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Complete Kama Sutra, The

Product no.: 0-89281-525-6
The first modern translation of Vatsyayana's Kama Sutra includes two essential commentaries: the Jayamangala of Yashodhara and the modern Hindi commentary by Devadatta Shastri.

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Publisher's Synopsis

Alain Danielou 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."


"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."    ~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


"Life necessitates three kinds of activity: to assure its survival, its means of existence, and its nourishment; to realise its reproduction according to forms of activity generally connected with sexuality; and, lastly, to establish rules of behaviour that allow different individuals to perform their roles within the framework of the species.

In human society, this is represented as three necessities, three aims of life: material goods (artha) assure survival; erotic practice (kama) assures the transmission of life; and rules of behaviour, a moral nature (dharma), assure the cohesion and duration of the species."


Alain Danielou (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), Danielou 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.

Danielou 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.

Author Vatsyayana
Translator Danielou, Alain
Book Type Trade Paperback
Page Count 567 pp.
Publisher Park Street Press 1994
Browse these categories as well: Vedas, Sutras and Gitas, The Four Yogas and Forbidden Tantra, Alternative Medicine, Love, Beauty and the Feminine

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