Understanding the Ethics of Pleasure in Kāmasūtra

  • Shaji George Kochuthara Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram (DVK)
Keywords: KĀMA, DHARMA, Kāmasūtra, Sexuality, Tantric Concept, Mystical Concept, Vatsyayana, Eroticism, Female Psyche, Sexology, Nāgaraka


Vatsyayana’s Kāmasūtra is one of the most popular and well-known works of the Indian tradition in the West and other parts of the world. It has become the symbol of Indian eroticism and Indian sexology. Kāmasūtra became so well-known in the English speaking world, thanks to the pioneering work of Richard F. Burton. Although it was published in 1883, Kāmasūtra began to get great attention worldwide from the 1960s. Many subsequent translations came, but Burton’s translation continues to enjoy great authority. Kāmasūtra has gained a greater attention and curiosity in the United States of America and the English speaking world with the publication of a recent translation with notes by Wendy Doniger and Sudhir Kakar.

Author Biography

Shaji George Kochuthara, Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram (DVK)

Dr. Shaji George Kochuthara CMI holds a doctorate in Moral Theology from the Gregorian University, Rome and teaches Moral Theology at Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram, Bangalore. He is also the director of Centre for Women Studies (DVK) and a member of Institutional Ethics Review Board (St. John’s Medical College, Bangalore). His publications include The Concept of Sexual Pleasure in the Catholic Moral Tradition (Roma: Editrice Pontificia Università Gregoriana, 2007).


Mallanga Vatsyayana, Kamasutra: A New, Complete English Translation of the Sanskrit Text with Excerpts from the Sanskrit Jayamangala Commentary of Yashodhara Indrapada, the Hindi Jaya Commentary of Devadatta Shastri, and Explanatory Notes by the Translators, trans. Wendy Doniger and Sudhir Kakar, New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Margaret A. Farley, Just Love, New York: Continuum, 2007, 91.

Alka Pande and Lance Dane, Indian Erotica, New Delhi: Roli Books, 2001, 42-43.

The Illustrated Kāma Sutra, Charles Fowkes, ed., London: Hamlyn, 1998.

Geoffrey Parrinder, Sex in the World’s Religions, New York: Oxford University Press, 1980, 5.

Rajendra Prasad, A Conceptual-Analytic Study of Classical Indian Philosophy of Morals History of Science, Part I, in Philosophy and Culture in Indian Civilization, vol. 12, New Delhi: Concept Publishing Company, 2008, 249.

Subodh Kapoor, Encyclopaedia of Indian Heritage, vol. 45: Vatsyayana, New Delhi: Cosmo Publications, 2002, 3.

R. C. Zaehner, Hinduism, London: Oxford University Press, 1962, 166-167.

Heinrich Zimmer, Philosophies of India, ed. Joseph Campbell, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1990 (reprint 2005), 145. Vatsyayana, The Kama Sutra, trans. Richard F. Burton, London: Penguin Books, 1994, 85-86.

How to Cite
Kochuthara, S. G. (2009). KĀMA WITHOUT DHARMA?. Journal of Dharma, 34(1), 69-95. Retrieved from http://dvkjournals.in/index.php/jd/article/view/455