In this article on his website, Devdutt Patnaik says:

The Dharmashastras need to be located in this context. They were books that speculated on appropriate human conduct. They focussed more on “upper” castes and were relatively indifferent to “lower” castes. Written by Brahmins in the period that saw the composition of the Ramayana and Mahabharata, they have a relatively casual attitude towards non-vaginal (ayoni) sex. This could even refer to anal/oral sex between adult consenting men and women, not just between men, or between women.

Which books & verses in those books is he referring to here?

He has also written an article titled : How to Conduct a Same-sex Wedding Based on Indian Rituals


Although he doesn't mention them in the article, are there any scriptures which he might unknowingly be referring to ?

He also claims that the existence of the word 'napumsak' is proof that our scriptures endorse homosexuality.

Do our scriptures simply acknowledge the existence of 3rd gender, or do they also whole-heatedly accept them acting upon their desires ?

  • Use some tags that are related to Hinduism in ur Qs.. this ID tag is nothing in Hinduism. @ram
    – Rickross
    Commented Nov 14, 2018 at 9:19
  • @Sarvabhouma, i don't really have these doubts, this is only to bring attention to discuss what is opinion-based question or not. see comment chain here - hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/29924/… . The definition of opinion based should also include opinions of the person being quoted in the question, not just of OP.
    – ram
    Commented Nov 14, 2018 at 9:24
  • @SwamiVishwananda , suresh ramaswamy, krishna shweta and akshay kumar s - mind saying why this is closed as opinion based ? i'm clearly asking for scriptural reference which that person has claimed in his article
    – ram
    Commented Nov 15, 2018 at 22:39
  • I hv voted to reopen. This is not opinion based IMO and can be answered quite easily.
    – Rickross
    Commented Nov 16, 2018 at 5:55
  • 1
    We can not really chk hidden agendas as we are not mind readers. So, we hv to see a Q and decide. We can not also put a complete ban on a type of Qs here which can be answered from scriptures and the discussion adds to the readers knowledge. Btw I don't hv much knowledge about the author and his works but if if u really think that he misinterprets scriptures and misleads his readers then Qs like these give opportunity for others to expose him. But that is possible only if we answer thm. So ur intent shd be answering thm as opposed to closing thm. I don't think they are opinion based.
    – Rickross
    Commented Nov 16, 2018 at 6:01

1 Answer 1


Now, these claims by the author can be very easily refuted. Because all Shastras have condemned all kinds of non-vaginal sex.

From Baudhayana Dharma Sutras 3.7.7:

A man who considers himself to be in some way impure offering with the Kusmanda formulas.

A man who ejaculates his semen in any place other than the vagina* becomes equal to a thief, equal to a murderer of a Brahmin (A 1.19.15 n.). He is freed from any sin short of urdering a Brahmin (TA 2.8.1–3).’ 4 Now, a man who has ejaculated his semen in any place other than the vagina except in sleep, or even a blameless man who wants to purify himself, should get the hair of his head, beard, and body shaved and his nails clipped on a new-moon or a full moon day. Following the rules laid down for a student, he observes a vow for a year, for a month, or for twenty-four, twelve, six, or three days. He should not eat meat, engage in sex, or sit on anything above the floor, and recoil from uttering an untruth

This rules out all kinds of sexual conduct other than the usual one.

Further verses from 4.1.22 of the same text:

One who does not have sex with his wife during her season (A 2.1.17 n.), and one who has sex with her outside her season, as also one who deposits his semen in a place other than the vagina (B 3.7.2 n.)––they all incur the same guilt

and from 4.2.10

When someone, moreover, has consumed unfit food or forbidden drink or food, or performed a sinister rite, whether it is done deliberately or not, and when someone deposits his semen in a S´u¯dra woman or in a place other than the vagina (B 3.7.2 n.), he becomes purified by bathing while reciting the Ablinga and Va¯runi verses.

Similarly, from the Gautama Smriti 25.5:

When someone cheats, slanders, does forbidden things, eats forbidden foods; when someone ejaculates his semen in a S´u¯dra woman or in any place other than the vagina (B 3.7.2 n.); or when someone performs witchcraft even intentionally––he should bathe, reciting the Ablinga or Va¯runi formulas, or other purificatory texts.

And, the most severe punishment I have seen being mentioned for anal sex in any of the Hindu scriptures is death punishment mentioned by Lord Shiva in Mahanirvana Tantram :

The wicked man who enjoys the wife of one of a higher caste should be heavily fined, and kept on a diet of grains for three months (40). And if the woman is a wilful party, she should be punished as above mentioned. If the wife is the victim of a rape, then she should be separated from, but maintained by, her husband (41). A wife, whether married according to Brahma or Shaiva form, should in all cases be renounced if she has gone with another even if it be only once, and then whether of her own desire or against it (42). Those who have intercourse with public women, or with cows or other animals, should, O Deveshi! be purified by being kept on a diet of grains for three nights (43). The punishment of those wicked men who have unnatural intercourse with a woman is death; this is the injunction of Shambhu (44)

Mahanirvana Tantram Chapter 11.

  • 1
    on a different topic - "One who does not have sex with his wife during her season" - what if the man (or woman) is out of town for 6 months, or sick/injured, or they already have 2 kids (and contraception is not allowed), or if they had a fight, or if there are guests in home, or it's the first 5 days after marriage (when brahmacharya vrat has to be upheld), or it's just been a few weeks after marriage (and the man or woman is shy), or it's one of prohibited days (other than menses days) , or maybe he/she is not attractive or simply is not in mood - will these count as sin ?
    – ram
    Commented Nov 14, 2018 at 10:03
  • After the periods the wife will bath and if the husband refuses to cohabit during that time it's a grave sin.. mentioned in Parashara as a sin equal to performing abortion (for which there is no remedy).. I am not sure if any of ur questions are discussed in scriptures. @ram
    – Rickross
    Commented Nov 14, 2018 at 11:40

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