The Kamasutra or Kama Sutra is an ancient Indian Sanskrit treatise that enumerates as well as describes in detail the basic rules governing sensuous physical relationship, love and marriage between a couple as per the Hindu law. It is believed to have been penned by Indian scholar and Saint, Mallanaga Vatsyayana sometime in the 3rd century. However numerous scholars and authors across the globe have also studied and translated the Kama Sutra into different languages, which has only increased its popularity further.
History & Origin of Kamasutra
Interestingly, a number of stories associated with the origin and history of the Kamasutra can be found in the old Indian scriptures. One such theory holds that the Kama Sutra collection was bestowed upon mankind by the doorkeeper of Indian God Shiva i.e. Nandi, the sacred bull. This happened after he heard the god Shiva and his wife, Parvati when they were making love. The episode so inspired the sacred bull Nandi that it made utterance that got later recorded and passed down to human beings for procreation and well-being.
Yet another story associated with the Kamasutra history is that it was Indian deity Prjapati, who was long held as god of creation, who declared the 10,000 chapters of the Kamasutra. Later Lord Shiva assembled these 10,000 chapters together, which were further compressed down to 500 chapters by Shvetaketu, who was a teacher of philosophy and Sage Uddalaka’s son. The role played by Vatsyayana was to transcribe the Kamasutra in Sanskrit language in the form of Sutras.
Philosophy of Kama Sutra
What many people do not know is that the Kama Sutra was not written by Mallanaga Vatsyayana simply for titillating purpose as it also has a philosophical viewpoint to it. This sensuous treatise Kama Sutra, infact, is an integral part of a larger collection of ancient Indian texts originally religious in essence called the Kama Shastra meaning Discipline of Kama (Hindu god of love). Despite the essence of the treatise being sensuous, Kamasutra ascribed to religious faith and tradition of the Hindu system.
Ancient Indian texts describe achievement of Dharma (religion), Arth (Wealth), Kama (pleasures) and Moksha (salvation) as four basic goals governing the three distinct stages of human life – childhood, youth and old age. Vatsyayana instructs that a sensible and righteous man must segregate his lifetime wisely so that he can practice religion, wealth as well as carnal pleasures. He, however, also warned that humans should be careful about not letting one infringe or encroach upon the other. And it is basically the information about carnal pleasures that Vatsyayana provided in the Kamasutra.