Kama

No, this is not going into details of the art of eroticism, there is the Kama Sutra for that. Kama is Sanskrit for lust. Kama Sutra literally translates to “The Pathway of Lust”. Kama is also the name of a Hindu deity, who is believed to endow people with lust yet leaves them the freedom to exercise control on it. Christianity also lists lust as one of the seven deadly sins. So do many other major religions. Interesting viewpoints. Where’d all this come from?

This happened when the topic of certain “socially deviant” behaviour was brought up. While we were discussing the more obvious form of lust, the mention of lust being a very disliked emotion in Hinduism by a Hindu friend jarred me into thinking.

The word “lust”, as it is commonly used and understood now, did not always refer to just basal desires. It actually means, even today though it is less used so, to refer to intense desire that leads to questionable behaviour, from moral or legal standpoints. So someone engaged in corruption is driven by the lust for money/wealth; someone who lies all the time may be driven by any number of reasons, all to do with lust.

Alot of the problems plaguing Bangladesh can be explained by using lust as the reason. Robbery, theft, harassment, rape, corruption, bribery, lying, cheating…where does the list stop? Everyone of them has one form of lust or the other as its starting point.

There is a problem that seems to be unexplained by lust. Poor governance. On the face of it, seems like it’s true. Dig a little deeper, there one will find lust. Lust for more power and wealth. Those in positions of power and/or authority promote sycophants regardless of the sycophant’s ability to do their job properly. Or those who pay their way to the top get promoted. So even this seemingly unrelated problem has lust at its roots!

It seems therefore that lust is the root of too many problems. Even after assuming that all religious texts are fairy tales, doesn’t this make you wonder whether these people, who lived thousands of years back, were trying to leave behind some fair warning?

Addendum: My Hindu friend objected to the use of the word “deity” when, in fact, they believe Kama to be a god. I believe in monotheism and hence the use of the word “god/God” is strictly reserved. Hence my use of the term ‘deity’ in its stead. I do not wish to cause any offence and sincerely apologise for any hurt this may have caused.

6 Comments

  1. Ahmed Waris al Majid

    It all depends on how you define the term ‘monotheism’. Now, the Jews and the Christians also claim their faith to be ‘monotheistic.’ But claiming does not make it a fact. There is not even an iota of truth in their claim. However, they were monotheists until they adulterated their scriptures. Monotheism, in essence, is belief in One Supreme Being. Hence, whenever we talk about monotheism these days we use the term ‘islamic monotheism’, so while we do have a batter term to refer to the concept what justification do we have to hide behind the excuse of a ‘lack of a better term’?

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  2. Ahmed Waris al Majid

    the word god is rather a loose translation of the word Allaah. If not anything, I suppose, we Muslims should at least use the word Creator. Given the fact that our using of the word god might lead the non-Muslims to believe that ‘okay, if there is a god, then there must be goddess too!’

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    1. Ahmed Waris al Majid

      “others”? They believe so, but monotheistic tradition means that the term “God” is reserved for only One. Now if people misinterpret the term “monotheism” I really have no control over that. Alot of memes are based on that, so are “double entendres”, numerous others. In fact, I began this post with a “double-speak” which I subsequently cleared through (not just cleared up, cleared through).

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