Saturday, June 12, 2021

Kama Sutra-A Pillow Book - Vatsyayana

Kama Sutra-A Pillow Book - Vatsyayana

The Kama Sutra is one of the great hooks of the world. It was written in Benares nearly two thousand years ago by the elderly sage Vatsyayana. He had gone to the sacred city on the Ganges to end his days and he regarded the composition of the work as a religious duty. In Hinduism sex is holy and making love is a sacrament - a re-enactment of the divine union of the god and goddess.

Although it is the greatest of the Hindu love manuals, Kama Sutra is part of a continuous tradition. Vatsyayana drew upon a vast body of erotology which had accumulated over earlier centuries, choosing what he wanted and adding comments of his own. Later, his own work was treated in much the same way by the writers of the Indian Middle Ages. The text in this present book is taken mainly from the translation o/Kama Sutra commissioned and edited by Sir Richard Burton and F.F.

Arbuthnot, but the extracts from Vatsyayana’s famous sixty- four - the chapter dealing with sex - have been augmented by new translations from the medieval love texts which took Kama Sutra as their model. This has been done to reflect the breadth and variety of Indian love teachings and to encourage those who are new to these wonderful books to read not only the complete, unabridged Kama Sutra, but also Ananga-Ranga and Koka Shastra which are available in translation.

Hindu love manuals are full of advice at a practical level - although the positions described in some of them are practical only for the douhle-jomted or for professional gymnasts ~ hut there is a far more important message common to all the teachings. That is that sex is not sinful hut beautiful, and that men and women are eternally complementary and equal. The corollary is that any system which denies those truths, denies life.

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