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Kama Sutra II
Kama Sutra II
For more details on this topic, see Kamashastra.
* The earliest text of the Kama Shastra tradition, said to have contained a vast amount of information, is attributed to Nandi the sacred bull, Shiva's doorkeeper, who was moved to sacred utterance by overhearing the lovemaking of the god and his wife Parvati.
* During the 8th century BC, Shvetaketu, son of Uddalaka, produced a summary of Nandi's work. However this "summary" was still too vast to be accessible.
* A scholar called Babhravya, together with a group of his disciples, produced a summary of Shvetaketu's summary. This remained a huge and encyclopaedic tome.
* Between the 3rd and 1st centuries BC, several authors reproduced different parts of the Babhravya group's work in various specialist treatises. Among the authors, those whose names are known are Charayana, Ghotakamukha, Gonardiya, Gonikaputra, Suvarnanabha, and Dattaka:
– Dattaka composed a work on courtesans which Vatsyayana reproduces almost entirely in Kama Sutra.
– Suvarnanabha's text mentions Shatakarni Shatavahana, a king of the 1st century BC who killed his own wife accidentally during sadistic practices, thus giving a hint on the time period it was written.
* Yashodhara, in his commentary of Kama Sutra, attributes the origin of erotic science to Mallanaga, the "prophet of the Asuras", meaning it originated in prehistoric times. Nandi is then said to have transcribed it for mankind. The attribution of the name "Mallanaga" to Vatsyayana is due to the confusion of his role as editor of the Kama Sutra with that of the mythical creator of erotic science.
Time and background of Kama Sutra
Vatsyayana seems to have lived around the 4th century AD, at a time of cultural prosperity known as the Gupta period. The fact that Varahamihira in his Brihad Samhita (literally "Grand Opus")(around the 6th century AD) claims to have drawn his inspirations from the Kama Sutra, and the Kama Sutra's mention of King Shatakarni Satavahana who lived in the 1st century BC gives the ranges for the possible production time of the Kama Sutra.
Vatsyayana claims the various major works of Kama Shastra had become difficult to access, which is why he undertook to collect and summarize them in Kama Sutra.
The Kama Sutra has 36 chapters, organized into seven parts, each of which are written by individual experts in the respective fields. The parts are:
Part One - Introduction
(5 chapters) - on love in general and its place in the lives of men and women
* Chapter One: Contents of the Book
* Chapter Two: The Three Aims of Life
* Chapter Three: The Acquisition of Knowledge
* Chapter Four: The Conduct of the Well-bred Townsman
* Chapter Five: Reflections on Intermediaries Who Assist the Lover in His Enterprises
Part Two - Amorous Advances
(10 chapters) - an in-depth discussion of kissing, various types of foreplay, orgasm, a list of sex positions, oral sex (in both heterosexual and homosexual context), anal sex, paraphilia, and ménage à trois.
* Chapter One: Stimulation of Erotic Desire
* Chapter Two: Embraces
* Chapter Three: Petting and Caresses
* Chapter Four: The Art of Scratching
* Chapter Five: Biting
* Chapter Six: On Copulation and Special Tastes
* Chapter Seven: Blows and Sighs
* Chapter Eight: Virile Behavior in Women
* Chapter Nine: Superior Coition or Fellation
* Chapter Ten: Preludes and Conclusions to the Game of Love
Part Three - Acquiring a Wife
(5 chapters) - courtship and marriage.
* Chapter One: Forms of Marriage
* Chapter Two: How to Relax the Girl
* Chapter Three: Ways of Obtaining the Girl
* Chapter Four: How to Manage Alone
* Chapter Five: Union by Marriage
Part Four - Duties and Privileges of the Wife
(2 chapters) - proper conduct of a wife.
* Chapter One: Conduct of the Only Wife
* Chapter Two: Conduct of the Chief Wife and Other Wives
Part Five - Other Men's Wives
(6 chapters) - mainly seduction.
* Chapter One: Behavior of Woman and Man
* Chapter Two: Encounters to Get Acquainted
* Chapter Three: Examination of Sentiments
* Chapter Four: The Task of Go-between
* Chapter Five: The King's Pleasures
* Chapter Six: Behavior in the Gynoecium
Part Six - About Courtesans
* Chapter One: Advice of the Assistants on the Choice of Lovers
* Chapter Two: Looking for a Steady Lover
* Chapter Three: Ways of Making Money
* Chapter Four: Renewing Friendship with a Former Lover
* Chapter Five: Occasional Profits
* Chapter Six: Profits and Losses; Reflections on Doubts Concerning the Advantages and Disadvantages of Relations
Part Seven - Occult Practices
* Chapter One: Success in Love - Improving physical attractions by herbs, aphrodisiacs, spells.
* Chapter Two: Arousing a Weakened Sexual Power - Dildos, piercing, methods of enlarging penis size, shrinking and enlarging vulva size, darkening hair, bewitchment.
The Kama Sutra contains a total of 64 sexual positions and depicts positions as arts. Vatsyayana believed there were eight ways of making love, multiplied by eight positions within each of these. In the book, they are known as the 64 Arts. The chapter listing sexual positions is the best-known, and a translation (different from Burton's) is in wide circulation on the Internet. This chapter was pirated from the 1980 translation of Indra Sinha and first appeared on the internet server wiretap.spies in the late eighties. It is commonly mistaken to be the entirety of the Sutra.
However, only about 20 percent of the book is devoted to sexual positions. The remainder gives guidance on how to be a good citizen and insights into men and women in relationships. The Kama Sutra describes making love as "divine union". Vatsyayana believed that sex itself was not wrong, but doing it frivolously was sinful. The Kama Sutra has helped people enjoy the art of sex at a deeper level and can be considered a technical guide to sexual enjoyment, as well as providing insight into the sexual mores and practices of India in those times.