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The Complete Kama Sutra


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Table of Contents

Editor's Note

Introduction by Alain Danielou

Part One: General Remarks

1. Contents of the Book
2. The Three Aims of Life
3. The Acquisition of Knowledge
4. The Conduct of the Well-bred Townsman
5. Reflections on Intermediaries Who Assist the Lover in His Enterprises

Part Two: Amorous Advances

1. Stimulation of Erotic Desire
2. Embraces
3. Petting and Caresses
4. The Art of Scratching
5. Biting
6. On Copulation and Special Tastes
7. Blows and Sighs
8. Virile Behavior in Women
9. Superior Coition or Fellation
10. Preludes and Conclusions to the Game of Love

Part Three: Acquiring a Wife

1. Forms of Marriage
2. How to Relax the Girl
3. Ways of Obtaining the Girl
4. How to Manage Alone
5. Union by Marriage

Part Four: Duties and Privileges of the Wife

1. Conduct of the Only Wife
2. Conduct of the Chief Wife and Other Wives

Part Five: Other Men's Wives

1. Behavior of Woman and Man
2. Encounters to Get Acquainted
3. Examination of Sentiments
4. The Task of the Go-between
5. The King's Pleasures
6. Behavior in the Gynoecium

Part Six: About Courtesans

1. Advice of the Assistants on the Choice of Lovers
2. Looking for a Steady Lover
3. Ways of Making Money
4. Renewing Friendship with a Former Lover
5. Occasional Profits
6. Profits and Losses: Reflections on Doubts Concerning the
Advantages and Disadvantages of Relations

Part Seven: Occult Practices

1. Success in Love
2. Arousing a Weakened Sexual Power

1. Texts Quoted
2. Mythical and Historical Characters and Authors Mentioned in the Text
3. Works Consulted
4. Glossary I: Plants, Herbs, Spices, and Sundry Products
5. Glossary II: Special Terms


About the Translator

About the Author

Alain Danilou (1907-1994) was without question a Renaissance man. Following his early years as an artist, dancer, and musician in Paris (Cocteau, Diaghilev, and Stravinsky were among his friends), Danilou settled in India, where he spent fifteen years in the study of Sanskrit, philosophy, and music. After numerous university appointments in India, he returned in 1963 to Europe, establishing the Institute of Comparative Music Studies in Berlin for the reevaluation of Asian music. Danilou wrote more than thirty books about the philosophy, religion, history, and arts of India, including Gods of Love and Ecstasy; Myths and Gods of India; Virtue, Success, Pleasure, and Liberation; While the Gods Play; The Phallus; and Music and the Power of Sound.


Long dismissed as a sort of Sanskrit Joy of Sex , the Kama Sutra , composed by Vatsyayana in the fourth century B.C., explores sexuality as an integral part of human existence. Arguing that happiness and moral duty ( dharma ) depend on elaborate social ritual to satisfy the essential needs of life, the Kama Sutra describes the practices, rituals, and lore of the erotic ( kama ) in human relations, both heterosexual and homosexual. Noted Indiologist Danielou provides a fluent and literal translation of the entire Sanskrit original with interpolated extracts from the 12th-century commentary by Yashodara and the modern Hindi commentary by Devadatta Shastri. This is an important advance over Burton's Victorian abridgment.-- T.L. Cooksey, Armstrong State Coll., Savannah, Ga.

"Danielou's new and complete translation of the Kama Sutra is one of his masterpieces. It is all enchantment, a world of refined sensation. Our debt to his scholarship and humanity is immeasurable." * Times Literary Supplement *
"Noted Indiologist Danilou provides a fluent and literal translation of the entire Sanskrit original. An important advance over Burton's Victorian abridgment." * Library Journal *
"Dildo was translated as 'medicine.' Lesbian was just 'corrupt woman.' No wonder we couldn't follow any of the instructions in the Kama Sutra. But now, there's a new translation of the oldest sex manual, the first since the Victorians brought it home and hid it under the mattress." * The Guardian Weekend *
"Alain Danielou is the foremost living interpreter of Hinduism. His books are remarkable for their clarity, scholarship, and uninhibited celebration of erotic and mystical ecstasy." * Interview Magazine *
"Danielou's elegant rendering includes not only the entire sutra, much of which is excluded in other versions, but two essential commentaries as well. More than just a pillow book, the Kama Sutra is a guide to the labyrinth of sexual etiquette, from how to bathe before meeting a lover to how lovers should entertain each other after making love." * *
"More than just a pillow book, the Kama Sutra is a guide to the labyrinth of sexual etiquette, from how to bathe before meeting a lover to how lovers should entertain each other after making love. . . . Take from this encyclopedia of amour what you will and let it keep you moving down the path of spiritual practice." * Brian Bruya,, 8/15/06 *

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