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.