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60 transgenders ordained as monks

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Oct 15, 2017, 3:10 am IST
Updated : Oct 15, 2017, 3:11 am IST

Newly formed Kinnar Akhara is yet to be accepted by ABAP.

Mahamandleshwar of Kinnar Akhara Laxmi Narayan Tripathi along with Sadhus of Kinnar Akhara at the Yamuna in Allahabad on Thursday. (Photo: PTI)
 Mahamandleshwar of Kinnar Akhara Laxmi Narayan Tripathi along with Sadhus of Kinnar Akhara at the Yamuna in Allahabad on Thursday. (Photo: PTI)

Lucknow: In a major development, the first batch of about 60 transgenders were ordained as saints in the newly formed ‘Kinnar Akhara’, a new monastic order. The rituals for the ordainment took place in Allahabad on Friday according to Vedic rights and Swami Vasudevanand led the ceremony.

Swami Laxminarayan Tripathi, the newly ordained Acharya Mahamandleswar of Kinnar Akhara, said, “60 kinnars (transgenders) from various parts of the country wanted to join the akhara as a monk. They followed the same rituals which a person seeking to accept the life of monkhood does”. 

Swami Laxminarayan Tripathi, said, “The entry of transgenders into ascetic life is another revolutionary step after the Supreme Court verdict that recognized people of LGBT community as third gender in 2014. The saint community of 13 akharas is male-dominated. They denied us our right to be part of Hindu religion by not admitting us to their akhara, so we decided to form our own monastic order”. 

Incidentally, the newly-formed akhara is yet to be accepted by the Akhil Bhartiya Akhara Parishad (ABAP) , the umbrella head of the 13 main akharas and is facing a boycott from the ABAP. Though the ‘kinnars’ had invited prominent seers of other monastic orders in the ordainment ceremony but none of them attended the function. 

Swami Laxminarayan Tripathi expressed the hope that the ‘Kinnar Akhara’  would help in erasing the image of transgenders as ones who just sing and dance in birth and marriage functions for money or seek alms in trains and at traffic signals. 

Mahant Pavitra, a newly ordained seer,  said that religious scripture like Puranas’ mention and eulogise the contributions made by transgenders in every field.  

Tags: kinnar akhara, 60 transgenders
Location: India, Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow