Sunday, August 2, 2009


Kind of Union
MAN is divided into three classes, viz. the hare man,
the bull man, and the horse man, according to the size of
his lingam.
Woman also, according to the depth of her yoni, is
either a female deer, a mare, or a female elephant.
There are thus three equal unions between persons of
corresponding dimensions, and there are six unequal
unions, when the dimensions do not correspond, or nine
in all, as the following table shows:
Hare Deer Hare Mare
Bull Mare Hare Elephant
Horse Elephant Bull Deer
Bull Elephant
Horse Deer
Horse Mare
In these unequal unions, when the male exceeds the
female in point of size, his union with a woman who is
immediately next to him in size is called high union, and
is of two kinds; while his union with the woman most
remote from his size is called the highest union, and is of
one kind only. On the other hand, when the female
exceeds the male in point of size, her union with a man
immediately next to her in size is called low union, and is
of two kinds; while her union with a man most remote
from her in size is called the lowest union, and is of one
kind only.
In other words, the horse and mare, the bull and deer,
form the high union, while the horse and deer form the
highest union. On the female side, the elephant and bull,
the mare and hare, form low unions, while the elephant
has and the hare make the lowest unions. There are, then,
nine kinds of union according to dimensions. Amongst all
these, equal unions are the best, those of a superlative
degree, i.e. the highest and the lowest, are the worst, and
the rest are middling, and with them the high are better
than the low.
There are also nine kinds of union according to the
force of passion or carnal desire, as follows:
Small Small Small Middling
Middling Middling Small Intense
Intense Intense Middling Small
Middling Intense
Intense Small
Intense Middling
A man is called a man of small passion whose desire at
the time of sexual union is not great, whose semen is
scanty, and who cannot bear the warm embraces of the
Those who differ from this temperament are called men
of middling passion, while those of intense passion are
full of desire.
In the same way, women are supposed to have the three
degrees of feeling as specified above.
Lastly, according to time there are three kinds of men
and women, the short-timed, the moderate-timed, and the
long-timed; and of these, as in the previous statements,
there are nine kinds of union.
But on this last head there is a difference of opinion
about the female, which should be stated.
Auddalika says, ‘Females do not emit as males do. The
males simply remove their desire, while the females, from
their consciousness of desire, feel a certain kind of
pleasure, which gives them satisfaction, but it is
impossible for them to tell you what kind of pleasure they
feel. The fact from which this becomes evident is, that
males, when engaged in coition, cease of themselves after
emission, and are satisfied, but it is not so with females.’
This opinion is however objected to on the grounds
that, if a male be a long-timed, the female loves him the
more, but if he be short-timed, she is dissatisfied with
him. And this circumstance, some say, would prove that
the female emits also.
But this opinion does not hold good, for if it takes a
long time to allay a woman’s desire, and during this time
she is enjoying great pleasure, it is quite natural then that
she should wish for its continuation. And on this subject
there is a verse as follows:
‘By union with men the lust, desire, or passion of
women is satisfied, and the pleasure derived from the
consciousness of it is called their satisfaction.’
The followers of Babhravya, however, say that the
semen of women continues to fall from the beginning of
the sexual union to its end, and it is right that it should be
so, for if they had no semen there would be no embryo.
To this there is an objection. In the beginning of coition
the passion of the woman is middling, and she cannot
bear the vigorous thrusts of her lover, but by degrees her
passion increases until she ceases to think about her body,
and then finally she wishes to stop from further coition.
This objection, however, does not hold good, for even
in ordinary things that revolve with great force, such as a
potter’s wheel, or a top, we find that the motion at first is
slow, but by degrees it becomes very rapid. In the same
way the passion of the woman having gradually increased,
she has a desire to discontinue coition, when all the semen
has fallen away. And there is a verse with regard to this as
‘The fall of the semen of the man takes place only at the
end of coition, while the semen of the woman falls
continually, and after the semen of both has all fallen
away then they wish for the discontinuance of coition.’
Lastly, Vatsyayana is of opinion that the semen of the
female falls in the same way as that of the male.
Now some may ask here: If men and women are beings
of the same kind, and are engaged in bringing about the
same results, why should they have different works to do?
Vatsya says that this is so, because the ways of working
as well as the consciousness of pleasure in men and
women are different. The difference in the ways of
working, by which men are the actors, and women are the
persons acted upon, is owing to the nature of the male and
the female, otherwise the actor would be sometimes the
person acted upon, and vice versa. And from this
difference in the ways of working follows the difference
in the consciousness of pleasure, for a man thinks, ‘this
woman is united with me’, and a woman thinks, ‘I am
united with this man’.
It may be said that, if the ways of working in men and
women are different, why should not there be a difference,
even in the pleasure they feel, and which is the result of
those ways.
But this objection is groundless, for, the person acting
and the person acted upon being of different kinds, there
is a reason for the difference in their ways of working; but
there is no reason for any difference in the pleasure they
feel, because they both naturally derive pleasure from the
act they perform.
On this again some may say that when different persons
are engaged in doing the same work, we find that they
accomplish the same end or purpose; while, on the
contrary, in the case of men and women we find that each
of them accomplishes his or her own end separately, and
this is inconsistent. But this is a mistake, for we find that
sometimes two things are done at the same time, as for
instance in the fighting of rams, both the rams receive the
shock at the same time on their heads. Again, in throwing
one wood apple against another, and also in a fight or
struggle of wrestlers. If it be said that in these cases the
things employed are of the same kind, it is answered that
even in the case of men and women, the nature of the two
persons is the same. And as the difference in their ways of
working arises from the difference of their conformation
only, it follows that men experience the same kind of
pleasure as women do.
There is also a verse on this subject as follows:
‘Men and women, being of the same nature, feel the
same kind of pleasure, and therefore a man should marry
such a woman as will love him ever afterwards.’
The pleasure of men and women being thus proved to
be of the same kind, it follows that, in regard to time,
there are nine kinds of sexual intercourse, in the same way
as there are nine kinds, according to the force of passion.
There being thus nine kinds of union with regard to
dimensions, force of passion, and time, respectively, by
making combinations of them, innumerable kinds of
union would be produced. Therefore in each particular
kind of sexual union, men should use such means as they
may think suitable for the occasion.
At the first time of sexual union the passion of the male
is intense, and his time is short, but in subsequent unions
on the same day the reverse of this is the case. With the
female, however, it is the contrary, for at the first time her
passion is weak, and then her time long, but on
subsequent occasions on the same day, her passion is
intense and her time short, until her passion is satisfied.
On the different Kind of Love
Men learned in the humanities are of opinion that love
is of four kinds:
Love acquired by continual habit
Love resulting from the imagination
Love resulting from belief
Love resulting from the perception of external objects
Love resulting from the constant and continual
performance of some act is called love acquired by
constant practice and habit, as for instance the love of
sexual intercourse, the love of hunting, the love of
drinking, the love of gambling, etc., etc.
Love which is felt for things to which we are not
habituated, and which proceeds entirely from ideas, is
called love resulting from imagination, as for instance that
love which some men and women and eunuchs feel for the
Auparishtaka or mouth congress, and that which is felt by
all for such things as embracing, kissing, etc., etc.
The love which is mutual on both sides, and proved to
be true, when each looks upon the other as his or her very
own, such is called love resulting from belief by the
The love resulting from the perception of external
objects is quite evident and well known to the world.
because the pleasure which it affords is superior to the
pleasure of the other kinds of love, which exists only for
its sake.
What has been said in this chapter upon the subject of
sexual union is sufficient for the learned; but for the
edification of the ignorant, the same will now be treated
of at length and in detail.


MAN, the period of whose life is one hundred years,
should practise Dharma, Artha and Kama at different
times and in such a manner that they may harmonize
together and not clash in any way. He should acquire
learning in his childhood, in his youth and middle age he
should attend to Artha and Kama, and in his old age he
should perform Dharma, and thus seek to gain Moksha,
i.e. release from further transmigration. Or, on account of
the uncertainty of life, he may practise them at times
when they are enjoined to be practised. But one thing is to
be noted, he should lead the life of a religious student
until he finishes his education.
Dharma is obedience to the command of the Shastra or
Holy Writ of the Hindoos to do certain things, such as the
performance of sacrifices, which are not generally done,
because they do not belong to this world, and produce no
visible effect; and not to do other things, such as eating
meat, which is often done because it belongs to this world,
and has visible effects.
Dharma should be learnt from the Shruti (Holy Writ),
and from those conversant with it.
Artha is the acquisition of arts, land, gold, cattle,
wealth, equipages and friends. It is, further, the protection
of what is acquired, and the increase of what is protected.
Artha should be learnt from the king’s officers, and
from merchants who may be versed in the ways of
Kama is the enjoyment of appropriate objects by the
five senses of hearing, feeling, seeing, tasting and
smelling, assisted by the mind together with the soul. The
ingredient in this is a peculiar contact between the organ
of sense and its object, and the consciousness of pleasure
which arises from that contact is called Kama.
Kama is to be learnt from the Kama Sutra (aphorisms
on love) and from the practice of citizens.
When all the three, viz. Dharma, Artha and Kama, come
together, the former is better than the one which follows
it, i.e. Dharma is better than Artha, and Artha is better
than Kama. But Artha should always be first practised by
the king for the livelihood of men is to be obtained from
it only. Again, Kama being the occupation of public
women, they should prefer it to the other two, and these
are exceptions to the general rule.
Objection 1
Some learned men say that as Dharma is connected
with things not belonging to this world, it is appropriately
treated of in a book; and so also is Artha, because it is
practised only by the application of proper means, and a
knowledge of those means can only be obtained by study
and from books. But Kama being a thing which is
practised even by the brute creation, and which is to be
found everywhere, does not want any work on the subject.
This is not so. Sexual intercourse being a thing
dependent on man and woman requires the application of
proper means by them, and those means are to be learnt
from the Kama Shastra. The non-application of proper
means, which we see in the brute creation, is caused by
their being unrestrained, and by the females among them
only being fit for sexual intercourse at certain seasons and
no more, and by their intercourse not being preceded by
thought of any kind.
Objection 2
The Lokayatikas1 say: Religious ordinances should not
be observed, for they bear a future fruit, and at the same
time it is also doubtful whether they will bear any fruit at
all. What foolish person will give away that which is in
his own hands into the hands of another? Moreover, it is
better to have a pigeon today than a peacock tomorrow;
and a copper coin which we have the certainty of
obtaining, is better than a gold coin, the possession of
which is doubtful.
It is not so. 1st. Holy Writ, which ordains the practice
of Dharma, does not admit of a doubt.
2nd. Sacrifices such as those made for the destruction
of enemies, or for the fall of rain, are seen to bear fruit.
3rd. The sun, moon, stars, planets and other heavenly
bodies appear to work intentionally for the good of the
4th. the existence of this world is effected by the
observance of the rules respecting the four classes of men
and their four stages of life.
5th. We see that seed is thrown into the ground with the
hope of future crops. Vatsyayana is therefore of opinion
that the ordinances of religion must be obeyed.
Objection 3
Those who believe that destiny is the prime mover of all
things say: We should not exert ourselves to acquire
wealth, for sometimes it is not acquired although we strive
to get it, while at other times it comes to us of itself
without any exertion on our part. Everything is therefore
in the power of destiny, who is the lord of gain and loss,
of success and defeat, of pleasure and pain. Thus we see
that Bali3 was raised to the throne of Indra by destiny,
and was also put down by the same power, and it is
destiny only that call reinstate him.
It is not right to say so. As the acquisition of every
object presupposes at all events some exertion on the part
of man, the application of proper means may be said to be
the cause of gaining all our ends, and this application of
proper means being thus necessary (even where a thing is
destined to happen), it follows that a person who does
nothing will enjoy no happiness.
Objection 4
Those who are inclined to think that Artha is the chief
object to be obtained argue thus. Pleasures should not be
sought for, because they are obstacles to the practice of
Dharma and Artha, which are both superior to them, and
are also disliked by meritorious persons. Pleasures also
bring a man into distress, and into contact with low
persons; they cause him to commit unrighteous deeds, and
produce impurity in him; they make him regardless of the
future, and encourage carelessness and levity. And lastly,
they cause him to be disbelieved by all, received by none,
and despised by everybody, including himself. It is
notorious, moreover, that many men who have given
themselves up to pleasure alone, have been ruined along
with their families and relations. Thus, king Dandakya, of
the Bhoja dynasty, carried off a Brahman’s daughter with
evil intent, and was eventually ruined and lost his
kingdom. Indra, too, having violated the chastity of
Ahalya, was made to suffer for it. In a like manner the
mighty Kichaka, who tried to seduce Draupadi, and
Ravana, who attempted to gain over Sita, were punished
for their crimes. These and many others fell by reason of
their pleasures
This objection cannot be sustained, for pleasures, being
as necessary for the existence and well being of the body
as food, are consequently equally required. They are,
moreover, the results of Dharma and Artha. Pleasures are,
therefore, to be followed with moderation and caution. No
one refrains from cooking food because there are beggars
to ask for it, or from sowing seed because there are deer to
destroy the corn when it is grown up.
Thus a man practising Dharma, Artha and Kama enjoys
happiness both in this world and in the world to come.
The good perform those actions in which there is no fear
as to what is to result from them in the next world, and in
which there is no danger to their welfare.
Any action which conduces to the practice of Dharma,
Artha and Kama together, or of any two, or even one of
them, should be performed, but an action which conduces
to the practice of one of them at the expense of theremaining two should not be performed.

Salutation to Dharma, Artha and Kama

IN the beginning, the Lord of Beings created men and
women, and in the form of commandments in one
hundred thousand chapters laid down rules for regulating
their existence with regard to Dharma, Artha, and Kama.
Some of these commandments, namely those which
treated of Dharma, were separately written by Swayambhu
Manu; those that related to Artha were compiled by
Brihaspati; and those that referred to Kama were
expounded by Nandi, the follower of Mahadeva, in one
thousand chapters.
Now these ‘Kama Sutra’ (Aphorisms on Love), written
by Nandi in one thousand chapters, were reproduced by
Shvetaketu, the son of Uddvalaka, in an abbreviated form
in five hundred chapters, and this work was again
similarly reproduced in an abridged form, in one hundred
and fifty chapters, by Babhravya, an inheritant of the
Punchala (South of Delhi) country. These one hundred
and fifty chapters were then put together under seven
heads or parts named severally
1. Sadharana (general topics)
2. Samprayogika (embraces, etc.)
3. Kanya Samprayuktaka (union of males and females)
4. Bharyadhikarika (on one’s own wife)
5. Paradika (on the wives of other people)
6. Vaisika (on courtesans)
7. Aupamishadika (on the arts of seduction, tonic
medicines, etc.)
The sixth part of this last work was separately
expounded by Dattaka at the request of the public women
of Pataliputra (Patna), and in the same way Charayana
explained the first part of it. The remaining parts, viz. the
second, third, fourth, fifth, and seventh, were each
separately expounded by
Suvarnanabha (second part)
Ghotakamukha (third part)
Gonardiya (fourth part)
Gonikaputra (fifth part)
Kuchumara (seventh part), respectively.
Thus the work being written in parts by different
authors was almost unobtainable and, as the parts which
were expounded by Dattaka and the others treated only of
the particular branches of the subject to which each part
related, and moreover as the original work of Babhravya
was difficult to be mastered on account of its length,
Vatsyayana, therefore, composed his work in a small
volume as an abstract of the whole of the works of the
above named authors.
1. Preface
2. Observations on the three worldly attainments of
Virtue, Wealth, and Love
3. On the study of the Sixty-four Arts
4. On the Arrangements of a House, and Household
Furniture; and about the Daily Life of a Citizen, his
Companions, Amusements, etc.
5. About classes of Women fit and unfit for Congress
with the Citizen, and of Friends, and Messengers
1. Kinds of Union according to Dimensions, Force of
Desire, and Time; and on the different kinds of Love
2. Of the Embrace
3. On Kissing
4. On Pressing or Marking with the Nails
5. On Biting, and the ways of Love to be employed with
regard to Women of different countries
6. On the various ways of Lying down, and the different
kinds of Congress
7. On the various ways of Striking, and of the Sounds
appropriate to them
8. About females acting the part of Males
9. On holding the Lingam in the Mouth
10. How to begin and how to end the Congress.
Different kinds of Congress, and Love Quarrels
1. Observations on Betrothal and Marriage
2. About creating Confidence in the Girl
3. Courtship, and the manifestation of the feelings by
outward signs and deeds
4. 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
5. On the different Forms of Marriage
1. On the manner of living of a virtuous Woman, and of
her behaviour during the absence of her Husband
2. On the conduct of the eldest Wife towards the other
Wives of her Husband, and of the younger Wife towards
the elder ones. Also on the conduct of a Virgin Widow
remarried; of a Wife disliked by her Husband; of the
Women in the King’s Harem; and of a Husband who has
more than one Wife
1. On the Characteristics of Men and Women, and the
reason why Women reject the Addresses of Men. About
Men who have Success with Women, and about Women
who are easily gained over
2. About making Acquaintance with the Woman, and of
the efforts to gain her over
3. Examination of the State of a Woman’s mind
4. The Business of a Go-Between
5. On the Love of Persons in authority with the Wives
of other People
6. About the Women of the Royal Harem, and of the
keeping of one’s own Wife
1. Of the Causes of a Courtesan resorting to Men; of the
means of Attaching to herself the Man desired, and the
kind of Man that it is desirable to be acquainted with
2. Of a Courtesan living with a Man as his Wife
3. Of the Means of getting Money; of the Signs of a
Lover who is beginning to be Weary, and of the way to
get rid of him
4. About a Reunion with a former Lover
5. Of different kinds of Gain
6. Of Gains and Losses, attendant Gains and Losses,
and Doubts; and lastly, the different kinds of Courtesans
1. On Personal Adornment, subjugating the hearts of
others, and of tonic medicines
2. Of the means of exciting Desire, and of the ways of
enlarging the Lingam. Miscellaneous Experiments andReceipts


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.
The author of the ‘Five Arrows’ was one Jyotirisha. He
is called the chief ornament of poets, the treasure of the
sixty-four arts, and the best teacher of the rules of music.
He says that he composed the work after reflecting on the
aphorisms of love as revealed by the gods, and studying
the opinions of Gonikaputra, Muladeva, Babhravya,
Ramtideva, Nundikeshwara and Kshemandra. It is
impossible to say whether he had perused all the works of
these authors, or had only heard about them; anyhow,
none of them appear to be in existence now. This work
contains nearly six hundred verses, and is divided into
five chapters, called Sayakas or Arrows.
The author of the ‘Light of Love’ was the poet
Gunakara, the son of Vechapati. The work contains four
hundred verses, and gives only a short account of the
doctrines of love, dealing more with other matters.
‘The Garland of Love’ is the work of the famous poet
Jayadeva, who said about himself that he is a writer on all
subjects. This treatise is, however, very short, containing
only one hundred and twenty-five verses.
The author of the ‘Sprout of Love’ was a poet called
Bhanudatta. It appears from the last verse of the
manuscript that he was a resident of the province of
Tirhoot, and son of a Brahman named Ganeshwar, who
was also a poet. The work, written in Sanscrit, gives the
descriptions of different classes of men and women, their
classes being made out from their age, description,
conduct, etc. It contains three chapters, and its date is not
known, and cannot be ascertained.
‘The Stage of Love’ was composed by the poet
Kullianmull, for the amusement of Ladkhan, the son of
Ahmed Lodi, the same Ladkhan being in some places
spoken of as Ladana Mull, and in others as Ladanaballa.
He is supposed to have been a relation or connection of
the house of Lodi, which reigned in Hindostan from A.D.
1450-1526. The work would, therefore, have been written
in the fifteenth or sixteenth century. It contains ten
chapters, and has been translated into English but only six
copies were printed for private circulation. This is
supposed to be the latest of the Sanscrit works on the
subject, and the ideas in it were evidently taken from
previous writings of the same nature.
The contents of these works are in themselves a literary
curiosity. There are to be found both in Sanscrit poetry
and in the Sanscrit drama a certain amount of poetical
sentiment and romance, which have, in every country and
in every language, thrown an immortal halo round the
subject. But here it is treated in a plain, simple, matter of
fact sort of way.
Men and women are divided into classes and divisions
in the same way that Buffon and other writers on natural
history have classified and divided the animal world. As
Venus was represented by the Greeks to stand forth as the
type of the beauty of woman, so the Hindoos describe the
Padmini or Lotus woman as the type of most perfect
feminine excellence, as follows:
She in whom the following signs and symptoms appear
is called a Padmini. Her face is pleasing as the full moon;
her body, well clothed with flesh, is soft as the Shiras or
mustard flower, her skin is fine, tender and fair as the
yellow lotus, never dark coloured.
Her eyes are bright and beautiful as the orbs of the
fawn, well cut, and with reddish corners. Her bosom is
hard, full and high; she has a good neck; her nose is
straight and lovely, and three folds or wrinkles cross her
middle - about the umbilical region. Her yoni resembles
the opening lotus bud, and her love seed (Kama salila) is
perfumed like the lily that has newly burst. She walks
with swan-like gait, and her voice is low and musical as
the note of the Kokila bird, she delights in white raiments,
in fine jewels, and in rich dresses. She eats little, sleeps
lightly, and being as respectful and religious as she is
clever and courteous, she is ever anxious to worship the
gods, and to enjoy the conversation of Brahmans. Such,
then, is the Padmini or Lotus woman.
Detailed descriptions then follow of the Chitrini or Art
woman; the Shankhini or Conch woman, and the Hastini
or Elephant woman, their days of enjoyment, their various
seats of passion, the manner in which they should be
manipulated and treated in sexual intercourse, along with
the characteristics of the men and women of the various
countries in Hindostan. The details are so numerous, and
the subjects so seriously dealt with, and at such length,
that neither time nor space will permit of their being given
One work in the English language is somewhat similar
to these works of the Hindoos. It is called ‘Kalogynomia:
or the Laws of Female Beauty’, being the elementary
principles of that science, by T. Bell, M.D., with twentyfour
plates, and printed in London in 1821.
It treats of Beauty, of Love, of Sexual Intercourse, of the
Laws regulating that Intercourse, of Monogamy and
Polygamy, of Prostitution, of Infidelity, ending with a
catalogue raisonnée of the defects of female beauty.
Other works in English also enter into great details of
private and domestic life: The Elements of Social Science,
or Physical, Sexual and Natural Religion, by a Doctor of
Medicine, London, 1880, and Every Woman’s Book, by
Dr Waters, 1826. To persons interested in the above
subjects these works will be found to contain such details
as have been seldom before published, and which ought
to be thoroughly understood by all philanthropists and
benefactors of society.
After a perusal of the Hindoo work, and of the English
books above mentioned, the reader will understand the
subject, at all events from a materialistic, realistic and
practical point of view. If all science is founded more or
less on a stratum of facts, there can be no harm in making
known to mankind generally certain matters intimately
connected with their private, domestic, and social life.
Alas! complete ignorance of them has unfortunately
wrecked many a man and many a woman, while a little
knowledge of a subject generally ignored by the masses
would have enabled numbers of people to have
understood many things which they believed to be quite
incomprehensible, or which were not thought worthy of
their consideration.


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, thirtysix
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
‘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.’
It is impossible to fix the exact date either of the life of
Vatsyayana or of his work. It is supposed that he must
have lived between the first and sixth century of the
Christian era, on the following grounds. He mentions that
Satakarni Satavahana, a king of Kuntal, killed Malayevati
his wife with an instrument called kartari by striking her
in the passion of love, and Vatsya quotes this case to warn
people of the danger arising from some old customs of
striking women when under the influence of this passion.
Now this king of Kuntal is believed to have lived and
reigned during the first century A.D., and consequently
Vatsya must have lived after him. On the other hand,
Virahamihira, in the eighteenth chapter of his
‘Brihatsanhita’, treats of the science of love, and appears
to have borrowed largely from Vatsyayana on the subject.
Now Virahamihira is said to have lived during the sixth
century A.D., and as Vatsya must have written his works
previously, therefore not earlier than the first century
A.D., and not later than the sixth century A.D., must be
considered as the approximate date of his existence.
On the text of the ‘Aphorisms on Love’, by Vatsyayana,
only two commentaries have been found. One called
‘Jayamangla’ or ‘Sutrabashya’, and the other ‘Sutra vritti’.
The date of the ‘Jayamangla’ is fixed between the tenth
and thirteenth century A.D., because while treating of the
sixty-four arts an example is taken from the
‘Kavyaprakasha’ which was written about the tenth
century A.D. Again, the copy of the commentary procured
was evidently a transcript of a manuscript which once had
a place in the library of a Chaulukyan king named
Vishaladeva, a fact elicited from the following sentence at
the end of it.
‘Here ends the part relating to the art of love in the
commentary on the "Vatsyayana Kama Sutra", a copy
from the library of the king of kings, Vishaladeva, who
was a powerful hero, as it were a second Arjuna, and head
jewel of the Chaulukya family.’
Now it is well known that this king ruled in Guzerat
from 1244 to 1262 A.D., and founded a city called
Visalnagur. The date, therefore, of the commentary is
taken to be not earlier than the tenth and not later than the
thirteenth century. The author of it is supposed to be one
Yashodhara, the name given him by his preceptor being
He seems to have written it during the time of affliction
caused by his separation from a clever and shrewd
woman, at least that is what lie himself says at the end of
each chapter.
It is presumed that he called his work after the name of
his absent mistress, or the word may have some
connection with the meaning of her name.
This commentary was most useful in explaining the true
meaning of Vatsyayana, for the commentator appears to
have had a considerable knowledge of the times of the
older author, and gives in some places very minute
information. This cannot be said of the other commentary,
called ‘Sutra vritti’, which was written about A.D. 1789,
by Narsing Shastri, a pupil of a Sarveshwar Shastri; the
latter was a descendant of Bhaskur, and so also was our
author, for at the conclusion of every part he calls himself
Bhaskur Narsing Shastri. He was induced to write the
work by order of the learned Raja Vrijalala, while he was
residing in Benares, but as to the merits of this
commentary it does not deserve much commendation. In
many cases the writer does not appear to have understood
the meaning of the original author, and has changed the
text in many places to fit in with his own explanations.
A complete translation of the original work now
follows. It has been prepared in complete accordance with
the text of the manuscript, and is given, without further
comments, as made from it.