Disclaimer: The subject of this post is human sexuality in the context of Christian belief. It is intended for mature audiences. If you are under the age of 18 you should have your parents read it and judge if it is appropriate for you to read. Parents, lighten up about this with your teens because quite frankly I am trying to undo a lot of Christian mistakes in informing and educating people about sex. You have been warned and encouraged, enter at your own risk. Also, I am by no means a sexual expert, just a guy who has been married to the same woman for 25 plus years and a pastor who has for what ever reason been exposed to a lot of sexual issues during his ministry. If you don’t find your answer here, keep searching there is probably someone out there that has it.
Hindu philosophy will take your head for a ride in a lot of ways. I imagine you would get it better if you grew up with it but it basically boils down to four principles usually 1) Dharma, 2) Artha, 3) Kama and 4) Moksha. As you read the Kama Sutra you do not get all four just the first three but I think the fourth is assumed. Dharma is described as obedience to command. Artha is described as a the principle of accusation or acquiring things from arts, friends, skills and material possessions. Kama is the enjoyment of things through the five senses. Kama Sutra then is the enjoyment of love. in particular sexual love. There is a hierarchy here where Dharma is better than Artha; Artha better than Kama. However all are important for a true and balance life. Basically one is obedient to the commands, acquires and enjoys possessions to the fullest in all areas.
The early part of this book deals with objections. It first deals with the objection that sex is a thing of the world therefore it is not truly highly spiritual because it cannot be discussed in books. The response is that because it requires the interaction between two people there is a necessity to talk about this interaction and all interactions have skills than can be studied and followed. The religious question comes up but the Kama Sutra simply defends that sex is religious experience because giving and receiving are involved. This is more a defense of Dharma than Kama. The book then defends Artha against the idea of fate and destiny pointing out that all accusation involves the effort of man or woman. It also defends against the notion that Artha is the chief object of belief. The response is that pleasures of the senses such as food are still necessary as much as Artha. Kama is essential as well as Artha and Dharma. All three are needed for a good and happy life. The Kama Sutra is then specifically about enjoying the fruit of the senses in particular when looking at the subject of love and sex.
Ok. So that little tidbit understood, then we have to ask does this line up with the philosophy of Christianity in any way. I would say the accusation of possessions is pretty much blasted through the Bible Ecclesiastes pretty much does that in the OT and Jesus in the New takes on the idea of Artha in a big way. The most salient advice from all of it is – if riches increase, don’t set your heart on them. Possessions are nice but not something to spend all of your life acquiring them and using them. Probably the big difference here is the Hindu conception of reincarnation versus the finality of death in Judaism and Christianity. Obedience is definitely upheld in both religions and enjoying what God has given you would definitely fit with Kama. Both speak of balance in all things. I can see that Christianity and Hinduism might mesh in the ideas of Dharma and Kama but the differences would hit in Artha but only to a point.
The big thing for the purpose of a discussion of sex, is that both religions have in them an idea of enjoying creation and part of that would be sex. So there is some agreement between the Bible and the Kama Sutra at this point but after this the two depart company as the Kama Sutra actually seeks to show people how to engage better in the arts of love but the Bible pretty much leaves that to the couple. Next week we will deal with an overall look at what the Kama Sutra intends to accomplish.