The Kama Sutra, Part 1, CHAPTER 1:

Preface

IN the beginning, the Lord of Beings created men and women, and in the form of commandments in one hundred thousand chapters laid down rules for regulating their existence with regard to Dharma,1 Artha,2 and Kama.3 Some of these commandments, namely those which treated of Dharma, were separately written by Swayambhu Manu; those that related to Artha were compiled by Brihaspati; and those that referred to Kama were expounded by Nandi, the follower of Mahadeva, in one thousand chapters.

Now these `Kama Sutra' (Aphorisms on Love), written by Nandi in one thousand chapters, were reproduced by Shvetaketu, the son of Uddvalaka, in an abbreviated form in five hundred chapters, and this work was again similarly reproduced in an abridged form, in one hundred and fifty chapters, by Babhravya, an inheritant of the Punchala (South of Delhi) country. These one hundred and fifty chapters were then put together under seven heads or parts named severally

  1. Sadharana (general topics)
  2. Samprayogika (embraces, etc.)
  3. Kanya Samprayuktaka (union of males and females)
  4. Bharyadhikarika (on one's own wife)
  5. Paradika (on the wives of other people)
  6. Vaisika (on courtesans)
  7. Aupamishadika (on the arts of seduction, tonic medicines, etc.)
The sixth part of this last work was separately expounded by Dattaka at the request of the public women of Pataliputra (Patna), and in the same way Charayana explained the first part of it. The remaining parts, viz. the second, third, fourth, fifth, and seventh, were each separately expounded by
  • Suvarnanabha (second part)
  • Ghotakamukha (third part)
  • Gonardiya (fourth part)
  • Gonikaputra (fifth part)
  • Kuchumara (seventh part), respectively.
Thus the work being written in parts by different authors was almost unobtainable and, as the parts which were expounded by Dattaka and the others treated only of the particular branches of the subject to which each part related, and moreover as the original work of Babhravya was difficult to be mastered on account of its length, Vatsyayana, therefore, composed his work in a small volume as an abstract of the whole of the works of the above named authors.


Footnotes
  1. Dharma is acquisition of religious merit, and is fully described in Chapter 5, volume III, of Talboys Wheeler's History of India, and in the edicts of Asoka.
  2. Artha is acquisition of wealth and property, etc.
  3. Kama is love, pleasure and sensual gratification.
These three words are retained throughout in their original, as technical terms. They may also be defined as virtue, wealth and pleasure, the three things repeatedly spoken of in the Laws of Manu.

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