Loss of semen (Virya) and sperm (Shukra)
Shukra is considered as the essence of all the characteristics of the human body and contains ‘soul’ including the karmas from previous lives. According to Sushruta Samhita (the surgical treatise of Ayurvedic medicine written in the first millennium BC) strong semen produces a male child. Since having a male child is important to Indians, having strong semen is considered essential. Semen is equated to strength and therefore considered precious. Ayurveda advises the need to conserve this precious fluid by limiting sexual intercourse to no more than 2-3 times a week in youth and 1-2 times a month in later life. This cultural value placed on semen explains why loss of semen through premature ejaculation, nocturnal emission, masturbation and ‘excessive’ sexual thoughts and activities produces anxiety neurosis in Indian males.
Hinduism sees masturbation [hasta (hand) dosh (bad)] and nocturnal emission [swapna (dream) dosh (bad)] as morally wrong habits and advices that men desist from such actions. Interestingly in Islam, masturbation is not permitted but is permissible if it used strictly for treatment purposes.
Dhat syndrome is a condition characterized by vague somatic symptoms such as fatigue, listlessness and loss of appetite, with or without psychosexual dysfunction. The patient ascribes his symptoms, including psychosexual dysfunction, to passage of Dhatu (semen or some whitish substance presumed to be semen by the individual) in urine as a direct result of excessive indulgence in sexual activity or masturbation. Despite the patient’s assertion and concern about passage of semen in urine, there is no objective evidence of presence of semen in the urine. By Ayurvedic principle – loss of any of the dhatu (vital fluids of the human body system) in any form leads to draining of physical, mental energy and virility.
Further reinforced by Hindu – 40meals is equal to1 drop of blood, 40 drops of blood is equal to 1 drop of bone marrow, 40 drops of BM is equal to 1 drop of semen. (Prakash, 2007).
Other prevalent myths on male sexuality in India
- Semen loss through masturbation, in urine, and in night emissions lead to weakness in the body, tremors in hands, inability to work, forgetfulness, anxiety, impotence, mental illness, thinning of semen, loss of male characteristics, and shrinking of eyes; semen is made of higher concentration of blood; Semen is produced in the stomach
- Masturbation leads to weakness in nerves and shrinkage of penis and testes
- People can obtain erection voluntarily at their will - Sexual intercourse with older women leads to sexual problems due to mismatch of blood