The Kama Sutra of Vatsayayana
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OF GAINS AND LOSSES; ATTENDANT GAINS AND LOSSES; AND DOUBTS; AS ALSO OF THE DIFFERENT KINDS OF COURTESANS
IT sometimes happens that while gains are being sought for, or expected to be realized, losses only are the result of our efforts. The causes of these losses are:
- Weakness of intellect
- Excessive love
- Excessive pride
- Excessive self conceit
- Excessive simplicity
- Excessive confidence
- Excessive anger
- Influence of evil genius
- Accidental circumstances
The results of these losses are:
- Expense incurred without any result
- Destruction of future good fortune
- Stoppage of gains about to be realized
- Loss of what is already obtained
- Acquisition of a sour temper
- Becoming unamiable to every body
- Injury to health
- Loss of hair and other accidents
Now gain is of three kinds: gain of wealth, gain of religious merit, and gain of pleasure; and similarly loss is of three kinds: loss of wealth, loss of religious merit, and loss of pleasure. At the time when gains are sought for, if other gains come along with them, these are called attendant gains. When gain is uncertain, the doubt of its being a gain is called a simple doubt. When there is a doubt whether either of two things will happen or not, it is called a mixed doubt. If while one thing is being done two results take place, it is called a combination of two results, and if several results follow from the same action, it is called a combination of results on every side.
We shall now give examples of the above.
As already stated, gain is of three kinds, and loss, which is opposed to gain, is also of three kinds.
When by living with a great man a courtesan acquires present wealth, and in addition to this becomes acquainted with other people, and thus obtains a chance of future fortune, and an accession of wealth, and becomes desirable to all, this is called a gain of wealth attended by other gain.
When by living with a man a courtesan simply gets money, this is called a gain of wealth not attended by any other gain.
When a courtesan receives money from other people besides her lover, the results are the chance of the loss of future good from her present lover; the chance of disaffection of a man securely attached to her; the hatred of all; and the chance of a union with some low person, tending to destroy her future good. This gain is called a gain of wealth attended by losses.
When a courtesan, at her own expense, and without any results in the shape of gain, has connection with a great man, or an avaricious minister, for the sake of diverting some misfortune, or removing some cause that may be threatening the destruction of a great gain, this loss is said to be a loss of wealth attended by gains of the future good which it may bring about.
When a courtesan is kind, even at her own expense, to a man who is very stingy, or to a man proud of his looks, or to an ungrateful man skilled in gaining the hearts of others, without any good resulting from these connections to her in the end, this loss is called a loss of wealth not attended by any gain.
When a courtesan is kind to any such man as described above, but who in addition is a favourite of the king, and moreover cruel and powerful, without any good result in the end, and with a chance of her being turned away at any moment, this loss is called a loss of wealth attended by other losses.
In this way gains and losses, and attendant gains and losses in religious merit and pleasures may become known to the reader, and combinations of all of them may also be made.
Thus end the remarks on gains and losses, and attendant gains and losses.
In the next place we come to doubts, which are again of three kinds: doubts about wealth, doubts about religious merit, and doubts about pleasures.
The following are examples:
When a courtesan is not certain how much a man may give her, or spend upon her, this is called a doubt about wealth.
When a courtesan feels doubtful whether she is right in entirely abandoning a lover from whom she is unable to get money, she having taken all his wealth from him in the first instance, this doubt is called a doubt about religious merit.
When a courtesan is unable to get hold of a lover to her liking, and is uncertain whether she will derive any pleasure from a person surrounded by his family, or from a low person, this is called a doubt about pleasure.
When a courtesan is uncertain whether some powerful but low principled fellow would cause loss to her on account of her not being civil to him this is called a doubt about the loss of wealth.
When a courtesan feels doubtful whether she would lose religious merit by abandoning a man who is attached to her without giving him the slightest favour, and thereby causing him unhappiness in this world and the next, 1 this doubt is called a doubt about the loss of a religious merit.
When a courtesan is uncertain as to whether she might create disaffection by speaking out, and revealing her love and thus not get her desire satisfied, this is called a doubt about the loss of pleasure.
Thus end the remarks on doubts.
The intercourse or connection with a stranger, whose disposition is unknown, and who may have been introduced by a lover, or by one who possessed authority, may be productive either of gain or loss, and therefore this is called a mixed doubt about the gain and loss of wealth.
When a courtesan is requested by a friend, or is impelled by pity to have intercourse with a learned Brahman, a religious student, a sacrificer, a devotee, or an ascetic who may have all fallen in love with her, and who may be consequently at the point of death, by doing this she might either gain or lose religious merit, and therefore this is called a mixed doubt about the gain and loss of religious merit.
If a courtesan relies solely upon the report of other people (i.e. hearsay) about a man, and goes to him without ascertaining herself whether he possesses good qualities or not, she may either gain or lose pleasure in proportion as he may be good or bad, and therefore this is called a mixed doubt about the gain and loss of pleasure.
Uddalika has described the gains and losses on both sides as follows:
If, when living with a lover, a courtesan gets both wealth and pleasure from him, it is called a gain on both sides.
When a courtesan lives with a lover at her own expense without getting any profit out of it, and the lover even takes back from her what he may have formerly given her, it is called a loss on both sides.
When a courtesan is uncertain whether a new acquaintance would become attached to her, and, moreover, if he became attached to her, whether he would give her anything, it is then called a doubt on both sides about gains.
When a courtesan is uncertain whether a former enemy, if made up by her at her own expense, would do her some injury on account of his grudge against her; or, if becoming attached to her, would take away angrily from her anything that he may have given to her, this is called a doubt on both sides about loss.
Babhravya has described the gains and losses on both sides as follows:
When a courtesan can get money from a man whom she may go to see, and also money from a man whom she may not go to see, this is called a gain on both sides.
When a courtesan has to incur further expense if she goes to see a man, and yet runs the risk of incurring an irremediable loss if she does not go to see him, this is called a loss on both sides.
When a courtesan is uncertain whether a particular man would give her anything on her going to see him, without incurring expense on her part or whether on her neglecting him another man would give her something, this is called a doubt on both sides about gain.
When a courtesan is uncertain whether, on going at her own expense to see an old enemy, he would take back from her what he may have given her, or whether by her not going to see him he would cause some disaster to fall upon her, this is called a doubt on both sides about loss.
By combining the above, the following six kinds of mixed results are produced:
- Gain on one side, and loss on the other
- Gain on one side, and doubt of gain on the other
- Gain on one side, and doubt of loss on the other
- Loss on one side, and doubt of gain on the other
- Doubt of gain on one side, and doubt of loss on the other
- Doubt of loss on one side, and loss on the other
A courtesan, having considered all the above things and taken counsel with her friends, should act so as to acquire gain, the chances of great gain, and the warding off of any great disaster. Religious merit and pleasure should also be formed into separate combinations like those of wealth, and then all should be combined with each other, so as to form new combinations.
When a courtesan consorts with men she should cause each of them to give her money as well as pleasure. At particular times, such as the Spring Festivals, etc., she should make her mother announce to the various men, that on a certain day her daughter would remain with the man who would gratify such and such a desire of hers.
When young men approach her with delight, she should think of what she may accomplish through them.
The combination of gains and losses on all sides are gain on one side, and loss on all others; loss on one side and gain on all others; gain on all sides, loss on all sides.
A courtesan should also consider doubts about gain and doubts about loss with reference both to wealth, religious merit, and pleasure.
Thus ends the consideration of gain, loss, attendant gains, attendant losses, and doubts.
The different kinds of courtesans are:
- A bawd
- A female attendant
- An unchaste woman
- A dancing girl
- A female artisan
- A woman who has left her family
- A woman living on her beauty
- And, finally, a regular courtesan
All the above kinds of courtesans are acquainted with various kinds of men, and should consider the ways of getting money from them of pleasing them, of separating themselves from them, and of reuniting with them. They should also take into consideration particular gains and losses, attendant gains and losses, and doubts in accordance with their several conditions.
Thus end the considerations of courtesans.
There are also two verses on the subject as follows:
'Men want pleasure, while women want money, and therefore this part, which treats of the means of gaining wealth, should be studied.'
'There are some women who seek for love, and there are others who seek for money; for the former the ways of love are told in previous portions of this work, while the ways of getting money, as practised by courtesans, are described in this part.
1 The souls of men who die with their desires unfulfilled are said to go to the world of the Manes, and not direct to the Supreme Spirit.