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From Mahabharata To Bajirao's Rule, These Sexual Norms Prevalent In The Society Were Liberal & Ahead Of Their Times. Check Out!

  • Dailybhaskar.com
  • Feb 08, 2017, 11:28 AM IST
Sexual culture in ancient India
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Sexual culture in ancient India

There was a phase in human history when there were no social rules or norms for forming sexual relationships between men and women. Sex was a means for procreation as well as pleasure, and no taboo of any sort existed. With the advancement of civilisation, relationships and social practices also transformed. 
 
This slideshow will tell you about the sexual norms mentioned in ancient Indian scriptures. These may come across as shocking, but should be understood in historical-sociological context. Read on...
 
1) In chapter 63 of Adiparva in Mahabharat, open sexual contact between Rishi Parashar and Satyavati Matsyangandha has been described. Also, in the 104th chapter of Adiparva, it is mentioned that son of Utthat, Dirghtama got intimate with a woman in the audience of other people.

Find out more by clicking on the following slides

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    From Mahabharata To Bajirao's Rule, These Sexual Norms Prevalent In The Society Were Liberal & Ahead Of Their Times. Check Out!
    In the times of Bajirao, a game 'Ghat Kanchuki' used to be played in Pune. Some books describe it as 'chakrapuja.' In this, equal number of men and women assembled secretly at night, without any consideration of caste or relationship, and sit around a paper on which a 'chakra' was drawn. After disrobing themselves, they put their clothes in a pot at centre. Then every person picked up a cloth at random to select his/her partner for the night. The game continued till everyone had slept with each other.
  • 3 of 9
    From Mahabharata To Bajirao's Rule, These Sexual Norms Prevalent In The Society Were Liberal & Ahead Of Their Times. Check Out!
    In Mahabharat’s Adiparva, Ulupi, the daughter of the Serpent King Kauravya clearly says to Arjun that it not against religion to sleep with a woman if the consent is mutual. If an unmarried woman expresses her desire to have sex, it should be fulfilled.
     
     
  • 4 of 9
    From Mahabharata To Bajirao's Rule, These Sexual Norms Prevalent In The Society Were Liberal & Ahead Of Their Times. Check Out!
    The modern history has documented the sexual antics of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Many of his sexual encounters used to be in the open, for everyone to see.
  • 5 of 9
    From Mahabharata To Bajirao's Rule, These Sexual Norms Prevalent In The Society Were Liberal & Ahead Of Their Times. Check Out!
    In Mahabharata, Urvashi, a celestial nymph (apsara), told Arjun that if any member or grandson of the Paurva vansh wished to get intimate with any woman of her family- including herself- it would not be unreligious. However, Arjun rejected the offer, and Urvashi called him impotent.
  • 6 of 9
    From Mahabharata To Bajirao's Rule, These Sexual Norms Prevalent In The Society Were Liberal & Ahead Of Their Times. Check Out!
    Kautbik sex (incest) is also mentioned in ancient texts. Harivamsha Purana (appendix to Mahabharata) states that the daughter of sage Vashishta, Shatrupa believed him to be her husband, and therefore had amorous relationship with him.
     
    As mentioned in Haribhavishya, Indra dev had sex with his great grandson’s (Janmejay) wife Vapushtma.
  • 7 of 9
    From Mahabharata To Bajirao's Rule, These Sexual Norms Prevalent In The Society Were Liberal & Ahead Of Their Times. Check Out!
    In the 10th mandal of Rig Veda, sexual conversation between Yam and Yami is mentioned. Here, Yami expresses her desire to have sex with her own brother. When Yam refuses to do so, she says that it’s a brother’s duty to keep his sister happy. This has been widely criticized by scholars.
  • 8 of 9
    From Mahabharata To Bajirao's Rule, These Sexual Norms Prevalent In The Society Were Liberal & Ahead Of Their Times. Check Out!
    Rigveda (Chapter I, 116, 17) states that the daughter of Sun god was won as a bride by the twin Aswini brothers. This indicates that polyandry existed at that time.
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    From Mahabharata To Bajirao's Rule, These Sexual Norms Prevalent In The Society Were Liberal & Ahead Of Their Times. Check Out!
    Clearly, regulation of sexual relations came into our society sequentially with the development of civilisation and culture. However, one thing is to be noticed that any sexual relations described in the ancient times, were made with the consent of both the individuals involved, and were never forced. Which in a way hints the level of respect a person has for the other gender.

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