Vatsyayana’s Kama Sutra is the book of the month. With the clear and elegant new translation from the Sanskrit version by A.N.D Haksar, this book acts as a guide to the Art of Pleasure. With 7 sections devoted to every aspect from social life to detailed instruction on sexual techniques, this handbook is a self help read.
Clean, intelligent……this translation highlights the book’s historical importance as a sophisticated guide to living well.
The Kama Sutra was written in India nearly 2000 years ago. It has been cited century after century in many works, as well as influencing literature and art. With the original text and commentary in Sanskrit, many more numerous translations are into – Bengali, Hindi, Marathi, Telugu, English, French, German, Italian, and Russian. The first translation appeared in 1883.
Much of India’s population may yet be largely unaware of the work, only because it has become a byword for sex itself and is only looked upon as a book illustrating various sexual positions. But among many of its intellectual class, the Kama Sutra is still held up as a proud example of the country’s alternative tradition of sexual mortality.
According to a recent study, the Kama Sutra is both descriptive and prescriptive, and comes in the category of shastra, the same as the works on Dharma and Artha
The Kama Sutra names ‘ Vatsyayana ‘ as its author, though very little is known about him. He may have been from the then cultural heartland of India, the Madhya Desha, and may have lived in Pataliputra (Patna).
- After creating mankind, for the basis of its existence, the Lord of Beings first enunciated in 1,00,000 chapters the means for pursuing the three ends of life in this world – Dharma, Artha, Kama.
- Manu, the son of the self-born Lord, segregated one part of these into a separate work about Dharma, that is virtuous conduct.
- Brihaspati did the same with another part concerning Artha, which is material gain.
- Nandi, the great god’s servant separated Kama Sutra, the precepts on pleasure, and put the forth in one thousand chapters.
- These thousand chapters were then compressed to five hundred chapters by Shvetaketu, the son of Uddalaka.
- Babhravya of Panchala abridged them further to one hundred chapters in seven books.
The Kama Sutra is offered after condensing all the material in one brief volume concentrating on a subject that was both sexual as well as social at that time.
What all is in the book:
- Apart from the discussions of human relations/sexual conduct, it touches on issues of current topicality like same-sex activities and trans-sexual behavior.
- It talks about ‘The Art of Living’ – about finding a partner, from flirting to foreplay, maintaining power in marriage, committing adultery, living as or with a courtesan, using potions for better sex life to intimacy.
- It guides the reader in achieving the three ends – Dharma, Artha, Kama.
- It outlines the 64 arts that benefit ladies at large.
- It provides the necessary and important Dos and Don’ts for all Gentlemen.
- The book also introduces various kinds of Union by talking about – Size, Temperament, Duration, and methods of intercourse and the right ways of doing it for mindblowing results.
- From educating the readers with methods and steps to Embracing, best spots of Kissing, Signalling desire, the purpose, types and places of scratching and biting to Oral sex, it has all!
- It provides the reader with tips and tricks to – How to approach and make advances towards the opposite sex, How to win the trust of them, How to please your lover and How’s of reunions with an ex-lover.
- The last chapter talks about the esoteric matters like – Making oneself attractive and revival of passion.
Conveying all the original flavor and feel of this elegant, intimate, and hugely enjoyable work, this clear, accurate translation is a masterpiece of pithy description and a wry account of human desires and foibles.
This book is a must-read for every human being.
P.S: Since the book is so vast, I will soon be writing a series of articles elaborating on all of the seven books of ‘Kama Sutra’ individually.