The Ananga Ranga (Stage of Love)

Translated by Sir Richard F. Burton [1885]

The Ananga Ranga is an Indian sex manual written in the 15th century by Kalyana Malla.  Building upon the Kama Sutra, the poet aimed to educate specifically at preventing the separation of a husband and wife.


"Men, it is true, marry for the sake of undisturbed congress, as well as for love and comfort, and often they obtain handsome and attractive wives. But they do not give them plenary contentment, nor do they themselves thoroughly enjoy their charms. The reason of which is, that they are purely ignorant of the Scripture of Cupid, the Kama Shastra; and, despising the difference between the several kinds of women, they regard them only in an animal point of view. Such men must be looked upon as foolish and unintelligent; and this book is composed with the object of preventing lives and loves being wasted in similar manner, and the benefits to be derived from its study "





Now is related the effect resulting from the consonance and dissonance, amity and hospitality, between the stars (and destinies) of a couple proposed to be bride and bridegroom. 2 Having ascertained that the houses (kula), the family names (gotra), and the individual dispositions (svabhava) of the postulants are free from inherent blemish, 3 their Gunas (qualities or requisites) must be determined from the zodiacal signs and the asterisms presiding over their birth. 4

The Gunas, number in total thirty-six, of which at least nineteen are requisite for a prosperous match; and thence upwards, the fruit resulting from their influence is proportional to their number.

Observations upon these subjects will be facilitated by the three following tables:


Table I shows the presiding planet, the genus (or nature) and the caste (in theory not in practice) of the questioner, when the zodiacal sign of his birth-time is known. For instance, if Sol be in Aries at the birth of the patient, his planet is Mars; he belongs to the genus quadruped, and he is by caste a Kshatriya or fighting-man.


Table II shows the number of Guna, or qualities, requisite for a prosperous match distributed under eight heads.


Table III shows the group and class to which a person belongs when the asterism. (Nakshatra, or lunar mansion) of his birth-time is known, together with his Nadi, or hour of twenty-four minutes. The twenty-seven asterisms are classed under three heads: of gods, of men and of demons (Rakshasas), and the asterism determines to which the querent belongs. Moreover, each asterism. is divided into four quarters, and of these nine make one zodiacal sign. The name-letter used in last quarter stands for that quarter.


And now to consider the tables more carefully. As is shown by No. II, the Gunas are of various values, and are distributed under eight heads.

1. Caste. If both be of the same, or the caste of the bridegroom be higher, there is one Guna (of the thirty-six) otherwise there is none.

2. Vashya, or keeping in subjection, one of the prime considerations of marriage. If the zodiacal signs of bride and bridegroom be of the same genus (Table I) this represents two Gunas. If the person kept in subjection be also the "food" of the other, this counts for only one-half (Guna). If there be natural friendship between the genera of the bride and bridegroom this stands for two Gunas; and if one be an enemy to the other, and also keep the other in subjection, it represents only one Guna. The consideration is as follows: To the human genus every quadruped, saving only the lion, remains in subjection; for instance, the quadruped ram is subject to, and is the "food" of, the human genus, with one exception, the Brahman. The same is the case with the fish and the crab amongst lower animals. The scorpion is the general enemy to the human race, and other animals are enemies as well as food. Thus we discover which of the two persons will hold the other in subjection.

3. The Nakshatras (Table III) must be considered as follows: The bride's asterism should be counted from that of the bridegroom, and the number be divided by nine. If the remainder be three, five or seven, it is a sign of bad fortune; and vice versa with all others. Similarly the bridegroom's lunation should be counted from the bride's; and if, after dividing as before by nine, the remainders of both parties indicate good fortune, this counts as three Gunas, the maximum. Only if one portend well, it counts as one Guna and a half: otherwise there is no Guna.

4. Class. Perfect friendship counts for four Gunas; common friendship as three, indifference as two; enmity as one, an exceeding enmity as half a Guna. Perfect friendship can subsist only between two human beings of the same caste. Cows and buffaloes, elephants and rams, live in common friendship. Cows and tigers, horses and buffaloes' lions and elephants, rams and monkeys, dogs and deer, cats and mice, snakes and ichneumons are exceedingly inimical. Common enmity and indifference are easily exemplified by the lives of ordinary men and beasts.

5. Planets. If the presiding planets of both persons be the same, and there be perfect friendship, this counts for five Gunas; or four if only common friendship. If there be friendship with an enemy of the other person it reduces the value to one Guna, and if both have such friendship to one half. In cases of mutual indifference the Gunas amount to three, and if there be mutual enmity there is no Guna.

6. Groups as in Table III. If both belong to the same group, six Gunas are present; also if the bridegroom belong to the god-group and the bride to the man-group. The reverse reduces it five: if the bridegroom be of demon-group, and the bride of god-group, there is only one Guna, and in all other cases none.

7. Kuta, that is the agreement of the zodiacal signs and asterisms of bride and bridegroom. It is of two kinds, auspicious and ill-omened. The Kuta is fortunate if the bride and bridegroom be born in the same sign, but in different asterisms, or in the same asterisms, but in different signs, or, lastly, in the same asterisms but in different quarters. A difference of seven asterisms is also auspicious; for instance, if the bridegroom's asterism be Ashvini (Table III), and that of the bride Pushya. The same is the case with three, four, ten and eleven asterisms, and with a second sign from an even sign; for instance, Cancer being the fourth is an even sign, and if the sign of one party be Cancer and the other Virgo, the Kuta is auspicious. This is also the case with a sixth sign from an even sign; and an eighth and a twelfth from an odd sign. But a second sign, a fifth, a sixth, a ninth, and a twelfth from an odd sign, and an eighth from an even sign, are unfortunate Kutas. The Gunas of Leo and Virgo are both auspicious. If there be a fortunate Kuta, and the sign of the bridegroom be remote from that of the bride, and if there be enmity between the classes of the two, this conjunction will represent six Gunas. If there be the same sign and different asterisms, or the same asterism and different signs, the Gunas number five. In an unfortunate Kuta if there be friendship between the classes of the postulants, and the bride's asterism be remote from that of the bridegroom this counts for four Gunas; but if there be only a single condition, it reduces the requisites to one. In all other cases there is no Kuta.

8. The Nadi or point of time. If the Nadis of the bride and bridegroom be different, as e.g., first and last, first and middle, last and middle, this conjunction represents eight Gunas. The requisites are nil when the Nadi is the same.



1 We have relegated the astrological and chemical chapters to an appendix. They appear (pp. 120 et seq.) in the Maratha Edit. of the Ananga-Ranga (Bombay, 1842); but it is more than doubtful if they belong to the original work.

2 As mere children are married in India these precautions and considerations must be taken by the relatives. See the beginning of Chapter VIII.

3 The fault of families is hereditary ill-repute: the greatest blemish of names is when those of bride and bridegroom exactly correspond, and those of disposition are too well known to require notice.

4 The signs and asterisms are set down in the horoscopes, which arc drawn up at the child's birth by competent inquirers.



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