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What do Hindus believe about various aspects of sexuality/sexual health?

Discussion in 'Hinduism DIR' started by ZooGirl02, Jul 12, 2013.

  1. ZooGirl02

    ZooGirl02 100% orthodox Catholic

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    Hey everyone. What do Hindus believe as regards these questions:


    1. Is abortion allowed or disallowed? Is it considered immoral, moral, or morally neutral?
    2. What do Hindus believe about homosexuality, gay marriage, homosexual sexual relations, and homosexual relationships?
    3. What do Hindus believe about contraception?
    4. What do Hindus believe concerning premarital sex?
    5. Are certain kinds of sexual relations forbidden in Hinduism?
    Thanks in advance for your answers!
     
  2. ThunderRD

    ThunderRD New Member

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    First of all let me tell you that Hinduism is a very liberal religion. Instead of making strict laws about private matters it leaves the ultimate decision to the individual. Also Hinduism is flexible. It believes in moulding its values with time to suit circumstances of a particular era. The values which prevent an individual from living his life to the fullest are axed. Also it believes that the religion should continously evolve.

    So these are the answers:

    1. Abortion is allowed and perfectly moral.

    2. Hinduism does not promote homosexuality but if two individuals want to enter in such a relationship then they are certainly allowed to do so because their happiness is given supreme importance. So gay/lesbian relationships and marriages are moral.

    3. Hinduism would promote contraception for safety of an individual and when to reproduce is afterall his/her wish.

    4. Sex is not a taboo according to Hinduism. It is a way of accquiring pleasure and reproducing. And how it is done is left to an individual. So no sexual relations are forbidden.

    Hinduism believes in freedom of an individual in his/her private matters.
     
  3. Thorbjorn

    Thorbjorn Þórsmaðr Staff Member Premium Member

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    I'm not so sure about abortion not being frowned upon. Though I understand it's common.

    I don't think there is anything theological against homosexuality or homosexual unions. However, I'm hard-pressed to think that a Hindu priest would perform a same sex marriage not because of opposition to homosexuality, but as I understand it, marriage is the beginning of a procreative family. Of course, I could be wrong.
     
  4. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee

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    14,571
    Please understand that no one answer is authoritative, as we have many schools, and this forum doesn't have representatives of them all. So you will get a variety of answers. I'll give you my POV, which is form the Nandinatha sampradaya of the Saiva Siddhanta sect within Saivism, within Hinduism.

    1) Abortion is wrong (not recommended) unless the mother's life is in grave danger. Then we'd try to save the mother. Still we tolerate it.

    2) It's none of our business what other people do. Homosexuality is accepted, even noted in scripture.

    3) Contraception is fine. Modern science has replaced the herbs of the olden days.

    4) Not recommended, but tolerated.

    5) It might depend on what you define as sexual relations. We're pretty 'normal'.
     
  5. Viraja

    Viraja Jaya Jagannatha!

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    339
    [*]Is abortion allowed or disallowed? Is it considered immoral, moral, or morally neutral?

    Any killing - human or animal is considered wrong in Hinduism. But one can freely get aborted if she chooses for there are clinics available to do the same. It is just expected that some moral judgement is advocated, for example, if a 14-yr old conceives out of rape, then it is better for EVRYONE that she aborts the child. Hinduism doesn't dictate, it just says one should act according to their own conscience.

    [*]What do Hindus believe about homosexuality, gay marriage, homosexual sexual relations, and homosexual relationships?

    As far as I know (heard), these are considered incorrect. But I do not know which scripture says it is incorrect. This is not my personal opinion, though. Personally I feel that if someone chooses these out of necessity, because they are made one way, then it is not incorrect.

    [*]What do Hindus believe about contraception?

    Just the same as rest of the world does :) .

    [*]What do Hindus believe concerning premarital sex?

    This is a taboo in Hinduism. Because during marriage time, the bride is made to sit on her father's laps and he is supposedly giving away a virgin in marriage to a suitable groom in front of the holy fire, which is considered to be a great gift that the bride's father does to the groom. Many marriages end in divorce if the bride lied about her virginity and got married to a different guy.

    [*]Are certain kinds of sexual relations forbidden in Hinduism?

    Yes, extramarital affairs are strictly forbidden. But there is no punishment accorded by any religious groups - it is just considered karmically binding if one participates in it. There are 5 major sins considered in Hinduism, and extramarital affairs is one of them. :)
     
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  6. Kalidas

    Kalidas Well-Known Member

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    Well concerning abortion I am still undecided what I believe but I am pro choice. Even if MY religion says its wrong yours may not. So long as science fact says you are not murdering you can have what ever religious belief you want and I won't stop you.

    Gay marriage I don know if there is any scripture that forbids it and if even if there was I wouldn't care lol. I am all for it 110% . There is ZERO logical reason to be against allowing human beings the same rights as others. And homosexuality is a lot more natural then people think.

    I don't know what most say about contraception buy I see no issue with it. Adults should make intelligent decisions. We believe in not harming other beings to me not being responsible to a potential child is a great harm. Not that mistakes can't happen, they do. But I think its better to avoid so contraception sounds a okay to me.

    Pre martial sex? I'm sure were against it. Not that I am good at listening lol. I don't know marriage to me isn't the same it used to mean. Its a legal documentation now not the spiritual ritual it was of the past, I don't see how some legal paperwork makes my love all of a sudden "godly". Papers of man have no bearing on God an love.

    Taboo? Well unless I am wrong Hindus are the authors of karma stura(I bet I spelled that wrong) there are even Scriptures of the deities making love in what other religions would determine "bad positions"
     
  7. StarryNightshade

    StarryNightshade Narasimha Bhakta

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    Vadakalai Sri Vaishnav
    As far as I know:

    1.) I'm not sure if it is ''allowed'', but it most certainly does happen for a variety of reasons.

    2.) Nothing theological against homosexuality, but many modern Hindus are quite conservative due to the culture itself. It goes by an individual basis, rather than strictly religious. In my experience, most Hindus are neutral on the topic. As for gay-marriage, there a few priests who will perform them, but the majority will not.

    3.) Don't know.

    4.) It is highly discouraged, but not strictly forbidden. Most people have sex before marriage; Hindus included.

    5.) Pedophilia and Bestiality, perhaps? Like in most other religions and societies.
     
  8. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee

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    14,571
    In America, maybe. But I doubt if that holds in India, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, etc. There are 800 million Hindus in India, and maybe a million in America. Arranged marriage is still the most common form in India, and I seriously doubt if many have premarital sex ... maybe a very small %.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2013
  9. ZooGirl02

    ZooGirl02 100% orthodox Catholic

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    I am glad to hear that more people are chaste in Southeast Asia. I believe that chastity is a virtue.
     
  10. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee

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    So do I. You and I can certainly agree on that much, then. :)
     
  11. ZooGirl02

    ZooGirl02 100% orthodox Catholic

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    Well that's good to hear. :) I honestly didn't know that the concept of virtue existed in Hinduism. :)
     
  12. Poeticus

    Poeticus | abhyAvartin |

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    Namaste, (<---- This virtuous, holy salutation is older than the Bible itself, fyi.)

    The Abrahamic faiths do not have the monopoly on virtue. Virtue in Hinduism is old as the Indus Valley, if not older than the Valley itself, making the concept(s) of virtue in Hinduism older than the concept(s) of virtue that is(are) to be found in the Abrahamic faiths. No pun intended.

    Regards,
    Mitra-Varuna

    &#2332;&#2351; &#2358;&#2381;&#2352;&#2368; &#2352;&#2366;&#2350;
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2013
  13. ZooGirl02

    ZooGirl02 100% orthodox Catholic

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    Thank you Mitra-Varuna!
     
  14. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee

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    Probably the most widely accepted shorter treatise on our ethics are the yamas and niyamas. Some comparative scholars might say the ten 'commandments' of Hinduism. I've heard that.

    Yoga: The Ten Living Principles - Yamas and Niyamas
     
  15. Poeticus

    Poeticus | abhyAvartin |

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    Namaste,

    1. Gay and Lesbian Vaishnava Association, Inc. (Vaishnava Perspective; please read carefully about how the Colonial British were very brutal in suppressing homosexuality in India)

    2. "Sexuality is rarely discussed openly in contemporary Hindu society, especially in modern India where homosexuality was illegal until 2009, due to colonial British laws" (that were still in effect up till 2009). From section 377 of the Indian Penal Code: Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine. This penal code reeks of Colonial British (Christianized) laws.

    3. "Deepa Mehta's 1996 film Fire, which depicts a romantic relationship between two Hindu women, was informally banned for "religious insensitivity" after Hindu Nationalists attacked cinemas where it was being screened on the grounds that it denigrated Indian culture, not on the grounds of homophobia per se, a position shared and confirmed by feminist Madhu Kishwar. In addition, the Bharatiya (pro-Hindu) Janata Party who were in power in India at the time, refused to ban it."
    --->Entry on the movie "Fire", from IMDB (Internet Movie Database). Accessed on August 9, 2006.
    --->Naive Outpourings
    --->Furore over a film The movie was controversial not because of homosexual tendencies, but because of the director's mockery of the Holy Shr&#299; Ramayana and the misrepresentation of Hindu culture due to the involvement of graphic pornography in one scene where a character is watching an adult film in the presence of an elderly woman

    4. "A liberal view is presented by Mathematician Shakuntala Devi, in her 1977 book, The World of Homosexuals, in which she interviewed Srinivasa Raghavachariar, head priest of the Srirangam temple. He said that same-sex lovers must have been cross-sex lovers in a former life. The sex may change but the soul retains its attachments, hence the love impels these souls towards one another."
    "In 2002, Ruth Vanita (writer/reporter for GALVA &#8211; The Gay and Lesbian Vaishnava Association, Inc.) interviewed a Shaiva priest who performed the marriage of two women; having studied Hindu scriptures, he had concluded, &#8220;Marriage is a union of spirits, and the spirit is not male or female&#8221; (p. 147)."
    --->Marriage Equality and Hinduism Representing my fellow white Hindu dharmic bhagin&#299; (Sk. for sister) with her deeply researched analysis.......Oh, :yes:.

    5. Again, representing my white Hindu dharmic bhagin&#299; (Sk. for sister):
    "To expand further, in Hinduism there is a belief of the third gender. This is a category outside male and female, it is one which includes a wide range of people with mixed male and female natures such as transgender, homosexuals, transsexuals, bisexuals and so on. Such persons are not considered fully male or female in Hindu tradition but being combinations of both. They are mentioned as third sex by nature and are not expected to behave like ordinary men and women. They often keep their own societies or quarters, perform specific occupations (such as masseurs, hairdressers, flower-seller, domestic servants, etc.) and are generally attributed with a semi-divine status."
    --->Posted from: Marriage Equality and Hinduism;
    --->but, derived from: Asia and Hinduism makes hallmark with first same-sex marriage | Spirituality Ireland Blog.

    6. "(Christian) Colonialism subsequently imposed this prejudice on a number of non-western societies which did not previously have this sort of persecution. Other major world religions, particularly Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Shinto, don't condemn homosexuals in their sacred texts, let alone mention the subject except in passing."
    "In contemporary India LGBT people face discrimination and marginalization. This results from cultural attitudes imposed by the British during their long occupation of India. There is no condemnation of homosexuality in the ancient Hindu texts, and no bias against LGBT people is evident up to the 19th century.
    In a few Hindu lawbooks, same-gender sexuality is described as producing a state of impurity, but it can be expunged by a ritual bath.
    The ancient Hindu attitude was that sexuality should be fully integrated into the fabric of life, and nothing to be ashamed of. For instance, in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, IV:4, there is a passage about sex magic which was so explicit that Max Müller (a colonial pawn and imperialist/racialist) felt compelled to translate it into Latin." (Why? Because he meant to pervert the text to meet his Christian Imperialistic guidelines - a traitor to scholarly academia and honest Indology)
    "Homosexuality is discussed frankly and without condemnation in the ancient Hindu sexual treatises. In the Kama Sutra, in Chapter VI, lesbianism in harems is described, and in Chapter IX, male and female homosexuality in the context of a discussion of oral sex. To quote the Kama Sutra, Chapter IX: '...in all things connected with love, everybody should act according to the custom of his country and his own inclination.'
    There are many accounts of beings who transformed their gender by supernatural means in the ancient Hindu epics and Puranas. One prominent example occurs in the Mahabharata. A transgender person, Sikhandin, plays a pivotal role in that ancient Hindu epic. In book 5, Chapter 191-5, the origin of Sikhandin is related. Sikhandin was born as the daughter of King Drupada of the Panchalas, who had previously been childless. Druapada begged the God Mahadeva, to give him a son. He told him that 'Thou shalt have a child who will be a female and male. Desist, O king, it will not be otherwise.'"
    --->from my peeps at Sacred Texts, always workin' miracles yah feel me? LGBT Texts

    How you like them apples, sistah? :grill:

    Regards,
    Mitra-Varuna

    &#2332;&#2351; &#2358;&#2381;&#2352;&#2368; &#2325;&#2371;&#2359;&#2381;&#2339;
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2013
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  16. Kalidas

    Kalidas Well-Known Member

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    So it would seem Hinduism (as a religion) isn't actually against it, but due to outside forces the culture may or may not be against it. Interesting.
     
  17. Poeticus

    Poeticus | abhyAvartin |

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    Namaste,

    "Adiparva of Mahabharata refers to a practice of free love among the denizens of Uttarakuru, like the one followed by birds and the beasts, and is not regarded sinful as it is stated to have the approval of the rishis and the sanction of antiquity."
    --->Flood, Gavin (1996). An Introduction to Hinduism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    --->http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uttarakuru

    Regards,
    M.V.
     
  18. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee

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    Yes, indeed. You can feel the influences as you head further north in India itself. But that's just a basic geographic principle. The closer you are, geographically, the more influence. Less so these days. but for sure in earlier days when we didn't have things like airplanes, telephones, and email.
     
  19. Kalidas

    Kalidas Well-Known Member

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    2,744
    It makes me sad cause you don't see Hindu culture affecting other religions devotees, not by force at least.
     
  20. ZooGirl02

    ZooGirl02 100% orthodox Catholic

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    This is a very interesting thread. Thank you everyone for your replies.
     
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