The Real Meaning Of The Kama Sutra…

The Real Meaning Of The Kama Sutra

Kama Sutra

Ah yes.

The Kama Sutra.

So much time and interest has been spent in popular media dwelling over the contents of this book!

So much so, that many people are convinced they know what it’s all about.

But in fact, the exact opposite is true: many people haven’t a clue…they think the entire book is about sex!

Nothing could be farther from the truth.

SEE ALSO: Puruṣārtha: The 4 Life Goals Of Hinduism


The Kama Sutra means the “desire song”, and is divided into 7 books:

  • introduction
  • sexual union
  • acquisition of a wife
  • the nature of wives
  • the wives of others
  • courtesans
  • how to attract others

In the beginning, Brahma created both man and woman in order to reflect the duality of creation. He then laid down general rules for living- dharma, artha, moksa and kama- known collectively as Puruṣārtha.

While many texts deal with the other 3, the Kama Sutra was written precisely because kama was often overlooked and ignored by teachers.

This led to kama (desire) being improperly understood and used by many people.

Each book goes about explaining the different means a man and a woman should come together that is positive for both of them and inline with their true needs for development.

It deals with specific issues of that day, and how people- and in particular, men- should act in certain situations.

The Real Meaning

Fulfillment of love and desire was often overlooked or even shunned in much of Indian culture.

Hence, when this book was written, it was aimed specifically at those who wanted to understand how kama should be applied to their lives.

Remember, kama means desire.

But it doesn’t just apply to sexual desire; rather, it means desire in general.

There are two sides to desire: positive and negative. Positive desire is self affirming and healthy, while negative desire damages us and others.

Thus, the Kama Sutra creates an outline of how to have loving relations with many people, not just in the bedroom…and more importantly, how to differentiate our desires.

And while it’s true that many of the cultural norms have shifted or are completely abandoned in the modern world, what we do see is a guide for finding fulfillment in love.

So the real meaning of the Kama Sutra, when stripped of everything but its raw essence, is finding contentment within our own natural desires within relationships and creating sustainable, loving relationships with those around us.


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Matt Caron

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Matt is the content manager of the Sivana blog, an enthusiastic Yoga teacher, and life voyager. He strives to inspire…

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