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.



Part I: Introductory



Part II: On Sexual Union



Part III: About The Acquisition Of A Wife



Part IV: About A Wife



Part V: About The Wives Of Other People



Part VI: About Courtesans



Part VII: On The Means Of Attracting Others To One's Self

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