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You are here:Open notes-->sexology-->THE-KAMA-SUTRA-OF-VATSYAYANA-Part-9


The Life of a Citizen

Having thus acquired learning, a man, with the wealth that
he may have gained by gift, conquest, purchase, deposit,! or
inheritance from his ancestors, should become a householder,
and pass the life of a citizen. He should take a house in a
city, or large village, or in the vicinity of good men, or in a
place which is the resort of many persons. This abode should
be situated near some water, and divided into different compartments
for different purposes. It should be surrounded
by a garden, and also contain two rooms, an outer and an
inner one. The inner room should be occupied by the
females, while the outer room, balmy with rich perfumes,
should contain a bed, soft, agreeable to the sight, covered
with a clean white cloth, low in the middle part, having garlands
and bunches of fiowersj upon it, and a canopy above
it, and two pillows, one at the top, another at the bottom.
There should be also a sort of couch besides, and at the head
of this a sort of stool, on which should be placed the fragrant
ointments for the night, as well as flowers, pots containing
collyrium and other fragrant substances, things used for perfuming
the mouth, and the bark of the common citron tree.
Near the couch, on the ground, there should be a pot for
spitting, a box containing ornaments, and also a lute hanging
from a peg made of the tooth of an elephant, a board
for drawing, a pot containing perfume, some books, and
some garlands of the yellow amaranth flowers. Not far
from the couch, and on the ground, there should be a round
seat, a toy cart, and a board for playing with dice; outside
the outer room there should be cages of birds,* and a
separate place for spinning, carving and such like diversons.
In the garden there should be a whirling swing and a common
swing, as also a bower of creepers covered with flowers,
in which a raised parterre should be made for sitting.
Now the householder, having got up in the morning and
performed his necessary duties,! should wash his teeth, apply
a limited quantity of ointments and perfumes to his
body, put some ornaments on his person and coUyrium on
his eyelids and below his eyes, color his lips with alacktaka, J
and look at himself in the glass. Having then eaten betel
leaves, with other things that give fragrance to the mouth,
he should perform his usual business. He should bathe
daily, anoint his body with oil every other day, apply a
lathering substance to his body every three days, get his
head (including face) shaved every four days, and the other
parts of his body every five or ten days.|| All these things
should be done without fail, and the sweat of the armpits
should also be removed. Meals should be taken in the forenoon,
in the afternoon, and again at night, according to
Charayana. After breakfast, parrots and other birds should
be taught to speak, and the fighting of cocks, quails, and
rams should follow. A limited time should be devoted to
diversion with Pithamardas, Vitas, and Vidushakas,^ and
then should be taken the midday sleep.** After this the
householder, having put on his clothes and ornaments,
should, during the afternoon, converse with his friends.
In the evening there should be singing, and after that the
householder, along with his friend, should await in his
room, previously decorated and perfumed, the arrival of the
woman that may be attached to him, or he may send a
female messenger for her, or go to her himself. After her
arrival at his house, he and his friend should welcome her,
and entertain her with a loving and agreeable conversation.
Thus end the duties of the day.
The following are the things to be done occasionally as
diversions or amusements.
1 Holding festivals* in honor of different Deities.
2 Social gatherings of both sexes.
3 Drinking parties.
4 Picnics.
5 Other social diversions.
On some particular auspicious day, an assembly of
citizens should be convened in the temple of SarasivatiA
There the skill of singers, and of others who may have come
recently to the town, should be tested, and on the following
day they should always be given some rewards. After that
they may either be retained or dismissed, according as their
performances are liked or not by the assembly. The members
of the assembly should act in concert both in times of
distress as well as in times of posterity, and it is also the
duty of these citizens to show hospitality to strangers who
may have come to the assembly. What is said above should
be understood to apply to all the other festivals which may
be held in honor of the different Deities according to the
present rules.
Social Gatherings
When men of the same age, disposition and talents, fond
of the same diversions, and with the same degree of education,
sit together in company with public women, t or in an
assembly of citizens, or at the abode of one among themselves,
and engage in agreeable discourse with each other,
such is called a sitting in company or a social gathering.
The subjects of discourse are to be the completion of verses
half composed by others, and the testing the knowledge of
one another in the various arts. The woman who may be
the most beautiful, who may like the same things that the
men like, and who may have power to attract the minds of
others, are here done homage to.
Drinking Parties
Men and women should drink in one another's houses.
And here the men should cause the public women to drink,
and should then drink themselves, liquors such as the
Madhu, Aireya, Sara, and Asatva, which are of bitter and
sour taste; also drinks concocted from the barks of various
trees, wild fruits, and leaves.
Going to Gardens or Picnics
In the forenoon, men, having dressed themselves, should
go to gardens on horseback, accompanied by public women
and followed by servants. And having done there all the
duties of the day, and passed the time in various agreeable
diversions, such as the fighting of quails, cocks, and rams,
and other spectacles, they should return home in the afternoon
in the same manner, bringing with them bunches of
flowers, etc.
The same also applies to bathing in the summer in water
from which wicked or dangerous animals have previously
been taken out, and which has been built in on all sides.
Other Social Diversions
Spending nights playing with dice. Going out on moonlight
nights. Keeping the festive day in honor of spring.
Plucking the sprouts and fruits of the mangoe trees. Eating
the fibres of lotuses. Eating the tender ears of corn. Picnicing
in the forests when the trees get their new foliage.
The Udakakshvedika or sporting in the water. Decorating
each other with the flowers of some trees. Pelting each
other with the flowers of the Kadamba tree, and many other
sports which may either be known to the whole country,
or may be peculiar to particular parts of it. These and
similar other amusements should always be carried on by
The above amusements should be followed by a person
who diverts himself alone in company with a courtezan, as
well as by a courtezan who can do the same in company with
her maid servants or with citizens.
A Pithamarda* is a man without wealth, alone in the
world, whose only property consists of his MallikaA some
lathering substance, and a red cloth, who comes from a
good country, and who is skilled in all the arts; and by
teaching these arts is received in the company of citizens,
and in the abode of public women.
A Vitat is a man who has enjoyed the pleasures of fortune,
who is a compatriot of the citizens with whom he
associates, who is possessed of the qualities of a householder,
who has his wife with him, and who is honored in the assembly
of citizens and in the abodes of public women, and
lives on their means and on them.
A Vidushaka% (also called a Vaihasaka, i.e., one who provokes
laughter) is a person only acquainted with some of
the arts, who is a jester, and who is trusted by all.
These persons are employed in matters of quarrels and
reconciliations between citizens and public women.
This remark applies also to female beggars, to women
with their heads shaved, to adulterous women, and to old
public women skilled in all the various arts.
Thus a citizen living in his town or village, respected by
all, should call on the persons of his own caste who may
be worth knowing. He should converse in company and
gratify his friends by his society, and obliging others by his
assistance in various matters, he should cause them to assist
one another in the same way.
There are some verses on this subject as follows:
A citizen discoursing, not entirely in the Sanscrit langu-
age,* nor wholly in the dialects of the country, on various
topics in society, obtains great respect. The wise should
not resort to a society disliked by the public, governed by
no rules, and intent on the destruction of others. But a
learned man living in a society which acts according to the
wishes of the people, and which has pleasure for its only
object is highly respected in this world.


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