In Hindu mythology, the hijras are mentioned numerous times.

Rama, Sita, Lakshmana

When Lord Rama and his wife Sita and brother Lakshman were about to embark on their 14-year exile, the people of Ayodhya flocked to the outskirts of town to see him leave. When Lord Rama was ready to depart for the jungles, he addressed the “Ladies and Gentlemen of Ayodhya,” telling them to return to their homes. The hijras, who were neither males nor women, remained anchored to the site until Lord Rama returned from exile 14 years later. When Lord Rama saw that these people had not relocated from their original location, he blessed them and predicted that they would one day govern the globe.

Lord Shiva becomes a harmonious balance of powers when he adopts the form of Ardhanarishwara, a blend of Shiv and Shakti, or half-male, half-female. Because transgender people identify with Shiva in his Ardhanarishwara form, he is one of the gods they adore.

Ardhanarishwara

According to another Hindu story, Lord Shiva chopped off his phallus and tossed it from the sky to the earth in order to allow creation on the planet. Abundance and fecundity flourished as a result. As a result, Lord Shiva’s renunciation of sexuality aided global fecundity. Lord Shiva is associated with the hijras because they suffer ritualistic emasculation similar to Lord Shiva’s own self-mutilation. They obtain the ability to bless the planet with reproduction by giving up a part of their sexuality. Hijras are fervent Shiva followers because of this parallel. Their primary god, though, is Bahuchara Mata.

Another anecdote about King Arjuna can be found in the Mahabharata epic book. The Pandava clan, of which Arjuna is a member, lost a dice game and was forced to spend thirteen years in exile as a penalty. The Pandavas were required to spend their 13th year in disguise according to the bet’s stipulations. After completing his 12 years of service, Lord Arjuna chose to live as a transsexual for a year. In a queen’s harem, he dressed as a lady and performed unskilled labor. Arjuna is claimed to have taught the court females the art of singing and dancing. Before her wedding, he also taught the princess of the castle how to be a woman and a mother.

Sukumarika, a hijra prostitute with a ferocious, insatiable sexual hunger, is the subject of a lesser-known mythical narrative. According to O’Flaherty (1980, p. 299):

In other words, she possesses all of the necessary characteristics to be the ideal prostitute.

 

Relieving Transgender People’s Suffering

Many groups, such as Sangama and Aneka, aim to ameliorate the situation of India’s hijras, or transgender people. They have been actively campaigning for the passage of the 2014 Transgender Persons’ Bill into law. They demand that all members of the LGBT community, not just hijras, be uplifted.

They offer transgender people admittance to government colleges, as well as scholarships for higher education, free housing, income-generating activities, and free sex reassignment surgeries in government hospitals. Many NGOs now offer assistance lines for transgender people, in an effort to reduce the shockingly high rates of suicide among the community’s members.

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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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