Over the past couple of months I’ve been reading through the Kama Sutra, the Hindu book on sexual behavior. Many people claim the book is all about the sex position the position being tantric in nature but that is not true. The Kama Sutra is not even a tantric text. The Kama Sutra was written by Vātsyāyana as he condensed several other works into one book. Kama Sutra is really a guide to life, in Sanskrit, Kama means desire and Sutra means like a collection of aphorism in like a manual.
In Hinduism there are four goals in life are Dharma (righteousness), Artha (prosperity), Kama (pleasure, happiness) and Moksha (liberation). The Kama Sutra looks at the pleasure side of this. The book is divide into seven parts and each part Vatsyayana abridges a different writer. The seven section vary in length and topic. It begins with some General remarks about the four goals in life and balancing them out. Vatsyayana continues with listing the 64 arts that we should learn and how we should act a members of society. In the second part he looks as sex and other types of amorous advances, including embraces, biting, slapping and marking with nails. Also he goes into detail about moans and list 64 types of sexual acts.
The third part is about finding a wife and forms of marriage.This is a whole long process with going to like the astrologer to verify it is a good match and then the first three days of married life husbands and wives should abstain from sexual pleasure and then slowly introduce it until like day ten. In part four the focus is turned on the role of a wife and what they should do. It also contains description of four types of love and causes for remarriage. This look at the female is sort of carried over into part five as it looks at women in general noting that the behavior of woman and man is different in falling in love, women fall harder in love and retreat from it where as men get indifferent because of the rejection. This section also goes on to talk about strategies for men to woo women as well as touching on the lives of the king’s harem and the women’s quarters.
Part six is about courtesans, as well as containing advice of the assistants on the choice of lovers, looking for a steady lover, ways of making money, renewing friendship with a former lover, occasional profits, profits and losses. The book argues that courtesans are a necessary part of life and there should be no stigma about them. Since they are there ensuring men companions in times of need and to help build their confidence before pursuing their wives. Courtesans are also known as “public women” and are well trained in the 64 arts, I think most importantly is that the courtesans mentioned here are not like the prostitutes of today but more like a geisha. Finally in part seven we look at ways of attracting others through the use of ointments, pastes, powders and oils. This is followed by ways to subjugate others to one’s will, increase sexual vigor and then there is a long list of recipes and experiments that may also help out.
Vatsyayana ends with says that if you get to understand the this in regards to Dharma, Artha and Kama should be out there teaching this type of things. Since Vatsyayana is basically doing that for all of us with this book. In conclusion it says that if we balance Dharma, Artha and Kama and not become slave to any one of them we will obtain success in everything. I think that everyone should try to live by most of what is said in the book is still prevalent today as men and women still have trouble finding the right person and falling in love. I hope that this overview recap things is something that people like and perhaps inspires them to actually go out and read the whole book instead of just the part about sex positions.