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The _KAMA SUTRA_ (Sanskrit : कामसूत्र pronunciation (help ·info ), Kāmasūtra) is an ancient Indian Hindu
Hindu
text written by Vātsyāyana . It is widely considered to be the standard work on human sexual behaviour in Sanskrit literature .

A portion of the work consists of practical advice on sexual intercourse . It is largely in prose, with many inserted anustubh poetry verses. " Kāma " which is one of the four goals of Hindu
Hindu
life , means desire including sexual desire , the latter being the subject of the textbook, and "sūtra " literally means a thread or line that holds things together, and more metaphorically refers to an aphorism (or line, rule, formula), or a collection of such aphorisms in the form of a manual.

Contrary to western popular perception, the _ Kama
Kama
Sutra_ is not exclusively a sex manual ; it presents itself as a guide to a virtuous and gracious living that discusses the nature of love, family life and other aspects pertaining to pleasure oriented faculties of human life. _ Kama
Kama
Sutra_, in parts of the world, is presumed or depicted as a synonym for creative sexual positions; in reality, only 20% of Kama Sutra is about sexual positions. The majority of the book, notes Jacob Levy, is about the philosophy and theory of love, what triggers desire, what sustains it, how and when it is good or bad.

The _ Kama
Kama
Sutra_ is the oldest and most notable of a group of texts known generically as _ Kama Shastra _ (Sanskrit: Kāma Śāstra).

Historians attribute Kamasutra to be composed between 400 BCE and 200 CE. John Keay says that the _ Kama
Kama
Sutra_ is a compendium that was collected into its present form in the 2nd century CE.

CONTENTS

* 1 Content * 2 Pleasure and spirituality * 3 Translations * 4 In popular culture * 5 See also * 6 References * 7 Bibliography * 8 External links

CONTENT

_ Artistic depiction of a sex position . Although Kama
Kama
Sutra_ did not originally have illustrative images, part 2 of the work describes different sex positions.

In the preface of _ Kama
Kama
Sutra_, Vatsyayana cites the work of previous authors based on which he compiled his own _ Kama
Kama
Sutra_. He states that the seven parts of his work were an abridgment of longer works by Dattaka (first part), Suvarnanabha (second part), Ghotakamukha (third part), Gonardiya (fourth part), Gonikaputra (fifth part), Charayana (sixth part), and Kuchumara (seventh part). Vatsyayana's _ Kama
Kama
Sutra_ has 1250 verses, distributed in 36 chapters, which are further organised into seven parts. According to both the Burton and Doniger translations, the contents of the book are structured into the following seven parts: 1. General remarks five chapters on contents of the book, three aims and priorities of life, the acquisition of knowledge , conduct of the well-bred townsman, reflections on intermediaries who assist the lover in his enterprises. 2. Amorous advances/sexual union ten chapters on stimulation of desire, types of embraces , caressing and kisses , marking with nails, biting and marking with teeth, on copulation (positions), slapping by hand and corresponding moaning , virile behaviour in women, superior coition and oral sex , preludes and conclusions to the game of love. It describes 64 types of sexual acts. 3. Acquiring a wife five chapters on forms of marriage, relaxing the girl, obtaining the girl, managing alone, union by marriage. 4. Duties and privileges of the wife two chapters on conduct of the only wife and conduct of the chief wife and other wives. 5. Other men's wives six chapters on behaviour of woman and man, how to get acquainted, examination of sentiments, the task of go-between, the king's pleasures, behaviour in the women's quarters. 6. About courtesans six chapters on advice of the assistants on the choice of lovers, looking for a steady lover, ways of making money, renewing friendship with a former lover, occasional profits, profits and losses. 7. Occult practices two chapters on improving physical attractions , arousing a weakened sexual power.

PLEASURE AND SPIRITUALITY

_ A sexual pose from Mukteswar Temple in Bhubaneswar
Bhubaneswar
, Odisha
Odisha
A Sexual Encounter_ _ Poolside Lovemaking_

Some Indian philosophies follow the "four main goals of life", known as the _purusharthas _:

* Dharma
Dharma
: Virtuous living. * Artha
Artha
: (Material) prosperity. * Kama
Kama
: Desire * Moksha
Moksha
: Liberation.

Dharma, Artha
Artha
and Kama
Kama
are aims of everyday life, while Moksha
Moksha
is release from the cycle of death and rebirth. The _ Kama
Kama
Sutra_ (Burton translation) says:

Dharma
Dharma
is better than Artha, and Artha
Artha
is better than Kama. But Artha should always be first practised by the king for the livelihood of men is to be obtained from it only. Again, Kama
Kama
being the occupation of public women, they should prefer it to the other two, and these are exceptions to the general rule. —_ Kama
Kama
Sutra_ 1.2.14

Of the first three, virtue is the highest goal, a secure life the second and pleasure the least important. When motives conflict, the higher ideal is to be followed. Thus, in making money virtue must not be compromised, but earning a living should take precedence over pleasure, but there are exceptions.

In childhood, Vātsyāyana says, a person should learn how to make a living; youth is the time for pleasure, and as years pass one should concentrate on living virtuously and hope to escape the cycle of rebirth. The Kama Sutra acknowledges that the senses can be dangerous: 'Just as a horse in full gallop, blinded by the energy of his own speed, pays no attention to any post or hole or ditch on the path, so two lovers, blinded by passion, in the friction of sexual battle, are caught up in their fierce energy and pay no attention to danger' (2.7.33).

Also the Buddha preached a _ Kama
Kama
Sutra_, which is located in the Atthakavagga (sutra number 1). This _ Kama
Kama
Sutra_, however, is of a very different nature as it warns against the dangers that come with the search for pleasures of the senses.

Many in the Western world wrongly consider the _ Kama
Kama
Sutra_ to be a manual for _tantric sex ._ While sexual practices do exist within the very wide tradition of Hindu
Hindu
Tantra
Tantra
, the _ Kama
Kama
Sutra_ is not a Tantric text , and does not touch upon any of the sexual rites associated with some forms of Tantric practice.

TRANSLATIONS

The most widely known English translation of the _ Kama
Kama
Sutra_ was privately printed in 1883. It is usually attributed to renowned orientalist and author Sir Richard Francis Burton , but the chief work was done by the Indian archaeologist Bhagwan Lal Indraji , under the guidance of Burton's friend, the Indian civil servant Forster Fitzgerald Arbuthnot , and with the assistance of a student, Shivaram Parshuram Bhide. Burton acted as publisher, while also furnishing the edition with footnotes whose tone ranges from the jocular to the scholarly. Burton says the following in its introduction:

It may be interesting to some persons to learn how it came about that Vatsyayana was first brought to light and translated into the English language. It happened thus. While translating with the pundits the 'Anunga Runga , or the stage of love', reference was frequently found to be made to one Vatsya. The sage Vatsya was of this opinion, or of that opinion. The sage Vatsya said this, and so on. Naturally questions were asked who the sage was, and the pundits replied that Vatsya was the author of the standard work on love in Sanscrit__ literature, that no Sanscrit library was complete without his work, and that it was most difficult now to obtain in its entire state. The copy of the manuscript obtained in Bombay was defective, and so the pundits wrote to Benares
Benares
, Calcutta and Jaipur
Jaipur
for copies of the manuscript from Sanscrit libraries in those places. Copies having been obtained, they were then compared with each other, and with the aid of a Commentary called 'Jayamanglia' a revised copy of the entire manuscript was prepared, and from this copy the English translation was made. The following is the certificate of the chief pundit:

"The accompanying manuscript is corrected by me after comparing four different copies of the work. I had the assistance of a Commentary called 'Jayamangla' for correcting the portion in the first five parts, but found great difficulty in correcting the remaining portion, because, with the exception of one copy thereof which was tolerably correct, all the other copies I had were far too incorrect. However, I took that portion as correct in which the majority of the copies agreed with each other."

In the introduction to her own translation, Wendy Doniger , professor of the history of religions at the University of Chicago
University of Chicago
, writes that Burton "managed to get a rough approximation of the text published in English in 1883, nasty bits and all". The philologist and Sanskritist Professor Chlodwig Werba, of the Institute of Indology at the University of Vienna
University of Vienna
, regards the 1883 translation as being second only in accuracy to the academic German-Latin text published by Richard Schmidt in 1897.

A noteworthy translation by Indra Sinha was published in 1980. In the early 1990s its chapter on sexual positions began circulating on the internet as an independent text and today is often assumed to be the whole of the _ Kama
Kama
Sutra_.

Alain Daniélou contributed a noteworthy translation called _The Complete Kama
Kama
Sutra_ in 1994. This translation, originally into French, and thence into English, featured the original text attributed to Vatsyayana , along with a medieval and a modern commentary. Unlike the 1883 version, Daniélou's new translation preserves the numbered verse divisions of the original, and does not incorporate notes in the text. He includes English translations of two important commentaries:

* The Jayamangala commentary, written in Sanskrit by Yashodhara during the Middle Ages, as page footnotes . * A modern commentary in Hindi
Hindi
by Devadatta Shastri, as endnotes .

Daniélou translated all Sanskrit words into English (but uses the word "brahmin "). He leaves references to the sexual organs as in the original: persistent usage of the words "lingam " and "yoni " to refer to them in older translations of the Kama Sutra is not the usage in the original Sanskrit; he argues that "to a modern Hindu
Hindu
'lingam' and 'yoni' mean specifically the sexual organs of the god Shiva
Shiva
and his wife, and using those words to refer to humans' sexual organs would seem irreligious." The view that _lingam_ means only "sexual organs" is disputed by academics such as S. N. Balagangadhara .

An English translation by Wendy Doniger and Sudhir Kakar , an Indian psychoanalyst and senior fellow at Center for Study of World Religions at Harvard University
Harvard University
, was published by Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press
in 2002. Doniger contributed the Sanskrit expertise while Kakar provided a psychoanalytic interpretation of the text.

IN POPULAR CULTURE

* _ Kama
Kama
Sutra: A Tale of Love _ * _Tales of the Kama
Kama
Sutra: The Perfumed Garden _ * _Tales of the Kama Sutra 2: Monsoon _ * _ Kamasutra 3D _ * _Kamasutra Nights _

SEE ALSO

* History of sex in India * Kamashastra * Khajuraho Group of Monuments * Philaenis * _ Lazzat Un Nisa _ * List of Indian inventions and discoveries * Song of Songs * _The Jewel in The Lotus _ * _ The Perfumed Garden _ * Mlecchita vikalpa

REFERENCES

* ^ Doniger, Wendy (2003). _Kamasutra – Oxford World's Classics_. Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press
. p. i. ISBN 978-0-19-283982-4 . _The Kamasutra is the oldest extant Hindu
Hindu
textbook of erotic love. It was composed in Sanskrit, the literary language of ancient India, probably in North India and probably sometime in the third century_ * ^ Coltrane, Scott (1998). _Gender and families_. Rowman & Littlefield . p. 36. ISBN 978-0-8039-9036-4 . * ^ Common misconceptions about _ Kama
Kama
Sutra_. "The _ Kama
Kama
Sutra_ is neither exclusively a sex manual nor, as also commonly used art, a sacred or religious work. It is certainly not a tantric text. In opening with a discussion of the three aims of ancient Hindu
Hindu
life – dharma , artha and kama – Vatsyayana\'s purpose is to set kama, or enjoyment of the senses, in context. Thus dharma or virtuous living is the highest aim, artha, the amassing of wealth is next, and kama is the least of three." — Indra Sinha . * ^ Carroll, Janell (2009). _Sexuality Now: Embracing Diversity_. Cengage Learning
Cengage Learning
. p. 7. ISBN 978-0-495-60274-3 . * ^ Devi, Chandi (2008). _From Om to Orgasm: The Tantra
Tantra
Primer for Living in Bliss_. AuthorHouse . p. 288. ISBN 978-1-4343-4960-6 . * ^ Jacob Levy (2010), Kama
Kama
sense marketing, iUniverse, ISBN 978-1440195563 , see Introduction * ^ Alain Daniélou, _The Complete Kama
Kama
Sutra: The First Unabridged Modern Translation of the Classic Indian Text_, ISBN 978-0892815258 . * ^ For _ Kama
Kama
Sutra_ as the most notable of the kāma śhāstra literature see: Flood (1996), p. 65. * ^ Sengupta, J. (2006). _Refractions of Desire, Feminist Perspectives in the Novels of Toni Morrison, Michèle Roberts, and Anita Desai_. Atlantic Publishers & Distributors. p. 21. ISBN 9788126906291 . Retrieved 7 December 2014. * ^ John Keay (2010). _India: A History: from the Earliest Civilisations to the Boom of the Twenty-first Century_. Grove Press. pp. 81–103. * ^ book, see index pages by Wendy Doniger , also translation by Burton * ^ Date checked: 29 March 2007 Burton and Doniger * ^ For the _ Dharma
Dharma
Śāstras_ as discussing the "four main goals of life" (dharma, artha, kāma, and moksha) see: Hopkins, p. 78. * ^ For dharma, artha, and kama as "brahmanic householder values" see: Flood (1996), p. 17. * ^ For definition of the term पुरुष-अर्थ (puruṣa-artha) as "any of the four principal objects of human life, i.e. धर्म (dharma ), अर्थ (artha ), काम (kāma ), and मोक्ष (mokṣa )" see: Apte, p. 626, middle column, compound #1. * ^ Quotation from the translation by Richard Burton taken from . Text accessed 3 April 2007. * ^ Book I, Chapter ii, Lines 2-4 _ Vatsyayana Kamasutram_ Electronic Sanskrit edition: Titus Texts, University of Frankfurt _bālye vidyāgrahaṇādīn arthān, kāmaṃ ca yauvane, sthāvire dharmaṃ mokṣaṃ ca_ * ^ McConnachie (2007), pp. 123–125. * ^ McConnachie (2007), p. 233. * ^ Sinha, p. 33. * ^ _The Complete Kama
Kama
Sutra_ by Alain Daniélou. * ^ Stated in the translation's preface * ^ Balagangadhara, S. N. (2007). Antonio De Nicholas, Krishnan Ramaswamy, Aditi Banerjee, eds. _Invading the Sacred_. Rupa & Co. pp. 431–433. ISBN 978-81-291-1182-1 . CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link ) * ^ McConnachie (2007), p. 232.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

* Apte, Vaman Shivram (1965). _The Practical Sanskrit Dictionary_ (fourth revised & enlarged ed.). Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. ISBN 81-208-0567-4 . * Avari, Burjor (2007). _India: The Ancient Past_. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-35616-9 . * Daniélou, Alain (1993). _The Complete Kama
Kama
Sutra: The First Unabridged Modern Translation of the Classic Indian Text_. Inner Traditions . ISBN 0-89281-525-6 . * Doniger, Wendy ; Sudhir Kakar (2002). _Kamasutra_. Oxford World's Classics. Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press
. ISBN 0-19-283982-9 . * Flood, Gavin (1996). _An Introduction to Hinduism_. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press
. ISBN 0-521-43878-0 . * Flood, Gavin, ed. (2003). _The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism_. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-4051-3251-5 . * Hopkins, Thomas J. (1971). _The Hindu
Hindu
Religious Tradition_. Cambridge: Dickenson Publishing Company, Inc. * Keay, John (2000). _India: A History_. New York: Grove Press . ISBN 0-8021-3797-0 . * McConnachie, James (2007). _The Book of Love: In Search of the Kamasutra_. London: Atlantic Books . ISBN 978-1-84354-373-2 . * Sinha, Indra
Indra
(1999). _The Cybergypsies_. New York: Viking. ISBN 0-600-34158-5 .

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