The KAMA SUTRA (Sanskrit : कामसूत्र pronunciation
(help ·info ), Kāmasūtra) is an ancient Indian
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
Contrary to western popular perception, the 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. The Kama Sutra, in parts of the world, is presumed or depicted as a synonym for creative sexual positions; in reality, only 20% of the 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, and how and when it is good or bad.
Historians believe the
Kama Sutra to have been composed between 400
BCE and 200 CE.
* 1 Content * 2 Pleasure and spirituality * 3 Translations * 4 In popular culture * 5 See also * 6 References * 7 Bibliography * 8 External links
Artistic depiction of a sex position . Although Kama Sutra did not originally have illustrative images, part 2 of the work describes different sex positions.
In the preface of Kama Sutra, Vatsyayana cites the work of previous authors based on which he compiled his own 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 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
Some Indian philosophies follow the "four main goals of life", known as the purusharthas , in order of importance:
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 Sutra, which is located in the Atthakavagga (sutra number 1). This 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 Sutra to be a
manual for tantric sex . While sexual practices do exist within the
very wide tradition of
The most widely known English translation of the 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
"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,
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 Sutra.
Alain Daniélou contributed a noteworthy translation called The Complete 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
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
An English translation by
IN POPULAR CULTURE
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* 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
* ^ Doniger, Wendy (2003). Kamasutra – Oxford World's Classics.
Oxford University Press
* 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 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
Oxford University Press