Every country has many books that deal in the art of love. This subject is dealt differently, and from various points of view, in every country. However, whenever we talk about the art of love in the Sanskrit literature, we tend to understand this theme, on the basis of the book, "Vatsyayana Kama Sutra" or Aphorisms on Love, by Vatsyayana. Vatsyayana must have lived between the first and sixth century A.D. and his real name was Mallinaga or Mrillana and Vatsyayana was his family name. The content of this work is a literary curiosity. There are to be found both in Sanskrit poetry and the Sanskrit drama in a certain way of poetic sentiment and romance, in every country and language, has thrown an immortal radiance round the subject.
One will understand that after a thorough examination of the Kamasutra and the English books on love, the reader can understand the subject of love, at all events from a materialistic, realistic and practical point of view. However, it has always happened that a complete ignorance of this art has wrecked the life of many men and women. Such knowledge will thus enlighten the readers about certain matters regarding their private, domestic, and social life. Thus, the 'Aphorisms on Love' by Vatsyayana contain about one thousand two hundred and fifty slokas or verses; and are divided into parts, parts into chapters and chapters into paragraphs. The whole consists of seven parts, thirty-six chapters and sixty-four paragraphs.
In the Kamasutra: Part 1, Chapter One , Vatsyayana says, "Kamasutra is not to be used merely as an instrument for satisfying human desires. A person acquainted with the true principles of this science, which preserves his Dharma (virtue or religious merit), his Artha (worldly wealth), his Kama (pleasure or sensual gratification) and who has regard to the customs of the people, is sure to obtain the mastery over his senses. In short, an intelligent and knowing person attending to Dharma and Artha and also to Kama, without becoming the slave of his passions, will obtain success in everything that he may do." A complete translation of the original work now follows. It has been prepared in complete accordance with the text of the manuscript, and is given, without further comments, as made from it.
Dharma, Artha & Kama
Every man should practice Dharma, Artha and Kama at different times and in such a manner that they may harmonize together and not clash in any way. He should acquire learning in his childhood, in his youth and middle age he should attend to Artha and Kama, and in his old age he should perform Dharma, and thus seek to gain Moksha.
Acquisition of a Wife
Every man should get married according to the rules mentioned in the Holy Writ and later consummate his marriage. However it is a great task to find a proper girl for himself and then create a confidence in her to make love to him and handle the responsibility of her married life.
About A Wife
A virtuous woman, who has affection for her husband, should act in conformity with his wishes as if he were a divine being, and with his consent should take upon herself the whole care of his house and family. Towards the parents, relations, friends, sisters, and servants of her husband she should behave, as they deserve. She should however, avoid the company of unchaste women, beggars and roguish people. As regards to her meals she should always consider what her husband likes and dislikes and what things are good for him and what are injurious to him. As a wife, she has certain responsibilities towards her husband, which she has to take care of and she should always respect him.
When the wife wants to approach her husband in private her dress should consist of many ornaments, various kinds of flowers, and a cloth decorated with different colours, and some sweet-smelling ointments or creams. But her everyday dress should be composed of a thin, close-textured cloth, a few ornaments and flowers, and a little scent, not too much. She should also observe the fasts and vows of her husband, and when he tries to prevent her doing this, she should persuade him to let her do it. The wife, moreover, should not tell to strangers the amount of her wealth, nor the secrets which her husband has confided to her.
She should surpass all the women of her own rank in life in her cleverness, her appearance, her knowledge of cookery, her pride, and her manner of serving her husband. These are the few of the duties of a virtuous married woman. The wife, whether she is a woman of noble family, or a virgin widow remarried, or a concubine, should lead a chaste life, devoted to her husband, and doing everything for his welfare. Women acting thus, acquire Dharma, Artha, and Kama, obtain a high position, and generally keep their husbands devoted to them.