Lately due to sexual revolution in India many people (to justify their adulterous acts) have started to say that Hinduism is a sexually liberal religion where sex before or outside of marriage is allowed. While others say the opposite that sex in hinduism should only be within marriage and having before or outside of it is sin.

What is the final conclusion on it ?

  • Intercourse outside of marriage unless it is approved by the partner falls under the domain of adultery, and adultery is specifically spoken against and condemned in dharmaśāstras. The case of birth of Pāṇḍu and Dhr̥tarāṣṭra or the case of Kuntī and Mādrī having children were not acts of adultery. Kr̥ṣṇa and his intercourse of gopīs is not to be taken literally, but is a Purāṇic and poetic imagery often used in many works to show the relation b/w a devotee and divine
    – Bingming
    Jan 16 at 3:54
  • 2
    Only in the case of niyoga is intercourse outside the institution of marriage is permitted in traditional Hindu law and ethics –
    – Bingming
    Jan 16 at 3:54
  • But if you like take whole Hinduism, then there are varying opinions on such issues, one would be Vātsyāyana's Kāma Sūtras who openly speaks of the merits of adultery, going against the dharmaśāstras. Bhāgavata Purāṇa (10.33.35) weirdly justifies the adultery committed by Kr̥ṣṇa and the sages, and them being exempt from the basic rules that apply to ordinary people. Similarly, Brahmā's incest and devas' adultery is also weirdly justified.
    – Bingming
    Jan 16 at 4:13
  • 2
    Does this answer your question? Clarification regarding adultery, extra-marital relations Jan 16 at 5:47
  • 1
    @ArvindC Btw Kamsutra prohibits having sex with married women. (Chaper 5 Verse 2)
    – river
    Jan 18 at 13:53

1 Answer 1


I think there are points on the both sides . I will just enlist the points from the both side. I am not able to arrive at any final conclusion.

Hinduism being sexually conservative

  1. Rama asking Sita to undergo Agni-Pariksha and later abandoning Sita , doubting her purity.

  2. Jamadagni ordering beheading of his wife because she looked lustfully at another man.

  3. Shakuntala because of shame arisen out of having premarital sex with Dushyant was not able to face Kanva (her father) , when he returned to the ashram .

  4. Parashara restoring the virgnity of Satyavati.

  5. Kunti abandoning Karna and hiding it from other people throughout her life.

  6. Draupdi getting the boon of becoming virgin every year.

Hinduism being sexually liberal religion

  1. Conversation between Pandu and Kunti where Pandu tells Kunti that in the past , sex outside of marriage was allowed.
  2. Fourteen types of sons in Hinduism , where some types of sons are born because of affairs outside of marriage.
  3. Krishna Raas-Leela episode where he engaged in sex with Gopis
  • 3
    "promiscuous sex happens in society." - murder, rape, burglary also happen. doesn't mean it is accepted. they are punished.
    – mar
    Jan 16 at 23:18
  • @mar True , deleted .
    – river
    Jan 17 at 2:39
  • 1
    1, 2 & 3 don't imply sexually liberality : pandu-kunti discussion in point 1 only implies sex discipline was enacted "ex post facto" ; point 2 details outcome of ADULTERY ; point 3 also not liberality bcos rasa-leela is a HYPERBOLE / POETIC FANCY description of boy krishna (not adult krishna) playing with gopis. [Note - hyperbole is known as atisayokti & poetic fancy is Utpreksa in sanskrit grammar - wisdomlib.org/hinduism/book/the-agni-purana/d/doc1083574.html] Jan 18 at 17:33
  • 1
    @river in veda religion, humans don't do religious policing but this doesn't mean the religion is liberal as devas (varuna, yama, etc.) do religious police based on karma theory by maintaining karmic ledger of every individua's morals, asceticism, past birth etc. to determine results. So one must not get deceived by the success of liberal culture and try to prove liberal culture originates from veda as such success will end once past merit is exhausted & then ill effects of bad karma start taking effect. At this point people will realize the value of what they today perceive as regressive. Jan 19 at 14:13
  • 1
    Eg: as polyandry is sinful, draupadi case was conditional based on previous birth boon and 5 indras. So she was expected to follow monandrous behaviour i.e. treat all husbands equally as a single person. But during her lifetime she erred preferring Arjun and thus had to go to hell after death for her polyandrous behaviour. Jan 19 at 14:14

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .