In the distant past, an Indian scholar named Mallanaga Vatsyayana wrote a collection of texts called the Kama Shastra. This collection included a text about human sexual behavior known as the Kama Sutra. So basically Mallanaga being an Indian stamped this book to be an Indian discovery and that led to the stereotypical fact that India is a country where people focus more on pervert things and think about it all the time as they are the ones who came up with Kamasutra. But that it not at all true. India, being a land of learning is always involved into learning something new and that involves learning about this too. The Kama Sutra is certainly about positions for intercourse and their elaborations, but that is only one of its seven books. A full reading, without additions or subtractions, showcases it as a work on various other aspects of human relations also. It is addressed to both men and women. Its other aspects include courtship and marriage, family and social life, extra-marital and same-sex relations, prescriptions for beauty, passion and power and an interesting conceptual framework for what human relations actually are. And the main thing that has to be observed is that if Kama Sutra promotes sex as holy and also talks about multiple sex partners, how did India become conservative over the years and shun pre-marital sex? A thought to linger over because it’s been ages and India is still a shy country.
I downloaded the English version of the almost exact translation of the Kama Sutra by Vatsyayana and ended up reading it. If you think it is a “pleasure” read, I have a bad news for you. I felt like I was reading a biology book with so many names to remember that I had to actually use a pen and paper to keep track of the names. Let’s just exemplify a simple thing.
There is a line in Chapter 1 which says, “Sexual Intercourse with regard to size, endurance and temperament!”
The line sounds fascinatingly naughty to many people and they scroll down expecting to find some strong language filled with lust. Now let’s focus on the translation of the Sanskrit lines that were written below this line.
“With permutations, there are six unequal genital combinations. When genitals of unequal size are combined and the man’s is larger, there are two high unions with the combinations ordered stepwise. Non-contagious sizes make a very high union. In the opposite case, there are two low unions and the non-contagious sizes make a low one. Among these, the equal unions are the best one. The two unions marked by the comparative suffix—tara are the worst. Rest are middling.”
I could may be swear to the old Gods and the new (referring to the Game of Thrones) that I did not understand even a single line properly, being an Indian. I am not sure if the translator understood this himself. So how could it be termed as a book of pleasure when these lines actually gave me a headache? May be someone who understood these lines and felt pleasurable should comment below to enlighten people like me. Now I know we have all heard of this book and have wondered what it contains. We have gotten so curious that we have gone into a public library or bookstore to look for this book. Most bookstores carry picture books showing the various positions that are described in the original Kama Sutra. What you may not know is that these picture books are only covering one of seven sections of the original. The Kama Sutra was a guide for pleasurable and refined living. It describes in vivid detail the life styles of cultured men and fashionable women, as also numerous social and artistic skills considered a part of elegant living. These ranged from music and gastronomy to books and sports, wit and repartee, and add to the work’s value as a record of its times.
This text takes a look into all aspects of sexual behavior: ways to behave with and around women and not just the different sexual positions. Sure, much of this information is kind of dated and specific to the culture in India, but I think the vast majority of it still applies today. The Kama Sutra says you need a balance in your life and achieve the “Happiness on Earth.” I feel that even today, virtue should be something we should all try to attain, especially in an age where, overall, you see less sincerity in day-to-day interactions. Everyone is trying to get something from someone else. Men throw parties and expect women to give them sexual favors in exchange for the alcohol and the invite to the party. Worse yet, men encourage women to get so drunk that they don’t have any control over their own actions.
The introduction also talks of the duties of a citizen and women with whom Intercourse is either Permitted or Forbidden. It has tried to tell us that the trend that we are following now is wrong, ages ago. The Duties of a citizen talk of where he should choose to live, how he should take care of himself, what he should do with himself, and what social activities he should attend. He should choose to live somewhere in close proximity to others. He should take care of himself by bathing every day. He should pursue his interests in preparing for the patriotism, teaching his birds and animals some habits, take care of his children, his surroundings and so on. This is all basic education to teach a proper lifestyle to each and every individual. Basically kamasutra teaches you how to be attractive. It tells you to love yourself and the skin you are in.
After reading the book, I have to say, you have a wrong assumption. Sex according to Kamasutra is neither holy nor unholy. It greets you with a message that the process is just a pleasure, like the pleasure you derive while eating tasty food. Is eating tasty food holy or unholy? Neither right? It is just a pleasure. It is just a feast to our taste buds. Similarly, even this is a need and a basic participation of human race and apparently an Indian decided to focus more on this and wrote down the elaborated version of whatever he had researched on. His main motto was to spread knowledge in the most decent way as this is also an important education in life. Adolescents are committing crimes due to lack of awareness. So this book was actually guidance to a better living. Stop making it a book of naughtiness and terming India as a pervert country. Look at the other things like its culture, mythology, food, feasts, places to see and what not! Those are the ones that hold more importance than anything else as a part of heritage. Book flights to India, come visit this country, sit with us and know more about us through our words. Try looking in for some good flights with cheap air tickets and fly down to India. You will know it all by yourself. Now is the time to spend time with this country that has been misunderstood for quite a while. Let’s just meet and clear them. We await your presence. Bon Voyage!