Sexual Equations in Bharattantra

Posted in Desert Bloc, Feminist Issues, India by Anuraag Sanghi on October 4, 2011

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Desolate Wasteland

The anti-sex and anti marriage bias of the Desert Bloc has created a global population of nearly 1 crore prostitutes (10 million). Marriage is seen mostly as dysfunctional system across the West or exploitative as in the Islāmic world.

Sexual dynamics of Indian society does not stop at the explicit sculptures of Khajuraho, Konark or the Kamasutra. The most remarkable is the पंच कन्या panch-kanya pantheon.

Concept, Execution, Implementation

अहल्या द्रौपदी तारा कुंती मंदोदरी तथा ।
पंच कन्या स्मरेन्नित्य महापातकनाशनम् ।
Ahalya, Draupadi, Kunti, Tara and Mandodari
Keeping in memory these five maidens will destroy greatest sins

All these 5 women, considered the ideals of womanhood, ‘knew’ multiple men. Unlike the 5 satis, whose sexual experience was limited only to their husbands. Even today, in classically minded households, the पंच कन्या panch-kanyapantheon is held as ideal in India.

This post extracted below technically examines in much detail, the significance of this shloka. Yet, the post below does not propose an alternate sexual equation – different from the Desert Bloc.

Walking The Talk

The relevance of this shloka was the sexual equation between the genders in भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra. This shloka proves how sexual liberty for women was guaranteed in भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra.

There is another traditional verse celebrating five satis, chaste wives: Sati, Sita, Savitri, Damayanti and Arundhati. Are then Ahalya, Draupadi, Kunti, Tara and Mandodari not chaste wives because each has “known” a man, or more than one, other than her husband? If so, why should invoking them be extolled as redeeming? Moreover, why is the intriguing term kanya applied to them?

Of this group, three – Ahalya, Tara, Mandodari – belong to Ramayana, the epic composed by Valmiki, the first seer-poet. Draupadi and Kunti are celebrated inMahabharata, Harivamsa and the Markandeya, Devi Bhagavata and BhagavataPuranas. (via Panchkanya : Women of Substance by Pradip Bhattacharya).

भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra guarantees four freedoms – धर्म (dharma – justice), अर्थ (arth – wealth and means), काम (kaam – human desires) मोक्ष (moksha – liberty) and ensures three rights – ज़र (jar – gold), जन (jan – human ties) and जमीन (jameen – property) for all.

13 Responses

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  1. x said, on October 5, 2011 at 7:42 am

    Since when is Ahalya,Draupadi,Kunti,Tara,Mandodari considered “ideals of womenhood”?
    Which “classically minded households” (whatever that may be) considers them ideal ?

    “Sexual liberty” ?
    Sure, Surpanakha had that. RenukaChowdry and chaddi brigade also hav that!

    But, on what basis is the assumption being made that ‘sexual liberty’ is guaranteed in that sloka?

    • Anuraag Sanghi said, on October 5, 2011 at 8:40 am
      There is enough read and written about this shloka. Please read the extensive post, which is extracted and linked in this post.

      It also gives the specific section-chapter-verse from the various texts. Where did the Sun Temple from Konark and the Khajuraho come from?

      • senthil said, on October 14, 2011 at 12:31 pm

        anurag.. there is some ambiguity in the liberty that you are talking, and the context in which it is understood today.. does it mean, any women can have any number of partners?

        i think, the point you are raising is NOT universal, and NOT free sex.. every woman have all the liberty.. but within the social boundaries, and the social roles..

        Unlike desert blocs which considers sex as sin, our society had no such hostility, and it was part of the larger divine..

        • Anuraag Sanghi said, on October 14, 2011 at 1:21 pm
          Senthil – The extract from Pradip Bhattacharya that I have linked in the post also has shlokas from Kunti explaining relevant ‘boundaries’ and ‘limits’ – which explain the point that you are raising.
    • ramanchennai said, on October 8, 2011 at 12:57 am

      Draupadi temples are very common in villages of TamilNadu and Andhra. Many girls were named Ahalya and Draupai in TN till recently (until takeover by bollywood,kollywood etc.)

  2. Anuraag Sanghi said, on October 8, 2011 at 9:20 am

    A few years ago, someone actually bought these Kamasutra sculptures in Puri. Thumbnail sized, these figurines, simple and in stone, were commonly available in Puri.

  3. Amit Gupta said, on October 22, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    ” each has “known” a man, or more than one, other than her husband”
    Could you explain this for Tara and Mandodri.

    • Anuraag Sanghi said, on October 22, 2011 at 7:12 pm
      Tara married Sugriva – after the death of Bali, in Ramayana.

      Though a quick search of Valmiki Ramayana, said nothing of Vibheeshana-Mandodari, the history of Raghu Ramchandra and Ram Rajya was written by many. In many other accounts, Tara, Ravana’s wife married Vibheeshana. This aspect of Lanka’s post-Ravana evolution may not have been relevant to Valmiki.

  4. ajamk said, on January 10, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    Most of the sculptures show perverted orgies. You cannot sanctify something just because it was in India.

  5. rajivkutty said, on April 17, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    another brilliant article by sanghi bhai. ayurvedic texts clearly mention that one mustn’t engage in sex while standing, or other sexual positions like woman on top, or oral sex, etc.
    The only sexual position sanctified by ayurveda is the missionary or man horizontally on top of woman and woman in supine position.

    So which texts and theory do you prefer sanghi bhai?? perverted and eventually discarded kama sutra with multiple sexual positions or tried and tested for thousands of years ayurvedic texts which allow for only one sexual position?? both of these are created in india. no yahoodi or gora involved.

  6. rajivkutty said, on April 17, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    which one is it Sanghi bhau?? you choose kama sutra or sushruta samhita??

    of course, i expect no answer as usual 😀

  7. rajivkutty said, on April 21, 2013 at 6:08 am

    “There is fundamental difference in the views of Ayurveda and kamasutra on sex. Kamasutra provides as much as 64 main sexual positions. Ayurveda acknowledges only one position – woman bottom and man top.”


    • rajivkutty said, on April 21, 2013 at 6:24 am

      The reason ayurveda specifies only 1 sexual position is that the shukra dhaatu is produced throughout the body in minute quantities and is ‘flushed’ out during coitus, unlike modern science which says reproductive fluids only produced by testes. ‘shukra dhaatu’ also connected closely with ojas. Using any other sexual position would mean that the ‘seed’ isn’t passed properly from man to woman.

      ‘Sexual perversion’ or use of multiple + unnatural sexual positions has many adverse effects on society and individuals, both mental and physical. Sexual perversion results in loss of morality in the society and is usually linked with an increase in corruption in society(both moral and materialistic corruption).

      The reason i’m mentioning all this is because your blog generally seems to propagate the myth of free-sex or free-kama as a human right. This simply isn’t true. Sexual perversion should not be considered a human right and it is generally associated with a loss of morality in the society as is being seen more in the west today than in India.

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