Question: If Kama Sutra was meant for the Upper & Leisure class of the Indian population, is there any valuable content for the middle and lower class? How much of the Hinduism principles did he retain so that the lower/middle class can learn from the text as well?
What is Vatsyayana’s targeted demographic of readers when he wrote the Kama Sutra? Was it exclusive to the leisure class of the Indian society? Or did it also include the lower class? There is evidence that suggests that the text is biased for the aristocrats, as the practices described require time and money that the peasants don’t have. The fact that Vatsyayana is likely a member of the elite class, deduced from his sophisticated knowledge of Hinduism and how…show more content…
Vatsyayana explains that “Kama is the enjoyment of appropriate objects,” which implies that in order to attain kama, one must have the money to take pleasure in materialistic objects. On top of that, he organizes a list of arts that should be studied along with Kama Sutra, which include activities that could be considered as time consuming and overly ostentatious for the lower class. Among the many activities to do is the “spreading and arranging beds or couches of flowers, or flowers upon the ground” or “making artificial flowers” (Vatsyayana 66). While these activities may seem overly extravagant and absurd for the lower class as they are the working class and wouldn’t be able to afford investing their time and wealth into it, Vatsyayana emphasizes that kama is a sense of pleasure of the “five senses . . . assisted by the mind together with the soul,” (Vatsyayana 63). Therefore money and time are not necessities to obtain kama. His assertion of how “[s]exual intercourse being a thing dependent on man and women requires the application of proper means by them . . .” (Vatsyayana 63) indicates that kama could also be acquired by physical activities, and materialistic objects are not needed. Although they are not not able to take part in lavish pleasure like that of the upper class, the lower class’ population nonetheless can gain attain kama through different means as Vatsyayana’s Karma Sutra includes all four classes and has retained the four main