Eunuchs emerge fairly early in Indo-Aryan literature. For
example Arjuna. ShikandI while commonly stated to be a eunuch is not
one. He was a man and had a non-zero fitness.
Arjuna’s eunuchhood is connectable to the proto-IE motif of the
temporary eunuchhood of the earthly incarnation of Indra/Dyaus like
deities. Compare it with Herakles stay in the court of Omphale.
As for the atharvanic practice its utility is unclear. The ritual
injunctions followed by my ancestors recommend chanting it several
times to neuter people – but there is no such long distance action
mentioned in the AV text itself.
>Shiva liNgam as the phallus + vagina was not invented by
> the Christian missionaries. AFAIK, such a view existed (
> and exists ) amongst certain sections of hindus as well.
> Tantra represents what is called vAmamArgam ( left-handed
> way ) in hinduism. Tantrins celebrate what orthoprax hindus
True, but the phallic symbology is far more ancient than all the
extant tantric texts and is traceable to the famous statement of
upamanyu regarding why rudra is mahAdeva: He says that all living
beings bear the symbols of rudra and uma on their body but not the
conch, the discus or the mace; So rudra must be mahAdeva. Traces of
this thought are seen in the svetAshvAtara and atharvashiras
suggesting pre-tantric origin. I personal see a link to an even
earlier IE period- the voelsi phallic cult amidsts the Balts is
associated with the worship of their deity Velinas who appears to be
an ortholog of Rudra.
> is even celebrated in verse and art. But, certain
> restrictions are placed on it due to social and
> personal considerations. kAma ( which is much more than
> lust ) is considered a purushArtha – a valid goal of
> life. kAma sUtra is a first-class treatise only to be
Agreed, more so the taittiriya upaniShat rightly recognizes that only
immortality that is possible is through the generation of progeny- one
of the sanest thoughts in India philosophy (IMHO).