The Complete Kama Sutra: The First Unabridged Modern Translation of the Classic Indian Text

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Overview

The world's oldest and most widely read guide to the pleasures and techniques of sex, the Kama Sutra was compiled in the fourth century A.D. by a Brahmin and religious scholar name Vatsyayana, who worked from texts dating back to the fourth century B.C. Until the present, the only English translation of his Hindu love classic was that of the famous English explorer Sir Richard Burton, published in 1883.

Unlike Burton's version, Alain Daniélou's new translation preserves the ...

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The Complete Kama Sutra: The First Unabridged Modern Translation of the Classic Indian Text

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Overview

The world's oldest and most widely read guide to the pleasures and techniques of sex, the Kama Sutra was compiled in the fourth century A.D. by a Brahmin and religious scholar name Vatsyayana, who worked from texts dating back to the fourth century B.C. Until the present, the only English translation of his Hindu love classic was that of the famous English explorer Sir Richard Burton, published in 1883.

Unlike Burton's version, Alain Daniélou's new translation preserves the numbered verse divisions of the original and includes two essential commentaries: the Fayamangala commentary, written in Sanskrit by Yashodhara during the Middle Ages, and a modern Hindi commentary by Devadatta Shastri. Whereas Burton's Victorian reluctance to translate certain terms obscured our understanding of the philosophy and techniques of the Kama Sutra, Daniélou has preserved the full explicitness of the original, dealing with everything from the art of scratching to relations with the wives of others.

Realistic and pragmatic in its approach, the Kama Sutra deals without ambiguity or hypocrisy with all aspects of sexual life—including marriage, adultery, prostitution, group sex, sadomasochism, male and female homosexuality, and transvestism. The text paints a fascinating portrait of an India whose openness to sexuality gave rise to a highly developed expression of the erotic.

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Editorial Reviews

Times Literary Supplement
"Daniélou's new and complete translation of the Kama Sutra is one of his masterpieces. It is all enchantment, a world of refined sensation. Our debt to his scholarship and humanity is immeasurable."
The Guardian Weekend
"Dildo was translated as 'medicine.' Lesbian was just 'corrupt woman.' No wonder we couldn't follow any of the instructions in the Kama Sutra. But now, there's a new translation of the oldest sex manual, the first since the Victorians brought it home and hid it under the mattress."
Interview Magazine
"Alain Danielou is the foremost living interpreter of Hinduism. His books are remarkable for their clarity, scholarship, and uninhibited celebration of erotic and mystical ecstasy."
Brian Bruya
"More than just a pillow book, the Kama Sutra is a guide to the labyrinth of sexual etiquette, from how to bathe before meeting a lover to how lovers should entertain each other after making love. . . . Take from this encyclopedia of amour what you will and let it keep you moving down the path of spiritual practice."
From the Publisher
"Alain Danielou is the foremost living interpreter of Hinduism. His books are remarkable for their clarity, scholarship, and uninhibited celebration of erotic and mystical ecstasy."

"Danielou's elegant rendering includes not only the entire sutra, much of which is excluded in other versions, but two essential commentaries as well. More than just a pillow book, the Kama Sutra is a guide to the labyrinth of sexual etiquette, from how to bathe before meeting a lover to how lovers should entertain each other after making love."

"Dildo was translated as 'medicine.' Lesbian was just 'corrupt woman.' No wonder we couldn't follow any of the instructions in the Kama Sutra. But now, there's a new translation of the oldest sex manual, the first since the Victorians brought it home and hid it under the mattress."

"More than just a pillow book, the Kama Sutra is a guide to the labyrinth of sexual etiquette, from how to bathe before meeting a lover to how lovers should entertain each other after making love. . . . Take from this encyclopedia of amour what you will and let it keep you moving down the path of spiritual practice."

"Noted Indiologist Danilou provides a fluent and literal translation of the entire Sanskrit original. An important advance over Burton's Victorian abridgment."

"Daniélou's new and complete translation of the Kama Sutra is one of his masterpieces. It is all enchantment, a world of refined sensation. Our debt to his scholarship and humanity is immeasurable."

From the Publisher

"More than just a pillow book, the Kama Sutra is a guide to the labyrinth of sexual etiquette, from how to bathe before meeting a lover to how lovers should entertain each other after making love. . . . Take from this encyclopedia of amour what you will and let it keep you moving down the path of spiritual practice."
Time Magazines Literary Supplement
"Daniélou's new and complete translation of the Kama Sutra is one of his masterpieces. It is all enchantment, a world of refined sensation. Our debt to his scholarship and humanity is immeasurable."
The GuardianWeekend
"Dildo was translated as 'medicine.' Lesbian was just 'corrupt woman.' No wonder we couldn't follow any of the instructions in the Kama Sutra. But now, there's a new translation of the oldest sex manual, the first since the Victorians brought it home and hid it under the mattress."
Times Literary Supplement
Danilou's new and complete translation of the Kama Sutra is one of his masterpieces. It is all enchantment, a world of refined sensation totally without humbug. Our debt to his scholarship and humanity is immeasurable.
The Guardian Weekend
Dildo was translated as "medicine." Lesbian was just "corrupt woman." No wonder we couldn't follow any of the instructions in the Kama Sutra. But now, there's a new translation of the oldest sex manual, the first since the Victorians brought it home and hid it under the mattress.
Interview Magazine
Alain Danielou is the foremost living interpreter of Hinduism. His books are remarkable for their clarity, scholarship, and uninhibited celebration of erotic and mystical ecstasy.
Library Journal
Long dismissed as a sort of Sanskrit Joy of Sex , the Kama Sutra , composed by Vatsyayana in the fourth century B.C., explores sexuality as an integral part of human existence. Arguing that happiness and moral duty ( dharma ) depend on elaborate social ritual to satisfy the essential needs of life, the Kama Sutra describes the practices, rituals, and lore of the erotic ( kama ) in human relations, both heterosexual and homosexual. Noted Indiologist Danielou provides a fluent and literal translation of the entire Sanskrit original with interpolated extracts from the 12th-century commentary by Yashodara and the modern Hindi commentary by Devadatta Shastri. This is an important advance over Burton's Victorian abridgment.-- T.L. Cooksey, Armstrong State Coll., Savannah, Ga.
Zaadz.com BrianBruya
"More than just a pillow book, the Kama Sutra is a guide to the labyrinth of sexual etiquette, from how to bathe before meeting a lover to how lovers should entertain each other after making love. . . .Take from this encyclopedia of amour what you will and let it keep you moving down the path of spiritual practice."
BrianBruya
"More than just a pillow book, the Kama Sutra is a guide to the labyrinth of sexual etiquette, from how to bathe before meeting a lover to how lovers should entertain each other after making love. . . .Take from this encyclopedia of amour what you will and let it keep you moving down the path of spiritual practice."
From Barnes & Noble
An unabridged modern translation of the famous 4th-century text of the world's oldest guide to the pleasures and techniques of sex. Paints a fascinating portrait of an India whose openness to sexuality gave rise to a highly developed expression of the erotic.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780892815258
  • Publisher: Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
  • Publication date: 12/28/1993
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 576
  • Sales rank: 634,982
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Alain Danilou (1907-1994) was without question a Renaissance man. Following his early years as an artist, dancer, and musician in Paris (Cocteau, Diaghilev, and Stravinsky were among his friends), Danilou settled in India, where he spent fifteen years in the study of Sanskrit, philosophy, and music. After numerous university appointments in India, he returned in 1963 to Europe, establishing the Institute of Comparative Music Studies in Berlin for the reevaluation of Asian music. Danilou wrote more than thirty books about the philosophy, religion, history, and arts of India, including Gods of Love and Ecstasy; Myths and Gods of India; Virtue, Success, Pleasure, and Liberation; While the Gods Play; The Phallus; and Music and the Power of Sound

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Table of Contents


Editor's Note

Introduction by Alain Danielou

Part One: General Remarks
1. Contents of the Book
2. The Three Aims of Life
3. The Acquisition of Knowledge
4. The Conduct of the Well-bred Townsman
5. Reflections on Intermediaries Who Assist the Lover in His Enterprises

Part Two: Amorous Advances

1. Stimulation of Erotic Desire
2. Embraces
3. Petting and Caresses
4. The Art of Scratching
5. Biting
6. On Copulation and Special Tastes
7. Blows and Sighs
8. Virile Behavior in Women
9. Superior Coition or Fellation
10. Preludes and Conclusions to the Game of Love

Part Three: Acquiring a Wife

1. Forms of Marriage
2. How to Relax the Girl
3. Ways of Obtaining the Girl
4. How to Manage Alone
5. Union by Marriage

Part Four: Duties and Privileges of the Wife

1. Conduct of the Only Wife
2. Conduct of the Chief Wife and Other Wives

Part Five: Other Men's Wives

1. Behavior of Woman and Man
2. Encounters to Get Acquainted
3. Examination of Sentiments
4. The Task of the Go-between
5. The King's Pleasures
6. Behavior in the Gynoecium

Part Six: About Courtesans

1. Advice of the Assistants on the Choice of Lovers
2. Looking for a Steady Lover
3. Ways of Making Money
4. Renewing Friendship with a Former Lover
5. Occasional Profits
6. Profits and Losses: Reflections on Doubts Concerning the
Advantages and Disadvantages of Relations

Part Seven: Occult Practices

1. Success in Love
2. Arousing a Weakened Sexual Power

Appendices
1. Texts Quoted
2. Mythical and Historical Characters and Authors Mentioned in the Text
3. Works Consulted
4. Glossary I: Plants, Herbs, Spices, and Sundry Products
5. Glossary II: Special Terms

Index

About the Translator  

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

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(3)

4 Star

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3 Star

(3)

2 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 31, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Yay! I'm so glad _The Complete Kama Sutra_ is available for the

    Yay! I'm so glad _The Complete Kama Sutra_ is available for the Nook. While this translation is slightly confusing at points, overall, the book is a valuable resource for those who are looking to liven up their sex life as well as get a feel for what works and doesn't work in bed.

    Also, the book is an incredible resource for storytellers and cultural researchers looking for intriguing ways to spice up their world building, or just to understand the cultural past of India. The book is rife with things like how to pick up a prostitute, what kinds of sex toys were used, and even the attitudes of the different part of India held about different sexual acts. Overall, a fascinating read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2003

    It was ok.

    This book is all right. It wasn't what I thought. Don't be fouled by the name Kama Sutra. This book hardly has anything to do with sex. It has a small section but not much. This book mostly consiontrates on how to get girls how to keep a relationship going and so on.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2002

    True Excellence

    This book is truely fits in a class I call "The best of the best." I personally feel every one could learn a thing or two about lovemaking! Well, worth reading!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2000

    Enlightening!

    I've just finished reading this book and I scored 100 on the comprehension test. It truly is an enlightening work.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted October 27, 2008

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    Posted July 14, 2010

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    Posted February 23, 2009

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    Posted October 14, 2009

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    Posted May 26, 2010

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