The Hush Post: Kamasutra celebrated sex. Much of Kamasutra was at display in Khajuraho. Now, sex is no longer a taboo to Christian spirituality. It says, it serves only a purpose of procreation, an article in the Christmas edition of a church-run magazine openly encourages eroticism among spouses.
“Sex is a celebration of body and mind. Love without physical relationship and the erotic is like pooram (festival) without fireworks. If two bodies need to have proper union, their minds too should merge correspondingly,” says a four-page article titled ‘Rethiyum Ayurvedavum’ (Sex and Ayurveda) by Dr Santhosh Thomas in the December issue of ‘Mukharekha, Alappuzha diocese’s monthly magazine.
According to an archived Times of India article, “This is the first time we are publishing an article about `kamashastram’, on sex and life. This article aims to ensure a healthy and pleasureable life and this doctor is a regular contributor to our magazine,” Father Xavier Kudiyamssery, editor of the magazine, said.
Dr Thomas’s article describes the ideal woman and quotes Vagbhata’s classical Ayurveda text Ashtanga Hridyam: “women can be classified under four types — ‘Padmini’, ‘Chithrini’, ‘Sanghini’ and ‘Hasthini’ — according to their body structure and the size and shape of their breasts. The relation of Kamasasthra with Ayurveda is to show how a man can have healthy sex with these four types of women as per their nature and body.”
Given the male-centric perspective, feminists are bound to frown but the article certainly seems a welcome departure from prudish church sermons that normally consider any talk of erotic love beyond the elementary birds-and-bees template as taboo. However, a question which remains unanswered is whether this is an attempt to change course midway and get lenient with the present system which till now treated sex as anathema or is it a historically believed fact hidden in yellowing pages of various Christian texts?