Vātsyāyana is the name of a Hindu philosopher in the Vedic tradition who is believed to have lived around 3rd century 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 Daniélou 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.
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The first complete edition of the Kamasutra. It contains a crisp introduction; the original Sanskrit; a new, accurate and readable English translation; fifty full-page illustrations using period clothing, jewelry, and settings; and a thorough index.

Table of Contents

Introduction xi

Part One: General Matters 1

One: Summary of the Guide 3

Two: The Three Aims of Life 10

Three: Exposition of the Skills 18

Four: Lifestyle of the Elegant Man 25

Five: The Lover and His Companions 38

Part Two: Sexual Intercourse 47

One: Sexual Unions 49

Sexual Intercourse with Regard to Size, Endurance and Temperament 49

The Variations of Love 58

Two: Embraces 61

Three: Ways of Kissing 77

Four: Forms of Scratching 85

Five: Biting and Behaviors 92

Ways of Biting 92

Behavior Typical of Women from Different Provinces 95

Six: Positions and Unusual Acts 100

Different Sexual Positions 100

Unusual Sexual Acts 118

Seven: Slapping and Moaning 130

Eight: Imitation and Techniques 138

Imitating the Sexual Role of a Man 138

Sexual Techniques of a Man 141

Nine: Oral Sex 151

Ten: Sex: Beginning, Ending, Types, Quarrels 165

The Beginning and Conclusion of Sexual Intercourse 165

Different Kinds of Sex 172

The Lovers’ Quarrel 175

Part Three: Young Women 181

One: Choosing a Bride 183

Rules of Courtship 183

Deciding a Match 188

Two: Winning Her Confidence 191

Three: Approaches and Gestures 200

Approaching a Young Woman 200

Indications through Gestures and Facial Expressions 209

Four: Advances 213

Advances a Man Can Make on His Own 213

Approaching a Man One Desires 219

Winning a Young Woman by Advances 222

Five: Stratagems for Weddings 225

Part Four: The Wife 233

One: The Only Wife 235

Conduct of an Only Wife 235

Conduct of a Wife Whose Husband is Abroad 244

Two: The Other Wives 248

Conduct of the Senior Wife to the Co-Wives 248

Conduct of the Junior Wife 251

Conduct of the Remarried Woman 253

Conduct of an Unloved Wife 256

Matters Pertaining to the Harem 258

Conduct of a Man with Several Wives 261

Part Five: Other Men’s Wives 265

One: Seducing Successfully 267

Exposing the Nature of Men and Women 267

Causes of Resistance 270

Men Who Have Success with Women 275

Women Who are Easily Won 276

Two: Intimacy and Advances 279

Ways to Intimacy 279

Making Advances 284

Three: Examination of Inclinations 287

Four: Tasks of the Female Messenger 294

Five: The Erotic Desire of Rulers 309

Six: Harems and Wives 320

Life in the Harem 320

Guarding One’s Wives 329

Part Six: Courtesans 333

One: Friends and Lovers 335

The Appraisal of a Friend, Suitable and Unsuitable Lovers, and Reasons for Approaching a Lover 335

How to Acquire One 341

Two: Compliance with the Lover 345

Three: Money, Indifference and Disposal 358

Ways to Make Money 358

Signs and Recognition of Indifference 362

Methods for Driving the Lover Away 364

Four: Restoring a Broken Relationship 368

Five: Types of Profit 378

Six: Profit, Loss, Risk and Types of Available Women 388

Considering Profit and Loss, and their Consequences and Risks 388

Types of Available Women 400

Part Seven: Advanced Methods 403

One: Luck, Spellbinding and Aphrodisiacs 405

Achieving Luck in Love 405

Spellbinding Someone 410

Aphrodisiacs 413

Two: Passion, Enlargement and Techniques 419

Recovery of Lost Passion 419

Enlarging the Male Organ 423

Unusual Techniques 425

Contributors 433

Index 435

About the Translator

Residing in Oslo, Norway, Lars Martin Fosse holds a master’s and doctorate from the University of Oslo, and also studied at the Universities of Heidelberg, Bonn, and Cologne. He is one of Europe’s most experienced translators.

'When the wheel of sexual ecstasy is in full motion, there is no textbook at all, and no order.' The Kamasutra is the oldest extant Hindu textbook of erotic love. It is about the art of living - about finding a partner, maintaining power in a marriage, committing adultery, living as or with a courtesan, using drugs - and also about the positions in sexual intercourse. It was composed in Sanskrit, the literary language of ancient India, sometime in the third century CE. It combines an encyclopaedic coverage of all imaginable aspects of sex with a closely observed sexual psychology and a dramatic, novelistic narrative of seduction, consummation, and disentanglement. Best known in English through the highly mannered, padded, and inaccurate nineteenth-century translation of Sir Richard Burton, the text is presented here in an entirely new translation into clear, vivid, sexually frank English, together with three commentaries: translated excerpts from the earliest and most famous Sanskrit commentary (13th century) and from a twentieth-century Hindi commentary, and explanatory notes by the two translators. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
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