Sunday, May 29, 2022

Hindu Theology: The Kama Sutra Rules of Love of Vatsyayana (Morals of the Brahmins) (English Version)

Hindu Theology: The Kama Sutra Rules of Love of Vatsyayana (Morals of the Brahmins) | THÉOLOGIE HINDOUE LE KAMA SOUTRA RÈGLES DE L'AMOUR DE VATSYAYANA (MORALE DES BRAHMANES)





       Translator of the Morality of the Divine Pariah




     The principles on the just and the unjust are the same at all times and in all places, they constitute absolute morality; but the principles on morals vary with age and country. From the limitless promiscuity of the savage tribes to the absolute prohibition of the work of the flesh outside of marriage, what varying degrees of freedom granted to sexual intercourse by public opinion and by social and religious law! With the exception of the Iranians and the Jews, all antiquity considered the carnal act as permitted, whenever it does not injure the rights of others, such as trading with a widow or any other woman. completely in control of her person. However China, Greece and Rome honored the virgins, and India the ascetics dedicated to continence as a sacrifice. From the point of view of reason alone and of a selfish conscience, the tolerance of the Indians and pagans seems natural, and the severe rule of the Iranians seems dictated by social or political interest; also this rule was imposed only in the name of a revelation by Zoroaster and by Moses. 

     Hence two great divisions between peoples in respect of mores; with some monogamy is obligatory, with others polygamy is permitted in all the forms it may take, including concubinage and temporary fornication. In antiquity we must, between the peoples who do not admit revelation, distinguish in respect of mores: on the one hand, the Ariahs of India among whom religion and superstition mingle intimately and actively with everything what concerns manners, in a political interest, with absence of artistic genius; and on the other hand, the Ariahs of the West, that is to say the Greeks and Romans among whom this cult was only the external manifestation of customs, without direction or marked action on them, and where the artistic genius has idealized everything and dominated everything.

      Thus the naturalism of the Brahmes, pagan antiquity and the principles of Iran or Israel, from which Christianity inherited, form three subjects for the study of customs to be brought together and brought out by their contrasts. The material is found: for the first subject, in the scholiasts and poets of Brahmanism; for the second, in classical literature, principally in the Latin poets under the twelve Caesars; for the third, in modern authors on morals, scholars and theologians. These authors are universally known and it will suffice to quote a few extracts from them. But it is necessary to give, in this introduction, first summary information on the Iranians, then more complete details on the Brahmes.

     THE IRANIANS.—It seems established that Mazdeism is posterior to the nineteenth century before Jesus Christ, the period when the Vedic era begins, and prior to the eighth century before Jesus Christ; from which we conclude that the author of the Avesta preceded the law of Manu and could not have been a contemporary of Pythagoras, as some Greek historians assert. Perhaps, moreover, Zoroaster is a generic name (as were probably those of Manu and Buddha) which designates a series of legislators, the last of whom would be the one Pythagoras would have known in Babylon and Balk where he held school.

     Ancient Iran was east of the great salt desert of Khaver, once an inland sea; its center was Merv and Balk. Nearby was, if not the cradle of the Aryan race, at least its last station, before the separation of its two Asiatic branches.

     We agree to recognize in Zoroaster a reformer who wanted to raise his country succumbing to the exploitation of the Magi (magicians) and to inertia, and to regenerate it by work, especially agricultural, and by the development of the population based on marriage, good morals and ideas of purity. Here are its two essential precepts that we find in the law of Moses:

     Avoid and purify physical and moral defilements; to have pure morals to increase the population. Zoroaster recommends the art of healing and prohibits magic, his code is only moral and physical therapy.

     He may, as some claim of Moses, have borrowed from Egypt a great part of its precepts on defilements and purifications.

     What dominates in the morality of Zoroaster is the horror of lies; this trait is not found in any of the religions of the East nor in the character of any of its races except the Iranians and the Bod (ancient Scythians).

     As a principle, it seems to derive from the quasi-adoration of light, which is the basis of Mazdeism. We must certainly also do honor to the uprightness and the elevation of character of its founder.

     The moral aspirations of the Mazdean, his conception of life, duty and human destiny, are expressed in the following prayer:

     "I shall ask you, O Ozmuzd, for pleasures, for purity, for holiness. Grant me a long and full life. Give men pure and holy pleasures, let them be ever begetting, ever in pleasures."

     "Defend the sincere and the truthful against the liar and pour forth light."

     After lying, the greatest crime, in the eyes of Zoroaster, is libertinism, both in the form of onanism or barren love and in that of illegitimate and disordered love.

     The loss of fertile seeds is the greatest fault in the eyes of society and of God.

     The Iranian without a wife is said to be "beneath everything."

     The father disposes of his daughter and the brother of his sister.

     The girl must be a virgin. The priest says to the father, "You give this virgin for the rejoicing of earth and heaven, to be mistress of a house and to rule a place."

     The marital act must be sanctified by a prayer: "I entrust this seed to you, O Sapondamad" (the daughter of Ozmuzd).

     Every morning, the husband must invoke Oschen (who gives abundantly the seeds).

     If the lover shirks, the woman he has made a mother has the right to kill him.

     Infanticide and concubinage are punishable by death, but the law says nothing against women who are "publicly in love, happy and content, who stand by the wayside and feed at random on what they are given." This tolerance is a kind of valve opened to passions to prevent concubinage and adultery.

     Zoroaster also recommends the mating of cattle.

     He prescribes treating dogs almost as well as men; he who strikes a mother dog will be damned. In the whole of the East one finds only in Thibet this almost pious care for dogs. Besides the precepts on marriage and defilement, there are many other points of resemblance between the Avesta and the Bible. M. Renan concluded that there was certainly a cross-fertilization between the Iranian and Jewish development. M. de Bunsen has published a book to show that Christianity is nothing other than the doctrine of Zoroaster, transmitted through a number of intermediaries to St. John, whose gospel is, according to some, the expression of the secret doctrine of Jesus, of his metaphysics. He maintains that the formula "I believe in the father, the son and the spirit" to which, according to Michel Nicolas, the creed of the first Christians was reduced, is not Jewish, but comes from Zoroaster.

     It is not surprising that a man of imagination should identify in this way two doctrines which are very close in their purity.

     Mr. Emile Burnouf, for his part, thinks that this creed was also that of the Ariahs in the Ariavarta, which can be reconciled with the thesis of Mr. de Bunsen.

     The same author derives the Christian symbolism from the primitive cult of the Ariahs.

     These are brilliant insights rather than facts rigorously acquired by science. What is not disputed is the almost perfect identity of the rules of morality among the Iranians and the Jews, and consequently among the Christians. To be struck by this, it is enough to recall:

     1° The precepts of the Decalogue: VI "Thou shalt not fornicate"; "IX Thou shalt not desire thy neighbor's wife"; or the 6th commandment of God: "The work of the flesh thou shalt not do, except in marriage only", and the 9th "Lustful thou shalt not be, in body nor in consent."

     2° The doctrine of the Church on Onanism (Father Gury, moral theology).

     "Pollution consists in spreading one's seed without having commerce with another; perfectly voluntary direct pollution is always a mortal sin."

     "Every effusion of seed, made deliberately, however slight, is pollution and consequently a mortal sin."


     "Onanism takes its name from Onam, the second son of the patriarch Judah, who after the death of his brother Her, was forced, according to custom, to marry his sister Thamar in order to give posterity to his brother. But when he approached his brother's wife, he spilled his seed on the ground so that children would not be born under his brother's name. So the Lord struck him down because he did an abominable thing (Genesis XXXVIII, 9 and 10).

     "922. voluntary onanism is always a mortal sin as it is contrary to nature; so it can never be permitted to spouses, because:

     1° It is contrary to the principal end of marriage and tends in principle to the extinction of society and consequently overturns the natural order;

     2° Because it was strictly forbidden by the supreme legislator and creator, as it follows from the above-mentioned text of Genesis."

     INDIA -In India morality is confused with religion, and religion with the Brahms. These are three terms that cannot be separated in a presentation. We shall therefore dwell somewhat on the Brahmas.

     The morals of the Ariahs seem to have been pure in Aria-Varta, the common cradle of the Asiatic Ariahs, and in Septa Sindhu, their first conquest in India, between the delightful valley of Cabul and the Serasvati.

     The wife was a respected and devoted companion.

     The cult was private, the father of the family could, even without the poet or bard of the tribe, carry out the sacrifice; but soon the poet imposed his presence and became a priest.

     In principle nothing distinguished the priests from the body of Ariahs or Vishas, shepherds; they were, like the other members of the tribe, shepherds, farmers, warriors, often all three at once.

     At the end of the second Vedic period (the second series of hymns), the priesthood was established with public worship.

     Indra the sun is worshipped and enlarged to become Vichnu the sun.

     Hymns make Roudra a god in two persons.

     He is the impure breath when he comes from the sub-himmalayan marshes, the purifying god when he drives out the stinking air of the underworld and the jungles.

     When the conquest embraced the whole country between the Serasvati and the Jumma, the warrior aristocracy was formed at the same time as the priestly caste.

     The Ariahs have to fight against the black Daysus, inhabitants of the mountains, and the yellow Daysus (probably of the Mongol race) who occupy the plains; the latter are advanced in civilization, fight on chariots, have cities with enclosures. When they were subjugated, the Brahmins borrowed from them the cult of the genies which was their religion.

     In the valley of the Ganges, the Ariahs become civilized and corrupted; the Brahms favor the establishment of small monarchies to keep the warriors (Kchattrias) in check and among the competitors they support those who support them.

     Some of them are warriors and kings.

      They make themselves the gurus (directors of consciousness) and pourohitas (officiants) of the rajahs.

     In order to acquire great prestige, they establish the novitiate of young Brahmins and the asceticism of old men. Enjoying peace through the protection of the Radjas (warrior princes), the Brahmins divided into two camps; some of them accepted only faith and prayer (backti) as effective for salvation, while others proclaimed the sovereignty of boddhi ([Greek: sorich] of the Greeks, knowledge).

     The Vedic period was followed by the heroic period, the India of the Kchattrias, which lasted for several centuries, during which the Ariahs took over: first the lower course of the Ganges, then the rest of the peninsula.

     They then composed a series of theological works which changed the religion and gave them exclusive possession of everything connected with worship. The crowning achievement was the law of Manou, which consecrated their supremacy over all and in all things and completed the physical and moral degradation of the servile classes, who were doomed, even in their own eyes, by the doctrine of metempsychosis, to irreparable decline.

     This is how the Pariahs believe themselves inferior to many animals. Through fear, through corruption, through the dogma of blind obedience to unchangeable custom, the institution of Manou has lived more than any other, and its end cannot be foreseen. Never and nowhere has theocratic skill for enslavement been carried so far as by the Brahmins.

     What remained of the Kchattrias and the whole caste of Vessiahs (Vishas) bore with impatience the arrogance and exorbitant privileges of the Brahmins.

Theosophists and ascetics, outside their caste, fought them in the field of speculation.

     All these opponents united in Buddhism; it was so popular that everything of moral value entered the Buddhist convents: the Brahmins, forsaken and reduced to their own resources, lived on their possessions and on the occupations that Manou allowed them in times of distress. But they did not give up. While the Buddhist celibacy devoured the high castes which were opposed to them and left nothing for the recruitment of the religious body, the Brahms maintained themselves by the family spirit, and by dint of perseverance, talent, skill and astuteness, they succeeded in suppressing Buddhism.

Through a series of transformations, the Brahmins made the divinization of life and generation the very essence of religion. Today the Hindus are divided into two great sects:-the worshippers of Siva, formerly Roudra, who wear on the left arm a ring in which is enclosed the lingam-yoni, a kind of amulet representing the coupling of the organs of the two sexes, (verenda utriusque sexus in actu copulationis),-and those of Vishnu who wear on the forehead the Nahman. It is a sort of trident drawn from the origin of the nose. The vertical line in the middle is red and represents the menstrual flow; the straight lateral lines are ash-gray and represent the virile seed. 

By introducing sensuality into everything related to religion, the Brahmins had two objectives.  

To tear away from Buddhism and captivate by images of their coarse taste the Hindus, especially those of the servile caste incapable of attaining the delicacies of sentiment and ideal. It was with the sculptural representation of mythological scenes which had some merit, not of form, but of movement, the easiest and perhaps unique means of pleasing the eye; it was also a concession to local cults prior to the conquest, which could thus continue in the bosom of Pantheism.

     The second objective of the Brahmes, this one fundamental and not only a weapon and an expedient of circumstance, is indicated to us by the prescription of Manu: "everyone must discharge the debt of the ancestors" (to have at least one son to close his eyes). eyes).

     The object was to prevent the numerical decrease and consequently the erasure of the race of Ariahs, today represented only by the Brahmes, and also to develop the servile population whose work was the principal source of public wealth. The legislator doubtless thought that it was necessary to excite the passions in a people physically rather weak, of a lymphatic temperament, disposed to anemia by the insufficiency of an exclusively vegetable diet and by the despondency of the climate.

The naturalistic or erotic religion of India began with the adoration of Siva, confused at first with the fetish of the virile member, the linga. The linga, which one meets everywhere in India, on the roads, at crossroads and public squares, in the fields, is not what the phallus was in pagan antiquity, an obscene image and sometimes an object. of art. If we were not warned, we would take it for an almost cylindrical marker, that is to say a little wider at the base than at the top, which ends in a very flattened spherical cap and presenting no projection. on the barrel. The one I brought from India was one meter high, with an average diameter of 0.25 to 0.30 m. and rested on a base also in granite of a meter and a half on a side,

     Thus, even today, after perhaps thirty centuries, the linga and the yoni are not images that speak to the senses, they are geometric bodies serving as symbols, fetishes.

As no trace of fetishism has been found among the Ariahs of the Vedic period, nor any other fetish in the later Brahmanic cult, one must think that the linga is the probably very ancient fetish of a subjugated race, perhaps being the black Daysous, and that the Brahmins, to attach themselves to this race, adopted Siva and the linga, purposely confusing Siva with Roudra, the Vedic god who came closest to him in his attributes: Siva was undoubtedly the national god of a notable part of India before the Aryan conquest; for, from the beginning, he received the qualification of Issouara, the supreme being.

The linga had not penetrated into the Vedic religion, where there is no worship of the phallus. Stevenson and Lassen attribute to him, with much evidence to support their opinion, a Dravidian origin (the Dravidian language, today Tamil, is in use throughout the south of the peninsula).

The linga appears in the religion of the Brahmes at the same time as Sivaism, and the latter appears there immediately after the period of the hymns; some parts of the yagur-veda (ceremonial veda) suppose an already advanced state of the Saiva religion.

 The temple of Issouara (Siva, supreme being) at Benares seems to have been very old; it was in all its splendor when the Chinese pilgrim Fa-Hien visited.

Even today, Sivaism dominates in Benarès, the holy and scholarly city par excellence.

Several passages in the Mahabarata relate to the worship of Siva and the linga; the Epics, although Vishnuists, suppose an earlier preponderance of the cult of Mahadeva (the great god, Siva, the self-existent being).

In the early Buddhist legends, the Lalita-Vistara, for example, Siva comes immediately after Brahma and Cakra (Indra). We know that there has always been great sympathy and many similarities between Buddhism and Sivaism, no doubt because the latter was very rationalist and almost monotheistic, while Vishnovism represented pantheism and idolatry. Sivaism has long remained the professional religion of learned Brahmins.

 There is now a spiritualist sect in southern India which claims to profess primitive Saivism. She had for interpreter Senathi Radja in her book: "Sivaism in southern India."

Sivaism, says the author, appears to be the most ancient of religions; the ancient Dravidian literature is entirely Sivaist. Agastia is the first sage who taught Saiva monotheism, long before the six systems of Hindu philosophy, basing it on both the Vedas and the Agamas, writings which have never been translated into any European language. Here is the summary of the monotheistic doctrine:

“Everything is understood in the three terms: God, soul, matter.

Issouara or Siva or God is the efficient cause of the universe, its creator and its providence.

Siva is immutable, omnipotent, omniscient and merciful, he fills the universe and yet he differs from it.

It is in intimate union with the immortal human soul, but it is distinct from individual souls which are one degree lower than its essence. Its union with a soul becomes manifest when the latter frees itself from the yoke of the senses, which it cannot do without the grace of which Siva is the dispenser.

 Matter is eternal and passive, it is Siva who moves it; he is the husband of all nature, which he fertilizes by his universal action.

There is only one god, those who say there are several gods will be doomed to hellfire.

The revelation of God is one, the final destiny is one, the moral way for all mankind is one.

From there comes undoubtedly the following information, given by the Dubois abbot: each Brahman would say to his son at the time of the initiation: “Remember that there is only one God; but it is a dogma that must not be revealed because it would not be understood. Siva is the god of India who has the most sanctuaries and the linga is the most widespread symbol. It is found in profusion in Cambodia where, every year, on the feast of renewal, a huge hollow linga is paraded through the streets in which a young boy is held in the form of a blooming head.

Curious thing! The linga is the material of a very common ex-voto for ascetics in Cambodia. Here, somewhat abbreviated, is the dedication of a linga by one of them ( Journal of the Asiatic Society ).

Om, worship to Siva.

1°.—2°.—3°.—Preliminary formulas of adoration to Siva.

 4°. The linga erected by the ascetic Djana-Priga in the time of the Çaka era expressed by the number 6, the clouds 7 and the openings of the body 9, that is the number 976; respect him, cave dwellers (ascetic hermits) devoted to the meditation of Siva who resided in him.

5°. Taking refuge with all those whose occupation is the science of the master of masters of the world (Siva), he gave it (the linga) to all to protect the sattra (the soma offered in sacrifice as a symbol of the divine seed of Siva ) of those ascetics with excellent merits, having drawn him from the bowels of his body.

6°. It is the Lord in person (the linga is Siva himself), said all those who have excellent merits (the ascetics). So they devoted an eternal affection to this yoghi aspiring to deliverance (the one who had given the linga).

 7°. For him, felled by axes such as those of Maïtri, and thrown into this ocean which is called the quality of goodness (the quality of goodness embraced all that is excellent and holy), the trees which are called the six enemies (the six senses) will no longer bear any fruit.

8°. Coming out of a pure race, he did the manly works that he had to do. And now his purified soul shares supreme bliss (even before death in his retreat, etc.).

9°. We see from this dedication that the vow or consecration of a linga was an act of austerity and that the linga, like Siva, had a cult rather severe than amiable.

 The cult of Priapus in Greece appears to have had nearly the same character. He was a rural divinity of whom the delicious novel of Daphnis and Chloe gives us a respectable and sympathetic idea, in no way licentious. This character seems to have changed at Rome through the effect of the progress of eroticism in all the religions of India. According to Richard Payne, author of the Cult of Priapus , Priapus had a temple there, priests, sacred geese. Beautiful girls who had just lost their virginity were brought to him as victims.

The high antiquity of the cult of the linga in India and the certainty now acquired of an expansion or eruption of Hinduism towards the West, prior to the seven sages of Greece, render the opinion very probable that it is from India that came the phallic cult; Initially associated, no doubt, with that of the Assyrian and Phoenician divinities, one of whom may have represented Siva, he then established himself with brilliance on the island of Cyprus, which was entirely consecrated to him. From there he passed into Asia Minor, Greece and Italy.

 Nothing surprising that, in these countries where art was everything, the linga, still a fetish in Paphos, was transformed into an image that the ideas of the ancients on nudity, absolutely different from ours, did not cause to be considered obscene and that sculpture strives to render as beautiful and as graceful as any other part of the human body. This is what we see in the statue of the phallophoric Hercules who carries a cornucopia filled with phallus, and in a large number of ancient cameos. Undoubtedly many lingas or priaps were placed to serve as boundaries or landmarks in the fields and gardens. Hence the origin of the country god Priapus. It is the primitive predominance of the male energy which continued in Greece, while, little by little, in India, the female energy was taking over. Among ancient poets up to Lucretius, Venus is the goddess of beauty, voluptuousness, easy love, games and laughter rather than fertility. Juno had for wives this last characteristic more perhaps than Venus; and another goddess, Lucine, presided over childbirth. It was probably through the penetration of transformed Indian ideas about female energies, and perhaps also through natural progress, that philosophical poets such as Lucretius celebrated Venus as the presided over childbirth. It was probably through the penetration of transformed Indian ideas about female energies, and perhaps also through natural progress, that philosophical poets such as Lucretius celebrated Venus as the presided over childbirth. It was probably through the penetration of transformed Indian ideas about female energies, and perhaps also through natural progress, that philosophical poets such as Lucretius celebrated Venus as theuniversal mother: Venus omnium parens .

The cult of Venus in the island of Cyprus unites many traits of the naturalistic cult of India with the sacred prostitution of the Assyrian and Phoenician religions, all enhanced by the Greek arch.

The temple of Paphos drew a rectangle (shape of Indian and Greek temples) eighteen meters long and nine meters wide. Under the peristyle, a phallus one meter high, erected on a pedestal, announced the object of worship. In the middle of the temple stood a cone one meter high (shape of the linga), symbol of the generative organ.

Around the cone were rows of numerous goddesses in poses appropriate to temple worship (like the gopies around the god Krishna).

The statue of the goddess placed in the sanctuary has the index finger of the right hand pointing towards the pubis (Latchoumy, the goddess of fertility, figures in the bas-reliefs of the pagodas with a finger placed immediately below the pubis).

The left arm is rounded at the height of the chest and the index finger of the left hand is directed towards the nipple of the right breast; one wonders if it is a call to voluptuousness or an indication of breastfeeding.

This statue, an admirable work of Praxiteles, is above all graceful and delicate; it is idealized voluptuousness (see on this subject the chapter on the loves of Lucien).

The Phoenician aphrodite, on the contrary, is a realistic type; she has massive shapes, broad and robust flanks, plump chest, widely developed hips and pelvis; everything about her exudes lust.

At the entrance to all the naturalist temples of Cyprus and Phoenicia stand columns of various shapes, symbols of the male organ. There were always two of these symbols, columns or obelisks, in front of the temples built by the Phoenicians, including that of Jerusalem.

Scholars attribute this origin, as a borrowing from the temple of Jerusalem, to the two towers or spiers of our Gothic cathedrals; the author of the Genius of Christianity hardly suspected it! And yet the menhirs of Lower Brittany, quite similar to those of a large region of the Decan, seem to have belonged to the same naturalist cult[1].

Note that the Sivaists and the Phoenicians, the latter like Semites, had, besides the same symbols, the same monotheistic beliefs.

What was adored at Paphos and in the other naturalist temples was sovereign voluptuousness through the union of the sexes, universal love in the world, the productive force in living beings.

 [Note 1: Mgr Laouénan.—Celtic monuments are very common in India; in the rocky plains which extend among the massifs of the eastern gates to the Nerbudda and the Vindhyas mountains, one meets at every step, so to speak, constructions identical to those which exist in the north and west of Europe . According to the local tradition or the opinion of the intelligent inhabitants, the menhirs represent the linga. The etymologies support this view.] 

In the feasts of Adonis, the legend of which is a solar myth, the return of the sun and of universal love were celebrated by transports of joy, songs and orgiastic dances (as in the cult of Krishna, incarnation of Vishnu- Sun). 

Then took place the sacred prostitutions considered as sacrifices (they have analogy with the Sakty pudja, sacrifices of the Sackty, which we will see further on being established in Sivaism). 

“Under light cradles of myrtle and laurel, under tents garlanded with flowers, stood the Heriodules, priestesses of the goddess, young and beautiful Greek or Syrian slaves; they were covered with jewels, dressed in rich stuffs, wearing a miter enriched with precious stones, from which escaped the long tresses of their black hair intertwined with garlands of flowers in which a scarlet scarf was played. On their firm, rounded bosoms, protected by a light gauze, hung necklaces of gold, amber and pearls or shimmering glass, as insignia of their religious office; they held in their hands a branch of myrtle and the dove, the bird of Venus.

 Thus adorned, they waited smiling and always ready to celebrate the sweet sacrifice in honor of the goddess with all those who requested it. 

Wherever the cult of Linga or its equivalents dominates, one is bound to see an emanation of primitive Sivaism, deification of the power of renewal, with a secondary role for the goddess of beauty (in India, Parvati, the wife of Siva ).
In this remote period, Siva is the efficient cause which, by his energy or his sakti as an instrument, produces or destroys the world which has prakrite or universal matter as its matrix (see, for the definition of prakriti, the sankya commented on by Mr. Barthélemy de Saint-Hilaire). The sakty of a god forms with him a single two-faced being. Gradually, due to the predominance of sakty, the role of the male element diminished, then disappeared, but that was quite late. The predominance of the sakty of Siva is affirmed only in the last Puranas and in the Tantra literature which begins in the fourth century of our era. 

The worship of saktis, as described in the Tantras, forms a separate religion, that of the Saktas, which is divided into several branches and which has its own special mythology. The dominant deity is Mahadeva (Siva). According to the Vayou Purana, Siva not only had a dual male and female nature, but his female nature was divided into two halves, one white and the other black, the latter doubtless imagined for the satisfaction of the castes of the Sudras ( black). To the white nature, or quality of goodness, were attached the Saktys or beneficent goddesses, such as Latchoumy, Seravasti, wives of Vischnu and Brahma; to the black nature Durga, Candi, Cananda, all the dreaded saktys or goddesses. Mahadevi or the sakty of Siva, supposedly a transformation of Maya, the feminine principle of the Vedas, developed into an infinity of manifestations or personifications of all physical, physiological, moral and intellectual forces, each of which had its devotees and worship. As several of these goddesses are notoriously aboriginal deities, it is likely that the whole was formed by the grouping of female deities of aboriginal cults to form a kind of female polytheism that the Brahmins accepted as a popular religion by introducing it to the last degree. mortal women, from the Brahmins. 

To create a deeper separation between Buddhism and popular religion, the Brahmins had developed to the point of distorting it the Bakti, the ancient doctrine of salvation by faith and devotion or grace, opposed to that of salvation by boddhi. (knowledge), doctrine of ancient thesophy, sankia, Buddhism and modern Brahmanic orthodoxy formulated by Cançara, the resurrector of Brahmanism almost killed by Buddhism. The backti is addressed, in each sect, to the nearest manifestation of the god, for example, among the Vishnuvists, not to Vishnu, but to Krishna, the god made man; he answers it with his grace. Devotion to the god of the sect made up for everything, morality, works, asceticism, contemplation. This doctrine is fully developed in the song of theBlessed and systematized by Sandilya in his Bakti Sutras , from whence Nagardjuna introduced them into the great Buddhist vehicle. Through it religion, hitherto stolen from the masses in its essence, becomes a fact of feeling that Hindu sensualism quickly changes into a fact of passion. 

By narrowing sectarian devotion to a very specific deity, the bakti has led to idolatry; it first confused the god with his image, then distinguished between the sanctuaries of the same god. Hence an infinite subdivision of sects and cults. 

The Bakti embraces all of Vishnuvism and only part of Sivaism. The bakta or followers of the Bakti divided into: right hand , which sticks to the Puranas and devotion to their mythological gods and goddesses (the Puranas are popular mythology collected officially by the Brahmins), and left hand , which makes the Kaulo Upanishad and the Tantras a kind of particular veda, preferably addressing its devotion to female energies and divinities and mainly to the union of the sexes and to magical powers. The Tantras are books of eroticism and magic. 

The left hand rites unite the two sexes by removing any distinction of caste. In meetings which are not public, the affiliates, gorged with meats and spirits, adore the sakti in the form of a woman, generally that of one of them; she is placed quite naked on a sort of pedestal and an initiate consummates the sacrifice by the carnal act. The ceremony ends with the general coupling of all, each couple representing Siva and his Sakty and becoming identical with them. It is absorbed in the thought of the divinity and without seeking the satisfaction of the senses that the faithful must perform these acts. The catechisms which teach these practices are filled with high moral theories and even asceticism, but in reality the members of these meetings are only hypocritical libertines. 

This fact is only a particular application of the general policy of the Brahmes who everywhere have flattered the passions and sown corruption, in order to detach from Buddhism the populations whom it had first conquered. 

It is with this same thought that they constituted the great, essentially pantheistic sect of Vishnu, and principally the cult of Krichna. Much better still than Sivaism, Vischnouvism, by its theory of incarnations and the continuous action of Vischnu for the conversion of the world and by the divination of life in all its manifestations, lent itself to the adoption of all the divinities. , of all cults, of all aboriginal superstitions. Currently India has more than 20,000 gods, most of them ancient local deities who are worshiped by Vishnuvists, along with Vishnu in his main incarnations of Rama and Krischna and in his essential attributes of sun god, as conceived by a large part of the Hindus, especially the better educated. 

Krishna was a prince, or indigenous chief (the word krishna means black), a skilled and happy warrior, who rendered signal services to the Brahmins in the course of their struggles against the Kchattrias, and whose first, as a reward, made an incarnation of Vishnu. His cult and his legends, especially those of his love with Radha, were very licentious from the start, and Krishna was undoubtedly first of all the god of pleasure. The Lalita Vistara(poetic life of Buddha) confuses Krishna with Marah, the tempter, the god of concupiscence. For the needs of their struggle against Buddhism, the Brahmins raised the cult of Krishna, strongly flavored with Hindu sensualism; they probably left him full license of his practices for the lower classes, but at the same time they strove to surround him in the eyes of the upper classes with a halo of mysticism. Krishna rises to a great height of religious philosophy in the song of the Blessed One; either fortuitous encounter, or borrowing from the Greek philosopher, the theory of the secondary divinities, ministers of the principal god, is the same in Plato and in the Hindu poet. The loves of Krishna with Rhada have been commented upon, as an allegory depicting the commerce of the soul with God. But, just as we saw earlier for the Tantras and the catechisms of the Sakty, it must be borne in mind that this so-called divine love existed only for ascetics, and that, basically, it was for the Brahmins a way of covering the eroticism of the cult with an appearance of piety. 

As the Bakti becomes more accentuated in Vishnuvism and the merits of devotion are increasingly considered as dispensing with all others, the religion of Krishna plunges more and more into eroticism and makes people speak more divine love the language of passion. This tendency shows itself with incomparable brilliance in the Baghavata purana and with still more intensity in the popular revisions of this work spread throughout India, notably in the Premsagar Indi (the Ocean of Love). 

The Baghavata Purana gives very lascivious descriptions of   Krishna's love affairs with the gopies (shepherdess).   

The lyrical poem of Gita Govinda (the Shepherd's Song, Krishna) recalls the Song
of Songs and Lassen only translated it into Latin. It was surpassed in erotic verve only by Piron's ode to Priapus. Eroticism has infected all of Vishnuvism; M. Theodore Pavie has seen scenes in Ceylon repugnant to the point of disgust. In the province of Bombay and in Bengal, the devotees of Krishna, especially in the countryside, have night meetings where, in imitation of the games of Krishna and the Gopies, they exalt themselves in common to a frenzied paroxysm and a limitless license. 

Krishna is the real god of love for the Hindus. As for the god Kama, the Indian Cupid, it is obviously a borrowing from the Greeks. The word Kama means carnal pleasure and it is used in this sense by the oldest authors, together with Darma (religious duty) and Artha (the science of wealth). These three words form the Hindu trilogy of motives for our actions. As the Hindus are strong imitators, they adopted the Cupid of the Greeks, after the establishment of the latter in a part of the Punjab, and gave him the already very ancient name of Kama. It appears only in a legend probably relatively recent from the Puranas[2]. 

[Note 2: Baron d'Ekstein says: “The Ariabs borrowed from Cephenes, their predecessors in India, the god Kama, similar to the Eros of the Greeks ; they embellished it, _although it did not belong in principle to their cosmological thought, and they later reproduced it in the Veda as described by Hosunt.] 

The bayadères are not, as one might think, consecrated to the god Kama; they are the wives of Soubramaniar, the god of war. 

After having received Cupid paganism, under the name of Kama, India, in its turn, seems to have given him, as an imitation or importation of its increasingly corrupt practices, especially those of the saktis of the left hand, the increasingly corrupt cult of Priapus, of which the knight Richard Payne gave us a story. Here are some key features. 

Before the celebration of a marriage, the bride was placed on the statue of the god, the phallus, so that she would be made fertile by the divine principle. In an ancient poem on Priapus ( Priapi Carmen ) we see a lady presenting the paintings of Elephantis to the god and gravely asking him to enjoy the pleasures over which he presides, in all the attitudes described by this treatise. 

When a woman had fulfilled the role of victim in the sacrifice to Priapus, she expressed her gratitude by gifts placed on the altar, phalluses in number equal to that of the officiants of the sacrifice. Sometimes this number was large and proved that the victim had not been neglected. 

These sacrifices were made in night festivals, as well as all those offered to the divinities who presided over the generation. Devotees to these deities locked themselves in temples and lived there in promiscuity. There were also initiates whose manners Petronius painted in a few pages which we have summarized. 

In Corinth and in Ereix, a city in Sicily, there were temples dedicated to prostitution. 

According to the scholar Larcher, Venus was the goddess who had the greatest number of temples in the two Greece; there were about a hundred of them. Several cities of Greece, but especially Athens and Corinth, celebrated his festivals with a number of beautiful women that one could not unite today. She was even more honored in Rome where she was considered the mother. Never did a people carry sensuality further than the Romans; men and women of all conditions and of all ranks gave themselves up with fury to all outbursts.


We have seen the Brahmins introduce the most realistic eroticism into the cult, into the religion and into the books which form an integral part of it, such as the Puranas, the Tantras, the catechisms of the Saktis, etc. They had used it, long before the coming of Buddha, to captivate the subject populations and rally them to their cause in their struggles against the Kchattrias. Buddhism conquered India so completely that the Brahmins almost everywhere were abandoned; most of them have to resort to all the trades that Manou allows them in times of distress in order to live.. But they had the persistence and skill of hereditary aristocracies. People who were essentially practical and fit for business, lawyers, financiers, administrators, diplomats, soldiers and generals if need be, vigorous, subtle dialecticians, unscrupulous polemicists, elegant, ingenious poets and sometimes full of brilliance and genius, they made themselves indispensable to the princes and the great by the services which they alone knew how to render them, and won their favor by the pleasure of their minds and their talents and by the flexibility of their character. At the same time that they were developing in the masses Vishnuvism, or rather the religion of Krishna which the Buddha had condemned, they were producing many remarkable works. They ennobled by great epics and popularized by written legends the gods and the heroes. Remaining the only heirs of the Aryan genre in India and possessing in the Sanskrit language an admirable instrument for poetry and philosophy[3], they renewed everything: hymns, epic poems, theosophical systems, codes of laws. It was a real renaissance. Kings, friends of ancient literature, held at their court Academies of amiable poets and wits for whom they paid dearly. They improvised verses and even madrigals and epigrams. Among these poets, one cites Kalidaça, the author of the drama so much admired by India and possessing in the Sanskrit language an admirable instrument for poetry and philosophy[3], they renewed everything: hymns, epic poems, theosophical systems, codes of laws. It was a real renaissance. Kings, friends of ancient literature, held at their court Academies of amiable poets and wits for whom they paid dearly. They improvised verses and even madrigals and epigrams. Among these poets, one cites Kalidaça, the author of the drama so much admired by India and possessing in the Sanskrit language an admirable instrument for poetry and philosophy[3], they renewed everything: hymns, epic poems, theosophical systems, codes of laws. It was a real renaissance. Kings, friends of ancient literature, held at their court Academies of amiable poets and wits for whom they paid dearly. They improvised verses and even madrigals and epigrams. Among these poets, one cites Kalidaça, the author of the drama so much admired by to madrigals and epigrams. 

Among these poets, one cites Kalidaça, the author of the drama so much admired by to madrigals and epigrams. Among these poets, one cites Kalidaça, the author of the drama so much admired byCakountala . Begun before the Christian era, this literary movement continued until the Muslim conquest. This literature of the Brahmes pleased much more than the soporific and cloudy metaphysics of the Buddhists. The favor of princes helped them crush their adversaries. They succeeded in conciliating it by having for their own use and that of what would today be called high society and good company and for themselves, as far as carnal pleasures are concerned, one of the easiest morals. The rules were traced by Vatsyayana in the Kama-Sutra or treatise on love (art of loving), which is considered the masterpiece and the code on Matter. 

[Note 3: This extraordinary movement closely followed the invention and adoption of Sanskrit writing which served both Buddhism and the Brahmanical revival, just as the discovery of the printing press favored the development of the Reformation. and the Renaissance.] 

This book must be related to the Brahmanical revival; it was written during the struggle between the Brahmins and the Buddhists, since it forbids wives to frequent Buddhist beggars (we know that Buddhist nuns were beggars). 

India has several other popular erotic books, most of them later than the KamaSutra. The following, written in Sanskrit, are readily available: 

1° The Ratira hasya , or the Secrets of Love, by the poet Koka. It has been translated into all the dialects of India and is widespread under the name of KokaShastra ; it consists of 800 verses, forming ten chapters called Pachivedas. It appears later than the Kama-Sutra and contains the definition of the four classes of women: Padmini, Chitrini, Hastini and Sankini (see appendix to chapter II of title I). 

It indicates the days and times when each of these female types is more particularly drawn to love. The author cites writings which he consulted and which have not come down to us. 

2° The Five Arrows of Love , by Djyotiricha, great poet and great musician; 600 verses, forming five chapters, each of which bears the name of a flower which forms the arrow. 

3. Le Flambeau de l'Amour , by the famous poet Djayadéva, who boasts of having written on everything. 

4° The Doll of Love , by the poet Thamoudatta, Brahmin; three chapters. 5° The Anourga Rounga , or the Theater of Love, also called: The Ship on the Ocean of Love , composed by the poet Koullianmoull, towards the end of the 15th century. It deals with thirty-three different subjects and gives 130 ad hoc recipes or prescriptions . Here are the main ones: 

1st Recipe to hasten the spasm of women; 

2nd To delay that of man;

3rd Aphrodisiacs; 

4th Means to shrink the yoni, to flavor it; 

7th The art of depilating the body and sexual parts; 

8th Recipe to facilitate the monthly flow of women; 

9th To prevent bleeding; 

10th To purify and sanitize the matrix; 

11th To ensure childbirth and protect pregnancy; 

12th To prevent abortions; 

13th To make childbirth easy and delivery prompt; 

14th To limit the number of children; 

21st To enlarge the breasts; 

22nd To strengthen and raise them; 

23rd, 24th, 25th To perfume the body; get rid of the strong smell of perspiration; anoint the body after bathing; 

26th Perfume the breath, make the bad smell disappear; 

27th To provoke, charm, fascinate, subjugate women and men; 

28th Means to win and keep the heart of her husband; 

29th Magic eye drops to ensure love and friendship; 

30th Means to triumph over a rival; 

31st Filters and other means of captivating; 

32nd Incense to fascinate, fumigations arousing genesis; 

33rd Magic verses that fascinate. 

Etc. etc 

It is obvious that this book is full of errors; in all probability he says nothing that is not acquired by modern science. 

The Art of Loving , by Vatsyayana, is distinguished from all these writings by its exclusively didactic character and form. Each of its parts forms a catechism: catechism of sexual intercourse in all forms and of fleurtage for both sexes; catechism of wives and harem; seduction and love brokerage; and finally catechism of courtesans. It is a valuable historical document, for it initiates us in the most intimate manner into the manners of Hindu high society of the time (about 2,000 years ago) and into the advice of pleasure and duplicity of the Brahmins. 

The curiosity aroused by the fund would perhaps not be enough to support the dryness of the form, if the reader were strictly limited to the lessons of Vatsyayana; to avoid this pitfall, we have placed after each of them, in an appendix to the chapter which contains it, the equivalents or correspondents of pagan morality which are found in the poets, the only doctors of morality in pagan antiquity; a few Hindu poets and two pieces concerning the Chinese were also quoted. Each appendix has been completed with Iranian morality, that is, Christian morality borrowed from the Moral Theology of Father Gury, limiting oneself to a small number of articles sometimes accompanied by physiological information.

This comparison of the various texts relating respectively to each subject, allows the reader to get a very exact relative idea of ​​the three morals on each point treated.

The one that our reason prefers is obviously the socially most recommendable Iranian morality, source of the purest pleasures and, by that very fact, perhaps the greatest, because the heart enters into it for a large part. 

The morality of Paganism seduces us by its ease, by the art and poetry which accompany it; but, on reflection, we are struck by a superiority of the Art of Lovingof Vatsyayana on that of the Latin poets. These only sing of voluptuousness, selfish pleasure, and often the crude licentiousness of a youth accustomed to the brutality of the camps. Vatsyayana aims the efforts of the man at the satisfaction of the woman. It is already, independently even of procreation, an altruistic point of view by comparison with that in which the rough children of Romulus placed themselves, such as Catullus, Tibullus and Juvenal have depicted them to us. We know that the latter begins his satyr on the women of his time with the advice to take a darling rather than a wife for whom one would have to tire one's flanks. Philopaedia ([Greek: philopaidia]) was more honored in Rome than marriage; it was unknown to Brahmanical India; Vatsyayana does not even mention it.

Another advantage of the Indians over the Romans was outward decency in the relations between the two sexes. The good castes of India have never known anything resembling the Roman orgy under the Caesars and the cynicism of Caligula.

In antiquity, an amorous intrigue was not an affair of the heart. No more among the Indians than among the Romans do we find in love what we call tenderness; this is a very modern feeling and which lends to our elegiac poets, such as Parny, André Chénier, etc., a charm which the Latins do not have. Propertius is the only one who approaches modern delicacy.

But Roman harshness was found even in gallantry. Young Romans mistreated their mistresses. At the circus, mythological scenes were represented where murder, not simulated but very real, mingled with sometimes bestial love, and where Tiberius and Nero often figured. 

On the contrary, India obeys this precept: "Do not strike a woman, even with a flower." We will finally recall that, in India, love is at the service of religion, while in Rome religion (the cult of Venus, for example) was at the service of love as well as politics.

Eroticism plays a great part in all the religious festivals of the   Hindus, it is for them the principal attraction.  

Such are the contrasts that our work brings out and they are not without interest for the science of religions.







In the beginning, the Lord of creatures[4] gave men and women, in a hundred thousand chapters, the rules to follow for their existence, regarding: 

Dharma or religious duty[5];

Artha or wealth; Kama or love.

The span of human life, when not shortened by accidents, is a century.

It must be divided between Dharma, Artha and Kama, so that they do not encroach upon each other; childhood should be devoted to study; youth and middle age, to Artha and Kama; old age, to the Dharma which procures for man final deliverance, that is to say the end of transmigrations.

[Note 4: Lord of creatures is a qualification often given to Siva. Vatsyayana was therefore Sivaist like all the Brahmins of his time.]

[Note 5: For the Brahmins, the Dharma is the religious rite, the sacrifice, the offering, the worship, the obedience to custom. For Buddhists, it is the moral rule, the philosophical duty.]

Dharma is the performance of certain acts, such as sacrifices which one omits because one does not see the result of them in this world, and the abstention of certain others, such as eating meat, which the we accomplish because we experience a good effect.

The Artha includes industry, agriculture, commerce, social and family relations; it is political economy that officials and merchants must learn.

Kama is enjoyment, through the five senses; it is taught by Kama Sutra and practice. When Dharma, Artha and Kama compete, Dharma is usually preferred over Artha and Artha over Kama. But for the king, the Artha occupies the first rank, because it ensures the means of subsistence.

A whole school, very numerous, puts the Artha first, because, above all, it is necessary to provide for the needs of life.

In practice, all classes who live by their labor, and all men who covet wealth, follow the sentiment of this school.

The Lokayatikas claim that there is no reason to observe the Dharma, because it only has in view the future life in which one does not know whether it will bear fruit or not.

According to them, it is foolishness to put in other hands what we hold. Besides, it is better to have a pigeon today than a peacock tomorrow, and a copper coin given is better than a gold coin promised.

Response to objection:

“1° The holy book which prescribes the practices of the Dharma leaves no room for doubt.

2° We see by experience that the sacrifices offered to obtain the destruction of our enemies or the fall of the rain bear fruit.

3° The sun, the moon, the stars and the other celestial bodies seem to work with interest for the good of the world.

4° The world is maintained only by the observance of the rules concerning the four castes and the four periods of life. 

5° We sow in the hope of reaping.” 

One should not sacrifice Kama to Artha because pleasure is as necessary as food. Moderate and cautious, he associates himself with Dharma and Artha. He who practices all three is happy in this life and in the life to come. Any act that relates to all three at the same time or only to two or even to only one of the three can be performed. Any act which, to satisfy one of the three, sacrifices the other two,   must be avoided (for example, a man who ruins himself through devotion or licentiousness is foolish and guilty)[6].

[Note 6: By the time of Vatsyayana, the Sankia philosophy and Buddhism had completely discredited, at least in the higher castes, the practices of the Brahmanical Dharma; it was little more than a popular superstition. This can be seen in the poverty of the arguments that Vatsyayana opposes to the Lokayatikas.

We see that the Dharma, the Artha and the Kama each had exclusive supporters
whose preferences depended on their situation: some chose only two of these three terms. Barthriari says ( Amour , stanza 53): “Men have to choose here below between two cults: that of the beautiful ones who aspire only to games and pleasures that are always renewed, or that which is rendered in the forest to the To be absolute."]

Part of the hundred thousand commandments, especially those relating to Dharma, form the law of Svayambha. Those relating to Artha have been compiled by Brihaspati, and those relating to Kama or love have been expounded in a thousand chapters by Nandi, of the sect of Mahadeva or Civa[7].

[Note 7: Vatsyayana, as can be seen by the words in italics, claims that it is limited to reproducing precepts decreed by the divinity from the origin of things and therefore obligatory.]

Nandi's Kama Shastras (codes of love) were successively abridged by various authors, then distributed among six treatises composed by different authors, one of whom, Dattaka, wrote his own at the request of the public women of Pataliputra; it is the Shastra or Catechism of courtesans[8].

[Note 8: Just as the Shastra of the courtesans of India was written at their request, the 3rd book of the Art of loving was composed by Ovid, at the request of the gallant women of Rome: the young beauties, in their turn, beg me to give them lessons. I will teach women how they will be loved. The man often deceives, the woman is much less deceptive. The goddess of Cythera appeared to me and said, “What have the unfortunate women done to be delivered defenseless like weak herds to well-armed men. Two songs from your poems have made them adept in the battles of love. You also have to give lessons to the opposite sex. Your beautiful schoolgirls, like their young lovers, will inscribe on their trophies: "Ovide was our master."]

After reading and meditating on the writings of Babhravya and other ancient authors, and studying the motives of the rules laid down by them, Vatsyayana, while a student of religion (as in Europe studying theology), fully delivered to the contemplation of divinity, composed the Kama-Sutra, a summary of the six Sastra aforesaid, in accordance with the precepts of the Holy Book, for the good of the world. This writing is not intended solely to serve our carnal desires. He who possesses the principles of the science of Kama and who, at the same time, observes Dharma and Artha, is sure to master his senses.


If, instead of being simply a casuist, Vatsyayana had had the lyrical genius, he would have begun with a hymn to the god Kama, such as the following (translation by M. Chezy).


Who is this powerful divinity who, from the groves located to the east of Agra, soars into the air where the purest light spreads, while on all sides the languid stems of flowers, revived by the first rays of the sun , intertwine in cradles, sweet asylums of harmony, and that the light zephyrs steal from them, playing with each other, the most ravishing perfumes?

Hail, unknown power!… For at the mere nod of your graceful head, the valleys and the woods hasten to adorn their fragrant breasts, and each blooming flower hangs, smiling, from its musk tresses, the dazzling pearls of dew .

I feel, yes, I feel your divine fire penetrating my heart, I adore you and I kiss, with transport, your altars.

And could you misunderstand me? No, son of Mayâ, no, I know your arrows armed with flowers, the formidable cane that composes your bow, your standard where pearly scales shine, your mysterious weapons.

I felt all your sorrows, I savored all your pleasures. Almighty Kâmâ, or, if you prefer, dazzling Smara, majestic Ananya! Whatever be the seat of glory, under whatever name you are invoked, the seas, the earth and the air proclaim your power; all bring you their tribute, all recognize in you the king of the Universe.

Your young companion, Pleasure, smiles at your side. She is barely veiled in her dazzling dress.

Following her, twelve young girls, of charming, slender stature, advance gracefully; their delicate fingers move lightly on golden strings, and their rounded arms intertwine in a voluptuous dance.

On their elegant necks they have pearls brighter than the tears of the dawn.

Your purple standard, waving before them, causes new stars to sparkle in the azure vault of the heavens. [Note 9: Allusion to the shiny scales of the fish that crowns the banner of Indian love.]

God with flowery arrows, with a bow full of sweetness, delights of earth and heaven! Your inseparable companion, named Vasanta among the Gods, lovely spring on earth, spreads under your delicate feet a soft and tender carpet of greenery, raises on your childish head arches impenetrable to the burning fires of the noon. It is he who, to refresh you, sends down from the clouds a dew of perfumes, which fills with new arrows your quiver made more redoubtable, a very dear present from an even dearer friend.

At her command, gentle and caressing, a thousand amorous birds, by the ravishing charm of their tender modulations, snatch the still captive flower from her bonds.

His friendly hand dexterously bends the savory cane, arranges there, for a rope, a garland of bees whose fragrant honey is so sweet, but whose sting, alas! cause such severe pain.

It is still he who arms the sharp point of your features which never rest and wound the heart in all the senses and carry there the delirium of five flowers:

The penetrating Champaca, similar to fragrant gold; 

Hot Amra filled with celestial ambrosia; 

The Kessara desiccant with silver foliage; 

The burning Kétaça which disturbs the senses; 

The dazzling Bilva which pours a devouring ardor into the veins. What mortal, mighty God, could resist your power, when Krischna himself is your slave? Krischna who, constantly intoxicated with delights in the fortunate plains of Malhoura, makes the pastoral flute resound under his divine fingers, and with the melodious chords of a celestial harmony, forms with the chorus of Gopis in love with his charms, voluptuous dances to the soft light of Lunus, the mysterious torch of the nights.

O you, charming God! whose birth preceded creation and whose youth is eternal! May the song of your Brahmin enslaved to your laws be able to resound forever on the sacred banks of the Ganges! And at the hour when your favorite bird, spreading its emerald wings, makes you cross space in its rapid flight; when in the middle of the silent night the quivering rays of Ma (the moon) glide over the mysterious retreat of favored or unhappy lovers, may the sweetest influence be the sharing of your devoted cantor, and may, without consuming it, your divine fire voluptuously warms his heart!

It is interesting to compare this invocation with that of Lucretius to  Venus.   


Sweet and holy Venus, mother of our Romans,   Supreme voluptuousness of the Gods and of humans   

Who, under the immense vault where the stars sleep,   

People the fertile fields, the waves where the sails run,   

By you everything lives, breathes, hatches under your love   

And rises, happy to be born, to the shores of day.   

Also, in front of your steps, the wind flees; the clouds,   

At your divine approach, carry away the storms;   

For you, the earth spreads its perfumes and its flowers;   

The sky expands and melts into light.   

For as soon as it puts on its spring splendor,   

And that, by the winters, the stopped zephyr   

Finally resumes its course and its fertility,   

The birds, the first struck by your power,  O charming Goddess, announce your presence;   

The heavy herd leaps into the reborn meadows,   And, full of you, throws itself through the torrents:   Sensitive to your fires, seduced by your graces   

Thus animals the innumerable races,   

In the wandering transport of lovers frolicking,   Where you want them lead rush in your footsteps.   

Finally, at the bottom of the seas, on the harsh mountains,   

In the fiery rivers, in the young countryside,   

In the nests of birds and their green asylums,  

Submitted to your power, all the diverse beings,   

Hearts wounded with love, shivering caresses,   Burn to propagate their race and species.  

The invocation that seems to us to have the most charm is that of Ovid's Art of Loving .

Romans, if there is one among you to whom the art of loving is   unknown, let him read my verses, learn and love!   Isn't it the art that makes fast vessels sail with the aid of   sail and oar? who guides the light tanks in the race?   Art must also govern love.  

Far from here, light bandages, adornment of modesty and you long dresses that come down to your feet! I will sing of the tricks and innocent thefts of a love that fears nothing, and my verses will offer nothing reprehensible.

The author of the Callipedia , a Latin poem from the Middle Ages, was inspired by Ovid in the following invocation: O you, Graces, divine models, and you, Venus, mother of loves and of all that charms us, you whom Paris, on Mount Ida, rightly proclaimed the most beautiful, inspire me with songs worthy of the sanctuaries of Idalia , so that my muse does not spoil such a beautiful subject and teaches all mankind a priceless art.



Of the possession of the sixty-four liberal arts

There are sixty-four liberal arts which should be learned along with those taught in the Kama Sutra.

Their list includes, in addition to the talents of pleasure, the useful arts such as architecture, weapons, strategy, cooking, the means of appropriating the property of others by mantras (prayers) and incantations, etc.; in a word, all the liberal arts of the time. 

A courtesan who shares wit, beauty and other attractions and who, in addition, knows the sixty-four liberal arts, obtains the title of Ganika or high-ranking courtesan, and occupies a place of honor in the men's meetings. The respects of the king and the praises of scholars are acquired for him; all seek his favor and render him homage.

If the daughter of a king or a minister possesses these talents, she is always the favourite, the first wife, even though her husband would have thousands of other wives[10].

[Note 10: It will be seen from the above that courtesans and daughters of the nobles were the only women who were allowed to acquire talents.]

A woman separated from her husband or fallen into destitution can live on these talents, even in a foreign country.

Their possession alone gives many attractions to a woman, even when circumstances do not allow her to apply them. A man who is endowed with it and who is at the same time eloquent and gallant, makes rapid conquests. Here is the nomenclature:

1. Singing.

2. Instrumental music. 

3. Dance.

4. The union of the three preceding arts. 

5. Writing and drawing. 

6. The tattoo.

7. The art of dressing an idol and adorning it with rice and flowers.

8. Laying and arranging flower beds or beds or scattering flowers on the ground.

9. Applying colors to teeth, clothes, hair, nails and body, that is, making speckles and designs, dyeing and painting them. 

10. Fix the colored glasses in a wooden floor.

11. Making beds, rugs and rest cushions. 

12. Make music with glasses filled with water.

13. Collect water in aqueducts, cisterns and reservoirs. 

14. The painting, ornamentation and decoration of coffers and caskets. 

15. The making of rosaries, necklaces, garlands and braids.

16. The arrangement of turbans, crowns, egrets and flower braids at the top of the head.

17. Theatrical performances, stage play. 

18. The art of making ear ornaments. 

19. The preparation of odors and perfumes. 

20. The art of placing jewels and ornaments in clothing. 

21. Magic and sorcery. 

22. The skill of the hands.

23. The kitchen. 

24. The preparation of acidulated, perfumed drinks, lemonades, sorbets and syrupy extracts and spirits pleasant to taste and sight. 

25. The seam and size of clothing.

26. Tapestry, embroidery in wool or thread, parrots, flowers; make aigrettes, tassels, plumes, bouquets, buttons, relief embroidery.

27. Solve puzzles, double meanings, puns and charades. 

28. The Worm Game; thus, one person says verses, the next continues them with others, which must begin with the last letter of the last verse recited; if the person giving the cue does not succeed, he pays a fine or gives a pledge.

29. Mimicry or imitation. 

30. Declamation and recitation.

31. The pronunciation of difficult sentences; it is a game between women or children; when the sentences are repeated quickly, there are often truncated, transposed words, badly started, which lend themselves to ambiguity and to laughter.

32. Fencing with arms, stick; the exercise of the arc by throwing arrows on a
moving and stationary goal.

33. Dialectics.

34. Architecture.

35. The framework.

36. Knowledge of titles of gold and silver, marks on jewels and precious stones.

37. Chemistry and mineralogy.

38. The coloring of jewelry, gemstones and pearls.

39. Mining and quarrying.

40. Gardening, treatment of diseases of trees and plants, their maintenance and
determination of their age.

41. The fights of cocks, quails and pigeons.

42. The art of teaching parrots and starlings to speak.

43. The art of perfuming the body and the hair, of braiding and arranging them.

44. The art of deciphering scriptures where the words are arranged in a certain
particular way.

45. The art of speaking by changing the form of words; some change the beginning and the end of the words; others introduce particular letters between syllables, etc.

46. ​​Knowledge of languages ​​and patois.

47. The art of making cars out of flowers.

48. The composition of mystical diagrams, spells and charms, the art of
attaching rings.

49. Witty games: such as completing verses and unfinished stanzas or filling in
with verses the gaps left between other verses which are not connected by any sense, so as to give a sense to the whole; or arrange the letters of a word that has been badly spelled on purpose, by separating the vowels from the consonants, or putting all the vowels together; put into verse or prose stanzas represented by
lines or symbols (logogriphs); and other similar games.

50. The composition of poems[11].

51. The composition of dictionaries, lexicons, vocabularies. 

52. The art of disguising oneself and others.

53. The art of changing the appearances of objects, for example, making cardboard look like silk, making common and coarse things appear beautiful and precious.

54. Gambling.

55. The art of seizing the property of others by mantras and incantations, insensitization and enchantment.

56. Skill in games and exercises of skill (for young people).

57. Knowledge of the world, of the respect, consideration and compliments due to each according to his rank, his age. 

58. The art of war, strategy, the handling of arms. 

59. Body gymnastics. 

60. The art of recognizing the character of persons by inspecting their

61. Verse.

62. Arithmetic and problem solving. 63. The art of making artificial flowers. 64. The art of making with clay relief figures, statues (ceramics).

[Note 11: At that time poetry was highly honored at the court of Indian kings. Considerable sums were paid for a sonnet or epigram which had been popular.

(Théodore Pavie, the Renaissance of Brahmanism. R. of the Two Worlds ).   These epigrams should above all be fine, such as that addressed to   Baour de Lormiau, by an academician whom he had mocked heavily on   his flourishing health:  

Baour feeds on glory   Also see how he loses weight!   (Baour was always whistled at the theatre).]  


No. 1.—List of talents required of a man according to the Lalita-Vistara.

Such is the official list of the sixty-four liberal arts which every eminent person in the Brahmanical civilization must possess. They are mentioned in many Indian religious books as obligatory for the great, the Gurus and for all scholars, especially the Brahmans of distinction. This is why we had to reproduce the list, a bit tedious because of its length, but certainly interesting as a historical document.

The Lalita-Vistara gives, on the occasion of the tests and examinations undergone by the Buddha-Gautama, to marry the beautiful Gopa, a similar but not identical list.

By bringing together these two lists, we have a complete nomenclature of all the arts and crafts of this period; each of them was the subject of special treaties.

Needless to add that no one seriously possessed all this knowledge, although it was considered obligatory.

List according to the translation of M. Foucault.

Jumping, the science of writing, seals, calculation, arithmetic, wrestling, archery, running, swimming, the art of throwing arrows, driving an elephant in riding on his neck, horseback riding, the art of driving chariots; the firmness, the strength, the courage, the effort of the arms in driving the elephant with the hook, with the link; in the action of getting up, going out, getting down; in the ligature of fists, feet, locks of hair; in the action of cutting, of splitting, of crossing, of shaking, of piercing what is not touched, of piercing the joint, of piercing what resounds, in the action of striking strongly.

The skill of playing dice, in poetry, grammar, the composition of books, painting, drama, dramatic action, attentive reading, tending the sacred fire, the art of playing the Vinâ , instrumental music, dance, singing, reading, declamation, writing, joking, the union of dance and music, theatrical dance, mimicry, the arrangement of garlands, in the action of refreshing with the fan, in the dyeing of precious stones, the dyeing of clothes, in the work of magic, the explanation of dreams, that of the language of birds; the art of knowing the signs of women, the signs of elephants, horses, bulls, goats, rams, dogs.

The composition of vocabularies, holy scripture, the Puranas, the Ilihâsas, the Veda, grammar, the Niroukta, the art of pronouncing poetry, the rites of sacrifice.

In astronomy, yoga, religious ceremonies, the method of Vaïcéchikas, the knowledge of wealth, morality, the state of preceptor, the Asura state, the language of birds and animals.

The science of causes, the arrangement of nets, the works of wax, the sewing, the chasing, the cutting of leaves, the mixing of perfumes. In these arts and all that are practiced in this world, the Buddha excelled.

No. 2—Four classes of women, qualities peculiar to them. 

We can consider as entering, better than the liberal arts, in the subject treated by Vatsyayana, the description of the qualities which distinguish women from each other.

In general, Indian authors divide women into four classes according to their physical and moral characters.

The perfect type is the Padmini, or the Lotus woman; there are no sort of advantages attributed to it. Here is the summary.

She is beautiful like a Lotus bud, like Rathi (voluptuousness). Its slender waist happily contrasts with the amplitude of its flanks; she has the bearing of a swan, she walks gently and gracefully.

Her supple and elegant body has the scent of sandal; it is naturally straight and slender like the tree of Ciricha, lustrous like the stem of Mirobolam.

Her smooth, tender skin is soft to the touch like the trunk of a young elephant. It has the color of gold and it sparkles like lightning.

His voice is the song of the male Kokila captivating his female; his word is ambrosia.

His sweat smells of musk. She naturally exhales more perfumes than any other woman; the bee follows her like a flower with the sweet scent of honey.

Her silky, long, curly hair, fragrant in itself, black as bees, deliciously frames her face like the disc of the full moon and falls in jet-black twists over her rich shoulders.

His forehead is pure: his well arched eyebrows are two crescents; slightly stirred by emotion, they prevail over Kama's arc.

Its well-slit eyes are bright, soft and shy like those of the gazelle and red at the corners. As black as the night at the bottom of their orbits, their pupils sparkle like stars in a dark sky. Her long, silky eyelashes give her gaze a softness that fascinates.

His nose, like the knob of the sezame, is straight, then rounded like a parrot's beak.

Her voluptuous lips are pink like a blooming flower bud or red like bimba fruit and coral.


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