●    Preface

●    Introduction


●    Over 40 sexual positions with images and detailed explanations


●    Preface

●    Observations on the three worldly attainments of Virtue, Wealth, and Love

●    On the study of the Sixty-four Arts

●    On the Arrangements of a House, and Household Furniture; and about the Daily Life of a Citizen, his Companions, Amusements, etc.

●    About classes of Women fit and unfit for Congress with the Citizen, and of Friends, and Messengers


●    Kinds of Union according to Dimensions, Force of Desire, and Time; and on the different kinds of Love

●    Of the Embrace

●    On Kissing

●    On Pressing or Marking with the Nails

●    On Biting, and the ways of Love to be employed with regard to Women of different countries

●    On the various ways of Lying down, and the different kinds of Congress

●    On the various ways of Striking, and of the Sounds appropriate to them

●    About females acting the part of Males

●    On holding the Lingam in the Mouth

●    How to begin and how to end the Congress. Different kinds of Congress, and Love Quarrels


●    Observations on Betrothal and Marriage

●    About creating Confidence in the Girl

●    Courtship, and the manifestation of the feelings by outward signs and deeds

●    On things to be done only by the Man, and the acquisition of the Girl thereby. Also what is to be done by a Girl to gain over a Man and subject him to her

●    On the different Forms of Marriage




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 deal 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 Vatsyayana had passed away, but who still considered him as the 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.

The author of the `Secrets of Love’ was a poet named Kukkoka. He composed his work to please one Venudutta, who was perhaps a king. When writing his own name at the end of each chapter he calls himself `Siddha patiya pandita’, i.e. an ingenious man among learned men. The work was translated into Hindi years ago, and in this the author’s name was written as Koka. And as the same name crept into all the translations into other languages in India, the book became generally known, and the subject was popularly called Koka Shastra, or doctrines of Koka, which is identical with the Kama Shastra, or doctrines of love, and the words Koka Shastra and Kama Shastra are used indiscriminately.

The work contains nearly eight hundred verses, and is divided into ten chapters, which are called Pachivedas. Some of the things treated of in this work are not to be found in the Vatsyayana, such as the four classes of women, the Padmini, Chitrini, Shankini and Hastini, as also the enumeration of the days and hours on which the women of the different classes become subject to love, The author adds that he wrote these things from the opinions of Gonikaputra and Nandikeshwara, both of whom are mentioned by Vatsyayana, but their works are not now extant. It is difficult to give any approximate idea as to the year in which the work was composed. It is only to be presumed that it was written after that of Vatsyayana, and previous to the other works on this subject that are still extant. Vatsyayana gives the names of ten authors on the subject, all of whose works he had consulted, but none of which are extant, and does not mention this one. This would tend to show that Kukkoka wrote after Vatsya, otherwise Vatsya would assuredly have mentioned him as an author in this branch of literature along with the others.




It may be interesting to some persons to learn how it came about that Vatsyayana was first brought to light and translated into the English language.

It happened thus. While translating with the pundits the `Anunga Runga, or the stage of love’, reference was frequently found to be made to one Vatsya. The sage Vatsya was of this opinion, or of that opinion. The sage Vatsya said this, and so on. Naturally questions were asked who the sage was, and the pundits replied that Vatsya was the author of the standard work on love in Sanscrit literature, that no Sanscrit library was complete without his work, and that it was most difficult now to obtain in its entire state. The copy of the manuscript obtained in Bombay was defective, and so the pundits wrote to Benares, Calcutta and Jeypoor for copies of the manuscript from Sanscrit libraries in those places. Copies having been obtained, they were then compared with each other, and with the aid of a Commentary called `Jayamangla’ a revised copy of the entire manuscript was prepared, and from this copy the English translation was made. The following is the certificate of the chief pundit:

`The accompanying manuscript is corrected by me after comparing four different copies of the work. I had the assistance of a Commentary called “Jayamangla” for correcting the portion in the first five parts, but found great difficulty in correcting the remaining portion, because, with the exception of one copy thereof which was tolerably correct, all the other copies I had were far too incorrect. However, I took that portion as correct in which the majority of the copies agreed with each other.’

The `Aphorisms on Love’ by Vatsyayana contain about one thousand two hundred and fifty slokas or verses, and are divided into parts, parts into chapters, and chapters into paragraphs. The whole consists of seven parts, thirty-six chapters, and sixty-four paragraphs. Hardly anything is known about the author. His real name is supposed to be Mallinaga or Mrillana, Vatsyayana being his family name. At the close of the work this is what he writes about himself:

`After reading and considering the works of Babhravya and other ancient authors, and thinking over the meaning of the rules given by them, this treatise was composed, according to the precepts of the Holy Writ, for the benefit of the world, by Vatsyayana, while leading the life of a religious student at Benares, and wholly engaged in the contemplation of the Deity. This work is not to be used merely as an instrument for satisfying our desires. A person acquainted with the true principles of this science, who preserves his Dharma (virtue or religious merit), his Artha (worldly wealth) and his Kama (pleasure or sensual gratification), and who has regard to the customs of the people, is sure to obtain the mastery over his senses. In short, an intelligent and knowing person attending to Dharma and Artha and also to Kama, without becoming the slave of his passions, will obtain success in everything that he may do.’

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