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Their likeness is so similar that they could not be told apart.Wilhelm added: ‘In Vrndavana, India, temples still dress Radharani in male attire on this day and it is one of the rare opportunities to view Her lotus feet and receive special blessings.’ There is also the story of Shikhandi, featured in the sacred Mahābhārata.Some, therefore, view same-sex marriage has unacceptable.However, it’s also clear that the Dharma Shastras are guides – not binding texts – and that there are multiple ways to define or interpret the idea of Prajaa.

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The Gay & Lesbian Vaishnava Association (GALVA) highlights, in its report Homosexuality, Hinduism and the Third Gender, the gender fluidity of Hindu deities, and notes that “everything in this world is a reflection of the original subtle and spiritual reality.” The epic Mahabharata features the transgender character Sikhandin, and depicts the warrior Arjuna cross-dressing to become Brihannala, teacher of fine arts.Hindu sacred texts do not distinguish between heterosexual and homosexual acts – rather procreative sexual acts (within marriage) and non-procreative sexual acts such as oral sex.Amara Das Wilhelm is the president of the Gay and Lesbian Vaishnava Association (GALVA-108), the first LGBTI Hindu religious organization.As the third largest religion in the world, it’s widely practised in Southeast Asia and is also regarded as the world’s oldest religion.But because there is no central Hindu authority, attitudes to LGBTI people vary greatly.