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The Kama Sutra of Vatsayayana

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The Kama Sutra (or Kamasutra) is a famous Hindu text, which is widely considered to be a classic work on human sexual behavior. It was originally written in Sanskrit by Vatsyayana. A portion of the literature consists of practical advice on sexual intercourse. The text is written largely in prose form, with many inserted anustubh (quatrain of four lines) poetry verses. "Kama" is said to be one of the three goals of Hindu life, which means sensual or sexual pleasure. "Sutra" literally means a thread or line that holds things together. But a more metaphorical meaning of the word refers to an aphorism (or line, rule, formula). It is a common perception in the west that Kama Sutra (Kamasutra) is sex manual, but it acually 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 (Kamasutra) is one of the most notable pieces text from a group of texts known as Kama Shastra (or Kamashastra). Traditionally, the first transmission of Kama Shastra or "Discipline of Kama" is attributed to the sacred bull of Shiva. He was his doorkeeper and is known by the name Nandi. He overheared the lovemaking of the Lord Shiva and his wife Parvati and later recorded his utterances for the benefit of mankind. Historians suggest that Kama Sutra (Kamasutra) was composed sometime between 400 BCE and 200 CE. John Keay believes that the Kama Sutra (Kamasutra) is a compendium that was collected into its current form in the 2nd century CE. In the following, we provide an english translation of the Kama Sutra (Kamasutra) by Sir Richard Burton.

Sir Richard Burton, translator




Part I: Introductory

Chapter I. Preface
Chapter II. Observations on the Three Worldly Attainments of Virtue, Wealth, and Love
Chapter III. On the Study of the Sixty-Four Arts
Chapter IV. On the Arrangements of a House, and Household Furniture; and About the Daily Life of a Citizen, His Companions, Amusements, Etc.
Chapter V. About Classes of Women Fit and Unfit for Congress with the Citizen, and of Friends, and Messengers

Part II: On Sexual Union

Chapter I. Kinds of Union According to Dimensions, Force of Desire, and Time; and on the Different Kinds of Love
Chapter II. Of the Embrace
Chapter III. On Kissing
Chapter IV. On Pressing or Marking with the Nails
Chapter V. On Biting, and the Ways of Love to be Employed with Regard to Women of Different Countries
Chapter VI. On the Various Ways of Lying Down, and the Different Kinds of Congress
Chapter VII. On the Various Ways of Striking, and of The Sounds Appropriate to Them
Chapter VIII. About Females Acting the Part of Males
Chapter IX. On Holding the Lingam in the Mouth
Chapter X. How to Begin and How to End the Congress. Different Kinds of Congress, and Love Quarrels

Part III: About the Acquisition of a Wife

Chapter I. Observations on Betrothal and Marriage
Chapter II. About Creating Confidence In the Girl
Chapter III. Courtship, and the Manifestation of the Feelings by Outward Signs and Deeds
Chapter IV. On Things to be Done Only by the Man, and the Acquisition of the Girl Thereby. Also What is to be Done by a Girl to Gain Over a Man and Subject Him to Her
Chapter V. On the Different Forms of Marriage

Part IV: About a Wife

Chapter I. On the Manner of Living of a Virtuous Woman, and of Her Behaviour During the Absence of Her Husband
Chapter II. On the Conduct of the Eldest Wife Towards the Other Wives of her Husband, and of the Younger Wife Towards the Elder Ones...

Part V: About the Wives of Other People

Chapter I. On the Characteristics of Men And Women...
Chapter II. About Making Acquaintance with the Woman, and of the Efforts to Gain Her Over
Chapter III. Examination of the State of a Woman's Mind
Chapter IV. The Business of a Go-Between
Chapter V. On the Love of Persons in Authority with the Wives of Other People
Chapter VI. About the Women of the Royal Harem, and of the Keeping of One's Own Wife

Part VI: About Courtesans

Introductory Remarks
Chapter I. Of the Causes of a Courtesan Resorting to Men...
Chapter II. Of a Courtesan Living With a Man as His Wife
Chapter III. Of the Means of getting Money...
Chapter IV. About a Reunion with a Former Lover
Chapter V. Of Different Kinds of Gain
Chapter VI. Of Gains and Losses, Attendant Gains and Losses, and Doubts; and Lastly, the Different Kinds of Courtesans

Part VII: On The Means of Attracting Others to One's Self

Chapter I. On Personal Adornment, Subjugating the Hearts of Others, and of Tonic Medicines
Chapter II. Of The Means of Exciting Desire, and of the Ways of Enlarging the Lingam. Miscellaneous Experiments and Receipts
Concluding Remarks

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