The Real Kama Sutra

BY DAV SINGH

The ancient Indian-Sanskrit text isn’t about what you think! Primarily, it is a guide to living well and the nature of love, with tips on how to find a life partner and maintain one’s love life. There is, of course, a smattering of that. Read on for more interesting truths about the Kama Sutra.

The Kama Sutra is globally recognised as an erotic guide to sexual positions, written in the third century AD, by the Indian sage Vatsayayana. The truth of the matter is that the erotic aspect of this ancient book makes up only 20% of its content. The book is a guide to the art of living well, the nature of love, finding a life partner, maintaining one’s love life, and other aspects pertaining to pleasure-oriented faculties of human life. The perfect Valentine’s Day read over a delicious cup of Chai!

Here’s more that you may not know about this famous book:

The range of topics in the Kama Sutra cover things such as correct conduct, the acquisition of useful knowledge, how to find a spouse, how to make money, as well as…(wait for it)…how to make lemonade and how to teach parrots to talk! A wide range of topics, all a fairly long way from what most of us thought the Kama Sutra was about.

An English translation of the Kama Sutra was produced by an eccentric Victorian explorer named Sir Richard Francis Burton. Burton was also responsible for translating the Arabian Nights. In 1883, the Kama Sutra translation had to be printed in secret to avoid Sir Richard being charged for obscenity with willing readers having to pay for their own privately-printed copies.

The Kama Sutra was banned in Britain until 1963. Its publication, no longer through private printing by this time, was in fact only made possible following the historic ‘Chatterley trial’ of 1960, when Penguin Books was cleared of the charge of obscenity for publishing D. H. Lawrence’s novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover. The permissive age that followed saw the first legal publication of Burton’s translation.

If you fancy reading more about the art of living well, the nature of love, finding a life partner, maintaining one’s love life, and other aspects pertaining to pleasure-oriented faculties of human life we recommend this beautiful copy, published by Roli books and available at Blackwell Books.