ST Saturday Special Report - Goddess of the Third Gender (Sept 6)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Sep 6, 2008
Goddess of the third gender
IN INDIA, the Bahuchara Mataji is the patron goddess of the famed
hijras. Also known as the third gender, they include transsexuals,
transvestites, hermaphrodites and eunuchs.

Wikipedia and several websites such as throw up many
myths surrounding the goddess' origins. One says she was a princess
who castrated her husband when she found out that he preferred
cross-dressing in the forest to jumping in their bed.

Another suggests she was a princess who jumped into a temple pond and
emerged a prince.

Yet another has her as a woman who, when threatened by rapists in the
forests of Gujarat, sliced off her breasts. She said she would offer
them to the attackers if they did not touch her.

She died, and was reincarnated as a goddess. She would appear before
impotent men and command them to cut off their genitals and become her
servant. If they did not, they would become impotent for their next
seven lives.