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May. 7th, 2007



Introducing myself

Hi everyone.

I've officially left LiveJournal and don't really post on my own journal anymore, but when I saw this community I thought I should join it. I have a very strange perspective, since I was raised as a Sunni Muslim in Pakistan, became a secular agnostic, came out as a lesbian, had a series of spiritual experiences, all of which led me to the integral yoga of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, which has basically changed my life completely. I respect and adore these two teachers utterly.

My interests are, well, just about everything under the sun. The integral philosophy and yoga of Sri Aurobindo has more or less knocked my socks off -- there is so much he is trying to express and I fear that I am at the moment barely scratching the surface of it. I just thought I would drop a link to my current blog: http://www.thestumblingmystic.com/ -- where I've described some of my own journey and how I see gender and sexuality tying into spirituality and particularly into Sri Aurobindo's vision. I also joined this group in the interest of perhaps building some bridges between India and Pakistan -- after all, at the deepest level, our soul is one.

Take care everyone, and God bless.

How again can Hinduism be called a religion when it admits all beliefs, allowing even a kind of high-reaching atheism and agnosticism and permits all possible spiritual experiences, all kinds of religious adventures?
-- Sri Aurobindo

May. 5th, 2007



Hello all...

I just joined this community a couple days ago, along with a couple others I ran across. I'm not actually Hindu myself, I'm actually Pagan, but I have felt a connection to Hinduism ever since I was little, with Ganesha and Kali specifically. I'm also a Religious Studies minor at the University of Tennessee, possibly a double major...long story. I joined, for the most part, to ask questions and just soak up what I can. I realize that since there is no "head" of Hinduism, like the Pope is for Catholicism, so there can be a plethora of answers to any given question, but I think that's part of why Hinduism is so interesting to me. Hope everyone has a great weekend.

May. 2nd, 2007



(no subject)

I recently came out to some people with whom I study Vedanta philosophy. One of them believes that I'm morally wrong and that I "should be corrected". He's hoping that all of this spirituality that I practice will help me not be gay. However, after I came out, he facetiously told me that he was sorry for saying the things he did, and that I'm still the same person whom he had previously referred to as his "best friend".

How do I bridge my contempt for someone who thinks that I'm immoral because being gay is immoral, with seeing the divine spark in him etc. I mean, I don't want to stoop to where he is and hate all homophobes (which goes against my Hindu upbringing),  and I know that he's been through a lot in his life, but is that an excuse to let him continue to be this way? I'll be working and continuing to meet with him in this study group, but should I "force" my opinion that gay people aren't immoral onto him? Or just take a backseat and let him live and learn on his own...?

Apr. 19th, 2007




Hey, I'm glad this community was created, because I'm interested in learning more about Hindu philosophy and I'm also involved in queer and anti-racist activism.

About me - I was born in Trinidad and Tobago and grew up in an Indo-Trinidadian Hindu home. I moved to Toronto, Ontario about seven and a-half years ago, and now I'm in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I identify as queer. I've read some of Sri Aurobindo's work as well as Devdutt Pattanaik's The Man who was a Woman and other queer tales from Hindu lore. I'm currently reading Ruth Vanita's and Saleem Kidwai's Same-Sex Love in India. I have studied some Sanskrit as well as Vedic and Vedanta philosophy, and am currently studying Swami Vivekananda's work.

I'm hoping to talking about anything pertaining to those who identify as queer Hindus, like myself. :)

Apr. 18th, 2007

Ardhanari Naga



Someone posted in one of the gay support groups on LJ a while back advertising for a community for GLBT atheists specifically. It made me think "...Hey, I bet there's a group on LJ specifically for GLBT Hindus! There's a group for everything on LJ!" It was an exciting thought, because we're a quiet group, and our scriptures don't single us out and ostracize us like some other religion's do so there isn't a lot out there this specific. But there's still a great deal of irrational prejudice in India and abroad in general, and queer Hindus still have to deal with the same issues as queer folk of any faith. So I did a search and was surprised to find absolutely nothing of the kind. Well, we can't have that. And so glbt_hindus was born.

For a first post, I'd like to share an article from the HRC, you can find the entire article here I'm just posting part, but it's a nice overview of where we're at.

Some right-wing Hindu groups, active both in India and in the United States, have expressed virulent opposition to homosexuality. However, several modern Hindu teachers emphasize that all desire, homosexual or heterosexual, is the same, and that aspirants must work through and transcend desire. For example:

* Hindu philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti said that homosexuality, like heterosexuality, has been a fact for thousands of years, and that it becomes a problem only because humans focus too much on sex.

* When asked about homosexuality, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of the international Art of Living movement, said, “Every individual has both male and female in them. Sometimes one dominates, sometimes other; it is all fluid.”

* Mathematician Shakuntala Devi, in her 1977 book The World of Homosexuals, interviewed Srinivasa Raghavachariar, head priest of the Srirangam temple. Raghavachariar said that same-sex partners must have been cross-sex partners in a former life. The sex may change, he said, but the soul retains its attachments; hence love impels them toward one another.

* When, in 2002, Hindu scholar Ruth Vanita interviewed a Shaiva priest who had performed the marriage ceremony for two women, the priest said that having studied Hindu scriptures, he had concluded, “Marriage is a union of spirits. And the spirit is not male or female.”

* As Amara Dasa, founder of Gay and Lesbian Vaishnava Association, noted in Tritiya-Prakriti: People of the Third Sex, several Gaudiya Vaishnava authorities emphasize that since everyone passes through various forms, genders and species in a series of lives, people should not judge each other by the material body but should view everyone equally on a spiritual plane and be compassionate, as God is.

Still, there is little discussion of this issue in most Hindu religious communities. Consequently, some teachers and lay followers retain their anti-gay beliefs. As a result, many LGBT Hindus have left their religious communities.

Indian newspapers, however, have reported several same-sex weddings and same-sex joint suicides over the last 25 years. These incidents have primarily involved female Hindu couples living in small towns and unconnected to any LGBT rights movement. Several weddings have taken place by Hindu rites, some with family support. The suicides often resulted from families forcibly separating same-sex partners. In Love’s Rite: Same-Sex Marriage in India and the West, Ruth Vanita analyzes these phenomena.

The millennia-long debate in Hindu society over homosexuality, which was somewhat suppressed in the colonial period, is again becoming active. In 2004, Hinduism Today reporter Rajiv Malik asked several Hindu swamis (teachers) to describe their feelings about same-sex marriage. The swamis expressed a range of opinions, positive and negative. They felt free to differ with each other — evidence of the liveliness of the debate, made possible by the fact that Hinduism has no one hierarchy or leader. As one swami, Mahant Ram Puri, remarked, “We do not have a rule book in Hinduism. We have 100 million authorities.”

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