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Kama Sutra – Section 7. ‘Occult’ practices

by Beth Divine 15 Sep 2018
Many people think it is called the ‘Karma Sutra’, as in ‘karma’s a bitch, and then you die’, but the text is actually titled ‘Kama Sutra’. Kama means desire, including sexual desire, which is one of the four central goals of Hindu life, while Sutra refers to a binding line or thread, or – more metaphorically – can also mean a unifying principle or formula. Thus, the  title tells us that the text is about the pursuit of the satisfaction of desire and how such a pursuit is a positive thing, rather than (as many other cultures posit) something to be ashamed of and repressed wherever possible. The Kama Sutra is also not purely about sexual positions – although those chapters do exist, they comprise a mere twenty per cent of the work. Instead, the book offers a way for Hindus to become well-rounded, contented citizens: Read on to learn more:

The final book is a short exploration of sexual lore and offers a number of strategies for men and women to beautify the body in order to ensure that they are more sexually attractive. Despite the use of the word ‘occult’ used in some translations, this section is actually very practical and more woman’s magazine (or modern man’s magazine, perhaps) offering tips and ideas on how to look, feel and smell your best. These include details about pastes, ointments, and oils for the body, including the genitalia. 

Also included are recipes for home remedies that can cure various sexual deficiencies like lack of stamina, impotence, lack of sexual ability, etc. Viagra for the time, so to speak.

In conclusion, the author states that an intelligent and prudent person, attending to dharma and artha and attending to kama also, without becoming the slave of his passions, obtains success in everything that he may undertake. 

The two concluding chapters emphasise that all life’s needs must be met, the moral requirement being paramount, then the material, and only thirdly the kama, the satisfaction of desires, be they sexual or otherwise.