Cover image for The man who was a woman and other queer tales from Hindu lore
Title:
The man who was a woman and other queer tales from Hindu lore
Author:
Pattanaik, Devdutt.
Publication Information:
New York : Harrington Park Press, [2002]

©2002
Physical Description:
xiii, 165 pages : color illustrations ; 22 cm.
Language:
English
Added Author:
ISBN:
9781560231806

9781560231813
Format :
Book

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BL1215.S49 M36 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

A god transforms into a nymph and enchants another god.

A king becomes pregnant.

A prince discovers on his wedding night that he is not a man.

Another king has children who call him both father and mother. A hero turns into a eunuch and wears female apparel. A princess has to turn into a man before she can avenge her humiliation. Widows of a king make love to conceive his child. Friends of the same sex end up marrying each other after one of them metamorphoses into a woman.

These are some of the tales from Hindu lore that this unique book examines. The Man Who Was a Woman and Other Queer Tales from Hindu Lore is a compilation of traditional Hindu stories with a common thread: sexual transformation and gender metamorphosis.

In addition to the thought-provoking stories in The Man Who Was a Woman and Other Queer Tales from Hindu Lore, you'll also find: an examination of the universality of queer narratives with examples from Greek lore and Irish folklore a comparison of the Hindu paradigm to the biblical paradigm a look at how Hindu society and Hindu scripture responds to queer sexuality a discussion of the Hijras, popularly believed to be the "third gender" in India--their probable origin, and how they fit into Hindu society With the telling of each of these tales, you will also learn how the author came upon each of them and how they relate to the context of dominant Hindu attitudes toward sex, gender, pleasure, fertility, and celibacy.


Table of Contents

Prefacep. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Introduction: Placing Stories in Contextp. 1
Universality of Queer Narrativesp. 1
Differences in Queer Narrativesp. 2
Hindu versus Biblical Paradigmp. 4
Structured Society Within Fluid Philosophyp. 5
The Hindu Way of Lifep. 6
Hindu Response to Queer Sexualityp. 8
Adoption of the Colonial Discoursep. 10
The Third Sex and Gender in Indiap. 10
An Ancient Legacyp. 12
What About the Women?p. 13
Representation in Narrativesp. 15
Interpretation of Narrativesp. 16
Structure and Aim of the Bookp. 17
Chapter 1. Women Who Become Menp. 19
Bhisma: The Son Who Swore Celibacyp. 21
Avikshita: The Prince Who Believed He Was a Womanp. 22
Amba's Quest for Manhoodp. 23
Children of the Man with Queer Virilityp. 25
Shikhandini Gets a Male Bodyp. 26
The Raja's Daughter Who Became His Sonp. 28
The Girls Who Got Marriedp. 29
The Inseparable Girlsp. 31
Man Who Was a Womanp. 33
The Woman Who Became a Man and Then a Womanp. 35
Sariputra's Sex Changep. 38
Malli Who Became Malli-Nathap. 39
Chapter 2. Pregnant Kingsp. 41
Bhangashvana: The Man Who Was Father and Motherp. 41
Somavat: The Male Wifep. 43
Son of a Eunuchp. 44
The Forest Where Men Became Womenp. 45
The Dawn-God Becomes a Womanp. 49
Riksharaja's Dip into Womanhoodp. 49
Narada Becomes a Womanp. 51
Yuvanashva: The Pregnant Kingp. 54
Ravana's Pregnancyp. 56
Shiva Gives Birth to Shukrap. 57
Kavya Gives Birth to Kachap. 58
Birth of Kartikeyap. 61
Kartikeya Turns Away from Womenp. 63
Chapter 3. Cross-Dressing Trickstersp. 65
Mohini Tricks Bhasmap. 66
Mohini Fools the Asurasp. 68
Mohini Kills Virochanap. 71
Mohini Enchants the Sagesp. 71
Vishnu Arouses Shivap. 72
Death of Adip. 73
The Son of Shiva and Vishnup. 75
Kali Becomes Krishnap. 77
Shiva, the Milkmaidp. 78
Krishna Wears Radha's Clothesp. 81
Krishna Kills Arakap. 83
Krishna and Arjuna As Mother and Daughterp. 84
Ghatotkacha in Women's Clothesp. 84
Bhima in Women's Clothesp. 85
Santoshi and Her Brotherp. 86
Krishna Becomes Aravan's Wifep. 87
Samba's Pregnancyp. 88
Ravana's Haremp. 91
Past Lives of the Milkmaidsp. 92
Chapter 4. Castrated Men and Womenp. 95
Brihanalla: The Eunuch Dancerp. 95
Urvashi Castrates Arjunap. 98
Bahuchara Emasculates Her Husbandp. 99
Bahuchara Cuts Her Breastsp. 101
Kannagi Plucks Out Her Breastp. 102
Shiva Castrates Himselfp. 103
Sages Castrate Shivap. 104
Indra Loses His Manhoodp. 105
Laxmana Mutilates Surpanakhap. 106
Emasculation of Jamadagni's Sonsp. 107
Chelliamman's Female Companionp. 109
The Man Who Had Never Seen a Womanp. 111
Chapter 5. Neither This nor Thatp. 113
Narasimhap. 113
Creation of Ganeshap. 115
Two Queens Conceive a Childp. 116
Ganesha Remains Singlep. 118
The Separation of the Three Worldsp. 120
Rama's Returnp. 121
Purusha Splits into Twop. 122
Brahma Sees the Half-Woman Godp. 123
Shiva Makes Parvati His Left Halfp. 125
Shiva Fuses with Parvatip. 125
Shiva Cursed to Become an Androgynep. 128
Bhrungi Tries to Separate the Androgynep. 128
Shiva-Lingap. 129
The Prince Who Married His Left Halfp. 130
Afterwordp. 133
Notesp. 135
Glossaryp. 141
Bibliographyp. 153
Indexp. 157