hair's colour in sanskrit (!!!)

Jean Fezas jean.fezas at
Thu May 8 10:18:48 UTC 1997

At 21:15 07/05/1997 BST, you wrote:
>Lars Martin Fosse <l.m.fosse at> has on Wed,  7 May 1997
>19:50:18 BST written as follows:
>>Yes there is. In the Kama Sutra.
>I have not read original Kama Sutra but from what I have read it only
>talks about heterosexual acts, with a great deal of variety and
>unabashed  refinements. While growing up in India I had heard the jokes
>and snide remarks about homosexuality only when referring to Muslim
>rulers whose religion claims to be derived from Bible too. I did not
>find any reference to homosexuality in any of the religious literature
>native to India.

Dear skeptic,

1) You should take a look at kAma-sUtra 2.9 (prakaraNa 19,  aupariSTaka :
fellatio), which begins :

2.9.1	dvividhA tRtIya-prakRtiH strI-rUpiNI puruSa-rUpiNI ca.
The third gender is of two kinds : having the shape of a female and having
the shape of a male.

2.9.2	tatra strI-rUpiNI striyA veSam AlApaM lIlAM bhAvaM mRdutvaM bhIrutvaM
mugdhatAm asahiSNutAM vrIDAM cAnukurvIta.
The one assuming the shape of a female must imitate the dress, talk, charm,
attitude, tenderness, timidity, thoughtlessness, weakness and modesty
suitable for a woman.

2.9.3	tasya vadane jaghana-karma. tad aupariSTakam AcakSate.
The action [usually performed] in the vagina takes place in its mouth. It
is called fellatio (aupariSTaka).
[for details, see the remaining part of the chapter]

2) The nArada-smRti mentions (12.10 sqq) pANdaka. This word is usually
translated by enuch, but the 14 kinds of "enuchs" (12.10) are not castrated
males, but men who cannot have "normal" (i.e. resulting in the procreation
of offspring) sexual relations with women. Among them the mukhe-bhaga-
(12.13) "using his mouth as a vulva"...  See the notes of J. Jolly (in
latin, to keep them from innocent eyes) on nArada 12.13 (SBE XXXIII, The
Minor Law Books, p. 167-68).


3) As to sodomy, it is mentioned only once, in the context of (citra:
unusual ) heterosexual intercourse, as a southern practice at KS. 2.6.49:
adho-rataM pAyAv api dAkSiNatyAnAm.

If you happen to read French, you can take a look at "Perversion et
hiérarchie au Népal au XIXe siècle: un chapitre inédit du code de 1853: gAD
mArA-ko (de la sodomie)" Journal Asiatique 1983 pp.281-344; esp. pp.318-324
which deal with the attitude of classical sanskrit literature towards
deviant practices.

Ancient India was not perfectly "straight", but the attitude towards
deviant sexual practices was very tolerant (such was in fact the attitude
of ancient Greeks and Romans). Pleasure was integrated in the aims of man,
not condemned as sinful...

Best regards.

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