Shastra in Education….. !?
By Maxwell Pereira
has been a debate for some time on the need for sex education
for students in their academic curricula. Recently I read in the
papers regarding a website and literature being produced by philantrophists
in Kolkata to educate people on the facts of life related to sex
and sexual mores. Recent times have also seen the print media
bolder than before in sex reporting and coverage, making one sit
up and take note of the evolving Indian society!
going back in history, one finds that education on the art of
sex, was never out of their minds for our ancestors, always a
serious matter!. And in India, the immortal and master treatise
on sex - the Kama Sutra, showed the way to the world, putting
to shame later works on the subject.
sage Vatsyayana is credited with writing the Kama Sutra around
the time in history when Patna was known as Pataliputra, I believe
the actual credit should go to another - sage Bhabhravpanchal,
who had compiled a humongously voluminous treatise on the subject,
devoured by the tides of time and not available now. Later scholars
are supposed to have divided it into different volumes, while
maharshi Vatsyayan actually produced an abridged version of Bhabhravpanchal's
ancient sages together composed the 'Kama Shastra' based on the
Vedas. While maharshi Nandikeshwar is credited as the originator
of chapterising the Kama Shastra, other great sages like Dattakacharya,
Charayana, Suvarn-nama Ghotakmukh, Gonardiya, Gonikaputra and
Kuchumar also contributed to its evolution and refinement. It
is sage Vatsayan then who gave the finishing touches to the Kama
Shastra to make it into the venerated treatise Kama Sutra, for
is dispute over the actual identity of Vatsyayana. While it is
accepted by and lage that the commentator Vatsyayan of Nyaya Darshan
and Vatsyayan the exponent of Kamasutra are one and the same,
there are those who assert that Vatsyayan was actually the third
name of Vishnugupta, the other two names being Chanakya and Kautilya!
He is also identified as Mallanaga by Yashodhar - the commentator
of Kamasutra, claiming that Vatsyayan was merely the title attached
to the real identity of Mallanaga.
treatise is spun around the story of the eternal being - The Almighty,
in the form of the supreme soul bestowing His endless bounty on
all creatures alike without discrimination. Humans though, enjoy
an edge and a privileged position because of the intellect endowed
on them in addition - making him capable of thinking and acting
in pursunce of the thought process.
the Indian mythological ethos, the Supreme soul as the father
of all creatures, wishes well - irrespective of the quality of
the creature; and hence takes incarnations time and again as animal,
bird, aquatic being - or human being, to ward off calamities and
crises that face humanity. In each such incarnation He teaches
valuable lessons through His own qualities… and often through
the sage and ascetic as His messenger with means to carry out
His works for the benefit of all.
all creatures, humans too have been conferred with rights and
certain duties, to enable them a successful existence. A suport
system with objects of comforts are provided. Four objects being
- Dharma (religion), Arth (luxuries), Kama (carnal pleasures)
and Moksha (salvation). Most people do not crave nor strive for
all four, indulging on the first three - which in their fickleness
of mind they consider more important. Here, maharishi Vatsayana
pampers the human to regard these very three as the basic reason
for existence, since each with all resources at his command strives
only to achieve either of these objects. The shastras or disciplines,
he explains, help a person to achieve the object he deserves.
without a competent guide, the human often fails to achieve his
object, despite enthusiasm, determination, faith and capacity.
While Kama or carnal pleasure is one of the main objects of existence,
without a well-laid discourse and discipline, none is able to
achieve pleasure. Kama Shastra steps in here, with certain norms
and disciplined actions necessary to achieve carnal pleasure.
pro-creation is the objective of a marital union, it is the carnal
pleasures attached to the act of creation that makes the exercise
worthwhile. The urge for carnal pleasure soon over-riding all
other considerations - making it a fundamental and basic reason
for marriage. A man and a woman agree to tie hte nuptial knot
also to get societal sanction to have carnal pleasure. Marriage
simply reflects the social nod for their union. Lack of basic
knowledge of those entering the state of matrimony results in
disharmony and inability to achieve the basic goal. It is here
that Kama Shastra is expected to help. Evidence indicates Kama
or Carnal union of male and female forces was never taken for
granted. The Vedas, Puranas and other literature describe profusely
about the authenticity, necessity and relevance of Kama Shastra.
the then prevalent Gurukula system of education in ancient India,
adherence to celibacy was a must for its inmates. And Kama Shastra
was taught to the celibate disciples during their stay at the
Gurukul. This study, to be taken up only after successful education
in Vedas, Vedangas and other scriptures. The disciples could enter
married life only with thorough knowledge of Kamasutra. By the
time the disciples left the Gurukul, they were experts in the
Vedas and clever in social conduct. And married life for them
would be free from problems and conflicts.
words: 23.11.2004: Copy Right © Maxwell Pereira: 3725 Sec-23,
Gurgaon-122002. You can interact with the author at http://
www.maxwellperira.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
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