Vedic Texts Debunk Gay "Reparative" Therapies
Posted August 17, 2011
Vaishnavas, Hindus and other followers of Vedic knowledge needn't have any doubts regarding the fallacy behind claims that homosexual orientation can be "cured."
Although highly discredited by every major psychological and psychiatric association, religious-oriented clinics have sprung up in recent years touting what has become known as gay "reparative" or "pray away the gay" therapy. Believers assert that homosexuality is unnatural, harmful and acquired through childhood trauma, whereas opponents (including a growing number of victimized outpatients) counter that homosexual orientation is a natural human variation, inborn and essentially benign.
The basis of gay "reparative" therapy is rooted in this "nurture vs. nature" debate: is homosexual orientation an acquired vice that can affect everyone (like smoking, stealing, drinking alcohol, etc.) and is reversible through abstinence and prayer, or is it a pre-wired biological trait of a limited minority (like left-handedness) that cannot be changed but instead must be somehow accommodated? For gay people themselves this is not a question, since they know through personal experience that homosexual orientation is lifelong and unchangeable. For those who are uncertain, however, the Vedic scriptures answer this question quite clearly.
Ancient Ayurvedic (medical) texts like the Sushruta Samhita mention homosexual desire only within chapters concerning embryological development in the womb (3.2). Homosexuality is cited as being determined by various factors such as previous life activities and desires (samskaras), the strength of the parent's seed (sukra-bala), methods of intercourse (mithuna-vidhi), and astrological influences or divine ordinance (daiva). According to these texts, the basic sexual nature of any person is determined at the time of conception and developed up through the second month of pregnancy. Beyond that point it is considered unchangeable.
Dharma texts such as the Narada-smriti (12) therefore declare homosexual men (mukhebhaga, sevyaka, etc.) "incurable" and unqualified to marry women. (Bisexual men or paksha are usually considered qualified after further review.)
Clearly, ancient Vedic rishis, or seers of the truth, correctly viewed homosexual orientation (and other variations of gender such as transgender identity and intersex) as an immutable, biological trait. They did not waste time trying to change inborn qualities, nor did they recommend the adoption of false, artificial roles. Rather, they encouraged sense control equally across the board and engaged everyone in Krishna's service according to their own specific nature and ability (sva-dharma). Engaging in another person's duty or path in life was considered dangerous and ill-advised (Bhagavad-gita 3.35).
Unfortunately, in Kali-yuga foolish religious groups continue their futile fight against nature while creating confusion and great pain to others along the way. Krishna clearly allows certain people to be born gay for the purpose of fulfilling their karma, desires, or for whatever reasons we may not understand. This is true for all types of living entities born into this world. The real panacea or "cure-all" for any type of material birth — gay, straight or otherwise — is simply to come together, chant Hare Krishna and serve the Supreme Lord. Misunderstanding, misdiagnosing and mistreating others will only serve to drive them away from this important spiritual process.
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