The Kama Sutra Vātsyāyana

Translated by Sir Richard F. Burton [1883]

The Kama Sutra (Sanskrit: कामसूत्र ), Kāmasūtra is an ancient Indian Hindu text written by Vātsyāyana in the second century. It is widely considered to be the standard work on human sexual behavior in Sanskrit literature and probably the most well known to western culture.

 

A portion of the work consists of practical advice on sexual intercourse. It is largely in prose, with many inserted anustubh poetry verses. "Kāma" which is one of the four goals of Hindu life, means desire including sexual desire the latter being the subject of the textbook, and "sūtra" literally means a thread or line that holds things together, and more metaphorically refers to an aphorism (or line, rule, formula), or a collection of such aphorisms in the form of a manual. Contrary to western popular perception, the Kama Sutra is not exclusively a sex manual; it presents itself as 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. Kama Sutra, in parts of the world, is presumed or depicted as a synonym for creative sexual positions; in reality, only 20% of Kama Sutra is about sexual positions. The majority of the book, is about the philosophy and theory of love, what triggers desire, what sustains it, how and when it is good or bad.

  • Preface
  • Introduction

 

 

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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