Blog Post

Same Sex Relationships and the role of Karma

A Blog Post

One of the central features of Hinduism is belief in rebirth. Each soul goes through numerous births and deaths before it achieves liberation. Belief in rebirth also leads to several other beliefs. For example, Hindus believe that marriage is between two souls, who are bound to the cycle of births and deaths (samsara). Their relationship is not limited to one birth, but may extend up to seven. Hindus also believe that the soul has no gender. In other words, there are no permanent male or female souls. Gender is determined by karma and which body a soul assumes at the time of its entry into the womb.

All souls are invariably aspects of the Cosmic Being and masculine. Hence, they are called men (purushas) only. As pure souls, they are indistinguishable, eternal, indestructible and infinite, while they may assume different bodies in the mortal world according to their karma. Some souls may take birth as animals, some as birds and some as humans. Human birth is precious and arises after a soul goes through innumerable births and reaches certain purity.

Thus, the form and gender of a soul in the mortal body are determined by karma. In other words, a person who is born as a male in this birth does not have to be born as a male again. He may take birth in a woman’s body. The same can happen to married couples. In their next birth, depending upon karma a couple may be born as before or as two males or two females or with their gender reversed. That is, the husband may be born as the wife and the wife may born as the husband. Some may even take birth as transexuals and in worst case scenario as animals.

Such possibilities explain why people of the same sex are often sexually attracted to each other and enter marital relationships. Hindu Law books (Dharmashastras) do not approve of same sex marriages or relationships since they consider procreation as the basis for human marriages. From their perspective, same sex marriages do not serve the aims of Dharma on earth nor confirm to the moral code it upholds. However, if someone is looking for explanation how same sex relationships may manifest in the world, and why some people feel compelled to make their sexula preferences, this is one plausible explanation.