Princess Shikhandin becomes a man
Shikhandin was born a girl to Drupada and his Queen as per Mahadev’s boon. Drupada was so eager to have a son that he announced the birth of a prince instead of princess. The child was brought up as a boy too and no one but Drupada and his Queen knew the truth. Shikhandin even went to Drona to learn warcraft.
Soon, the child was old enough to be married and Drupada got Shikhandin wedded to the daughter of the powerful King Hiranyavarman. When the new bride found out that the ‘man’ she had married was actually a woman, she told her father at once. A furious Hiranyavarman decided to attack Drupada and he gathered his allies and marched towards Panchal, determined to kill Drupada and Shikhandin.
When Shikhandin came to know, she was filled with grief that her father, her kingdom and her people were under threat because of her. Deciding to end her life, she walked away into the forest nearby that was occupied by the Yaksha Sthunakarana. She wandered into the Yaksha’s grounds and sat there for days miserable with grief.
One day, Sthunakarana saw her and feeling sorry, he asked her why she was here, starving herself to death. Shikhandin told hm everything and begged him to help her transform into a man with Yaksha magic until Hiranyavarman left the Panchal city alone.
Moved by her story, Sthunakarana agreed. He became a woman and in exchange, he gave her his manhood. Shikhandin promised to come back after Hiranyavarman had left. Then they would again exchange genders and Sthunakarana would become a man once more.
When the furious Hiranyavaraman arrived at Panchal, Drupada now confidently told him that he could check for himself if Shikhandin was man or woman. Hiranyavarman sent several women to do so and they confirmed that Shikhandin was indeed a man. The king’s fury was abated and he decided to stay on for a while at Panchal to better his friendship with Drupada.
Meanwhile, Kubera, the lord of riches, was traveling over the beautiful forest of the Yaksha Sthunakarana. He saw that the Yaksha did not come out to greet him or pay respects and this angered him. He sent a message to Sthunakarana asking him to come at once.
Sthunakarana had no choice but to reveal to Kubera that he was no longer a man and that he had used the secret Yaksha magic to help Shikhandin. Kubera cursed him to stay a woman forever, but on Sthukarana’s pleading, he declared that Shikhandin would stay a man until his death. And then, Sthukarana would regain his masculinity. This is how and why Shikhandin became a man and stayed one until death after the Kurukshetra war.