Don't Consult the KamaSutra

When Kissing, don’t consult
The KamaSutra…  



As a child or teenager, you hear whispers about it. You hear about it in neon letters glittering and glowing against the night sky. You get a copy. Beg, borrow, steal. And as you flip the pages, you are astounded and utterly cheated.

The Kamasutra is the most comprehensive workbook on sex, and in its hallowed pages are listed 40+ kisses. The many ways to bite the lips, let your tongue dart in a lover’s mouth. There are positions from the missionary to the gymnastic to the anatomically impossible. And yet as you read them you feel like a child with a thousand roads to explore… you are astounded by ancient Indians, their honesty, their exploratory magnificence and… you feel cheated. Totally and utterly cheated. And sometimes you don’t know how or why, but you feel cheated.

Perhaps because it is a little like a mathematical class listing permutations and combinations. And clearly you don’t want to be doing mathematics here. So what is missing? What aren't we getting?

What A Kiss Should Be Like: We were just luxuriating on this thought when in walked a Pied Piper of a human being for an aura scan. As the aura scan of this traveller, artist, dancer, poet, mad man progressed and but naturally love was discussed… He burst out passionately… “Is a kiss a mere meeting of lips? I find this permutation, and combination of lips, teeth, tongue, throat you find in most sexual texts a tedious anatomy lesson or mathematics class… “It’s like someone who goes to a concert of an inspired musician and says 30% sur, 25% raga, 33% Ambience, 12% media hype… I am not saying every kiss is that blue moon variety… but some are…” 

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“Years ago, was in love with this brilliant, talented, alive, clawed woman, who also happened to be married. One day we were at her place, there were 6 of us including her husband around her table. We were playing footsie beneath. It was innocent, wicked, and wow. At some point she goes to the kitchen I follow her. Behind the door, 6 feet away from her friends, we kiss. But it wasn’t just the sweetness of a stolen kiss. There was something so much, much more. As we kissed we melted into each other, we merged. We became one as the ancients said. I could borrow her nerves, she knew my body as hers. How long did it last? 30 seconds? A minute?

“The affair if you call it that, lasted 3 months, then collapsed. But in those months were many moments of deep joy, but of them the most precious was a special 30 seconds that didn’t just stimulate, wasn’t just beautiful… It showed me that the physical is a dream, that matter is plasticine, that to a lover’s touch the universe can open its secrets…”  

In fact if you recall, we encountered precisely such a magnificent set of experiences in the article Love Has No Separation. A married woman encountering a lover from another life, while remaining true to her current husband could touch with her previous lovers fingers, taste with his lips!

The other day on Facebook we were watching this video of a kinetic sculpture The Statue of Love by Georgian artist Tamar Kvesitadze. In it, statues, made of ethereal ribbons of steel move together… But as they touch they do not stop, they interpenetrate… they become one…  and you realise that in a true touch of love the boundaries dissolve… Where The Pleasure Garden, The Yellow Emperor’s Secrets, The Kamasutra all miss out is that in their thousand and one variations, they forget that beyond the pleasurable is the magical… the impossible… the wondrous…

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Yes the greatest Sutra about Kama, is that Kama is divine. Yes Kama is a God. And our kama, be it longing, fleeting eyes, a touch, a kiss, a nibble, a hug, a night, a lifetime... can be well like cooking kichdi or... it can be a dish to invite the divine... it can be a transport that takes us beyond this world... it can be a rite that enriches life... gets Life herself to fruit...

When Sex Becomes Worship:
“The touch of bodies becomes the praise of God.”-- Sacred Sex Article, By Tarun Cherian, Deccan Herald, 1998.

The truth is that we often think that The Sexual and The Spiritual are on opposite sides of the fence. In this article we see them kiss. Here we realise that a Kiss can be so much more than the infinite permutations of erotic texts. We see that there are times when joy can reveal that Joy has is free of boundaries of gravity of space’s constraints and time’s plod.

“Revive your slave with nectar from those lips…” Says the immortal Jaya Deva in Gita Govinda. “May you follow his sweated drops…” The Poet urges you, “Annoint with sandalwood’s sweet-scented hands these breasts…” 

From every spiritual tradition come the reminder that the Sex is Sacred, Tantric texts talk about the divine union where the cosmic lovers become a brilliant oneness. The Chandogaya Upanishad compares sexuality to sacrificial offering… where “the vulva is the flame”, “semen… libation.”

In The Gospel according to Thomas, {a non-canonical Gospel}, Jesus speaks of divine oneness with delirious clarity; "When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner like the outer and the outer like the inner, and the upper like the lower, and when you make male and female into a single one, so that the male will not be male nor the female be female, when you make eyes in place of an eye, a hand in place of a hand, a foot in place of a foot, an image in place of an image, then you will enter [the kingdom].”

“Aphrodite’s rituals of love and pleasure are the acts which connect the inner and outer planes … we must actually dance, sing, feast, make music, and love in Her honor. It is with our bodies that we worship Her, and through our bodies that She blesses us. By these earthy rituals the false divisions between body and spirit, between mind and nature, are healed. We find the Sacred within us and all things, within our beautiful, living Mother Earth.”  -- Judy Harrow in Gnosis

There is the Kama Sutra and there is the Gita Govinda, and Kulanarva Tantra. There are preachers who equate the sensual with damnation. And there is The Song of Solomon that rings gloriously out in the Old Testament.

Now we are not by any means suggesting that you follow the example of the 'Pied Piper' and run around with your neighbour's wife. Sacred sensuality treats sexuality as very different from bonking. It asks us to return to a more pristine time, where a kiss could transport, where on wings of the exquisite we discover the sacred. We instead demand of even the most casual flirtation a deeper danger, a willingness to drown in one's soul. We ask you to return to the flagrant moment when just fingers intertwining in a shared mudra could jolt a God from slumber. Be it a kiss, a lover of a night, a weekend, a year, a lifetime, one finds a hint of the greater mystery stolen from the heavens and writ in our bones...


We said when kissing don’t consult The KamaSutra. Actually do consult The Kamasutra. But later. First know the glory of life. Be it when reading from life as 2 butterflies dance. Be it delving into Greek Mysteries, Astarte’s Secrets, JayaDeva’s masterpiece...

If we treat the body as just mechanical, we will end up with sweat. If we treat the physical as a prison, and passion as unholy we will end up with a grim world. But if we treat the physical as a place that is infused with mystery we will climb on incense strange,  the royal path to God.  



By Tarun Cherian


Note: some of the translations are modified to let the true spirit out.

You may also wish to Read:

Sacred Sex. (Sunday Herald, 1998.)

Love knows no separation. by Nadi*, Dec 2016.