Kamasara of Kamadev is a tiny book on sexology. In has forty one verses. It is an epitome of earlier works or kamasastra. Its borrowings from ratimanjari, Pancasayaka and samaradipika carries the tradition of ancient Indian literature on Kamasastra, forward. It covers the core topics of samprayogika chapter of kamasutra of vatsyayana viz. jativicara, Bahya and abhyantara Rati i.e. types of males & females, their physicals features and mental traids, essential elements of foreplay and various coition formations (Asanas).
Dr. Amal shib Pathak was awarded Ph.d. By University of Lucknow on his work on “stage and stage-craft of Sanskrit Plays” in the year 1968. He studied under the guidance of Dr. Atul Chandra Banerjea the then reader in the Department of Sanskrit, Pali & Prakrit of University of Lucknow, who later became the vice-chancellor of Faizabad University.
Dr. Pathak had earlier edited Natyalocanam of Trilocanaditya, Kama Samuha of ananta & Sringara Kaya of sankar. Kama Samuha and Sringara kavya have been published by chaukhambha Sankrit Sansthan-varanasi. Natyalocanam is also likely to be published by chaukhambha Sanskrit Sansthan, Varanasi.
1. Background- History of Kamasastra has tradionally been traced from Nandi the Follower of Lord Shiva. In this connection, Dipika commentary of Kancinatha on Kokkoka’s Rati Rahasya enumerates the source of rati rahasya .
Here, names of all the earlier masters appear. From Nandikeswara to vatsyayana this is the generally accepted chronological order of authors on Kama Sastra. Most these earlier authors have covered various subjects in isolation. Thus Dattaka wrote on courtesans, Kucumarawrote on medicinial dispensations relevant in the matters of sex and so on. However in Vatsyayana’s Kamasutra we have a comprehensive treatise on the subject which assimilated the mass of knowledge scatterd in the works of his predeceessers. Vatsyayana organized the material under the heads of (1)Sadharanadhikarana (ii) Samprayogika (iii) Kanyasamprayukataka (iv) Bharyadhikarana (v) Paradarika (vi) Vaisika and (vii) Anupanisadika, following the pattern laid down by Babhravya. Vatsyayana treatise is spread over 36 chapter, 64 sub sections, comprising some one thousand, hundred and fifty sutras.
There are references to earlier works which hint at a different school of though on the subject. Thus Manasijasutra of Pururava seems to be a work of earlier antiquity and different from the traditional line up of Nandi-swetaketu-Babhravya Pancala who were the source of Vatsyayana’s work. Then in his work Nagarasarvasva padmasri refers to Shankarakamatanta as his source although he was aware of Vatsyayana’s Kamasutra. Here it will be interesting to note what keith had written-
“Kalikasa and Aswaghosa knew an earlier Kamasastra and we can not prove that he actually used vatsyayana for his descriptions in his dramas, in the last canto of Rghuvansa or canto VII & vIII of Kumarasambhava. He is not in either of these poems in perfect agreement with rules of science as we have it in kamasutra.”
Later writers however, generally followed vatsyayana. His Kamasutra held the sway for more than four centuries. No other work on sexology worth the name appeared till Rati rahasya of Kokkoka which was written in the 8th cen. A.D. Kokkoka came with a fresh approach to the subject. He dropped the chapters on vaisika, Kanyasamprayuktaka, Bharyadhikarana and the accounts of Nagaraka & the details of sexual practices inside royal palaces etc. appearing in kama sutra of vatsyavayana and brought in the subject of ‘candrakaladhikara’ which deals with erogenous part of the female body and the erogenously relevant days of the onth. He ascribed the authorship of these subjects to nandikeswara and gonikaputra. It is therefore, intriguing that Vatsyayana who was aware of the views of Nndikeswara and Gonikaputra chose not to include the subject of Candrakaladhikara in his work Kamasutra. As it turned out both Kokkoka and the subject of candrakaladhikara became popular with the later writers so much so that sexology came to be known asKokassastra ie science propounded by Kokkaka.
2. Subjects covered by later writers.
(i) Jativicara (Types of males and females) Jativicara is categorization of male and female types. This was based on the length and depth of the reproductive organs of males and females. The length and depth of these organs were to be measured by the width of each ones fingers. Thus Sasa type has an organ of the length of six fingers and Vrisa of nine fingers and Aswa of twelve fingers. Similarly the depth of females’ organs was six fingers, nine fingers and twelve fingers respectiverly for Mrgi, Wadawa and hastini of both male and female organs. These length are equivalent to 12, 18 and 24 centimeters respectively. Later on one more category was added to it . Simultaneously changing the nomenclature as well .
The authorship of this addition goes to Nandikeswara and Gonikaputra as per Praudha Devaraja-author of ratiratna Pradipika. It will be observd that this subject also occurs in the discourses of Indian Palmistry samudrika sastra, which carry detailed accounts of the physical features of four types nayikas. This must have influence writers on sexology, who adopted the four categories over the earlier classification of three types of Nayikas. The categorization on the basis of length and the depth of organs was changed to, six fingers, eight fingers ten figers and twelve fingers for both males and females. The names of male cagegories were also changed to Bhadra, Datta, Kucimara and Pancala. Just as females categories were changed to Padmini citrine Sankhini and Hastini.
Original Tantric Texts (24)
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