Kama Sutra

Kama Sutra Glossary


The acquisition of arts land, gold, cattle, wealth, and friends; the protection of what is acquired and the increase of what is protected. Artha is a lower form of duty than dharma, but is often considered more important than karma. A man's early life is focused on artha.


A man or woman who remains celibate in devotion to God.


A woman who is responsible for sexually pleasing men of a higher position in society - kings, officers, head men of a village. If a charshani is asked to offer sexual consent, she must give it.


The Sanskrit word for "goddess," and a term that can be used to reverentially address a royal family or courtly family.


The duty that one must fulfill in order to work off one's karma. Dharma changes from life to life and is considered the highest responsibility of a person. As one grows older, dharma becomes the sole priority.


A female go-between or messenger who is responsible for bringing a man and woman together, or for helping a woman escape a man.


A male messenger or go-between.


When a man marries a woman with the consent of both parties and both families, then it is considered the ghandarva form of marriage; both parties are acting out of favorable conduct.


A cow-herder who tends to cows, packages their milk, and sells it.


A lover's quarrel that arises when a woman discovers that the male she is in love with has taken up with another woman. The woman will likely cry, become angry, and strike her lover, and may even destroy their place of dwelling.


The pleasure that comes with the experience of the five senses.


The Sanskrit word for the male phallus.


The Sanskrit word for liberation. A person's goal in life is to achieve transmigration from the samsaric cycle of birth and death. When a person works out all his karma, he achieves moksha.


A female who is desired by a man.


An impotent man who will give extra money to a courtesan in order to keep his deficiencies secret.


The act of striking the body or another's body during sex (hitting with the back of the hand, a hollow fist, or the open palm of the hand) as part of foreplay.


The Sanskrit word for king.


The Sanskrit word for massage. If a male has a secret urge to sleep with other males, he should become a masseuse so he can disguise his desires with samvahana.


An ascetic who has renounced worldly possessions, family, and work and lives on charity alone.


The aphorisms or pithy statements that close each chapter of the Kama Sutra - they are literally words delivered down from the ancient sages.


A woman who leads a pious life, who faithfully performs rituals and sacrifices in the service of God.


A married woman who has borne children.


A courageous, admired man.


An unequal union when a man of a larger lingam has sex with a woman of a smaller yoni, or when the female exceeds the male in point of size.


The Sanskrit word for the female genitalia.


The Sanskrit word for group sex, or when young men enjoy multiple women - either a king who enjoys the women of his court, or when young men in the northern hill regions of India take up with several women at the same time.