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The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana

translated by Richard Burton, Bhagavanlal Indrajit, & Shivaram Parashuram Bhide

ISBN: 978-1-62755-627-9

178 pages, $6.99

       

   

The classic Indian manual of love, with illustrations.

"Ka-ma," one of the four goals of Hindu life, means sensual or sexual pleasure. "Su-tra" means a thread or line that holds things together; metaphorically, an aphorism or a collection of aphorisms in the form of a manual. Thus, the Kama Sutra is literally a manual of sexual pleasure, but also a discussion of virtuous and gracious living, and of love.

This ancient Indian Hindu text is the standard work on human sexual behavior in Sanskrit literature. It was composed between 2,400 and 1,800 years ago, and the compendium was collected into the form presented here in the 2nd century CE.

This, the most popular English translation, was first printed privately in 1883. It is attributed to renowned orientalist and author Sir Richard Francis Burton, although he served chiefly as publisher of the work while providing the footnotes. The bulk of the actual translation work was handled by the pioneering Indian archaeologist, Bhagavanlal Indrajit and his student, Shivaram Parashuram Bhide.

This volume combines some classic illustrations of the work from the 1800s with the complete English text for an eye-opening exploration of the ways of love and pleasure.