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GALVA-108 Book Layout




Tritiya-Prakriti: People of the Third Sex

Understanding Homosexuality, Transgender Identity, and Intersex Conditions Through Hinduism


By Amara Das Wilhelm

Religion/Hinduism/Gender Studies

571 pages

ISBN: 978-1-41346-420-7



Table of Contents




Part One: Ancient Hindu Concepts


Chapter One: Tritiya-Prakriti: People of the Third Sex

Introduction / Three Categories of Gender / Third-Gender Citizens / A Matter of Semantics / Third-Gender Roles Lesbians (Svairini) / Gay Men (Kliba) / Transgenders (Shandha) / Intersex (Napumsa) / Bisexuals (Kami) / Sexual Accommodation Versus Puritanism / The Third Sex and Scriptural Law / Social Morality / Maharaja Virata’s Example / The Third Sex and Vedic Astrology / Reproductive Balance and Nature / Celibacy and Spiritual Life / The Appearance of Lord Caitanya / Conclusion


Chapter Two: Denying the Existence of Homosexuals in Ancient India


Chapter Three: Vedic Third-Gender Types and Terms

The Eight Types of Napumsa / The Five Types of Kliba / The Twenty Types of Shandha / The Fourteen Types of Panda / The Ten Types of Nastriya / General Terms / Specific Terms / The Ten Causes of Gender / Vedic Testing For Impotence


Chapter Four: Additional Vedic References

Third-Gender Men of the Bhagavata Purana / Lack of Specific Statements On Homosexuality / The Dharma Shastra / The Artha Shastra / The Ayur Shastra / The Kama Shastra / The Duty of Satisfying Women / Courtesans and the Third Sex / Sikhandhi and the Question of Gender Identification / Third-Gender Births As Purifying / The Jyotir and Nimitta Shastra


Chapter Five: Hindu Deities and the Third Sex

Sri Ardhanarisvara / Sri Arjuna / Sri Ayyappa / Sri Bahucara-Devi / Sri Bhagavati-Devi / Sri Bhagiratha Maharaja / Sri Brahma / Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu / Sri Chandi-Chamunda / Sri Durga-Devi / Sri Gadadhara / Sri Ganesha / Sri Gangamma-Devi / Sri Harihara / Sri Iravan / Sri Jagannatha / Sri Kali / Sri Kartikeya / Sri Krsna / Sri Minakshi-Devi / Sri Mitra-Varuna / Sri Mohini-Murti / Sri Narada Muni / Sri Ramacandra / Sri Siva / The Six Goswamis / Sri Sukracarya / Sri Surya / Sri Vallabhavardhana / Sri Yellamma-Devi / On Nonsectarianism


Part Two: Foreign Influences


Chapter One: India’s Slow Descent into Homophobia

Vedic India / Post-Vedic India / The Buddhist Period / The Gupta Period / Islamic Invasions Begin / Hindu-Muslim Coexistence / The Mughal Empire / The Trading Companies / British Rule / India’s Independence / On to the Future


Chapter Two: The Islamic Introduction of Male Castration into India


Chapter Three: Victorian Influence on Homosexuality in India

Pandit Madhavacarya’s Commentaries on the Kama Sutra (1911) / Hakim Muhammad Yusuf Hasan’s “Do Shiza” (1900)


Chapter Four: A Third Sex Around the World

The Animal Kingdom / The Americas / The South Seas / East Asia / Central and West Asia / Central and West Africa / South and East Africa / North Africa and the Middle East / Southern Europe / Northern Europe


Part Three: Modern Applications


Chapter One: Modern Biology and the Concept of a “Third Sex” : Improving Our Understanding of Homosexuality and Intersex Conditions (By Bhakti Ananda Goswami)

Defining “Intersexuality” and “Homosexuality” / Understanding Sex Differentiation / The Right to Sexual Self-Determination / My Personal Interest in All of This / Various Intersex Conditions / Neurologically Feminized Males and Masculinized Females / Very Feminine Homosexual Men and Very Masculine Lesbians / Ordinary or “Gender-Normal” Homosexual Males and Lesbians / Same-Sex Pairing and Peer-Bonding / Other Types of “Homosexual” Behavior / Intersexuality, Same-Sex Pairing, and Reproductive Balance / Conclusion


Chapter Two: Modern Third-Gender Types and Terms

Neurological Types / Psychological Types / Physical Types / Modern Causes of Gender / Modern Testing For Impotence


Chapter Three: The Case for “Gay Tolerance”: Third-Gender Relationships in Gaudiya Vaishnavism (By Rama Keshava dasa)

From Vedic Times to Present / An Issue of Language and Identification / What Then is a Valid Relationship? / Conclusion


Chapter Four: Conversations Between Srila Prabhupada and Allen Ginsberg

New York City, 1966 / San Francisco, 1967 / Columbus, 1969


Chapter Five: Srila Prabhupada on the Third Sex: “I Do Not Know Exactly…”

(Positive Comments) “Eunuchs” as Part of Vedic Society / On Transsexuals and Gay Relationships / On Sexual Differences / Accommodating All Members Of Society (Negative Comments) Homosexuality is a Mental Illness / Homosexuality is Caused By Overindulgence / Homosexuals are Irresponsible / People Choose to Become Homosexual / There is No Homosexuality in the Animal Kingdom / Homosexuality Should Not Be Openly Discussed / Gentlemen Should Not Associate With Homosexuals / Homosexual Marriage is Shocking / Homosexuality is a Modern Day Occurrence / Homosexual Behavior is Demonic / Conclusion


Chapter Six: Bisexuality Versus Homosexuality: Can Sexual Orientation Be Changed?

Statements By The American Psychological Association


Chapter Seven: Fundamentalist Versus Progressive Hinduism

Vaishnava-Dharma Is Very Liberal


Chapter Eight: Moving Forward on Contemporary Gay Issues

Gays in the Ashrama / Gay-Oriented Religious Organizations / The Question of Gay Marriage


Part Four: Transcending Material Designations


Chapter One: On Renunciation


Chapter Two: We Are Not These Bodies


Chapter Three: Same-Sex Love and Affection in the Spiritual World

The Natural Propensity to Love / The Material World is a Reflection of the Spiritual World / Spiritual Sex and Procreation / The Kama Shastra in Vaishnava Literature / The Importance of Hearing Krsna’s Pastimes / Attraction For Krsna in a Particular Relationship / Loving Pastimes Between Krsna and the Cowherd Boys / The Glories of Krsna’s Flute / Lord Caitanya’s Ecstatic Moods / Loving Pastimes Between Radha and the Gopis / Various Levels of Spiritual Love


Chapter Three: God Loves Everyone



Appendix 1: Summaries / Appendix 2: Frequently Asked Questions / Appendix 3: Tape Transcript (No. 67-002) / Appendix 4: Standard Monier-Williams Definitions / Appendix 5: Hindu Festivals Popular with the Third Sex / Appendix 6: Positive Perspectives


Notes / Bibliography / Glossary / Index / About the Author





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