Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana (Illustrated with Introductory and Closing Remarks)

Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana (Illustrated with Introductory and Closing Remarks)

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by Vatsyayana
     
 

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The Kama Sutra is an ancient Indian Hindu text widely considered to be the standard work on human sexual behavior in Sanskrit literature written by Vātsyāyana. 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 three goals of Hindu

Overview

The Kama Sutra is an ancient Indian Hindu text widely considered to be the standard work on human sexual behavior in Sanskrit literature written by Vātsyāyana. 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 three goals of Hindu life, means sensual or sexual pleasure, 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 popular perception, especially in the western world, Kama sutra is not just an exclusive 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 is the oldest and most notable of a group of texts known generically as Kama Shastra (Sanskrit: Kāma Śāstra). Traditionally, the first transmission of Kama Shastra or "Discipline of Kama" is attributed to Nandi the sacred bull, Shiva's doorkeeper, who was moved to sacred utterance by overhearing the lovemaking of the god and his wife Parvati and later recorded his utterances for the benefit of mankind.

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

Vatsyayana's Kama Sutra has 1250 verses, distributed in 36 chapters, which are further organized into 7 parts. According to both the Burton and Doniger translations, the contents of the book are structured into 7 parts like the following:

1. General remarks: 5 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: 10 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 behavior in women, superior coition and oral sex, preludes and conclusions to the game of love. It describes 64 types of sexual acts. Although Kama Sutra did not originally have illustrative images, part 2 of the work describes different sex positions.

3. Acquiring a wife: 5 chapters on forms of marriage, relaxing the girl, obtaining the girl, managing alone, union by marriage.

4. Duties and privileges of the wife: 2 chapters on conduct of the only wife and conduct of the chief wife and other wives.

5. Other men's wives: 6 chapters on behavior of woman and man, how to get acquainted, examination of sentiments, the task of go-between, the king's pleasures, behavior in the women's quarters.

6. About courtesans: 6 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: 2 chapters on improving physical attractions, arousing a weakened sexual power.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940015109238
Publisher:
Balefire Publishing
Publication date:
09/02/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
176
File size:
3 MB

Meet the Author

Vātsyāyana is the name of a Hindu philosopher in the Vedic tradition who is believed to have lived during time of the Gupta Empire (4th to 6th centuries CE) in India. His name appears as the author of the Kama Sutra and of Nyāya Sutra Bhāshya, the first commentary on Gotama's Nyāya Sutras.

His name is sometimes confused with Mallanaga, the prophet of the Asuras, to whom the origin of erotic science is attributed. This is an error; as Danielou says: The attribution of the first name Mallanaga to Vatsyayana is due to the confusion of his role as editor of the Kama Sutra with that of the mythical creator of erotic science.

Hardly anything is known about him, although it is believed that his disciples went on his instructions, on the request of the Hindu Kings in the Himalayan range to influence the hill tribals to give up the pagan cult of sacrifices. He is said to have created the legend of Tara among the hill tribes as a tantric goddess. Later as the worship spread to the east Garo hills,the goddess manifest of a 'yoni' goddess Kamakhya was created.His interest in human sexual behavior as a medium of attaining spirituality was recorded in his treatise Kama Sutra.

At the close of the Kama Sutra this is what he writes about himself: "After reading and considering the works of Babhravya and other ancient authors, and thinking over the meaning of the rules given by them, this treatise was composed, according to the precepts of the Holy Writ, for the benefit of the world, by Vatsyayana, while leading the life of a religious student at Benares, and wholly engaged in the contemplation of the Deity. This work is not to be used merely as an instrument for satisfying our desires. A person acquainted with the true principles of this science, who preserves his Dharma (virtue or religious merit), his Artha (worldly wealth) and his Kama (pleasure or sensual gratification), and who has regard to the customs of the people, is sure to obtain the mastery over his senses. In short, an intelligent and knowing person attending to Dharma and Artha and also to Kama, without becoming the slave of his passions, will obtain success in everything that he may do.”

It is impossible to fix the exact date either of the life of Vatsyayana or of his work. It is believed that he must have lived between the 1st and 6th century AD.

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Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 56 reviews.
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