- Title: Kama Sutra
- Author: Mallanaga Vātsyāyana, Richard Francis Burton (Translator), Shivaram Parashuram Bhide (Translator), Bhagavanlal Indrajit (Translator)
- Genre: Non-Fiction, Classic
- Format: Hardback
- Source: Own Copy
- Reviewer: Soo
- Rating: 4 out of 5
Description: Translated from the Sanscrit in Seven Parts, with Preface, Introduction, and Concluding Remarks.
Excerpt from Preface:
In the literature of all countries there will be found a certain number of works treating especially of love. Everywhere the subject is dealt with differently, and from various points of view. In the present publication it is proposed to give a complete translation of what is considered the standard work on love in Sanscrit literature, and which is called the ‘Vatsyayana Kama Sutra,’ or Aphorisms on Love, by Vatsyayana.
While the introduction will bear with the evidence concerning the date of the writing, and the commentaries written upon it, the chapters following the introduction will give a translation of the work itself. It is, however, advisable to furnish here a brief analysis of works of the same nature, prepared by authors who lived and wrote years after Vatsya had passed away, but who still considered him as a great authority, and always quoted him as the chief guide to Hindoo erotic literature.
Besides the treatise of Vatsyayana the following works on the same subject are procurable in India:—
The Ratirahasya, or secrets of love.
The Panchasakya, or the five arrows.
The Smara Pradipa, or the light of love.
The Ratimanjari, or the garland of love.
The Rasmanjari, or the sprout of love.
The Anunga Runga, or the stage of love; also called Kamaledhiplava, or a boat in the ocean of love.
Review: The Kama Sutra by Vatsyayana is a great book that gives a detailed description on several aspects on sex, love and marriage in Sanskriti culture. There’s a lot of cultural information in this collection of tales and advice that is really interesting and rather surprising. These examples are made using the highest ideal/potential one can work towards. It’s not the general standard that was actually lived by but the standards a person was meant to aim for.
I would use this book as a part of sexual education. A clean, unbiased use of the book would give a decent background to people about what could be possible in a sexual relationship. It’s not enough to cram down the negative fallout of what could happen if you have uninformed, unprotected sex. People should learn the varied depth of what emotional and physical pleasure is about.