Of course the general ignorance of the masses is compounded by the circulation of some questionable publications produced during the middle ages by unscrupulous courtiers of the Muslim sultans that dominated India, and that were actually meant only as mere sex manuals, illustrated in Persian and Mogul style, to feed the lusty fantasies of their masters, bored with the “normal intercourse” with their hundreds of wives and concubines locked up in a harem.
Those lusty catalogues of sexual positions (most of which are not even mentioned in the original Kama sutras themselves) were also circulated in the milieux of western intellectuals in the early times of European colonialism, and this in turn contributed to the prejudiced frame of mind by which the colonial missionaries and administrators criticized the “heathen immorality” of the Hindus.
Many people have heard about the Kama sutra, but generally the ideas that circulate are rather distorted, vague and confused by ignorance and prejudice.
The situation created by this widespread ignorance and degradation has become so seriously damaging, that its effects are showcased by ill-motivated propagandists as the worst “social evils created by Hinduism” – mistreatment of women, child marriage, arranged forced marriage, casteism, racism, superstition as opposed to verifiable scientific knowledge, cruelty to animals, corruption, etc.In a sort of blind knee-jerk reaction, some Hindu activists unwittingly endorse such destructive ideas, instead of actually investing time and effort in studying the original texts and understanding how they can be applied successfully to our contemporary world to solve practically all the problems we are facing.Millions of Deities and decorative images were defaced, broken or destroyed, and many thousands of temples completely razed to the ground.This is why it is so difficult to find really ancient temples built and decorated in Vedic style.The Kama shastra is a perfect example of this happy, healthy and natural balance.
The text starts by carefully explaining about the four religious purposes of life: dharma (ethical behavior, virtue and duty), artha (acquisition of valuable things), kama (sense gratification) and moksha (liberation from material identifications and attachments).
In fact, the Kamasutra presently available was compiled by Vatsyayana Rishi on the teachings of Nandikesvara, the same companion of Shiva Mahadeva who also taught the Natya shastras.
By reading it attentively we will find out that the main topic is not sex in itself – which constitutes only a part of the subject – but rather the quality of life in general, and how to establish oneself on the level of sattva or goodness in a successful material and spiritual life.
In complete harmony with all the other Vedic scriptures, the Kama shastra declare that the purpose of human life consists in pursuing the four main values (purusha arthas): dharma, artha, kama and moksha, as subsequent stages of personal evolution and self-realization that will ultimately lead to the transcendental level of complete freedom and unconditioned happiness.
So, in order to religiously enjoy sense gratification, we must understand how it can be based on dharma.
It is said that human life starts with religion – religion is what distinguishes us from animals. Animals, too, engage in the basic and instinctive activities of eating, sleeping, defending themselves, mating and raising a family, and having a social life.