Pharyngula

i-fc8626f3e2138aaaf7dd9b46013ac0ff-steve.jpg
“There’s something enchanting under his sari!”

What is this, silly religion day? I just got sent a link to this marvelous story of a young unemployed British fellow who became a goddess in India — he is now the incarnation of Bahucharaji, the patron of Indian eunuchs, and he goes around blessing people and curing their infertility. Apparently, Bahucharaji was an Indian princess who castrated her husband because he wasn’t interested in sex, and for that she was deified. Thank Lakshmi and Urvasi my wife is an unbeliever!

They call him Prema, for short. It means “Divine Love.” Hey, what a coincidence, that’s what “PZ” means, too!

Hindu pilgrims have no doubts about his powers. When we asked Bhanu Barot why she was so keen to receive Prema’s blessing, she said, simply: “Because she is a goddess.”

Another woman, Rekha, said she had travelled for days to be blessed by Steve. She added: “My sister-in-law came here and she got pregnant immediately. I am hoping the same will happen for me after receiving the blessing of the goddess.”

It must be <cough> magic.

Life isn’t all curry and rice beer, or exotic Indian beauties asking for assistance in getting pregnant. There’s also the professional jealousy.

A eunuch called Sudha said: “He is a fake. I checked and he still has a penis.

He is a male so can’t be a goddess. He shouldn’t give blessings.”

Ooooh, the little bitch.

Comments

  1. #1 DaveX
    March 30, 2007

    Figured you’d get a kick out of that!

  2. #2 Blake Stacey, OM
    March 30, 2007

    Male and goddess ain’t no worse than invisible and pink or three and one.

  3. #3 Dianne
    March 30, 2007

    Hey, at least he/she’s happy and feels useful. I’ve seen religions do worse by people.

  4. #4 Great White Wonder
    March 30, 2007

    A eunuch called Sudha said: “He is a fake. I checked and he still has a penis. He is a male so can’t be a goddess. He shouldn’t give blessings.”

    LOL! I watched John Ford’s “The Fugitive” last night and there is a seen where Henry Fonda (the fugitive priest) is supposed to perform a mass but discovers that all his wine is gone. “We can’t have a mass without wine,” he says.

    Why the fuck not? It’s all just a bunch of made up bullshit.

    A huge portion of the human population consists of deluded fucking idiots.

  5. #5 PZ Myers
    March 30, 2007

    Male and goddess and presumably a eunuch, yet not. So many conundrums in one place, she must be a goddess!

    By the way, the real fraud here is Sudha. You’d think a eunuch would know that eunuchs generally lack testicles, and that having a penis does not at all contradict the story that he’s a eunuch. Somebody might want to do a quick inspection of Mr Sudha; he might have to be kicked out of the Eunuch’s Union.

  6. #6 natural cynic
    March 30, 2007

    Sudha is probably a Hijra – a traditional transgender person with perhaps a 4000 year-old history. They often are prostitutes and most live a female gender-typical lifestyle. The have had a traditional surgical orchiectomy and penectomy. And there are a lot of them fighting for their civil rights.

  7. #7 Brian Gyss
    March 30, 2007

    Quick, somebody buy the life rights! I see Cillian Murphy in the part, heh heh.

  8. #8 natural cynic
    March 30, 2007

    See this wikipedia article for more info.

  9. #9 Adrian Clement
    March 30, 2007

    It would be cool if you could see how many people visit your site.

  10. #10 tintenfisch
    March 30, 2007

    Hey, PZ.

    I remember reading a while back that, in India, the whole eunich thing is tied to regional religious practices and involves the removal of both penis and testicles as well as most of the scrotum.

    Maybe someone else out there knows more?

  11. #11 Cogito
    March 30, 2007

    Hey, it’s miles better than someone like Steven Tari, a/k/a “Black Jesus.” This guy seems somewhat drawn in to the whole milieu himself, and he doesn’t seem to be taking terrible advantage – the article describes him living pretty much like a monk.

    Yeah, it’s weird, but as Blake said, no weirder than other religious stuff.

  12. #12 PZ Myers
    March 30, 2007

    Wow, the Indians sure are tough. They deify women for castrating their husbands, and their castration techniques are so much more thorough than traditional Western castrations.

  13. #13 AlanW
    March 30, 2007

    Maybe someone else out there knows more?

    tintenfisch, I’m afraid after your post I already know way more than I’d like. Thanks for ruining my day…

  14. #14 Chris Waigl
    March 30, 2007

    Hm, PZ, I’m a bit befuddled by you reporting something from the Sun of all places as fact. The Sun is way below any acceptable journalistic standard.

  15. #15 quork
    March 30, 2007

    What is this, silly religion day?

    No, that’s on Sunday. Maybe someone jumped the gun.

  16. #16 PZ Myers
    March 30, 2007

    Some of my readers must recalibrate their silliness sensor, I think. Did this read like sober, serious reporting to you?

  17. #17 Gaurav
    March 30, 2007

    tintenfisch:

    In general, among Hindus genital mutilation is a no no. So it is *not* a “regular” religious practice as you make it out to be.

    Even among Hijras, the genital modifications are not that common, although there is this concept of “true” hijra (those who have had the complete removal of genitalia as you describe). This article touches on this practice a little bit – there are tons of others:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hijra_%28India%29

    Ok… So, there is this funny practice in some parts of India (at least in the parts where I come from). Hijras through their social network are always able to find out whenever there is a childbirth, or a marriage in a family. They always pay a visit to the family — play some folksy music in a rather nasty way, sing etc right in the front yard. It is usually considered good/auspicious to donate clothes and kitchen items to these folks.

  18. #18 quork
    March 30, 2007

    Apparently, Bahucharaji was an Indian princess who castrated her husband because he wasn’t interested in sex,

    Yeah, sure, that would fix the problem.

  19. #19 SnarlyOldFart
    March 30, 2007

    This is one place scientific thought founders — the impossibility of distinguishing a parody of religion from an actual religion (if there is such a thing as either).

  20. #20 Krystalline Apostate
    March 30, 2007

    Apparently, Bahucharaji was an Indian princess who castrated her husband because he wasn’t interested in sex,

    As if pulling a Bobbit is supposed to help the mood.

  21. #21 kai
    March 30, 2007

    Apparently, Bahucharaji was an Indian princess who castrated her husband because he wasn’t interested in sex,

    As if pulling a Bobbit is supposed to help the mood.

    “Use it or lose it!”

  22. #22 K
    March 30, 2007

    “He is a fake. I checked and he still has a penis.”
    “My sister-in-law came here and she got pregnant immediately.”
    Yeah, no doubt.
    “I am hoping the same will happen for me after receiving the blessing of the goddess.”
    He’s going to be very hard to live with when he gets tired of servicing the unwashed masses and goes back to England.
    “HEY! I know women who consider this a blessing! Wait! Wait! Where ya going??”

    Um…is it still a blessing if all he’s giving away is girl babies that will have to be aborted?

  23. #23 Molly, NYC
    March 30, 2007

    Conversation stopper: “Hi, Mr. Cooper. What’s your boy Steve doing these days?”

  24. #24 speedwell
    March 30, 2007

    Oh, don’t be so hard on him. Not every young man gets to realize his dream of becoming recognized as the newest celebrity sex symbol and having all the girls want to worship him.

    /straight face

  25. #25 Great White Wonder
    March 30, 2007

    I come to this site specifically for sober news and well-reasoned commentary about the latest developments in eunochology.

    This posting was somewhat disappointing in that regard.

  26. #26 Great White Wonder
    March 30, 2007

    “Conversation stopper: “Hi, Mr. Cooper. What’s your boy Steve doing these days?”

    LOL, Molly!!!! Have a drink on me.

  27. #27 Zeno
    March 30, 2007

    They call him Prema, for short.

    Whoa! Subtle.

  28. #28 tintenfisch
    March 30, 2007

    Gaurav:

    Please note that I never stated that castration is a “regular” religious practice in India or anywhere else. I also never stated that this is custom is practiced by Hindus.

    I simply stated that I remembered reading that the practice happens in regions of India and involves the removal of both the penis and testicles. The article was about the Indian government’s attempt to end the process due to the fact that many recipients of this “procedure” are children and do not have the ability to advocate for themselves. Again, I read this about ten years ago and don’t remember it in more than the vaguest sense. That’s why I asked if there was anyone out there with more information.

    Also, please note that the Wikipedia article you liked to states that although not all Hijra undergo castration, it is the culmination of the religious process of becoming a Hijra and is “expected” in the Hijra subculture.

    All the best, T_

  29. #29 frog
    March 30, 2007

    I wonder what the interview process is like for a gig like that? What do they look for in your resume?

  30. #30 LA Confidential Pantload
    March 30, 2007

    OK, poets, here’s your opener:

    “There once was a eunuch named Steve….”

  31. #31 Ian H Spedding FCD
    March 30, 2007

    Sounds like the boy done good. Got himself a nice little earner there just like all them Yankangelicals.

    “Always look on the bri-ight side of life…”

  32. #32 llewelly
    March 30, 2007

    There once was a eunuch named Steve
    Who helped young women conceive
    But he was a fraud
    for ‘neath his cod
    he still had stones, you see.

  33. #33 horrobin
    March 30, 2007

    Conversation stopper: “Hi, Mr. Cooper. What’s your boy Steve doing these days?”

    Now see, the first thing I thought of was the elder Mrs. Cooper at the supermarket, and all the other mums are bragging about their lawyer and doctor sons. “Well, here’s a picture of our Steve. He’s a Goddess.”

  34. #34 natural cynic
    March 31, 2007

    horrobin: The part of Steve’s mother should be played by Terry Jones and the other moms should be played by Idle, Gilliam and Palin. I’d love to see that.

  35. #35 Matt T.
    April 1, 2007

    Aphrodite, Idunna, Isis, Ishtar…Steve. Hee hee.

  36. #36 iodhadh
    August 3, 2007

    Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction

  37. #37 parikshitsinh
    November 10, 2007

    i don’t wan any types of comment on any hindu god or it’s religions and also i donot like any bad comment from any another religions so plz stop it

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