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  Jeffrey Vallance 
  Chapelle de Poulet


     AN ESSAY IN XIII PIECES


Bahuchara Mata
(Hindu Transgender Goddess)
Traditional Hindu lithograph 

#8


Hindu rooster crows, “Om”Rooster as emblem of warChickens tied to Indonesian cremation ritualTransgender chicken goddess


Hindu philosophy is based on the premise that the entire universe consists of sound vibrations called nadas. In Hindu mythology, it is a rooster who loudly proclaims the sound Om, the primordial sound from which the universe originated. Symbolically, the Hindu god of war, Muruga, holds a banner bearing the image of a rooster. According to the Vedas, Muruga once battled the brutal demon king Soorapadman, and, as it became clear the demon was losing, he turned himself into a mango tree. With one stroke, Muruga cut the tree in half with his lance. One half changed into a peacock, which became Muruga’s means of transportation, while the other half changed into a rooster, which became the emblem on Muruga’s war flag. In Indonesia, the chicken has a prominent role in the Hindu cremation ceremony. Considered a channel for evil spirits that may be present during the ceremony, a chicken is tethered by the leg and kept near the ceremony to ensure that any evil spirits go into the chicken and not the mourners. The chicken is then taken back home and returns to its normal routine.

According to Hindu mythology, the goddess Bahuchara Mata was the daughter of a great warrior. It is believed that she was traveling in a caravan when a marauder tried to molest her. She deterred him by cutting off her breasts, thus shedding her femininity. The marauder was thereafter cursed with impotence. To attain penance, the marauder worshipped Bahuchara Mata by dressing and behaving as a woman, thus ultimately shedding his masculinity. The Bahuchara Mata is almost always depicted seated on a chicken, which symbolizes innocence. Members of the Hindu transgender community worship the chicken goddess.


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Hotel is a magazine for new approaches to fiction, non fiction & poetry & features work from established & emerging talent. Hotel provides the space for experimental reflection on literature’s status as art & cultural mediator. The magazine is bi-annual, the online archive is updated periodically.

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