India’s Transgender Pilgrimage to Goddess Durga: A Yearly Victory of Good over evil

Durga

The 7th-century panel in the Varaha Cave Temple Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu depicts Durga slaying the demon Mahishasura who is in an anthropomorphic form of a human with a buffalo head

While acceptance and integration of India’s transgender community is on the upswing, LGBT people in the United States and Brazil are now struggling to breathe under the jackboot of Christian totalitarianism.

And while no one reason can be given for this shift in पेरगान / पैरगान there can be no denying religion plays a major factor. Although I am neophyte regarding India’s customs I will endeavor to write an informative article regarding recent gains made by India’s transgender community and the historical religious context.

The Deccan Herald reports that  large contingent of transgender worshipers came to Uttar Pradesh’s Allahabad and celebrated third foundation day of the ‘Kinnar Akhada’ by offering prayers to the Hindu goddess Durga during autumn festival of Sharad Navratri

In the eastern and northeastern states of India, the Durga Puja is synonymous with Navratri, wherein goddess Durga battles and emerges victorious over the buffalo demon to help restore Dharma

Dharma ([dʱəɾmə]Sanskritधर्म dharmaAbout this sound listen Paliधम्म dhamma) is a key concept with multiple meanings in the Indian religions — HinduismBuddhismSikhism and Jainism. There is no single word translation for dharma in Western languages according to Wiki

In Hinduismdharma signifies behaviors that are considered to be in accord with rta, the order that makes life and universe possible, and includes duties, rights, laws, conduct, virtues and ‘‘right way of living’’. In Buddhism dharma means “cosmic law and order”,  but is also applied to the teachings of the Buddha. In Buddhist philosophydhamma/dharma is also the term for “phenomena“.

 Dharma in Jainism refers to the teachings of tirthankara (Jinaand the body of doctrine pertaining to the purification and moral transformation of human beings.

For Sikhs, the word dharm means the path of righteousness and proper religious practice.

So making Dharma good is essential for different parts of society to co-exist. That is where Durga comes in. Although she has her work cut out for her in this culture, could you imagine her in the United States? We have no idea what Dharma is.

Durga has been a warrior goddess, and she is depicted to express her martial skills. Her iconography typically resonates with these attributes, where she rides a lion or a tiger, has between eight to eighteen hands, each holding a weapon to destroy and create. She is often shown in the midst of her war with Mahishasura, the buffalo demon at the time she victoriously kills the demonic force. Her icon shows her in action, yet her face is calm and serene. In Hindu arts, this tranquil attribute of Durga’s face is traditionally derived from the belief that she is protective and violent not because of her hatred, egotism or getting pleasure in violence, but because she acts out of necessity, for the love of the good, for liberation of those who depend on her, and a mark of the beginning of soul’s journey to creative freedom.

From October 2015 with the first known transgender hosted Durga Puja

From October 2017

From this year. The pilgrimage seems to be much more accepted.

Kelli Busey
Editor in Chief at

Kelli Busey an outspoken gonzo style journalist has been writing since 2007. In 2008, she brought the Dallas Advocate on-line and has articles published by the Reconciling Ministries Network, The Transsexual Menace, The Daily Kos, Frock Magazine the TransAdvocate, the Dallas Voice and The Advocate. Kelli, an avid runner is editor in chief at Planet Transgender which she founded in 2007.

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