Arddhanarishvara

Despite the fact that some hijras worship Lord Shiva in his Ardhanarishwara or Shiv-shakti (half man, half woman) form, the most prominent deity among them is the celibate Gujarati Goddess Bahuchara Mata, who is the daughter of a man named Bapan Dan Dehta, who is said to be a member of the Charan caste, which is revered in parts of Sindh, Gujarat, and Rajasthan. The Mata is a sari-clad, multi-armed woman who sits atop a rooster. In one hand, she wields a sword; in the other, a mace; and in the third, a trishul (trident). Her mode of transport is sometimes described as a “kurkut,” a serpent with two mouths.

Bahuchara Devi

All hijras are said to become vehicles for Bahuchara Mata’s occult abilities following Nirvan (or the emasculation rite). The Goddess is mostly venerated at the Bahucharaji temple, which is adorned with stone carvings and is located in Bahucharaji town in Gujarat’s Mehsana district. (The emasculation ceremony and the hijra who undergoes the emasculation ceremony are both referred to as NIRVAN.) The ceremony is spelled Nirvan with a capital “N” in this text, and the individual is spelled nirvan in tiny letters.)

Several contradictory theories abound about the Hijra Goddess. According to the first, Bahuchara Mata and her entourage were going on a journey through the jungle. A group of dacoits attacked the party, with one of them attempting to offend the Mata’s modesty. The Mata is claimed to have chopped off one of her breasts to protect herself, possibly starting the self-mutilation habit among her followers. Her assailant was rendered helpless by a terrible blight. The curse was released only after he promised to dress in female garb, walk into the forest, and live as a woman.

According to the second narrative, a childless monarch who yearned for an heir worshipped Bahuchara Mata. As a result of her blessing, he was given a son named Jetho. The Mata arrived in Jetho’s nightmares one night and persuaded him to cut off his male genitals and transform into a woman. Bahuchara Mata’s devotees are expected to follow suit. According to legend, the Mata issues strict directions to a nirvan or hijra novice, instructing him to undergo the Nirvan, or emasculation procedure. The Mata’s words are meant to be respected by the nirvan. If a potential nirvan disobeys the Mata’s directives, he is cursed to be born impotent for the next seven births.

Mata’s marriage is the subject of the third story. Bahuchara Mata’s marriage to the son of a powerful king was arranged. The wedding was well-attended and well-attended. The prince went hunting on the first night of the wedding, when the bride and groom were meant to consummate their marriage, leaving the Mata alone in her bridal chamber. He was faced with an understandably angered Mata when he returned the next morning. Because he was neither a man nor a woman, the guilt-ridden prince knelt at his bride’s feet and made a profound confession: he had no interest in sex or living the life of a householder. The Mata was enraged, not because of his gender identification, but because he had kept the secret from her until the wedding day. The Mata is supposed to have castrated her husband and sent him to the forest, commanding him to live the rest of his life there as a woman, because she was now cursed to be a virgin.

The origins of the hijras’ celibacy, renunciation, austerity, and emasculation practices may be found in these ancient tales. However, it is ironic because the passionate worshippers of the virgin Mata’s principal source of revenue is flesh trade or prostitution.

I have been a story writer since 1998 and have published many novels/novellas in both English and Japanese. Protagonists of the following fictions are Hijras – including ordinary males who turn into Hijras over the course of the story:

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