Dharma is the obedience to the command of the Holy Scriptures of the Hindus to do certain things, such as the performance of sacrifices; and not to do other things, such as eating meat. Artha is the acquisition of arts, land, gold, cattle, wealth, equipages and friends. It is, further, the protection of what is acquired and the increase of what is protected. Artha should be learnt from those people, who may be versed in the ways of commerce. Kama is the enjoyment of appropriate objects by the five senses of hearing, feeling, seeing, tasting and smelling, assisted by the mind together with the soul. Kama is to be learnt from the Kama Sutra (aphorisms on love) and from the practice of citizens. The ingredient in this is a peculiar contact between the organ of sense and its object, and the consciousness of pleasure, which arises from that contact, is called Kama.
Relationship amongst Dharma, Artha and Kama
When all the three, viz. Dharma, Artha and Kama, come together, the former is better than the one which follows it, i.e. Dharma is better than Artha, and Artha is better than Kama. But the king should always first practise Artha for the livelihood of men is to be obtained from it only. Again, Kama being the occupation of public women, they should prefer it to the other two, and these are exceptions to the general rule. Thus a man practising Dharma, Artha and Kama enjoys happiness both in this world and in the world to come. Any action which conduces to the practice of Dharma, Artha and Kama together, or of any two, or even one of them, should be performed, but an action which conduces to the practice of one of them at the expense of the remaining two should not be performed. Thus, every man should study the Kama Sutra and the arts and sciences subordinate thereto, in addition to the study of the arts and sciences contained in Dharma and Artha.
Even young maids should study this Kama Sutra along with its arts and sciences before marriage and after it they should continue to do so with the consent of their husbands. Before marriage, they should learn the Kama sutra or atleast some part of it, by studying its practice from some confidential friend. She should study alone in private the sixty-four practices that form a part of the Kama Shastra. Her teacher should be one of the following persons: the daughter of a nurse brought up with her and already married, or a female friend who can be trusted in everything, or the sister of her mother (i.e. her aunt), or an old female servant, or a female beggar who may have formerly lived in the family, or her own sister who can always be trusted.
Art of Kama sutra
There are about Sixty Four Arts to be studied, together with the Kama sutra, after which, a woman, endowed with a good disposition, beauty and other winning qualities, obtains the name of a Ganika, or public woman of high quality, and is always respected by her husband and also by all the men. In the same manner, if a wife becomes separated from her husband, and falls into distress, she can support herself easily, even in a foreign country, by means of her knowledge of these arts. A man who is versed in these arts, who is wordy and acquainted with the arts of gallantry, gains very soon the hearts of women, even though she is only acquainted with them for a short time.
Sage Vatsyayana also gives an account of the daily life of a citizen. Right from the arrangements of his house and household furniture, his personal hygiene, his companions and amusements; everything has been explained thoroughly. It is interesting to note that the people implement whatever Vatsyayana has explained in this section, even today. There are even some other activities, which should be done occasionally as diversions or amusements, these are:
Other social diversions
These above amusements should be followed by a person who diverts himself alone in company with a courtesan, as well as by a courtesan who can do the same in company with her maid servants or with citizens. By socializing in the society, a person can command respect and also be helped in the matters of quarrels and reconciliation between citizens and public women. Thus, a citizen living in his town or village, respected by all, should call on the persons of his own caste and should converse in company and gratify his friends by his society, and obliging others by his assistance in various matters, he should cause them to assist one another in the same way.
Vatsyayana and its relation to Kama Sutra
Vatsyayana gives an account of the kinds of women a man can resort to in order to practise Kama and acquire lawful offspring. He says that when men of the four castes practise Kama by having a lawful marriage with virgins of their own caste, it then becomes a means of acquiring lawful children and good fame, and it is not also opposed to the customs of the world. However, one cannot practice Kama with women of the higher castes, and with those previously enjoyed by others, though they might be same caste, since it is not lawful and the same is prohibited.
But he also says that the practice of Kama with women of the lower castes, with women excommunicated from their own caste, with public women, and with women twice married, is neither enjoined nor prohibited. The object of practising Kama with such women is only for pleasure. He explains this in the matter of Nayikas, which are of three kinds, viz. maids, women twice married, and public women. However, there is also another type of a Nayika, which is a woman who is resorted to on some special occasion even though she is previously married to another. However, there are many reasons where the wives of other men may be resorted to, but it must be distinctly understood that is only allowed for special reasons and not for mere carnal desire. Thus, Vatsyayana is of opinion that there are only four kinds of Nayikas, i.e. the maid, the twice-married woman, the public woman, and the woman resorted to for a special purpose.
(Last Updated on : 24-07-2020)
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