It is important to note that the king addressed Brihannala as a female, accepting her transgender status. He did not ridicule or belittle her, and he most certainly did not have her sent away or arrested. He also did not suggest that Brihannala change her dress and behave as an ordinary male.
Rather, he accepted her nature as it was and offered her shelter and employment within his royal palace. This kindness and respect offered by Maharaja Virata to Arjuna in his transgender form of Brihannala is exemplary and should be followed by all government officials and leaders of society. The Third Sex and Vedic Astrology. In Vedic astrology, the nine planets are each assigned to one of the three genders.
House part-16 ( Yogas)
The Sun, Jupiter, and Mars are assigned to the masculine gender; the Moon, Venus, and Rahu are assigned to the feminine gender; and Mercury, Saturn, and Ketu are assigned to the third or neutral gender. This neutrality refers to the fact that their natures are aloof from the business of procreating life as compared to the male and female planets. For instance, Mercury governs children, who have not yet entered puberty and do not become sexually aroused.
Saturn governs the impotent and elderly, who are by nature restricted from sexual reproduction. Ketu, on the other hand, specifically concerns those who are sexually fit but have no interest in the act of sexual procreation.
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These include the celibate and people of the third sex. Ancient scriptures on Vedic astrology emphasize Mercury as most indicative of the third gender although some texts stress Saturn or Ketu.
They are good managers, young in spirit and highly competent in their fields. Saturn, on the other hand, refers to those who are less fortunate in life, solitary and disparaged by society for their impotence. The planet Ketu is viewed as a moksha karaka , or indicator for enlightenment, and its third-gender natives often become psychics, ascetics, monks, nuns, and so on. Some of the more common indicators of female homosexuality in Vedic astrology include having a masculine ascendant and Moon sign, or Venus in the sign of Virgo.
Of these, Mrgashira, Mula, and Satabhisa are assigned to the third or neutral gender.
Amara Yoga in Vedic Astrology
This is related in the Dharma Shastra:. A male child is produced by a greater quantity of male seed, a female child by the prevalence of the female; if both are equal, a third-sex child napumsa or boy and girl twins are produced; if either are weak or deficient in quantity, a failure of conception results.
Manusmriti 3. This verse is very significant because it specifically states that the third sex is biologically determined during the earliest moments of conception, a statement also confirmed in Sanskrit medical texts such as the Sushruta Samhita. In other words, people of the third sex are born that way, as a fact of nature. Reproductive Balance and Nature.
The mechanisms of biological variation from the normal male and female construct always involve alterations in the standard developmental plan. People commonly assume that every member of human society should be directly involved in the process of sexual reproduction, but we can observe that throughout nature this is quite often not the case.
In many highly socialized species, nonreproductive members play unique and important roles. When these submissive males are examined, they are found to have experienced an actual lowering of their own testosterone levels, and their very survival may depend on this. Such individual and group mechanisms found within nature are specifically orchestrated to sustain the species most effectively. In addition to the sterile and nonreproductive creatures found in nature, many animals also display homosexual behavior and same-sex pairing.
This aspect of animal behavior has been well documented in a wide range of species. In some varieties of birds, for instance, the occurrence of same-sex pairing dramatically increases from its normal baseline under pressures related to overcrowding or environmental duress. Because these same-sex pairs do not reproduce, the population increase is slowed or even reduced without massive starvation or die-off. Nature or God does not prohibit such apparent errors because in fact they are not errors at all. In the larger picture, these variations serve a purpose whether we, as humans, are aware of it or not.
Human beings are not animals, but our bodies are made of the same elements and obey all of the same basic rules of chemistry and biology. We should stop thinking of our species as being somehow categorically beyond the laws of nature and God. There are reasons and mechanisms for everything in nature, and by understanding them properly we can learn to address human variance with intelligence instead of fear. In societies where only reproductive males and females are acknowledged and valued, there is no room for a nonreproductive third sex.
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People who do not produce offspring are viewed as failures and delegated to the lowest ranks of human society. Such artificial attempts to negate the third sex against the arrangement of nature and God can be devastating for the individuals involved. In conclusion, it is not necessary for each and every member of human society to engage in sexual reproduction. Human worth is not measured only in terms of fertility.
Nonprocreative persons account for a vast number of otherwise healthy, functional individuals who should be encouraged to engage themselves constructively in ways appropriate for them. In Vedic culture, people of the third sex traditionally contributed to society in a variety of useful ways.
They utilized their extra time in cultivating the finer arts, sciences, and spirituality and were involved as a part of the extended family by serving and caring for others. The Vedic social system did not neglect or exclude people of the third sex, but rather it accepted and engaged them according to their nature.
Celibacy and Spiritual Life. The practice of celibacy, or voluntary restraint from sexual activity, is an important and much-revered aspect of spiritual life within Vedic religion. It also helps to minimize bodily and worldly demands in order to fully immerse oneself in spiritual rapture. Celibacy is prescribed for the priestly class, the elderly, and for those engaged in study. It is highly recommended for sincere souls who are truly eager to make advancement in spiritual life. According to Vedic tradition, the practice of celibacy does not necessarily have to be lifelong.
It may also be practiced within limited frames of time such as one year, one month, one fortnight, etc. One of the advantages for people of the third sex is that the practice of celibacy often comes easily for them. This is due to their lack of attraction for the opposite sex and the subsequent urge to couple, produce offspring, and engage in family life. It can be observed that the ratio of gay and lesbian people living within temples and monasteries is generally higher than it is within the ordinary population.
Many cultures of the world specifically encourage and train their third-gender children to enter into the priestly order. From a practical point of view, however, it is important to note that most people will not be interested or able to engage themselves in strict, lifelong celibacy, especially during youth. Those who desire spiritual advancement are advised to avoid sexual indulgence as far as possible, according to their ability. For members of the third sex, this may be accomplished in various ways such as minimizing sexual conduct, committing to a single partner, refraining from practices such as adhorata , etc.
It is the duty of the brahmanas to encourage and engage all members of society in the many spiritual practices recommended in the Vedas.
This includes people of the third sex. No one is to be excluded or discouraged from these practices because of class, character, social standing, gender, race, etc. These practices gradually purify the heart and remove all bad, unwanted qualities. Their importance exceeds and corrects all personal disqualifications.
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They promote spiritual upliftment for society as a whole and awaken true love for God in His multitude of forms such as Krsna, Rama, Vishnu, Narayana, etc. The Appearance of Lord Caitanya. Lord Caitanya is revealed as an avatar incarnation of God in the Vedic scriptures, and He appeared in this world in Mayapura, India, in A. This divine combination of supreme God and supreme Goddess in the form of Lord Caitanya is considered to be among the most confidential teachings of Vedic literature.