‘Dharma’ in Hinduism is different from the Western concept of religion. It is a code related to moral nature. There is a very negligible difference between this ‘dharma’ and ‘spiritualism’ whereas in the Western concept, ‘religion’ and ‘spiritualism’ are two different concepts. So society or religion always plays a role to suppress the sexuality and as the patriarchal dominance is more on these fields, questions about the morality and the politics of sex are usually considered in isolation from issues about gender and erotic sex.
But in spiritualism, it is related to an individual’s understanding for salvation and freedom. For Hindu spiritualism sexuality is represented as ‘kama’. It is one of the four necessities, four aims of life: Dharma, Artha (material goods), Kama and Moksha (liberation from the cycle of death and rebirth)
Kama is defined as the enjoyment of appropriate objects by the five senses of hearing, feeling, seeing, tasting and smelling, assisted by the mind together with the soul. The ingredient in this is a peculiar contact between the organ of sense and its object, and the consciousness of pleasure which arises from that contact. This is called Kama.
In Hindu spiritualism, Kama is not at all a ‘prohibited’ subject or we don’t find any ‘male dominance’ there. Taking the lovers’ longing for reunion as a metaphor for the soul's longing for union with the divine makes sexuality more acceptable in ‘Sufism.’ And in a later period, ‘Hindu Bhaktism’ by Sri Chaitanya also adopted this idea easily.
But in Western philosophy, the natural and the universal are sharply divided -- like heaven and earth. The division of tasks between heaven and earth, suffering on earth and happiness beyond, is part and parcel of Western culture and its philosophy, religion and mythology. Westerners tend to see the sensuous world around us as false or illusory and the world 'beyond' as real. But in Hindu spiritualism, when you are in your sexual desire, you might sense complete presence in your sensuous world, a perfect moment which is spiritual, natural and carnal all at once.
Author: Dr. Sarojini Sahoo
Binding: Hard Cover
Publishing Date: 2010
Publisher: Authors Press, E-35/103, Jawahar Park, Laxmi Nagar, Delhi- 110 092, email; firstname.lastname@example.org
Number of Pages: 184
Price: 475 INR or 10 US $