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कामसूत्र: Kamasutra
by Dr. Satish Goel
Paperback (Edition: 2014)
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कामसूत्रम्: Kama Sutra
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Kamasutra
Vatsyyana Kamasutra is a fairly exhaustive work, divided into seven sections, adhikaranas. The titles of the adhikaranas, as given below, indicate their contents.

I. Sadharana (generalities).
II. Samprayogika (sexual intercourse).
III. Kanya-samprayuktaka (courtship and marriage).
IV. Bharyadhikarika (wife)
V. Paradarika (another person’s wife)
VI. Vaishika (Prostitutes).
VII. Aupanishadika (secret love or extraneous stimulation).

The work incidentally mentions 64 arts to be learnt particularly by women. These include music, dance, decoration, painting, sewing, gardening, making garlands, dyeing teeth, nails, hair, clay-modelling, etc. To these arts, called Shilpakalas are added 64 kamakalas or various ways of erotic acts. The life of a nagaraka (man about town) has been described in detail. The prostitutes have been divided into various classes. Sections five and six clearly show that the author did not confirm to conventional morality. He has sought to guide people in their efforts to fulfil their carnal desire in the different ways that were in vogue in the society.

The author sounds a scientific note when he says that erotic satisfaction is as necessary as food for the preservation and well-being of the body (I.2.46). The learned commentator adds that mental health, too, requires it; because, repression is likely to result in mental derangement. This is well-known view of the modern psychiatrists. Some of the recipes, given in the last section of the Kamasutra, for whetting sexual vigour, are reported by doctors to be of practical value.

It seems that quality and reputation of Vatsyayana’s work eclipsed earlier works on the subject. The works which follow the Kamasutra are either professedly its epitomes, imitations or of the nature of manuals intended for the rogue. It should be noted that the most of the later works omit the topic of prostitutes. Among these works, mention may be made of the following:

Ananga-ranga of Kalyanamalla.
Kandarpa-cudamani of King Virabhadra of Vghela dynasty.
Nagara-sarvasva of Padmashri.
Panchasayaka of Maithila Jyotirishvara Kavishekhara.
Rati-manjari of Jayadeva
Rati-ratna-pradipika of Maharaja Devaraja
Rati-rahasya of Kukkoka

The above are published works which deal almost exclusively with sexual union (samprayogika) or give some recipes for artificial stimulation (aupanishadika). The Rati-rahasya, mentioned above, expatiates on the last-mentioned subject. The aforesaid Kandarpa-cudamani, however, is an exception. It deals with the entire subject.

Two other published works, namely Ratiramana, attributed to Siddha Nagarjuna and Kuchimara-tantra could not be examined by us.

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