Vyasa’s Mahabharata: “Sikhandin’s Sex Change” (Sanskrit)
The story of Sikhandin is perhaps the best known case of sex change in any ancient Indian text. Sikhandin later became a term to refer to eunuchs and men of doubtful sexuality. The story is remarkable for the cluster of motifs associated with the sex change—rebirth, the cross-dressed girl-child married to another girl, her desire to be a man, and the uncertainty regarding the permanence of the change. Some of these motifs occur in stories of sex change in other mythologies.
KeywordsCritical Edition Male Friend Single Combat Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute Slave Woman
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- 2.See Ovid, Metamorphoses (Philadelphia: Paul Dry Books, 1999), 9: 666–797.Google Scholar