Sphere of life & existence in Hinduism

8 8 Features of Hinduism Hindu mythology uses gender as a vehicle to communicate metaphysics In Hinduism, love is regarded as an eternal force. It is seen as devotion between two people, whether romantic or platonic. Hindus believe love and devotion are important in attaining Moksha or Liberation from the cycle of rebirths. Erotic desire or Kama in Hinduism was deemed as one of the most legitimate pleasures on earth (thus accounting for the vast numbers of erotic treatises, poetry and sensuous sculptures of ancient India

9 Trinity – Divine in feminine form Brahma Creator –Saraswati knowledge Vishnu-sustainer – Laxmi wealth Shiva destroyer – Shakti power 9 Hinduism and women …

10 10 Ardhanari- eshwar – the half women God Shiva is incomplete without the Goddess –meaning the spiritual reality (Shiva) is incomplete without material reality (Shakti) It is only through material reality that we can realize spiritual reality…

11 11 Present times – Ardhanari is worshipped Ardhanari is especially worshipped by Hindus and has special significance as a patron of hijras, who identify with the gender ambiguity

12 12 Mohini – female form of Vishnu/ Krishna Mohini is the female for of Lord Vishnu but male in essence. Mohini enchants to draw humanity’s attention to spirituality reality in material reality Material and spiritual world are interdependent Mohini is the spiritual reality soaked in material world and needs to enchant Shiva to the material world And Shiva knowing Mohini is Vishnu gets enchanted by her

13 13 No one knows why the goddesses appear in the image Some say she that Chotila is Chamunda’s sister while other say she is her companion Both have no male attendent or consort because marriage is suppose to domesticate. These two goddeses are warriors Chamundi Chotila

14 The famous Kama Sutra states that homosexual sex is to be engaged in and enjoyed for its own sake as one of the arts 14 Homosexuality Rigveda, one of the four canonical sacred texts of Hinduism says Vikriti Evam Prakriti (Sanskrit: विकृतिः एवम् ‌ प्रकृतिः। meaning what seems un- natural is also natural),[13] which some scholars believe recognizes homosexual/transsexual dimensions of human life, like all forms of universal diversities

15 15 Bahuchara Mata … Bahuchara Mata is considered patroness of—and worshipped by hijra community in India.

16 16 The Hindu festival of Bahuchara Mata was celebrated at Shiv Mandir Karachi, in which both Hindu elders and children participated …

17 17 Role to play in society Loard Rama grants hijras the boon to confer blessings on people during auspicious inaugural occasions like childbirth and weddings. This boon is the origin of badhai in which hijras sing, dance, and give blessings Today believe that Hijras are the messenger of Gods and their blessing brings good fortune Picture of a hijra blessing a baby at a birthing ceremony

18 18 Lord Aravan Each year in Tamil Nadu, during April and May, hijras celebrate an eighteen-day religious festival devoted to the deity Koothandavar, who is identified with Aravan. During the festival, the Aravanis reenact a story of the wedding of Lord Krishna and Lord Aravan, followed by Aravan's subsequent sacrifice. They then mourn Aravan's death through ritualistic dances and by breaking their bangles. An annual beauty pageant is also held, as well as various health and HIV or AIDS seminars

19 Prostitution, has been a theme in Indian literature and arts for centuries In Southern India, devadasi and in Nepal Deuki is the practice involves dedicating pre-pubescent and young adolescent girls from villages in a ritual marriage to a deity or a temple, who then work in the temple and function as spiritual guides, dancers, and prostitutes servicing male devotees in the temple. 19 In ancient India

20 Various state governments in India have enacted laws to ban Devadasi practice prior to India's independence and since. The primary law dealing with the status of sex workers is the 1956 law referred to as The Immoral Traffic (Suppression) Act (SITA). According to this law, prostitutes can practise their trade privately but cannot legally solicit or 'seduce' customers in public 20 Law pertaining to sex workers

21 21 Role of Media – glorified courtesans

22 22 Role of Media – Transgender

23 23 Role of Media – Homosexual relations

24 Chapter XVI, Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code dating back to 1861,[1] introduced during the British rule of India, criminalises sexual activities "against the order of nature". The section was declared unconstitutional with respect to sex between consenting adults by the High Court of Delhi on 2 July That judgement was overturned by the Supreme Court of India on 12 December 2013, with the Court holding that amending or repealing Section 377 should be a matter left to Parliament, not the judiciary

25 Agitation 25

26 On 15th April 2014 the Supreme Court of India ruled that transgender people would be recognised on official documents under a separate "third gender" category. The change follows similar legislation in Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh. This means that now, for the first time, there are quotas of government jobs and college places for hijras. The decision has been cheered by activists, who say that, despite its distinguished history, the community too often faces violence and harassment. 26 Third gender -Minority status

27 27 Present times Gay parades across major cities like Mumbai Delhi Bangalore Pune of India since late 1990s The parades have grown such as Calcutta 11th Rainbow Pride festival in 2013 had more than 1500 people compared to 15 in 1999 Kashish Mumbai Queer Festival 2012

28 Asia pacific level National levels 28 Dialogue of faith leaders with key population

29 29 Dialogue Faith leaders signed their commitment to more dialogues

30 30 Save workshops

31 31 Faith against Homophobia May 2014

32 32 Thank you Dr Asavari Herwadkar, MD


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