Information | Tidbits
Cases of Gender Change in Ancient India
(1) Ilaa / Sudyumn
Once he was wandering for hunting that he enetered a forest. As soon as he entered the forest with his soldiers that all got converted into women. they were all very surprised to see this, but could not do anything. Later they came to know that that forest belonged to Shiv and Paarvatee Jee. And since they played there, they had made a rule that whoever man will enter the forest, will become a female, that is why when Sudyumn entered the forest with his soldiers, they all turned onto women. Now all wandered in that forest as women.
By chance there lived Chandramaa's son Budh in an Aashram. Once he saw Sudyumn and got attracted to her. he married her and had a son named Pururavaa. From him starts the Chandra Vansh on Prithvi. Later when Manu did not find his son, Vashishth Jee came to know the real situation of Sudyumn. Vashishth Jee prayed Shiv Jee and he permitted Sudyumn to be man for one month and woman for another month.
She tried several means to influence Bheeshm
to marry her but nothing worked, so she prayed Shiv Jee, and Shiv Jee blessed
her that she will be able to kill Bheeshm. "But how? I am a woman, how will I be
able to kill him as women cannot go in the battlefield." Shiv Jee said - "In
next birth you will be born as a girl and gain the manhood. You will remember
everything of your past life and then you will be able to kill Bheeshm." The
same thing happened. Ambaa immolated herself after this and was born as a
daughter in Drupad's house as Shikhandinee.
Once Urvashee saw his dance and got attracted to him and proposed for her love. Arjun clearly refused it saying that since she was the wife of Pururavaa, his ancestor, he considered her as his mother and that is why he could not even think of making love to her. This filled Urvashee with rage and she cursed him that he should be an eunuch all his life.
Arjun got scared. he immediately went to his father Indra and told everything. Indra called Urvashee and told her that she had no right to behave with him in such a way, because she was an Apsaraa and Apsaraa lived in Heaven. Urvashee said - "He has insulted me, so he should be punished. You yourself may decide his punishment." Then Indra limited his term of punishment for one year and that also he could use it any time at his will. Later he used that curse when he had to pass the year incognito in Viraat's palace as Brihannalaa teaching music and dance to the royal women and girls.
Anyway he returned to his capital. People were very surprised to see him in his changed form. He handed over his kingdom to his sons and left for the forest. In the forest he started living with a saint as his wife and gave birth to 100 sons. When they had grown up, he sent them tol his kingdom living with their brothers. Indra again took the revenge of his insult, so both of that King's sons - his sons when he was king and his sons when he was the wife of the saint, started quarreling and all died in that quarrel.
When the King came to know about the death
of his 200 sons, he went to Indra and said to him - I never insulted you
knowingly, it was just a slip of memory." Indra got convinced by his statement
and asked him if he wanted to be male again, but surprisingly the King did not
want to become male again. Indra got surprised to hear his "No" and asked
the reason. The King said - "O Dev Raaj, whatever pleasure I have experienced
in sex as a woman was unparallel. A man cannot experience such heavenly enjoyment
as a woman does. I do not want to lose this, so I choose to remain a woman throughout
my life than to regain my manhood."
Hearing this all the boys got frightened. They immediately opened the stomachof saamb and found a Moosal in his stomach. They ran towards Ugrasen's (Kans' father) court. They told him everything and showed the iron Moosal to him. Hearing this all who were sitting there also got frightened since everybody knew that Braahman's curse could not be untrue. Immediately Ugrasen crushed that Moosal and threw its powder into the sea. Later the same happened as the Rishi forecast.
Created by Sushma Gupta on 5/27/04
Updated on 06/28/13