Kama Sutra

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The Kama Sutra (Sanskrit: कामसूत्र, Kāmasūtra) is an ancient Indian Hindu text widely considered to be the standard work on human sexual behavior in Sanskrit literature written by Vātsyāyana. A portion of the work consists of practical advice on sexual intercourse.[1] It is largely in prose, with many inserted anustubh poetry verses. "Kāma" means sensual or sexual pleasure, and "sūtra" literally means a thread or line that holds things together, and more metaphorically refers to an aphorism (or line, rule, formula), or a collection of such aphorisms in the form of a manual.

The Kama Sutra is the oldest and most notable of a group of texts known generically as Kama Shastra (Sanskrit: Kāma Śāstra).[2] Traditionally, the first transmission of Kama Shastra or "Discipline of Kama" 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 and later recorded his utterances for the benefit of mankind.[3]

Historian John Keay says that the Kama Sutra is a compendium that was collected into its present form in the 2nd century CE.[4]

Contents

Content

Vatsyayana's Kama Sutra has 1250 verses, distributed in 36 chapters, which are further organized into 7 parts.[5] According to both the Burton and Doniger[6] translations, the contents of the book are structured into 7 parts like the following:

Pleasure and spirituality

Some Indian philosophies follow the "four main goals of life",[7][8] known as the purusharthas:[9]

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