Love and Lust in Indian Literature Essay

1297 Words 6 Pages
The pursuit of love and pleasure is well documented in Indian literature and theoretical texts, its sensual and powerful nature weaving its way into the history of Indian culture. Kama, as this pursuit is so called, is all encompassing of pleasures of both carnal and more educated stature, such as the pursuit of enjoyment in drama and musical endeavors. In the literature based on the more literal sense of “love between two people” there are two distinct types of this affection: that of the carnal desire that all people possess, no matter their strength of ascetic beliefs, and the sacred love that is felt between husband and wife. The stark contrast and pull between these two types of love is felt throughout the Indian prose on Kama and is …show more content…
The man, on the other hand, is not prompted to simply steal these maidens virtues or engage in a sexual conquest, but is rather told that he, “should do everything in his power to effect a union with her” By saying that the man needs to put everything aside and use all of his abilities to gain this union, love is being placed on a pedestal above other desires, including that of a purely carnal nature. Another example of this great strength of love is in the section of the Sakuntala in which the great king woos a simple hermit girl with whom he falls in love. The girl plays the blushing and undecided nature that is expected of her, but instead of becoming angry and forceful with her, the kind pours out his unadulterated emotion. When the girl’s friends bring up the point, “We’ve heard that kings have many loves. Will our beloved friend become a sorrow to her relatives after you’ve spent your time with her?” the king responds both candidly and emotionally with, “I have many wives but my noble line rests on two foundations: the sea-bound earth and this friend of yours!” This exaltation of binding love is unrelated to how the king physically feels about the girl because he is willing to place her above all of his other wives, regardless of kingly…