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On Hinduism$
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Wendy Doniger

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199360079

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199360079.001.0001

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Bisexuality and Transsexuality among the Hindu Gods 1

Bisexuality and Transsexuality among the Hindu Gods 1

(p.330) Bisexuality and Transsexuality among the Hindu Gods1
On Hinduism

Wendy Doniger

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the evidence and significance of bisexuality and transsexuality among the Hindu gods such as Vishnu and Shiva. It first considers a few myths about bisexual or transsexual Hindu gods and supernatural beings, including one in the Mahabharata where Vishnu took on an enchanting (mohini) illusion, the marvelous body of a woman, and Shiva found it difficult to catch and embrace him because he is not really a woman. It also looks at Shiva’s apparent heterosexuality and his own connection with androgyny, along with the transsexuality of Parvati’s worshipper. In addition, it cites the story of Queen Chudala in the Yogavasishtha as a brilliant example of female to male transsexuality, and back again.

Keywords:   bisexuality, transsexuality, Hindu gods, Vishnu, Shiva, Mahabharata, heterosexuality, androgyny, Parvati, Yogavasishtha

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