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The Complete Kama Sutra

by Alain Daniélou (Translator), Vatsyayana

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1,086313,631 (3.58)1
The world's oldest and most widely read guide to the pleasures and techniques of sex, the Kama Sutrawas compiled in the fourth century A.D. by a Brahmin and religious scholar name Vatsyayana, who worked from texts dating back to the fourth century B.C. Until the present, the only English translation of his Hindu love classic was that of the famous English explorer Sir Richard Burton, published in 1883. Unlike Burton's version, Alain Daniélou's new translation preserves the numbered verse divisions of the original and includes two essential commentaries: the Fayamangalacommentary, written in Sanskrit by Yashodhara during the Middle Ages, and a modern Hindi commentary by Devadatta Shastri. Whereas Burton's Victorian reluctance to translate certain terms obscured our understanding of the philosophy and techniques of the Kama Sutra, Daniélou has preserved the full explicitness of the original, dealing with everything from the art of scratching to relations with the wives of others. Realistic and pragmatic in its approach, the Kama Sutradeals without ambiguity or hypocrisy with all aspects of sexual life--including marriage, adultery, prostitution, group sex, sadomasochism, male and female homosexuality, and transvestism. The text paints a fascinating portrait of an India whose openness to sexuality gave rise to a highly developed expression of the erotic.… (more)
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English (2)  Italian (1)  All languages (3)
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Come on who hasn't at some point in their life picked this up and flicked through it. Turned it upside down, trying to figure out just what is going on. Honestly if you need a guide for this stuff you're not thinking hard enough. ( )
  Shirezu | Mar 31, 2013 |
This is a very *interesting* book ;) Aside from the positions which we all know it includes there is a lot of other really outdated stuff. It's hard to believe that people once followed this book as an authority LOL
The most hilarious chapters are the ones on superstitious beliefs and the discussions of home cooked remedies, for example:

Apply to the lips every day the sweat from the testicles of a white horse mixed with yellow arsenic....I don't think so! LOL

This book is great for a laugh. I recommend putting it in the bathroom as it's great reading when you only have time for brief snippets.
1 vote BookAddict | Apr 3, 2006 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Daniélou, AlainTranslatorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vatsyayanamain authorall editionsconfirmed
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The world's oldest and most widely read guide to the pleasures and techniques of sex, the Kama Sutrawas compiled in the fourth century A.D. by a Brahmin and religious scholar name Vatsyayana, who worked from texts dating back to the fourth century B.C. Until the present, the only English translation of his Hindu love classic was that of the famous English explorer Sir Richard Burton, published in 1883. Unlike Burton's version, Alain Daniélou's new translation preserves the numbered verse divisions of the original and includes two essential commentaries: the Fayamangalacommentary, written in Sanskrit by Yashodhara during the Middle Ages, and a modern Hindi commentary by Devadatta Shastri. Whereas Burton's Victorian reluctance to translate certain terms obscured our understanding of the philosophy and techniques of the Kama Sutra, Daniélou has preserved the full explicitness of the original, dealing with everything from the art of scratching to relations with the wives of others. Realistic and pragmatic in its approach, the Kama Sutradeals without ambiguity or hypocrisy with all aspects of sexual life--including marriage, adultery, prostitution, group sex, sadomasochism, male and female homosexuality, and transvestism. The text paints a fascinating portrait of an India whose openness to sexuality gave rise to a highly developed expression of the erotic.

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This definitive volume is the first modern translation of Vatsyayana's Kama Sutra to include two essential commentaries: the Jayamangala of Yashodhara and the modern Hindi commentary by Devadatta Shastri. Alain Danilou spent four years comparing versions of the Kama Sutra in Sanskrit, Hindi, Bengali, and English, drawing on his intimate experience of India, to preserve the full explicitness of the original. I wanted to demystify India, he writes, to show that a period of great civilization, of high culture, is forcibly a period of great liberty.
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