Kama Sutra - Home and Ritual

A person enters into the Ashramas of Sannyasa, Grihastha and Vanaprastha by acquisition. A Sannyasi has acquired a wealth of knowledge; but householders in the Ashramas of Grihastha and Vanaprastha have acquired material wealth by gift, loan, inheritance, gift, or by right of conquest. Having thus accomplished acquisition, they should take a residence in a community, city, village or otherwise in the vicinity of good friends, where their practice may continue to develop. While other duties of Dharma and Artha must be observed, these are the duties of Kama:

The home itself should be situated near clean water, and the home prepared for various purposes: it is a tool intended for use. It should contain at least two divisions: an outer and an inner one. Like the householder, it should be divided into at least two compartments or divisions: the inner space should be private; the outer space should be welcoming to visitors. It should be surrounded by a garden.

The outer space should contain a place to sit, and should be agreeable to see. It should be more than agreeable, it should be pleasing: there should be flowers, and perfumes to make it smell pleasant. There should be comforts for a guest, there should be a space on which refreshments may be laid. There should be a container for garbage and waste. There should be ornaments and decorations. There should be musical instruments, or a board for drawing, games to play, some dice, some books - or other entertainments. Outside the outer room, there should be pleasant birds, a place for spinning or carving or undertaking other diversions. In the garden there should be a swing, and pleasant places for sitting.

In the morning, the householder should practice hygiene: they should brush their teeth, apply limited quantities of ointments and perfumes to their body, ornament their body and examine themselves in the mirror - as they would examine their own behavior and self-control through insight. Bathing should be undertaken daily. Shaving, if done, should be undertaken in moderation - every five to ten days is sufficient. Sweat and soiled clothes should be promptly removed.

In Grihastha and Vanaprastha, meals should be taken three times every day; in Sannyasa, one or two meals suffice. At the breakfast hour animals should be cared for, and taught language; sporting diversions should be undertaken. A midday sleep may be undertaken, and after this, community, conversation and association with friends should be undertaken. At the dinner hour there should be singing and other entertainment, but the evening should be spent with only with the spouse, and family. Bedtime should be spent in agreeable conversation.

Occasionally, the daily routine of Kama duties is replaced by full-day activities and duties - such as festivals, social gatherings, parties, picnics, and the like.

At least once every year, people should gather in honor of Saraswati - by competitive skills. The best should be given rewards. Though many skills may be tested, it is appropriate to especially test in singing and other performance arts. After the competition, let the audience choose who should perform again - and let the audience act as an assembly, and perform in concert. It is the duty to hold this competition in lean times as well as prosperous times, as much as it is the duty of everyone to show hospitality to strangers. Even strangers should be welcomed to such assemblies and festivals.

In Kama Yoga, a satsang is accomplished when people of similar age, disposition and talents, who are fond of the same pleasures and loves, with similar degrees of education, sit together in company, engaging in agreeable conversation. The subject of discourse are to be pleasant ones, word games and tests of knowledge, performance of the arts of Kama. Compliment those who have adorned themselves best, who are the best in every art of Kama.

At such a gathering, sometimes beverages are served - some of which are bitter, others sour, some sweet. Some of which may be alcoholic. But intoxication - from liquor, or any other pleasure, should be avoided.

Sometimes, the gathering is held at a park, or in a picnic. The journey to the picnic is as important as the picnic itself. All the Dharmic, Arthaic and Kamaic duties of the day are performed in the park. Return home in the afternoon, bringing flowers and other treasures as offerings.

If the gathering is to be held near water, ensure that all dangerous animals have been taken out of the water, and that the bathing area is secured on all sides.

These are other social gatherings: spending nights playing games, going out on moonlit nights, celebrating the spring, picking wild fruit, eating delicious foods, and undertaking the sports and pleasures which are traditional or unique to a particular place.

All the above gatherings may be sufficiently undertaken not only in social settings, but by the sole company of spouses, or a family with children.

The only ones not welcome to social gatherings are the "parasite" - a person incapable of enjoying pleasure. And the "buffoon," the one who loves pleasure too much.