Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Five Arrows of Kama : The Art of Love, Sex and Desire by Sandhya Mulchandani


Five Arrows of Kama: The Art of Love, Sex and Desire

Five Arrows of Kama presents five of the best erotic texts from medieval India—Pururavasa Manasijasutram, Narmakelikutuhala Samvadam, Smarapradipika, Manmatha Samhita and Kadambari Swikaranakarika.

Portraying delightfully different ways of living and loving, these texts discuss sex with disarming simplicity and in ways that remain relevant to the modern world. They recommend the pursuit of sexual pleasure, but not without mutual respect and knowledge, for, as the Kadambari Swikaranakarika says, only after having studied and experienced love can one hope to attain moksha.

Relegated till now to the dusty obscurity of library shelves, the five literary gems collected in translation here for the first time prove that the iconic Kamasutra, perhaps India’s best known export, is neither the first nor the last Indian book on sexuality.

Illustrated with original miniatures and paintings, and including individual introductions to each of the five texts by the translator Sandhya Mulchandani, Five Arrows of Kama goes beyond the ancient lessons of the Kamasutra to reveal the pleasures and secrets of the art of love making.

‘Desire makes a young woman look for sex. The man’s desire depends on her.’

Pururavasa Manasijasutram

‘[Krishna to Radha:]When I unfastened your chunari and blouse, all I wanted was to experience the bliss of Brahma. This body of yours … needs my complete attention and your spontaneous surrender.’

Narmakelikutuhala Samvadam

‘One should have intercourse with a woman after acquiring complete knowledge of all aspects of the sexual act. Only when the needs of both partners match, can ecstasy be attained.’


‘Heterosexual intercourse with women is the first kind; the second is anal sex, both with men and women; the third kind is masturbation; and the fourth requires the use of artificial devices.’

Manmatha Samhita

‘Experiencing the bliss of sipping kadambari is highly recommended. Liquor is favoured because besides an elevated sense of well being, it also enhances sexual performance.’

Kadambari Swikaranakarika

About the Author

Sandhya Mulchandani
Sandhya Mulchandani is a researcher and writer, and has been associated with the print media for over two decades. She is the author of several books including Kamasutra for Women, Erotic Literature from Ancient India, The Same Sex Kama Sutra, and The Indian Man: His True Colours. Sandhya Mulchandani lives in New Delhi

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