According to this answer, does it mean that premarital sex was non-existent?

Is prostitution related to premarital sex? If not then any scriptural references on the same topic?

  • Did you mean "premarital" or "adultery" (both are different)? May be you should refine your question, as either of them are not exactly equal to "prostitution". I think there can be many intersting answers in this topic either way.
    – iammilind
    Nov 26, 2016 at 11:43
  • @iammilind To my knowledge prematarial sex it's considered fornication, but you can also look upon it as adultery. So I guess which would you prefer?? I will call it adultery for the sake of the question.
    – William
    Nov 26, 2016 at 13:04
  • @iammilind For the sake of the question does it matter because technically you are automatically married easily in Hinduism no matter what you do.
    – William
    Nov 26, 2016 at 13:48
  • @sv. I just read the accepted one sorry.
    – William
    Nov 26, 2016 at 15:42
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    There are stories of Various Prostitutes in Hindu scripture. So, prostitution existed in ancient times. But this doesn't mean that Scripture endorses prostitution...
    – Tezz
    Nov 27, 2016 at 2:07

2 Answers 2


"... does it mean that premarital sex was non-existent?"

If a boy & girl adore each other and consummate the relationship, then such act was called GAndharva marriage. In such case, girl's wish was considered foremost. So in the context of your question, "pre-marital sex" would become marriage itself. Here is from AnushAsana Parva:

Bhishma said, ... When the father of the girl', disregarding his own wishes, bestows his daughter upon a person whom the daughter likes and who reciprocates the girl's sentiments, the form of marriage, O Yudhishthira, is called Gandharva by those that are conversant with the Vedas. ... The Brahma, Kshatra, and Gandharva forms are righteous.

Now probably your question is more about, "What about premarital sex, which is done without commitment of marriage?"

"Premarital sex" as such, is seen with negative views. In earlier times, it was bit 1 sided. For men, it was sometimes OK & for women it was forbidden. In the same quotes, Bhishma continues:

Some say that persons belonging to the three higher orders may take, only for purposes of enjoyment (and not for those of virtue), wives from the lowest or the Sudra order. Others, however, forbid the practice.

However, even though 2 major women of Mahabharata had premarital sex, without entering into the marriage, they are always regarded as Pious. Those women were Satyavati & her daughter in law Kunti. Not only premarital sex, but they also begotten children from this act. Those were VyAsa (considered as an incarnation of god) and Karna (considered a very brave warrior & eldest among PAndava-s).

Prostitution is different aspect and not related to above. Prostitution is not seen with favourable eyes either. Even eating food cooked by prostitute is not recommended:

... The food provided by a usurer is equivalent to dirt, while that provided by a woman living by prostitution is equivalent to semen. The food also provided by persons that tolerate the unchastity of their wives, and by persons that are ruled by their spouses, is forbidden....

Having said all these, I do believe that few of the things may not be applicable in today's intermingled world. Hence people should keep morality & ethics as personal things and refrain judging others. In some of the "not so old" Indian cultures, prostitutes were also respected & were called "Nagar Vadhu" (City's wife). There was story of a prostitute, who got liberation. While a learned Brahmana still returned to earth.
Some statures in the life are respectable, and some are not so good. However, a person always has a chance to act in his/her own duty & leave all the reaction to the supreme. This is what matters for liberation.

  • 1
    Satyavati's case is different. Sage Parashara gives boon to her that she remains as virgin and kunti also remains as virgin. So, those incidents are different to Premaritial sex.
    – The Destroyer
    Dec 5, 2016 at 2:58
  • 1
    @TheDestroyer, "pre-marital sex" & "virginity" are different. Literal meaning of "pre-marital sex" is "sex before marriage [may be without commitment]". However "virginity" is "intact hymen", from female perspective. Satyavati & Kunti had sex without marital commitment before their actual marriage to their respective husbands. By some boon, they remained "virgin", will not undo this act. So both surely fall under "pre-marital sex" category. BTW even today many female's hymen remain intact even after sex or childbirth. Even they can be reattached; see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hymenorrhaphy
    – iammilind
    Dec 5, 2016 at 5:07
  • 1
    @iammilind - are you sure they had physical sex ? There is a specific phrase in Mahabharata - 'Yonir Yatha Na Dushyeta' (without penetration). If they did have physical sex like common humans, do you think a child would be born that is instantly 16 years old (Vyasa), or born with an armor and earrings (karna) ?
    – ram
    Jan 21, 2021 at 0:45

Hinduism considers prostitutes to be women who are ignorant about dharma.

Pingala said, ‘…What women is there that regards that Supreme Soul as her dear Lord, even when he comes near? I am now awake. I have been roused from the sleep of ignorance. I am no longer influenced by desire. Human lovers, who are really the embodied forms of hell, shall no longer deceive me by approaching me lustfully. Evil produces good through the destiny or the acts of a former life. Roused (from the sleep of ignorance), I have cast off all desires for worldly objects. I have acquired a complete mastery over my senses. One freed from desire and hope sleeps in felicity.Freedom from every hope and desire is felicity. Having driven off desire and hope, Pingala sleeps in felicity.

Mahabharata Santi Parva Section CLXXV

Hinduism does not support premarital sex.

Dharma, understood as the Supreme Good of man, can never have wealth as its reward. Nor has wealth, understood as an aid to the achievement of Dharma, been conceived as an aid for the attainment of kama (sexual desire). Kama in its turn is not a call to indulgence in sexual pleasures, but a mere inducement implanted by the Creator to make life unbroken. And as for life, it has the quest of the Supreme Truth as its end – not certainly Karma (i.e. performance of rituals and social duties) for the attainment of wealth (prosperity here and heaven hereafter).

Srimad Bhagavata Purana I.2.9-10

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