The Kama Sutra of Vatsayayana
Sir Richard Burton, translator
Part I: Introductory
Chapter I. Preface
Chapter II. Observations on the Three Worldly Attainments of Virtue,
Wealth, and Love
Chapter III. On the Study of the Sixty-Four Arts
Chapter IV. On the Arrangements of a House, and Household Furniture;
and About the Daily Life of a Citizen, His Companions, Amusements,
Chapter V. About Classes of Women Fit and Unfit for Congress with
the Citizen, and of Friends, and Messengers
Part II: On Sexual Union
Chapter I. Kinds of Union According to Dimensions, Force of Desire,
and Time; and on the Different Kinds of Love
Chapter II. Of the Embrace
Chapter III. On Kissing
Chapter IV. On Pressing or Marking with the Nails
Chapter V. On Biting, and the Ways of Love to be Employed with
Regard to Women of Different Countries
Chapter VI. On the Various Ways of Lying Down, and the Different
Kinds of Congress
Chapter VII. On the Various Ways of Striking, and of The Sounds
Appropriate to Them
Chapter VIII. About Females Acting the Part of Males
Chapter IX. On Holding the Lingam in the Mouth
Chapter X. How to Begin and How to End the Congress. Different Kinds
of Congress, and Love Quarrels
Part III: About the Acquisition of a Wife
Chapter I. Observations on Betrothal and Marriage
Chaper II. About Creating Confidence In the Girl
Chapter III. Courtship, and the Manifestation of the Feelings by
Outward Signs and Deeds
Chapter IV. On Things to be Done Only by the Man, and the
Acquisition of the Girl Thereby. Also What is to be Done by a Girl
to Gain Over a Man and Subject Him to Her
Chapter V. On the Different Forms of Marriage
Part IV: About a Wife
Chapter I. On the Manner of Living of a Virtuous Woman, and of Her
Behaviour During the Absence of Her Husband
Chapter II. On the Conduct of the Eldest Wife Towards the Other
Wives of her Husband, and of the Younger Wife Towards the Elder
Part V: About the Wives of Other People
Chapter I. On the Characteristics of Men And Women...
Chapter II. About Making Acquaintance with the Woman, and of the
Efforts to Gain Her Over
Chapter III. Examination of the State of a Woman's Mind
Chapter IV. The Business of a Go-Between
Chapter V. On the Love of Persons in Authority with the Wives of
Chapter VI. About the Women of the Royal Harem, and of the Keeping
of One's Own Wife
Part VI: About Courtesans
Chapter I. Of the Causes of a Courtesan Resorting to Men...
Chapter II. Of a Courtesan Living With a Man as His Wife
Chapter III. Of the Means of getting Money...
Chapter IV. About a Reunion with a Former Lover
Chapter V. Of Different Kinds of Gain
Chapter VI. Of Gains and Losses, Attendant Gains and Losses, and
Doubts; and Lastly, the Different Kinds of Courtesans
Part VII: On The Means of Attracting Others to One's Self
Chapter I. On Personal Adornment, Subjugating the Hearts of Others,
and of Tonic Medicines
Chapter II. Of The Means of Exciting Desire, and of the Ways of
Enlarging the Lingam. Miscellaneous Experiments and Receipts
KINDS OF SEXUAL UNION ACCORDING TO DIMENSIONS, FORCE OF DESIRE OR
Kind of Union
MAN is divided into three classes, viz. the hare man, the bull man,
and the horse man, according to the size of his lingam.
Woman also, according to the depth of her yoni, is either a female
deer, a mare, or a female elephant.
There are thus three equal unions between persons of corresponding
dimensions, and there are six unequal unions, when the dimensions do
not correspond, or nine in all, as the following table shows:
In these unequal unions, when the male exceeds the female in point
of size, his union with a woman who is immediately next to him in size
is called high union, and is of two kinds; while his union with the
woman most remote from his size is called the highest union, and is of
one kind only. On the other hand, when the female exceeds the male in
point of size, her union with a man immediately next to her in size is
called low union, and is of two kinds; while her union with a man most
remote from her in size is called the lowest union, and is of one kind
In other words, the horse and mare, the bull and deer, form the
high union, while the horse and deer form the highest union. On the
female side, the elephant and bull, the mare and hare, form low
unions, while the elephant has and the hare make the lowest unions.
There are, then, nine kinds of union according to dimensions. Amongst
all these, equal unions are the best, those of a superlative degree,
i.e. the highest and the lowest, are the worst, and the rest are
middling, and with them the high 1 are better than the low.
There are also nine kinds of union according to the force of
passion or carnal desire, as follows:
A man is called a man of small passion whose desire at the time of
sexual union is not great, whose semen is scanty, and who cannot bear
the warm embraces of the female.
Those who differ from this temperament are called men of middling
passion, while those of intense passion are full of desire.
In the same way, women are supposed to have the three degrees of
feeling as specified above.
Lastly, according to time there are three kinds of men and women,
the short-timed, the moderate-timed, and the long-timed; and of these,
as in the previous statements, there are nine kinds of union.
But on this last head there is a difference of opinion about the
female, which should be stated.
Auddalika says, 'Females do not emit as males do. The males simply
remove their desire, while the females, from their consciousness of
desire, feel a certain kind of pleasure, which gives them
satisfaction, but it is impossible for them to tell you what kind of
pleasure they feel. The fact from which this becomes evident is, that
males, when engaged in coition, cease of themselves after emission,
and are satisfied, but it is not so with females.'
This opinion is however objected to on the grounds that, if a male
be a long-timed, the female loves him the more, but if he be
short-timed, she is dissatisfied with him. And this circumstance, some
say, would prove that the female emits also.
But this opinion does not hold good, for if it takes a long time to
allay a woman's desire, and during this time she is enjoying great
pleasure, it is quite natural then that she should wish for its
continuation. And on this subject there is a verse as follows:
'By union with men the lust, desire, or passion of women is
satisfied, and the pleasure derived from the consciousness of it is
called their satisfaction.'
The followers of Babhravya, however, say that the semen of women
continues to fall from the beginning of the sexual union to its end,
and it is right that it should be so, for if they had no semen there
would be no embryo.
To this there is an objection. In the beginning of coition the
passion of the woman is middling, and she cannot bear the vigorous
thrusts of her lover, but by degrees her passion increases until she
ceases to think about her body, and then finally she wishes to stop
from further coition.
This objection, however, does not hold good, for even in ordinary
things that revolve with great force, such as a potter's wheel, or a
top, we find that the motion at first is slow, but by degrees it
becomes very rapid. In the same way the passion of the woman having
gradually increased, she has a desire to discontinue coition, when all
the semen has fallen away. And there is a verse with regard to this as
'The fall of the semen of the man takes place only at the end of
coition, while the semen of the woman falls continually, and after the
semen of both has all fallen away then they wish for the
discontinuance of coition.' 2
Lastly, Vatsyayana is of opinion that the semen of the female falls
in the same way as that of the male.
Now some may ask here: If men and women are beings of the same
kind, and are engaged in bringing about the same results, why should
they have different works to do?
Vatsya says that this is so, because the ways of working as well as
the consciousness of pleasure in men and women are different. The
difference in the ways of working, by which men are the actors, and
women are the persons acted upon, is owing to the nature of the male
and the female, otherwise the actor would be sometimes the person
acted upon, and vice versa. And from this difference in the ways of
working follows the difference in the consciousness of pleasure, for a
man thinks, 'this woman is united with me', and a woman thinks, 'I am
united with this man'.
It may be said that, if the ways of working in men and women are
different, why should not there be a difference, even in the pleasure
they feel, and which is the result of those ways.
But this objection is groundless, for, the person acting and the
person acted upon being of different kinds, there is a reason for the
difference in their ways of working; but there is no reason for any
difference in the pleasure they feel, because they both naturally
derive pleasure from the act they perform. 3
On this again some may say that when different persons are engaged
in doing the same work, we find that they accomplish the same end or
purpose; while, on the contrary, in the case of men and women we find
that each of them accomplishes his or her own end separately, and this
is inconsistent. But this is a mistake, for we find that sometimes two
things are done at the same time, as for instance in the fighting of
rams, both the rams receive the shock at the same time on their heads.
Again, in throwing one wood apple against another, and also in a fight
or struggle of wrestlers. If it be said that in these cases the things
employed are of the same kind, it is answered that even in the case of
men and women, the nature of the two persons is the same. And as the
difference in their ways of working arises from the difference of
their conformation only, it follows that men experience the same kind
of pleasure as women do.
There is also a verse on this subject as follows:
'Men and women, being of the same nature, feel the same kind of
pleasure, and therefore a man should marry such a woman as will love
him ever afterwards.'
The pleasure of men and women being thus proved to be of the same
kind, it follows that, in regard to time, there are nine kinds of
sexual intercourse, in the same way as there are nine kinds, according
to the force of passion.
There being thus nine kinds of union with regard to dimensions,
force of passion, and time, respectively, by making combinations of
them, innumerable kinds of union would be produced. Therefore in each
particular kind of sexual union, men should use such means as they may
think suitable for the occasion. 4
At the first time of sexual union the passion of the male is
intense, and his time is short, but in subsequent unions on the same
day the reverse of this is the case. With the female, however, it is
the contrary, for at the first time her passion is weak, and then her
time long, but on subsequent occasions on the same day, her passion is
intense and her time short, until her passion is satisfied.
On the different Kind of Love
Men learned in the humanities are of opinion that love is of four
Love acquired by continual habit
Love resulting from the imagination
Love resulting from belief
Love resulting from the perception of external objects
Love resulting from the constant and continual performance of some
act is called love acquired by constant practice and habit, as for
instance the love of sexual intercourse, the love of hunting, the love
of drinking, the love of gambling, etc., etc.
Love which is felt for things to which we are not habituated, and
which proceeds entirely from ideas, is called love resulting from
imagination, as for instance that love which some men and women and
eunuchs feel for the Auparishtaka or mouth congress, and that which is
felt by all for such things as embracing, kissing, etc., etc.
The love which is mutual on both sides, and proved to be true, when
each looks upon the other as his or her very own, such is called love
resulting from belief by the learned.
The love resulting from the perception of external objects is quite
evident and well known to the world. because the pleasure which it
affords is superior to the pleasure of the other kinds of love, which
exists only for its sake.
What has been said in this chapter upon the subject of sexual union
is sufficient for the learned; but for the edification of the
ignorant, the same will now be treated of at length and in detail.
1 High unions are said to be better than low ones, for in the
former it is possible for the male to satisfy his own passion without
injuring the female, while in the latter it is difficult for the
female to be satisfied by any means.
2 The strength of passion with women varies a great deal, some
being easily satisfied, and others eager and willing to go on for a
long time. To satisfy these last thoroughly a man must have recourse
to art. It is certain that a fluid flows from the woman in larger or
smaller quantities, but her satisfaction is not complete until she has
experienced the 'spasme génêtique', as described in a French work
recently published and called Brevaire as l'Amour Experimental par le
Dr Jules Guyot.
3 This is a long dissertation very common among Sanscrit authors,
both when writing and talking socially. They start certain
propositions, and then argue for and against them. What it is presumed
the author means is that, though both men and women derive pleasure
from the act of coition, the way it is produced is brought about by
different means, each individual performing his own work in the
matter, irrespective of the other, and each deriving individually
their own consciousness of pleasure from the act they perform. There
is a difference in the work that each does, and a difference in the
consciousness of pleasure that each has, but no difference in the
pleasure they feel, for each feels that pleasure to a greater or
4 This paragraph should be particularly noted, for it specially
applies to married men and their wives. So many men utterly ignore the
feelings of the women, and never pay the slightest attention to the
passion of the latter. To understand the subject thoroughly, it is
absolutely necessary to study it, and then a person will know that, as
dough is prepared for baking, so must a woman be prepared for sexual
intercourse, if she is to derive satisfaction from it.
OF THE EMBRACE
THIS part of the Kama Shastra, which treats of sexual union, is
also called 'Sixty-four' (Chatushshashti). Some old authors say that
it is called so, because it contains sixty-four chapters. Others are
of opinion that the author of this part being a person named Panchala,
and the person who recited the part of the Rig Veda called Dashatapa,
which contains sixty-four verses, being also called Panchala, the name
'sixty-four' has been given to the part of the work in honour of the
Rig Vedas. The followers of Babhravya say on the other hand that this
part contains eight subjects, viz. the embrace, kissing, scratching
with the nails or fingers, biting, lying down, making various sounds,
playing the part of a man, and the Auparishtaka, or mouth congress.
Each of these subjects being of eight kinds, and eight multiplied by
eight being sixty-four, this part is therefore named 'sixty-four'. But
Vatsyayana affirms that as this part contains also the following
subjects, viz. striking, crying, the acts of a man during congress,
the various kinds of congress, and other subjects, the name
'sixty-four' is given to it only accidentally. As, for instance, we
say this tree is 'Saptaparna', or seven-leaved, this offering of rice
is 'Panchavarna', or five-coloured, but the tree has not seven leaves,
neither has the rice five colours.
However the part sixty-four is now treated of, and the embrace,
being the first subject, will now be considered.
Now the embrace which indicates the mutual love of a man and woman
who have come together is of four kinds:
The action in each case is denoted by the meaning of the word which
stands for it.
When a man under some pretext or other goes in front or alongside
of a woman and touches her body with his own, it is called the
When a woman in a lonely place bends down, as if to pick up
something, and pierces, as it were, a man sitting or standing, with
her breasts, and the man in return takes hold of them, it is called a
The above two kinds of embrace take place only between persons who
do not, as yet, speak freely with each other.
When two lovers are walking slowly together, either in the dark, or
in a place of public resort, or in a lonely place, and rub their
bodies against each other, it is called a 'rubbing embrace'.
When on the above occasion one of them presses the other's body
forcibly against a wall or pillar, it is called a 'pressing embrace'.
These two last embraces are peculiar to those who know the
intentions of each other.
At the time of the meeting the four following kinds of embrace are
Jataveshtitaka, or the twining of a creeper.
Vrikshadhirudhaka, or climbing a tree.
Tila-Tandulaka, or the mixture of sesamum seed with rice.
Kshiraniraka, or milk and water embrace.
When a woman, clinging to a man as a creeper twines round a tree,
bends his head down to hers with the desire of kissing him and
slightly makes the sound of sut sut, embraces him, and looks lovingly
towards him, it is called an embrace like the 'twining of a creeper'.
When a woman, having placed one of her feet on the foot of her
lover, and the other on one of his thighs, passes one of her arms
round his back, and the other on his shoulders, makes slightly the
sounds of singing and cooing, and wishes, as it were, to climb up him
in order to have a kiss, it is called an embrace like the 'climbing of
These two kinds of embrace take place when the lover is standing.
When lovers lie on a bed, and embrace each other so closely that
the arms and thighs of the one are encircled by the arms and thighs of
the other, and are, as it were, rubbing up against them, this is
called an embrace like 'the mixture of sesamum seed with rice'.
When a man and a woman are very much in love with each other, and,
not thinking of any pain or hurt, embrace each other as if they were
entering into each other's bodies either while the woman is sitting on
the lap of the man, or in front of him, or on a bed, then it is called
an embrace like a 'mixture of milk and water'.
These two kinds of embrace take place at the time of sexual union.
Babhravya has thus related to us the above eight kinds of embraces.
Suvarnanabha moreover gives us four ways of embracing simple
members of the body, which are:
The embrace of the thighs.
The embrace of the jaghana, i.e. the part of the body from the
navel downwards to the thighs.
The embrace of the breasts.
The embrace of the forehead.
When one of two lovers presses forcibly one or both of the thighs
of the other between his or her own, it is called the 'embrace of
When a man presses the jaghana or middle part of the woman's body
against his own, and mounts upon her to practise, either scratching
with the nail or finger, or biting, or striking, or kissing, the hair
of the woman being loose and flowing, it is called the 'embrace of the
When a man places his breast between the breasts of a of Vatsyayana
woman and presses her with it, it is called the 'embrace of the
When either of the lovers touches the mouth, the eyes and the
forehead of the other with his or her own, it is called the 'embrace
of the forehead'.
Some say that even shampooing is a kind of embrace, because there
is a touching of bodies in it. But Vatsyayana thinks that shampooing
is performed at a different time, and for a different purpose, and it
is also of a different character, it cannot be said to be included in
There are also some verses on the subject as follows:
'The whole subject of embracing is of such a nature that men who
ask questions about it, or who hear about it, or who talk about it,
acquire thereby a desire for enjoyment. Even those embraces that are
not mentioned in the Kama Shastra should be practised at the time of
sexual enjoyment, if they are in any way conducive to the increase of
love or passion. The rules of the Shastra apply so long as the passion
of man is middling, but when the wheel of love is once set in motion,
there is then no Shastra and no order.'
IT is said by some that there is no fixed time or order between the
embrace, the kiss, and the pressing or scratching with the nails or
fingers, but that all these things should be done generally before
sexual union takes place, while striking and making the various sounds
generally takes place at the time of the union. Vatsyayana, however,
thinks that anything may take place at any time, for love does not
care for time or order.
On the occasion of the first congress, kissing and the other things
mentioned above should be done moderately, they should not be
continued for a long time, and should be done alternately. On
subsequent occasions, however, the reverse of all this may take place,
and moderation will not be necessary, they may continue for a long
time, and, for the purpose of kindling love, they may be all done at
the same time.
The following are the places for kissing: the forehead, the eyes,
the cheeks, the throat, the bosom, the breasts, the lips, and the
interior of the mouth. Moreover the people of the Lat country kiss
also on the following places: the joints of the thighs, the arms and
the navel. But Vatsyayana thinks that though kissing is practised by
these people in the above places on account of the intensity of their
love, and the customs of their country, it is not fit to be practised
Now in a case of a young girl there are three sorts of kisses:
The nominal kiss
The throbbing kiss
The touching kiss
When a girl only touches the mouth of her lover with her own, but
does not herself do anything, it is called the 'nominal kiss'.
When a girl, setting aside her bashfulness a little, wishes to
touch the lip that is pressed into her mouth, and with that object
moves her lower lip, but not the upper one, it is called the
When a girl touches her lover's lip with her tongue, and having
shut her eyes, places her hands on those of her lover, it is called
the 'touching kiss'.
Other authors describe four other kinds of kisses:
The straight kiss
The bent kiss
The turned kiss
The pressed kiss
When the lips of two lovers are brought into direct contact with
each other, it is called a 'straight kiss'.
When the heads of two lovers are bent towards each other, and when
so bent, kissing takes place, it is called a 'bent kiss'.
When one of them turns up the face of the other by holding the head
and chin, and then kissing, it is called a 'turned kiss'.
Lastly when the lower lip is pressed with much force, it is called
a 'pressed kiss'.
There is also a fifth kind of kiss called the 'greatly pressed
kiss', which is effected by taking hold of the lower lip between two
fingers, and then, after touching it with the tongue, pressing it with
great force with the lip.
As regards kissing, a wager may be laid as to which will get hold
of the lips of the other first. If the woman loses, she should pretend
to cry, should keep her lover off by shaking her hands, and turn away
from him and dispute with him saying, 'let another wager be laid'. If
she loses this a second time, she should appear doubly distressed, and
when her lover is off his guard or asleep, she should get hold of his
lower lip, and hold it in her teeth, so that it should not slip away,
and then she should laugh, make a loud noise, deride him, dance about,
and say whatever she likes in a joking way, moving her eyebrows and
rolling her eyes. Such are the wagers and quarrels as far as kissing
is concerned, but the same may be applied with regard to the pressing
or scratching with the nails and fingers, biting and striking. All
these however are only peculiar to men and women of intense passion.
When a man kisses the upper lip of a woman, while she in return
kisses his lower lip, it is called the 'kiss of the upper lip'.
When one of them takes both the lips of the other between his or
her own, it is called 'a clasping kiss'. A woman, however, only takes
this kind of kiss from a man who has no moustache. And on the occasion
of this kiss, if one of them touches the teeth, the tongue, and the
palate of the other, with his or her tongue, it is called the
'fighting of the tongue'. In the same way, the pressing of the teeth
of the one against the mouth of the other is to be practised.
Kissing is of four kinds: moderate, contracted, pressed, and soft,
according to the different parts of the body which are kissed, for
different kinds of kisses are appropriate for different parts of the
When a woman looks at the face of her lover while he is asleep and
kisses it to show her intention or desire, it is called a 'kiss that
When a woman kisses her lover while he is engaged in business, or
while he is quarrelling with her, or while he is looking at something
else, so that his mind may be turned away, it is called a 'kiss that
When a lover coming home late at night kisses his beloved, who is
asleep on her bed, in order to show her his desire, it is called a
'kiss that awakens'. On such an occasion the woman may pretend to be
asleep at the time of her lover's arrival, so that she may know his
intention and obtain respect from him.
When a person kisses the reflection of the person he loves in a
mirror, in water, or on a wall, it is called a 'kiss showing the
When a person kisses a child sitting on his lap, or a picture, or
an image, or figure, in the presence of the person beloved by him, it
is called a 'transferred kiss'.
When at night at a theatre, or in an assembly of caste men, a man
coming up to a woman kisses a finger of her hand if she be standing,
or a toe of her foot if she be sitting, or when a woman is shampooing
her lover's body, places her face on his thigh (as if she was sleepy)
so as to inflame his passion, and kisses his thigh or great toe, it is
called a 'demonstrative kiss'.
There is also a verse on this subject as follows:
'Whatever things may be done by one of the lovers to the other, the
same should be returned by the other, i.e. if the woman kisses him he
should kiss her in return, if she strikes him he should also strike
her in return.'
ON PRESSING, OR MARKING, OR SCRATCHING WITH THE NAILS
WHEN love becomes intense, pressing with the nails or scratching
the body with them is practised, and it is done on the following
occasions: on the first visit; at the time of setting out on a
journey; on the return from a journey; at the time when an angry lover
is reconciled; and lastly when the woman is intoxicated.
But pressing with the nails is not a usual thing except with those
who are intensely passionate, i.e. full of passion. It is employed,
together with biting, by those to whom the practice is agreeable.
Pressing with the nails is of the eight following kinds, according
to the forms of the marks which are produced:
A tiger's nail or claw
A peacock's foot
The jump of a hare
The leaf of a blue lotus
The places that are to be pressed with the nails are as follows:
the arm pit, the throat, the breasts, the lips, the jaghana, or middle
parts of the body, and the thighs. But Suvarnanabha is of opinion that
when the impetuosity of passion is excessive, the places need not be
The qualities of good nails are that they should be bright, well
set, clean, entire, convex, soft, and glossy in appearance. Nails are
of three kinds according to their size:
Large nails, which give grace to the hands, and attract the hearts
of women from their appearance, are possessed by the Bengalees.
Small nails, which can be used in various ways, and are to be
applied only with the object of giving pleasure, are possessed by the
people of the southern districts.
Middling nails, which contain the properties of both the above
kinds, belong to the people of the Maharashtra.
When a person presses the chin, the breasts, the lower lip, or the
jaghana of another so softly that no scratch or mark is left, but only
the hair on the body becomes erect from the touch of the nails, and
the nails themselves make a sound, it is called a 'sounding or
pressing with the nails'.
This pressing is used in the case of a young girl when her lover
shampoos her, scratches her head, and wants to trouble or frighten
The curved mark with the nails, which is impressed on the neck and
the breasts, is called the 'half moon'.
When the half moons are impressed opposite to each other, it is
called a 'circle'. This mark with the nails is generally made on the
navel, the small cavities about the buttocks, and on the joints of the
A mark in the form of a small line, and which can be made on any
part of the body, is called a 'line'.
This same line, when it is curved, and made on the breast, is
called a 'tiger's nail'.
When a curved mark is made on the breast by means of the five
nails, it is called a 'peacock's foot'. This mark is made with the
object of being praised, for it requires a great deal of skill to make
When five marks with the nails are made close to one another near
the nipple of the breast, it is called 'the jump of a hare'.
A mark made on the breast or on the hips in the form of a leaf of
the blue lotus is called the 'leaf of a blue lotus'.
When a person is going on a journey, and makes a mark on the
thighs, or on the breast, it is called a 'token of remembrance'. On
such an occasion three or four lines are impressed close to one
another with the nails.
Here ends the marking with the nails. Marks of other kinds than the
above may also be made with the nails, for the ancient authors say
that, as there are innumerable degrees of skill among men (the
practice of this art being known to all), so there are innumerable
ways of making these marks. And as pressing or marking with the nails
is independent of love, no one can say with certainty how many
different kinds of marks with the nails do actually exist. The reason
of this is, Vatsyayana says, that as variety is necessary in love, so
love is to be Produced by means of variety. It is on this account that
courtesans, who are well acquainted with various ways and means,
become so desirable, for if variety is sought in all the arts and
amusements, such as archery and others, how much more should it be
sought after in the present case.
The marks of the nails should not be made on married women, but
particular kinds of marks may be made on their private parts for the
remembrance and increase of love.
There are also some verses on the subject, as follows:
'The love of a woman who sees the marks of nails on the private
parts of her body, even though they are old and almost worn out,
becomes again fresh and new. If there be no marks of nails to remind a
person of the passages of love, then love is lessened in the same way
as when no union takes place for a long time.'
Even when a stranger sees at a distance a young woman with the
marks of nails on her breast, 1 he is filled with love and respect for
A man, also, who carries the marks of nails and teeth on some parts
of his body, influences the mind of a woman, even though it be ever so
firm. In short, nothing tends to increase love so much as the effects
of marking with the nails, and biting.
1 From this it would appear that in ancient times the breasts of
women were not covered, and this is seen in the paintings of the
Ajunta and other caves, where we find that the breasts of even royal
ladies and others are exposed.
ON BITING, AND THE MEANS TO BE EMPLOYED WITH REGARD TO WOMEN OF
ALL the places that can be kissed are also the places that can be
bitten, except the upper lip, the interior of the mouth, and the eyes.
The qualities of good teeth are as follows: They should be equal,
possessed of a pleasing brightness, capable of being coloured, of
proper proportions, unbroken, and with sharp ends.
The defects of teeth on the other hand are that they are blunt,
protruding from the gums, rough, soft, large, and loosely set.
The following are the different kinds of biting:
The hidden bite
The swollen bite
The line of points
The coral and the jewel
The line of jewels
The broken cloud
The biting of the boar
The biting, which is shown only by the excessive redness of the
skin that is bitten, is called the 'hidden bite'.
When the skin is pressed down on both sides, it is called the
When a small portion of the skin is bitten with two teeth only, it
is called the 'point'.
When such small portions of the skin are bitten with all the teeth,
it is called the 'line of points'.
The biting, which is done by bringing together the teeth and the
lips, is called the 'coral and the jewel'. The lip is the coral, and
the teeth the jewel.
When biting is done with all the teeth, it is called the 'line of
The biting, which consists of unequal risings in a circle, and
which comes from the space between the teeth, is called the 'broken
cloud'. This is impressed on the breasts.
The biting, which consists of many broad rows of marks near to one
another, and with red intervals, is called the 'biting of a boar'.
This is impressed on the breasts and the shoulders; and these two last
modes of biting are peculiar to persons of intense passion.
The lower lip is the place on which the 'hidden bite', the swollen
bite', and the 'point' are made; again the 'swollen bite' and the
'coral and the jewel' bite are done on the cheek. Kissing, pressing
with the nails, and biting are the ornaments of the left cheek, and
when the word cheek is used it is to be understood as the left cheek.
Both the 'line of points' and the 'line of jewels' are to be
impressed on the throat, the arm pit, and the joints of the thighs;
but the 'line of points' alone is to be impressed on the forehead and
The marking with the nails, and the biting of the following things
- an ornament of the forehead, an ear ornament, a bunch of flowers, a
betel leaf, or a tamala leaf, which are worn by, or belong to the
woman that is beloved - are signs of the desire of enjoyment.
Here end the different kinds of biting.
In the affairs of love a man should do such things as are agreeable
to the women of different countries.
The women of the central countries (i.e. between the Ganges and the
Jumna) are noble in their character, not accustomed to disgraceful
practices, and dislike pressing the nails and biting.
The women of the Balhika country are gained over by striking.
The women of Avantika are fond of foul pleasures, and have not good
The women of the Maharashtra are fond of practising the sixty-four
arts, they utter low and harsh words, and like to be spoken to in the
same way, and have an impetuous desire of enjoyment.
The women of Pataliputra (i.e. the modern Patna) are of the same
nature as the women of the Maharashtra, but show their likings only in
The women of the Dravida country, though they are rubbed and
pressed about at the time of sexual enjoyment, have a slow fall of
semen, that is they are very slow in the act of coition.
The women of Vanavasi are moderately passionate, they go through
every kind of enjoyment, cover their bodies, and abuse those who utter
low, mean and harsh words.
The women of Avanti hate kissing, marking with the nails, and
biting, but they have a fondness for various kinds of sexual union.
The women of Malwa like embracing and kissing, but not wounding,
and they are gained over by striking.
The women of Abhira, and those of the country about the Indus and
five rivers (i.e. the Punjab), are gained over by the Auparishtaka or
The women of Aparatika are full of passion, and make slowly the
The women of the Lat country have even more impetuous desire, and
also make the sound 'Sit'.
The women of the Stri Rajya, and of Koshola (Oude), are full of
impetuous desire, their semen falls in large quantities and they are
fond of taking medicine to make it do so.
The women of the Andhra country have tender bodies, they are fond
of enjoyment, and have a liking for voluptuous pleasures.
The women of Ganda have tender bodies, and speak sweetly.
Now Suvarnanabha is of opinion that that which is agreeable to the
nature of a particular person, is of more consequence than that which
is agreeable to a whole nation, and that therefore the peculiarities
of the country should not be observed in such cases. The various
pleasures, the dress, and the sports of one country are in time
borrowed by another, and in such a case these things must be
considered as belonging originally to that country.
Among the things mentioned above, viz. embracing, kissing, etc.,
those which increase passion should be done first, and those which are
only for amusement or variety should be done afterwards.
There are also some verses on this subject as follows:
'When a man bites a woman forcibly, she should angrily do the same
to him with double force. Thus a "point" should be returned with a
"line of points", and a "line of points" with a "broken cloud", and if
she be excessively chafed, she should at once begin a love quarrel
with him. At such a time she should take hold of her lover by the
hair, and bend his head down, and kiss his lower lip, and then, being
intoxicated with love, she should shut her eyes and bite him in
various places. Even by day, and in a place of public resort, when her
lover shows her any mark that she may have inflicted on his body, she
should smile at the sight of it, and turning her face as if she were
going to chide him, she should show him with an angry look the marks
on her own body that have been made by him. Thus if men and women act
according to each other's liking, their love for each other will not
be lessened even in one hundred years.'
OF THE DIFFERENT WAYS OF LYING DOWN, AND VARIOUS KINDS OF CONGRESS
On the occasion of a 'high congress' the Mrigi (Deer) woman should
lie down in such a way as to widen her yoni, while in a 'low congress'
the Hastini (Elephant) woman should lie down so as to contract hers.
But in an 'equal congress' they should lie down in the natural
position. What is said above concerning the Mrigi and the Hastini
applies also to the Vadawa (Mare) woman. In a 'low congress the woman
should particularly make use of medicine, to cause her desires to be
The Deer-woman has the following three ways of lying down:
The widely opened position
The yawning position
The position of the wife of Indra
When she lowers her head and raises her middle parts, it is called
the 'widely opened position'. At such a time the man should apply some
unguent, so as to make the entrance easy.
When she raises her thighs and keeps them wide apart and engages in
congress, it is called the 'yawning position'.
When she places her thighs with her legs doubled on them upon her
sides, and thus engages in congress, it is called the position of
Indrani and this is learnt only by practice. The position is also
useful in the case of the 'highest congress'.
The 'clasping position' is used in 'low congress', and in the
'lowest congress', together with the 'pressing position', the 'twining
position', and the 'mare's position'.
When the legs of both the male and the female are stretched
straight out over each other, it is called the 'clasping position'. It
is of two kinds, the side position and the supine position, according
to the way in which they lie down. In the side position the male
should invariably lie on his left side, and cause the woman to lie on
her right side, and this rule is to be observed in lying down with all
kinds of women.
When, after congress has begun in the clasping position, the woman
presses her lover with her thighs, it is called the 'pressing
When the woman places one of her thighs across the thigh of her
lover it is called the 'twining position'.
When a woman forcibly holds in her yoni the lingam after it is in,
it is called the 'mare's position'. This is learnt by practice only,
and is chiefly found among the women of the Andhra country.
The above are the different ways of lying down, mentioned by
Babhravya. Suvarnanabha, however, gives the following in addition:
When the female raises both of her thighs straight up, it is called
the 'rising position'.
When she raises both of her legs, and places them on her lover's
shoulders, it is called the 'yawning position'.
When the legs are contracted, and thus held by the lover before his
bosom, it is called the 'pressed position'.
When only one of her legs is stretched out, it is called the 'half
When the woman places one of her legs on her lover's shoulder, and
stretches the other out, and then places the latter on his shoulder,
and stretches out the other, and continues to do so alternately, it is
called the 'splitting of a bamboo'.
When one of her legs is placed on the head, and the other is
stretched out, it is called the 'fixing of a nail'. This is learnt by
When both the legs of the woman are contracted, and placed on her
stomach, it is called the 'crab's position'.
When the thighs are raised and placed one upon the other, it is
called the 'packed position'.
When the shanks are placed one upon the other, it is called the
When a man, during congress, turns round, and enjoys the woman
without leaving her, while she embraces him round the back all the
time, it is called the 'turning position', and is learnt only by
Thus, says Suvarnanabha, these different ways of lying down,
sitting, and standing should be practised in water, because it is easy
to do so therein. But Vatsyayana is of opinion that congress in water
is improper, because it is prohibited by the religious law.
When a man and a woman support themselves on each other's bodies,
or on a wall, or pillar, and thus while standing engage in congress,
it is called the 'supported congress'.
When a man supports himself against a wall, and the woman, sitting
on his hands joined together and held underneath her, throws her arms
round his neck, and putting her thighs alongside his waist, moves
herself by her feet, which are touching the wall against which the man
is leaning, it is called the 'suspended congress'.
When a woman stands on her hands and feet like a quadruped, and her
lover mounts her like a bull, it is called the 'congress of a cow'. At
this time everything that is ordinarily done on the bosom should be
done on the back.
In the same way can be carried on the congress of a dog, the
congress of a goat, the congress of a deer, the forcible mounting of
an ass, the congress of a cat, the jump of a tiger, the pressing of an
elephant, the rubbing of a boar, and the mounting of a horse. And in
all these cases the characteristics of these different animals should
be manifested by acting like them.
When a man enjoys two women at the same time, both of whom love him
equally, it is called the 'united congress'.
When a man enjoys many women altogether, it is called the 'congress
of a herd of cows'.
The following kinds of congress-sporting in water, or the congress
of an elephant with many female elephants which is said to take place
only in the water, the congress of a collection of goats, the congress
of a collection of deer take place in imitation of these animals.
In Gramaneri many young men enjoy a woman that may be married to
one of them, either one after the other, or at the same time. Thus one
of them holds her, another enjoys her, a third uses her mouth, a
fourth holds her middle part, and in this way they go on enjoying her
several parts alternately.
The same things can be done when several men are sitting in company
with one courtesan, or when one courtesan is alone with many men. In
the same way this can be done by the women of the king's harem when
they accidentally get hold of a man.
The people in the Southern countries have also a congress in the
anus, that is called the 'lower congress'.
Thus ends the various kinds of congress. There are also two verses
on the subject as follows:
'An ingenious person should multiply the kinds of congress after
the fashion of the different kinds of beasts and of birds. For these
different kinds of congress, performed according to the usage of each
country, and the liking of each individual, generate love, friendship,
and respect in the hearts of women.'
OF THE VARIOUS MODES OF STRIKING, AND OF THE SOUNDS APPROPRIATE TO
SEXUAL intercourse can be compared to a quarrel, on account of the
contrarieties of love and its tendency to dispute. The place of
striking with passion is the body, and on the body the special places
The space between the breasts
The jaghana, or middle part of the body
Striking is of four kinds:
Striking with the back of the hand
Striking with the fingers a little contracted
Striking with the fist
Striking with the open palm of the hand
On account of its causing pain, striking gives rise to the hissing
sound, which is of various kinds, and to the eight kinds of crying:
The sound Hin
The thundering sound
The cooing sound
The weeping sound
The sound Phut
The sound Phât
The sound Sût
The sound Plât
Besides these, there are also words having a meaning, such as
'mother', and those that are expressive of prohibition, sufficiency,
desire of liberation, pain or praise, and to which may be added sounds
like those of the dove, the cuckoo, the green pigeon, the parrot, the
bee, the sparrow, the flamingo, the duck, and the quail, which are all
occasionally made use of.
Blows with the fist should be given on the back of the woman while
she is sitting on the lap of the man, and she should give blows in
return, abusing the man as if she were angry, and making the cooing
and the weeping sounds. While the woman is engaged in congress the
space between the breasts should be struck with the back of the hand,
slowly at first, and then proportionately to the increasing
excitement, until the end.
At this time the sounds Hin and others may be made, alternately or
optionally, according to habit. When the man, making the sound Phât,
strikes the woman on the head, with the fingers of his hand a little
contracted, it is called Prasritaka, which means striking with the
fingers of the hand a little contracted. In this case the appropriate
sounds are the cooing sound, the sound Phât and the sound Phut in the
interior of the mouth, and at the end of congress the sighing and
weeping sounds. The sound Phât is an imitation of the sound of a
bamboo being split, while the sound Phut is like the sound made by
something falling into water. At all times when kissing and such like
things are begun, the woman should give a reply with a hissing sound.
During the excitement when the woman is not accustomed to striking,
she continually utters words expressive of prohibition, sufficiently,
or desire of liberation, as well as the words 'father', 'mother',
intermingled with the sighing, weeping and thundering sounds. 1
Towards the conclusion of the congress, the breasts, the jaghana, and
the sides of the woman should be pressed with the open palms of the
hand, with some force, until the end of it, and then sounds like those
of the quail or the goose should be made.
There are two verses on the subject as follows:
'The characteristics of manhood are said to consist of roughness
and impetuosity, while weakness, tenderness, sensibility, and an
inclination to turn away from unpleasant things are the distinguishing
marks of womanhood. The excitement of passion, and peculiarities of
habit may sometimes cause contrary results to appear, but these do not
last long, and in the end the natural state is resumed.'
The wedge on the bosom, the scissors on the head, the piercing
instrument on the cheeks, and the pinchers on the breasts and sides,
may also be taken into consideration with the other four modes of
striking, and thus give eight ways altogether. But these four ways of
striking with instruments are peculiar to the people of the southern
countries, and the marks caused by them are seen on the breasts of
their women. They are local peculiarities, but Vatsyayana is of
opinion that the practice of them is painful, barbarous, and base, and
quite unworthy of imitation.
In the same way anything that is a local peculiarity should not
always be adopted elsewhere, and even in the place where the practice
is prevalent, excess of it should always be avoided. Instances of the
dangerous use of them may be given as follows. The king of the
Panchalas killed the courtesan Madhavasena by means of the wedge
during congress. King Satakarni Satavahana of the Kuntalas deprived
his great Queen Malayavati of her life by a pair of scissors, and
Naradeva, whose hand was deformed, blinded a dancing girl by directing
a piercing instrument in a wrong way.
There are also two verses on the subject as follows:
'About these things there cannot be either enumeration or any
definite rule. Congress having once commenced, passion alone gives
birth to all the acts of the parties.'
'Such passionate actions and amorous gesticulations or movements,
which arise on the spur of the moment, and during sexual intercourse,
cannot be defined, and are as irregular as dreams. A horse having once
attained the fifth degree of motion goes on with blind speed,
regardless of pits, ditches, and posts in his way; and in the same
manner a loving pair become blind with passion in the heat of
congress, and go on with great impetuosity, paying not the least
regard to excess. For this reason one who is well acquainted with the
science of love, and knowing his own strength, as also the tenderness,
impetuosity, and strength of the young women, should act accordingly.
The various modes of enjoyment are not for all times or for all
persons, but they should only be used at the proper time. and in the
proper countries and places.'
1 Men who are well acquainted with the art of love are well aware
how often one woman differs from another in her sighs and sounds
during the time of congress. Some women like to be talked to in the
most loving way, others in the most lustful way, others in the most
abusive way, and so on. Some women enjoy themselves with closed eyes
in silence, others make a great noise over it, and some almost faint
away. The great art is to ascertain what gives them the greatest
pleasure, and what specialities they like best.
ABOUT WOMEN ACTING THE PART OF A MAN; AND OF THE WORK OF A MAN
WHEN a woman sees that her lover is fatigued by constant congress,
without having his desire satisfied, she should, with his permission,
lay him down upon his back, and give him assistance by acting his
part. She may also do this to satisfy the curiosity of her lover, or
her own desire of novelty.
There are two ways of doing this, the first is when during congress
she turns round, and gets on the top of her lover, in such a manner as
to continue the congress, without obstructing the pleasure of it; and
the other is when she acts the man's part from the beginning. At such
a time, with flowers in her hair hanging loose, and her smiles broken
by hard breathings, she should press upon her lover's bosom with her
own breasts, and lowering her head frequently, should do in return the
same actions which he used to do before, returning his blows and
chaffing him, should say, 'I was laid down by you, and fatigued with
hard congress, I shall now therefore lay you down in return.' She
should then again manifest her own bashfulness, her fatigue, and her
desire of stopping the congress. In this way she should do the work of
a man, which we shall presently relate.
Whatever is done by a man for giving pleasure to a woman is called
the work of a man, and is as follows:
While the woman is lying on his bed, and is as it were abstracted
by his conversation, he should loosen the knot of her undergarments,
and when she begins to dispute with him, he should overwhelm her with
kisses. Then when his lingam is erect he should touch her with his
hands in various places, and gently manipulate various parts of the
body. If the woman is bashful, and if it is the first time that they
have come together, the man should place his hands between her thighs,
which she would probably keep close together, and if she is a very
young girl, he should first get his hands upon her breasts, which she
would probably cover with her own hands, and under her armpits and on
her neck. If however she is a seasoned woman, he should do whatever is
agreeable either to him or to her, and whatever is fitting for the
occasion. After this he should take hold of her hair, and hold her
chin in his fingers for the purpose of kissing her. On this, if she is
a young girl, she will become bashful and close her eyes. Anyhow he
should gather from the action of the woman what things would be
pleasing to her during congress.
Here Suvarnanabha says that while a man is doing to the woman what
he likes best during congress, he should always make a point of
pressing those parts of her body on which she turns her eyes.
The signs of the enjoyment and satisfaction of the woman are as
follows: her body relaxes, she closes her eyes, she puts aside all
bashfulness, and shows increased willingness to unite the two organs
as closely together as possible. On the other hand, the signs of her
want of enjoyment and of failing to be satisfied are as follows: she
shakes her hands, she does not let the man get up, feels dejected,
bites the man, kicks him, and continues to go on moving after the man
has finished. In such cases the man should rub the yoni of the woman
with his hand and fingers (as the elephant rubs anything with his
trunk) before engaging in congress, until it is softened, and after
that is done he should proceed to put his lingam into her.
The acts to be done by the man are:
Friction or churning
Giving a blow
The blow of a boar
The blow of a bull
The sporting of a sparrow
When the organs are brought together properly and directly it is
called 'moving the organ forward'.
When the lingam is held with the hand, and turned all round in the
yoni, it is called 'churning'.
When the yoni is lowered, and the upper part of it is struck with
the lingam, it is called 'piercing'.
When the same thing is done on the lower part of the yoni, it is
When the yoni is pressed by the lingam for a long time, it is
When the lingam is removed to some distance from the yoni, and then
forcibly strikes it, it is called 'giving a blow'.
When only one part of the yoni is rubbed with the lingam, it is
called the 'blow of a boar'.
When both sides of the yoni are rubbed in this way, it is called
the 'blow of a bull'.
When the lingam is in the yoni, and moved up and down frequently,
and without being taken out, it is called the 'sporting of a sparrow'.
This takes place at the end of congress.
When a woman acts the part of a man, she has the following things
to do in addition to the nine given above:
The pair of tongs
When the woman holds the lingam in her yoni, draws it in, presses
it, and keeps it thus in her for a long time, it is called the 'pair
When, while engaged in congress, she turns round like a wheel, it
is called the 'top'. This is learnt by practice only.
When, on such an occasion, the man lifts up the middle part of his
body, and the woman turns round her middle part, it is called the
When the woman is tired, she should place her forehead on that of
her lover, and should thus take rest without disturbing the union of
the organs, and when the woman has rested herself the man should turn
round and begin the congress again.
There are also some verses on the subject as follows:
'Though a woman is reserved, and keeps her feelings concealed; yet
when she gets on the top of a man, she then shows all her love and
desire. A man should gather from the actions of the woman of what
disposition she is, and in what way she likes to be enjoyed. A woman
during her monthly courses, a woman who has been lately confined, and
a fat woman should not be made to act the part of a man.'
OF THE AUPARISHTAKA OR MOUTH CONGRESS
THERE are two kinds of eunuchs, those that are disguised as males,
and those that are disguised as females. Eunuchs disguised as females
imitate their dress, speech, gestures, tenderness, timidity,
simplicity, softness and bashfulness. The acts that are done on the
jaghana or middle parts of women, are done in the mouths of these
eunuchs, and this is called Auparishtaka. 1 These eunuchs derive their
imaginable pleasure, and their livelihood from this kind of congress,
and they lead the life of courtesans. So much concerning eunuchs
disguised as females.
Eunuchs disguised as males keep their desires secret, and when they
wish to do anything they lead the life of shampooers. Under the
pretence of shampooing, a eunuch of this kind embraces and draws
towards himself the thighs of the man whom he is shampooing, and after
this he touches the joints of his thighs and his jaghana, or central
portions of his body. Then, if he finds the lingam of the man erect,
he presses it with his hands and chaffs him for getting into that
state. If after this, and after knowing his intention, the man does
not tell the eunuch to proceed, then the latter does it of his own
accord and begins the congress. If however he is ordered by the man to
do it, then he disputes with him, and only consents at last with
The following eight things are then done by the eunuch one after
The nominal congress
Biting the sides
Sucking a mango fruit
At the end of each of these, the eunuch expresses his wish to stop,
but when one of them is finished, the man desires him to do another,
and after that is done, then the one that follows it, and so on.
When, holding the man's lingam with his hand, and placing it
between his lips, the eunuch moves about his mouth, it is called the
When, covering the end of the lingam with his fingers collected
together like the bud of a plant or flower, the eunuch presses the
sides of it with his lips, using his teeth also, it is called 'biting
When, being desired to proceed, the eunuch presses the end of the
lingam with his lips closed together, and kisses it as if he were
drawing it out, it is called the 'outside pressing'.
When, being asked to go on, he puts the lingam further into his
mouth, and presses it with his lips and then takes it out, it is
called the 'inside pressing'.
When, holding the lingam in his hand, the eunuch kisses it as if he
were kissing the lower lip, it is called 'kissing'.
When, after kissing it, he touches it with his tongue everywhere,
and passes the tongue over the end of it, it is called 'rubbing'.
When, in the same way, he puts the half of it into his mouth, and
forcibly kisses and sucks it, this is called 'sucking a mango fruit'.
And lastly, when, with the consent of the man, the eunuch puts the
whole lingam into his mouth, and presses it to the very end, as if he
were going to swallow it up, it is called 'swallowing up'.
Striking, scratching, and other things may also be done during this
kind of congress.
The Auparishtaka is practised also by unchaste and wanton women,
female attendants and serving maids, i.e. those who are not married to
anybody, but who live by shampooing.
The Acharyas (i.e. ancient and venerable authors) are of opinion
that this Auparishtaka is the work of a dog and not of a man, because
it is a low practice, and opposed to the orders of the Holy Writ, and
because the man himself suffers by bringing his lingam into contact
with the mouths of eunuchs and women. But Vatsyayana says that the
orders of the Holy Writ do not affect those who resort to courtesans,
and the law prohibits the practice of the Auparishtaka with married
women only. As regards the injury to the male, that can be easily
The people of Eastern India do not resort to women who practise the
The people of Ahichhatra resort to such women, but do nothing with
them, so far as the mouth is concerned.
The people of Saketa do with these women every kind of mouth
congress, while the people of Nagara do not practise this, but do
every other thing.
The people of the Shurasena country, on the southern bank of the
Jumna, do everything without any hesitation, for they say that women
being naturally unclean, no one can be certain about their character,
their purity, their conduct, their practices, their confidences, or
their speech. They are not however on this account to be abandoned,
because religious law, on the authority of which they are reckoned
pure, lays down that the udder of a cow is clean at the time of
milking, though the mouth of a cow, and also the mouth of her calf,
are considered unclean by the Hindoos. Again a dog is clean when he
seizes a deer in hunting, though food touched by a dog is otherwise
considered very unclean. A bird is clean when it causes a fruit to
fall from a tree by pecking at it, though things eaten by crows and
other birds are considered unclean. And the mouth of a woman is clean
for kissing and such like things at the time of sexual intercourse.
Vatsyayana moreover thinks that in all these things connected with
love, everybody should act according to the custom of his country, and
his own inclination.
There are also the following verses on the subject:
'The male servants of some men carry on the mouth congress with
their masters. It is also practised by some citizens, who know each
other well, among themselves. Some women of the harem, when they are
amorous, do the acts of the mouth on the yonis of one another, and
some men do the same thing with women. The way of doing this (i.e. of
kissing the yoni) should be known from kissing the mouth. When a man
and woman lie down in an inverted order, i.e. with the head of the one
towards the feet of the other and carry on this congress, it is called
the "congress of a crow".'
For the sake of such things courtesans abandon men possessed of
good qualities, liberal and clever, and become attached to low
persons, such as slaves and elephant drivers. The Auparishtaka, or
mouth congress, should never be done by a learned Brahman, by a
minister that carries on the business of a state, or by a man of good
reputation, because though the practice is allowed by the Shastras,
there is no reason why it should be carried on, and need only be
practised in particular cases. As for instance, the taste, and the
strength, and the digestive qualities of the flesh of dogs are
mentioned in works on medicine, but it does not therefore follow that
it should be eaten by the wise. In the same way there are some men,
some places and some times, with respect to which these practices can
be made use of. A man should therefore pay regard to the place, to the
time, and to the practice which is to be carried out, as also as to
whether it is agreeable to his nature and to himself, and then he may
or may not practise these things according to circumstances. But after
all, these things being done secretly, and the mind of the man being
fickle, how can it be known what any person will do at any particular
time and for any particular purpose.
1 This practice appears to have been prevalent in some parts of
India from a very ancient time. The Shustruta , a work on medicine
some two thousand years old, describes the wounding of the lingam with
the teeth as one of the causes of a disease treated upon in that work.
Traces of the practice are found as far back as the eighth century,
for various kinds of the Auparishtaka are represented in the
sculptures of many Shaiva temples at Bhuvaneshwara, near Cuttack, in
Orissa, and which were built about that period. From these sculptures
being found in such places, it would seem that this practice was
popular in that part of the country at that time. It does not seem to
be so prevalent now in Hindustan, its place perhaps is filled up by
the practice of sodomy, introduced since the Mahomedan period.
OF THE WAY HOW TO BEGIN AND HOW TO END THE CONGRESS.
KINDS OF CONGRESS AND LOVE QUARRELS
IN the pleasure-room, decorated with flowers, and fragrant with
perfumes, attended by his friends and servants, the citizen should
receive the woman, who will come bathed and dressed, and will invite
her to take refreshment and to drink freely. He should then seat her
on his left side, and holding her hair, and touching also the end and
knot of her garment, he should gently embrace her with his right arm.
They should then carry on an amusing conversation on various subjects,
and may also talk suggestively of things which would be considered as
coarse, or not to be mentioned generally in society. They may then
sing, either with or without gesticulations, and play on musical
instruments, talk about the arts, and persuade each other to drink. At
last when the woman is overcome with love and desire, the citizen
should dismiss the people that may be with him, giving them flowers,
ointments, and betel leaves, and then when the two are left alone,
they should proceed as has been already described in the previous
Such is the beginning of sexual union. At the end of the congress,
the lovers with modesty, and not looking at each other, should go
separately to the washing-room. After this, sitting in their own
places, they should eat some betel leaves, and the citizen should
apply with his own hand to the body of the woman some pure sandal wood
ointment, or ointment of some other kind. He should then embrace her
with his left arm, and with agreeable words should cause her to drink
from a cup held in his own hand, or he may give her water to drink.
They can then eat sweetmeats, or anything else, according to their
likings and may drink fresh juice, 1 soup, gruel, extracts of meat,
sherbet, the juice of mango fruits, the extract of the juice of the
citron tree mixed with sugar, or anything that may be liked in
different countries, and known to be sweet, soft, and pure. The lovers
may also sit on the terrace of the palace or house, and enjoy the
moonlight, and carry on an agreeable conversation. At this time, too,
while the woman lies in his lap, with her face towards the moon, the
citizen should show her the different planets, the morning star, the
polar star, and the seven Rishis, or Great Bear.
This is the end of sexual union.
Congress is of the following kinds:
Congress of subsequent love
Congress of artificial love
Congress of transferred love
Congress like that of eunuchs
Congress of spontaneous love
When a man and a woman, who have been in love with each other for
some time, come together with great difficulty, or when one of the two
returns from a journey, or is reconciled after having been separated
on account of a quarrel, then congress is called the 'loving
congress'. It is carried on according to the liking of the lovers, and
as long as they choose.
When two persons come together, while their love for each other is
still in its infancy, their congress is called the 'congress of
When a man carries on the congress by exciting himself by means of
the sixty-four ways, such as kissing, etc., etc., or when a man and a
woman come together, though in reality they are both attached to
different persons, their congress is then called 'congress of
artificial love'. At this time all the ways and means mentioned in the
Kama Shastra should be used.
When a man, from the beginning to the end of the congress, though
having connection with the woman, thinks all the time that he is
enjoying another one whom he loves, it is called the 'congress of
Congress between a man and a female water carrier, or a female
servant of a caste lower than his own, lasting only until the desire
is satisfied, is called 'congress like that of eunuchs'. Here external
touches, kisses, and manipulation are not to be employed.
The congress between a courtesan and a rustic, and that between
citizens and the women of villages, and bordering countries, is called
The congress that takes place between two persons who are attached
to one another, and which is done according to their own liking is
called 'spontaneous congress'.
Thus end the kinds of congress.
We shall now speak of love quarrels.
A woman who is very much in love with a man cannot bear to hear the
name of her rival mentioned, or to have any conversation regarding
her, or to be addressed by her name through mistake. If such takes
place, a great quarrel arises, and the woman cries, becomes angry,
tosses her hair about, strikes her lover, falls from her bed or seat,
and, casting aside her garlands and ornaments, throws herself down on
At this time, the lover should attempt to reconcile her with
conciliatory words, and should take her up carefully and place her on
her bed. But she, not replying to his questions, and with increased
anger, should bend down his head by pulling his hair, and having
kicked him once, twice, or thrice on his arms, head, bosom or back,
should then proceed to the door of the room. Dattaka says that she
should then sit angrily near the door and shed tears, but should not
go out, because she would be found fault with for going away. After a
time, when she thinks that the conciliatory words and actions of her
lover have reached their utmost, she should then embrace him, talking
to him with harsh and reproachful words, but at the same time showing
a loving desire for congress.
When the woman is in her own house, and has quarrelled with her
lover, she should go to him and show how angry she is, and leave him.
Afterwards the citizen having sent the Vita, the Vidushaka or the
Pithamarda 2 to pacify her, she should accompany them back to the
house, and spend the night with her lover.
Thus end the love quarrels.
A man, employing the sixty-four means mentioned by Babhravya,
obtains his object, and enjoys the woman of the first quality. Though
he may speak well on other subjects, if he does not know the
sixty-four divisions, no great respect is paid to him in the assembly
of the learned. A man, devoid of other knowledge, but well acquainted
with the sixty-four divisions, becomes a leader in any society of men
and women. What man will not respect the sixty-four arts, 3
considering they are respected by the learned, by the cunning, and by
the courtesans. As the sixty-four arts are respected, are charming,
and add to the talent of women, they are called by the Acharyas dear
to women. A man skilled in the sixty-four arts is looked upon with
love by his own wife, by the wives of others, and by courtesans
1 The fresh juice of the cocoa nut tree, the date tree, and other
kinds of palm trees are drunk in India. It will keep fresh very long,
but ferments rapidly, and is then distilled into liquor.
2 The characteristics of these three individuals have been given in
3 A definition of the sixty-four arts is given in Part I, Chapter
WHEN a girl of the same caste, and a virgin, is married in
accordance with the precepts of Holy Writ, the results of such a union
are the acquisition of Dharma and Artha, offspring, affinity, increase
of friends, and untarnished love. For this reason a man should fix his
affections upon a girl who is of good family, whose parents are alive,
and who is three years or more younger than himself. She should be
born of a highly respectable family, possessed of wealth, well
connected, and with many relations and friends. She should also be
beautiful, of a good disposition, with lucky marks on her body, and
with good hair, nails, teeth, ears, eyes and breasts, neither more nor
less than they ought to be, and no one of them entirely wanting, and
not troubled with a sickly body. The man should, of course, also
possess these qualities himself. But at all events, says Ghotakamukha,
a girl who has been already joined with others (i.e. no longer a
maiden) should never be loved, for it would be reproachable to do such
Now in order to bring about a marriage with such a girl as
described above, thee parents and relations of the man should exert
themselves, as also such friends on both sides as may be desired to
assist in the matter. These friends should bring to the notice of the
girl's parents, the faults, both present and future, of all the other
men that may wish to marry her, and should at the same time extol even
to exaggeration all the excellencies, ancestral, and paternal, of
their friend, so as to endear him to them, and particularly to those
that may be liked by the girl's mother. One of the friends should also
disguise himself as an astrologer, and declare the future good fortune
and wealth of his friend by showing the existence of all the lucky
omens 1 and signs, 2 the good influence of planets, the auspicious
entrance of the sun into a sign of the Zodiac, propitious stars and
fortunate marks on his body. Others again should rouse the jealousy of
the girl's mother by telling her that their friend has a chance of
getting from some other quarter even a better girl than hers.
A girl should be taken as a wife, as also given in marriage, when
fortune, signs, omens, and the words 3 of others are favourable, for,
says Ghotakamukha, a man should not marry at any time he likes. A girl
who is asleep, crying, or gone out of the house when sought in
marriage, or who is betrothed to another, should not be married. The
following also should be avoided:
One who is kept concealed
One who has an ill-sounding name
One who has her nose depressed
One who has her nostril turned up
One who is formed like a male
One who is bent down
One who has crooked thighs
One who has a projecting forehead
One who has a bald head
One who does not like purity
One who has been polluted by another
One who is affected with the Gulma 4
One who is disfigured in any way
One who has fully arrived at puberty
One who is a friend
One who is a younger sister
One who is a Varshakari 5
In the same way a girl who is called by the name of one of the
twenty-seven stars, or by the name of a tree, or of a river, is
considered worthless, as also a girl whose name ends in 'r' or 'l'.
But some authors say that prosperity is gained only by marrying that
girl to whom one becomes attached, and that therefore no other girl
but the one who is loved should be married by anyone.
When a girl becomes marriageable her parents should dress her
smartly, and should place her where she can be easily seen by all.
Every afternoon, having dressed her and decorated her in a becoming
manner, they should send her with her female companions to sports,
sacrifices, and marriage ceremonies, and thus show her to advantage in
society, because she is a kind of merchandise. They should also
receive with kind words and signs of friendliness those of an
auspicious appearance who may come accompanied by their friends and
relations for the purpose of marrying their daughter, and under some
pretext or other having first dressed her becomingly, should then
present her to them. After this they should await the pleasure of
fortune, and with this object should appoint a future day on which a
determination could be come to with regard to their daughter's
marriage. On this occasion when the persons have come, the parents of
the girl should ask them to bathe and dine, and should say,
'Everything will take place at the proper time', and should not then
comply with the request, but should settle the matter later.
When a girl is thus acquired, either according to the custom of the
country, or according to his own desire, the man should marry her in
accordance with the precepts of the Holy Writ, according to one of the
four kinds of marriage.
Thus ends marriage.
There are also some verses on the subject as follows:
'Amusement in society, such as completing verses begun by others,
marriages, and auspicious ceremonies should be carried on neither with
superiors, nor inferiors, but with our equals. That should be known as
a high connection when a man, after marrying a girl, has to serve her
and her relations afterwards like a servant, and such a connection is
censured by the good. On the other hand, that reproachable connection,
where a man, together with his relations, lords it over his wife, is
called a low connection by the wise. But when both the man and the
woman afford mutual pleasure to each other, and when the relatives on
both sides pay respect to one another, such is called a connection in
the proper sense of the word. Therefore a man should contract neither
a high connection by which he is obliged to bow down afterwards to his
kinsmen, nor a low connection, which is universally reprehended by
1 The flight of a blue jay on a person's left side is considered a
lucky omen when one starts on any business; the appearance of a cat
before anyone at such a time is looked on as a bad omen. There are
many omens of the same kind.
2 Such as the throbbing of the right eye of men and the left eye of
3 Before anything is begun it is a custom to go early in the
morning to a neighbour's house, and overhear the first words that may
be spoken in his family, and according as the words heard are of good
or bad import, to draw an inference as to the success or failure of
4 A disease consisting of any glandular enlargement in any part of
5 A woman, the palms of whose hands and the soles of whose feet are
OF CREATING CONFIDENCE IN THE GIRL
FOR the first three days after marriage, the girl and her husband
should sleep on the floor, abstain from sexual pleasures, and eat
their food without seasoning it either with alkali or salt. For the
next seven days they should bathe amidst tire sounds of auspicious
musical instruments, should decorate themselves, dine together, and
pay attention to their relations as well as to those who may have come
to witness their marriage. This is applicable to persons of all
castes. On the night of the tenth day the man should begin in a lonely
place with soft words, and thus create confidence in the girl. Some
authors say that for the purpose of winning her over he should not
speak to her for three days, but the followers of Babhravya are of
opinion that if the man does not speak with her for three days, the
girl may be discouraged by seeing him spiritless like a pillar, and,
becoming dejected, she may begin to despise him as a eunuch.
Vatsyayana says that the man should begin to win her over, and to
create confidence in her, but should abstain at first from sexual
pleasures. Women, being of a tender nature, want tender beginnings,
and when they are forcibly approached by men with whom they are but
slightly acquainted, they sometimes suddenly become haters of sexual
connection, and sometimes even haters of the male sex. The man should
therefore approach the girl according to her liking, and should make
use of those devices by which he may be able to establish himself more
and more into her confidence. These devices are as follows:
He should embrace her first of all in a way she likes most, because
it does not last for a long time.
He should embrace her with the upper part of his body because that
is easier and simpler. If the girl is grown up, or if the man has
known her for some time, he may embrace her by the light of a lamp,
but if he is not well acquainted with her, or if she is a young girl,
he should then embrace her in darkness.
When the girl accepts the embrace, the man should put a tambula or
screw of betel nut and betel leaves in her mouth, and if she will not
take it, he should induce her to do so by conciliatory words,
entreaties, oaths, and kneeling at her feet, for it is a universal
rule that however bashful or angry a woman may be she never disregards
a man's kneeling at her feet. At the time of giving this tambula he
should kiss her mouth softly and gracefully without making any sound.
When she is gained over in this respect he should then make her talk,
and so that she may be induced to talk he should ask her questions
about things of which he knows or pretends to know nothing, and which
can be answered in a few words. If she does not speak to him, he
should not frighten her, but should ask her the same thing again and
again in a conciliatory manner. If she does not then speak he should
urge her to give a reply because, as Ghotakamukha says, 'all girls
hear everything said to them by men, but do not themselves sometimes
say a single word'. When she is thus importuned, the girl should give
replies by shakes of the head, but if she has quarrelled with the man
she should not even do that. When she is asked by the man whether she
wishes for him, and whether she likes him, she should remain silent
for a long time, and when at last importuned to reply, should give him
a favourable answer by a nod of her head. If the man is previously
acquainted with the girl he should converse with her by means of a
female friend, who may be favourable to him, and in the confidence of
both, and carry on the conversation on both sides. On such an occasion
the girl should smile with her head bent down, and if the female
friend say more on her part than she was desired to do, she should
chide her and dispute with her. The female friend should say in jest
even what she is not desired to say by the girl, and add, 'she says
so', on which the girl should say indistinctly and prettily, 'O no! I
did not say so', and she should then smile and throw an occasional
glance towards the man.
If the girl is familiar with the man, she should place near him,
without saying anything, the tambula, the ointment, or the garland
that he may have asked for, or she may tie them up in his upper
garment. While she is engaged in this, the man should touch her young
breasts in the sounding way of pressing with the nails, and if she
prevents him doing this he should say to her, ' I will not do it again
if you will embrace me', and should in this way cause her to embrace
him. While he is being embraced by her he should pass his hand
repeatedly over and about her body. By and by he should place her in
his lap, and try more and more to gain her consent, and if she will
not yield to him he should frighten her by saying 'I shall impress
marks of my teeth and nails on your lips and breasts, and then make
similar marks on my own body, and shall tell my friends that you did
them. What will you say then?' In this and other ways, as fear and
confidence are created in the minds of children, so should the man
gain her over to his wishes.
On the second and third nights, after her confidence has increased
still more, he should feel the whole of her body with his hands, and
kiss her all over; he should also place his hands upon her thighs and
shampoo them, and if he succeed in this he should then shampoo the
joints of her thighs. If she tries to prevent him doing this he should
say to her, 'What harm is there in doing it?' and should persuade her
to let him do it. After gaining this point he should touch her private
parts, should loosen her girdle and the knot of her dress, and turning
up her lower garment should shampoo the joints of her naked thighs.
Under various pretences he should do all these things, but he should
not at that time begin actual congress. After this he should teach her
the sixty-four arts, should tell her how much he loves her, and
describe to her the hopes which he formerly entertained regarding her.
He should also promise to be faithful to her in future, and should
dispel all her fears with respect to rival women, and, at last, after
having overcome her bashfulness, he should begin to enjoy her in a way
so as not to frighten her. So much about creating confidence in the
girl; and there are, moreover, some verses on the subject as follows:
'A man acting according to the inclinations of a girl should try to
gain her over so that she may love him and place her confidence in
him. A man does not succeed either by implicitly following the
inclination of a girl, or by wholly opposing her, and he should
therefore adopt a middle course. He who knows how to make himself
beloved by women, as well as to increase their honour and create
confidence in them, this man becomes an object of their love. But he
who neglects a girl, thinking she is too bashful, is despised by her
as a beast ignorant of the working of the female mind. Moreover, a
girl forcibly enjoyed by one who does not understand the hearts of
girls becomes nervous, uneasy, and dejected, and suddenly begins to
hate the man who has taken advantage of her; and then, when her love
is not understood or returned, she sinks into despondency, and becomes
either a hater of mankind altogether, or, hating her own man, she has
recourse to other men.' 1
1 These last few lines have been exemplified in many ways in many
novels of this century.
ON COURTSHIP, AND THE MANIFESTATION OF THE FEELINGS BY OUTWARD
SIGNS AND DEEDS
A POOR man possessed of good qualities, a man born of a low family
possessed of mediocre qualities, a neighbour possessed of wealth, and
one under the control of his father, mother or brothers, should not
marry without endeavouring to gain over the girl from her childhood to
love and esteem him. Thus a boy separated from his parents, and living
in the house of his uncle, should try to gain over the daughter of his
uncle, or some other girl, even though she be previously betrothed to
another. And this way of gaining over a girl, says Ghotakamukha, is
unexceptional, because Dharma can be accomplished by means of it as
well as by any other way of marriage.
When a boy has thus begun to woo the girl he loves, he should spend
his time with her and amuse her with various games and diversions
fitted for their age and acquaintanceship, such as picking and
collecting flowers, making garlands of flowers, playing the parts of
members of a fictitious family, cooking food, playing with dice,
playing with cards, the game of odd and even, the game of finding out
the middle finger, the game of six pebbles, and such other games as
may be prevalent in the country, and agreeable to the disposition of
the girl. In addition to this, he should carry on various amusing
games played by several persons together, such as hide and seek,
playing with seeds, hiding things in several small heaps of wheat and
looking for them, blindman's buff, gymnastic exercises, and other
games of the same sort, in company with the girl, her friends and
female attendants. The man should also show great kindness to any
woman whom the girl thinks fit to be trusted, and should also make new
acquaintances, but above all he should attach to himself by kindness
and little services the daughter of the girl's nurse, for if she be
gained over, even though she comes to know of his design, she does not
cause any obstruction, but is sometimes even able to effect a union
between him and the girl. And though she knows the true character of
the man, she always talks of his many excellent qualities to the
parents and relations of the girl, even though she may not be desired
to do so by him.
In this way the man should do whatever the girl takes most delight
in, and he should get for her whatever she may have a desire to
possess. Thus he should procure for her such playthings as may be
hardly known to other girls. He may also show her a ball dyed with
various colours, and other curiosities of the same sort; and should
give her dolls made of cloth, wood, buffalo-horn, wax, flour, or
earth; also utensils for cooking food, and figures in wood, such as a
man and woman standing, a pair of rams, or goats, or sheep; also
temples made of earth, bamboo, or wood, dedicated to various
goddesses; and cages for parrots, cuckoos, starlings, quails, cocks,
and partridges; water-vessels of different sorts and of elegant forms,
machines for throwing water about, guitars, stands for putting images
upon, stools, lac, red arsenic, yellow ointment, vermilion and
collyrium, as well as sandalwood, saffron, betel nut and betel leaves.
Such things should be given at different times whenever he gets a good
opportunity of meeting her, and some of them should be given in
private, and some in public, according to circumstances. In short, he
should try in every way to make her look upon him as one who would do
for her everything that she wanted to be done.
In the next place he should get her to meet him in some place
privately, and should then tell her that the reason of his giving
presents to her in secret was the fear that the parents of both of
them might be displeased, and then he may add that the things which he
had given her had been much desired by other people. When her love
begins to show signs of increasing he should relate to her agreeable
stories if she expresses a wish to hear such narratives. Or if she
takes delight in legerdemain, he should amaze her by performing
various tricks of jugglery; or if she feels a great curiosity to see a
performance of the various arts, he should show his own skill in them.
When she is delighted with singing he should entertain her with music,
and on certain days, and at the time of going together to moonlight
fairs and festivals, and at the time of her return after being absent
from home, he should present her with bouquets of flowers, and with
chaplets for the head, and with ear ornaments and rings, for these are
the proper occasions on which such things should be presented.
He should also teach the daughter of the girl's nurse all the
sixty-four means of pleasure practised by men, and under this pretext
should also inform her of his great skill in the art of sexual
enjoyment. All this time he should wear a fine dress, and make as good
an appearance as possible, for young women love men who live with
them, and who are handsome, good looking and well dressed. As for the
sayings that though women may fall in love, they still make no effort
themselves to gain over the object of their affections, that is only a
matter of idle talk.
Now a girl always shows her love by outward signs and actions, such
as the following:
She never looks the man in the face, and becomes abashed when she
is looked at by him; under some pretext or other she shows her limbs
to him; she looks secretly at him though he has gone away from her
side, hangs down her head when she is asked some question by him, and
answers in indistinct words and unfinished sentences, delights to be
in his company for a long time, speaks to her attendants in a peculiar
tone with the hope of attracting his attention towards her when she is
at a distance from him, does not wish to go from the place where he
is, under some pretext or other she makes him look at different
things, narrates to him tales and stories very slowly so that she may
continue conversing with him for a long time, kisses and embraces
before him a child sitting in her lap, draws ornamental marks on the
foreheads of her female servants, performs sportive and graceful
movements when her attendants speak jestingly to her in the presence
of her lover, confides in her lover's friends, and respects and obeys
them, shows kindness to his servants, converses with them, and engages
them to do her work as if she were their mistress, and listens
attentively to them when they tell stories about her lover to somebody
else, enters his house when induced to do so by the daughter of her
nurse, and by her assistance manages to converse and play with him,
avoids being seen by her lover when she is not dressed and decorated,
gives him by the hand of her female friend her ear ornament, ring, or
garland of flowers that he may have asked to see, always wears
anything that he may have presented to her, becomes dejected when any
other bridegroom is mentioned by her parents, and does not mix with,
those who may be of his party, or who may support his claims.
There are also some verses on the subject as follows:
'A man, who has seen and perceived the feelings of the girl towards
him, and who has noticed the outward signs and movements by which
those feelings are expressed, should do everything in his power to
effect a union with her. He should gain over a young girl by childlike
sports, a damsel come of age by his skill in the arts, and a girl that
loves him by having recourse to persons in whom she confides.'
ABOUT THINGS TO BE DONE ONLY BY THE MAN, AND THE ACQUISITION OF THE
ALSO WHAT IS TO BE DONE BY A GIRL TO GAIN OVER A MAN,
AND SUBJECT HIM TO HER
Now when the girl begins to show her love by outward signs and
motions, as described in the last chapter, the lover should try to
gain her over entirely by various ways and means, such as the
When engaged with her in any game or sport he should intentionally
hold her hand. He should practise upon her the various kinds of
embraces, such as the touching embrace, and others already described
in a preceding chapter (Part II, Chapter II). He should show her a
pair of human beings cut out of the leaf of a tree, and such like
things, at intervals. When engaged in water sports, he should dive at
a distance from her, and come tip close to her. He should show an
increased liking for the new foliage of trees and such like things. He
should describe to her the pangs he suffers on her account. He should
relate to her the beautiful dream that he has had with reference to
other women. At parties and assemblies of his caste he should sit near
her, and touch her under some pretence or other, and having placed his
foot upon hers, he should slowly touch each of her toes, and press the
ends of the nails; if successful in this, he should get hold of her
foot with his hand and repeat the same thing. He should also press a
finger of her hand between his toes when she happens to be washing his
feet; and whenever he gives anything to her or takes anything from
her, he should show her by his manner and look how much he loves her.
He should sprinkle upon her the water brought for rinsing his
mouth; and when alone with her in a lonely place, or in darkness, he
should make love to her, and tell her the true state of his mind
without distressing her in any way.
Whenever he sits with her on the same seat or bed he should say to
her, 'I have something to tell you in private', and then, when she
comes to hear it in a quiet place, he should express his love to her
more by manner and signs than by words. When he comes to know the
state of her feelings towards him he should pretend to be ill, and
should make her come to his house to speak to him. There he should
intentionally hold her hand and place it on his eyes and forehead, and
under the pretence of preparing some medicine for him he should ask
her to do the work for his sake in the following words: 'This work
must be done by you, and by nobody else.' When she wants to go away he
should let her go, with an earnest request to come and see him again.
This device of illness should be continued for three days and three
nights. After this, when she begins coming to see him frequently, he
should carry on long conversations with her, for, says Ghotakamukha,
'though a man loves a girl ever so much, he never succeeds in winning
her without a great deal of talking'. At last, when the man finds the
girl completely gained over, he may then begin to enjoy her. As for
the saying that women grow less timid than usual during the evening,
and in darkness, and are desirous of congress at those times, and do
not oppose men then, and should only be enjoyed at these hours, it is
a matter of talk only.
When it is impossible for the man to carry on his endeavours alone,
he should, by means of the daughter of her nurse, or of a female
friend in whom she confides, cause the girl to be brought to him
without making known to her his design, and he should then proceed
with her in the manner above described. Or he should in the beginning
send his own female servant to live with the girl as her friend, and
should then gain her over by her means.
At last, when he knows the state of her feelings by her outward
manner and conduct towards him at religious ceremonies, marriage
ceremonies, fairs, festivals, theatres, public assemblies, and such
like occasions, he should begin to enjoy her when she is alone, for
Vatsyayana lays it down, that women, when resorted to at proper times
and in proper places, do not turn away from their lovers.
When a girl, possessed of good qualities and well-bred, though born
in a humble family, or destitute of wealth, and not therefore desired
by her equals, or an orphan girl, or one deprived of her parents, but
observing the rules of her family and caste, should wish to bring
about her own marriage when she comes of age, such a girl should
endeavour to gain over a strong and good looking young man, or a
person whom she thinks would marry her on account of the weakness of
his mind, and even without the consent of his parents. She should do
this by such means as would endear her to the said person, as well as
by frequently seeing and meeting him. Her mother also should
constantly cause them to meet by means of her female friends, and the
daughter of her nurse. The girl herself should try to get alone with
her beloved in some quiet place, and at odd times should give him
flowers, betel nut, betel leaves and perfumes. She should also show
her skill in the practice of the arts, in shampooing, in scratching
and in pressing with the nails. She should also talk to him on the
subjects he likes best, and discuss with him the ways and means of
gaining over and winning the affections of a girl.
But old authors say that although the girl loves the man ever so
much, she should not offer herself, or make the first overtures, for a
girl who does this loses her dignity, and is liable to be scorned and
rejected. But when the man shows his wish to enjoy her, she should be
favourable to him and should show no change in her demeanour when he
embraces her, and should receive all the manifestations of his love as
if she were ignorant of the state of his mind. But when he tries to
kiss her she should oppose him; when he begs to be allowed to have
sexual intercourse with her she should let him touch her private parts
only and with considerable difficulty; and though importuned by him,
she should not yield herself up to him as if of her own accord, but
should resist his attempts to have her. It is only, moreover, when she
is certain that she is truly loved, and that her over is indeed
devoted to her, and will not change his mind, that she should then
give herself up to him, and persuade him to marry her quickly. After
losing her virginity she should tell her confidential friends about
Here end the efforts of a girl to gain over a man.
There are also some verses on the subject as follows:
'A girl who is much sought after should marry the man that she
likes, and whom she thinks would be obedient to her, and capable of
giving her pleasure. But when from the desire of wealth a girl is
married by her parents to a rich man without taking into consideration
the character or looks of the bridegroom, or when given to a man who
has several wives, she never becomes attached to the man, even though
he be endowed with good qualities, obedient to her will, active,
strong, and healthy, and anxious to please her in every way. 1 A
husband who is obedient but yet master of himself, though he be poor
and not good looking, is better than one who is common to many women,
even though he be handsome and attractive. The wives of rich men,
where there are many wives, are not generally attached to their
husbands, and are not confidential with them, and even though they
possess all the external enjoyments of life, still have recourse to
other men. A man who is of a low mind, who has fallen from his social
position, and who is much given to travelling, does not deserve to be
married; neither does one who has many wives and children, or one who
is devoted to sport and gambling, and who comes to his wife only when
he likes. Of all the lovers of a girl he only is her true husband who
possesses the qualities that are liked by her, and such a husband only
enjoys real superiority over her, because he is the husband of love.'
1 There is a good deal of truth in the last few observations. Woman
is a monogamous animal, and loves but one, and likes to feel herself
alone in the affections of one man, and cannot bear rivals. It may
also be taken as a general rule that women either married to, or kept
by, rich men love them for their wealth but not for themselves.
ON CERTAIN FORMS OF MARRIAGE 1
WHEN a girl cannot meet her lover frequently in private, she should
send the daughter of her nurse to him, it being understood that she
has confidence in her, and had previously gained her over to her
interests. On seeing the man, the daughter of the nurse should, in the
course of conversation, describe to him the noble birth, the good
disposition, the beauty, talent, skill, knowledge of human nature and
affection of the girl in such a way as not to let him suppose that she
had been sent by the girl, and should thus create affection for the
girl in the heart of the man. To the girl also she should speak about
the excellent qualities of the man, especially of those qualities
which she knows are pleasing to the girl. She should, moreover, speak
with disparagement of the other lovers of the girl, and talk about the
avarice and indiscretion of their parents, and the fickleness of their
relations. She should also quote samples of many girls of ancient
times, such as Sakoontala and others, who, having united themselves
with lovers of their own caste and their own choice, were ever happy
afterwards in their society. And she should also tell of other girls
who married into great families, and being troubled by rival wives,
became wretched and miserable, and were finally abandoned. She should
further speak of the good fortune, the continual happiness, the
chastity, obedience, and affection of the man, and if the girl gets
amorous about him, she should endeavour to allay her shame 2 and her
fear as well as her suspicions about any disaster that might result
from her marriage. In a word, she should act the whole part of a
female messenger by telling the girl all about the man's affection for
her, the places he frequented, and the endeavours he made to meet her,
and by frequently repeating, 'It will be all right if the man will
take you away forcibly and unexpectedly.'
The Forms of Marriage
When the girl is gained over, and acts openly with the man as his
wife, he should cause fire to be brought from the house of a Brahman,
and having spread the Kusha grass upon the ground, and offered an
oblation to the fire, he should marry her according to the precepts of
the religious law. After this he should inform his parents of the
fact, because it is the opinion of ancient authors that a marriage
solemnly contracted in the presence of fire cannot afterwards be set
After the consummation of the marriage, the relations of the man
should gradually be made acquainted with the affair, and the relations
of the girl should also be apprised of it in such a way that they may
consent to the marriage, and overlook the manner in which it was
brought about, and when this is done they should afterwards be
reconciled by affectionate presents and favourable conduct. In this
manner the man should marry the girl according to the Gandharva form
When the girl cannot make up her mind, or will not express her
readiness to marry, the man should obtain her in any one of the
On a fitting occasion, and under some excuse, he should, by means
of a female friend with whom he is well acquainted, and whom he can
trust, and who also is well known to the girl's family, get the girl
brought unexpectedly to his house, and he should then bring fire from
the house of a Brahman, and proceed as before described.
When the marriage of the girl with some other person draws near,
the man should disparage the future husband to the utmost in the mind
of the mother of the girl, and then having got the girl to come with
her mother's consent to a neighbouring house, he should bring fire
from the house of a Brahman, and proceed as above.
The man should become a great friend of the brother of the girl,
the said brother being of the same age as himself, and addicted to
courtesans, and to intrigues with the wives of other people, and
should give him assistance in such matters, and also give him
occasional presents. He should then tell him about his great love for
his sister, as young men will sacrifice even their lives for the sake
of those who may be of the same age, habits, and dispositions as
themselves. After this the man should get the girl brought by means of
her brother to some secure place, and having brought fire from the
house of a Brahman should proceed as before.
The man should on the occasion of festivals get the daughter of the
nurse to give the girl some intoxicating substance, and then cause her
to be brought to some secure place under the pretence of some
business, and there having enjoyed her before she recovers from her
intoxication, should bring fire from the house of a Brahman, and
proceed as before.
The man should, with the connivance of the daughter of the nurse,
carry off the girl from her house while she is asleep, and then,
having enjoyed her before she recovers from her sleep, should bring
fire from the house of a Brahman, and proceed as before.
When the girl goes to a garden, or to some village in the
neighbourhood, the man should, with his friends, fall on her guards,
and having killed them, or frightened them away, forcibly carry her
off, and proceed as before.
There are verses on this subject as follows:
'In all the forms of marriage given in this chapter of this work,
the one that precedes is better than the one that follows it on
account of its being more in accordance with the commands of religion,
and therefore it is only when it is impossible to carry the former
into practice that the latter should be resorted to, As the fruit of
all good marriages is love, the Gandharva 3 form of marriage is
respected, even though it is formed under unfavourable circumstances,
because it fulfils the object sought for. Another cause of the respect
accorded to the Gandharva form of marriage is that it brings forth
happiness, causes less trouble in its performance than the other forms
of marriage, and is above all the result of previous love.'
1 These forms of marriage differ from the four kinds of marriage
mentioned in Chapter I, and are only to be made use of when the girl
is gained over in the way mentioned in Chapters III and IV.
2 About this, see a story on the fatal effects of love at of Early
Ideas: a Group of Hindoo Stories, collected and collated by Anaryan,
W. H. Allen and Co., London, 1881.
3 'About the Gandharvavivaha form of marriage, see note to page 28
of Captain R. F. Burton's Vickram and the Vampire; or Tales of Hindu
Devilry, Longmans, Green and Co., London 1870. This form of matrimony
was recognised by the ancient Hindoos, and is frequent in hooks. It is
a kind of Scotch wedding--ultra-Caledonian--taking place by mutual
consent without any form or Ceremony. The Gandharvas are heavenly
minstrels of Indra's court, who are opposed to be witnesses.
ON THE MANNER OF LIVING OF A VIRTUOUS WOMAN, AND OF HER
DURING THE ABSENCE OF HER HUSBAND
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 family. She
should keep the whole house well cleaned, and arrange flowers of
various kinds in different parts of it, and make the floor smooth and
polished so as to give the whole a neat and becoming appearance. She
should surround the house with a garden, and place ready in it all the
materials required for the morning, noon and evening sacrifices.
Moreover she should herself revere the sanctuary of the Household
Gods, for, says Gonardiya, 'nothing so much attracts the heart of a
householder to his wife as a careful observance of the things
Towards the parents, relations, friends, sisters, and servants of
her husband she should behave as they deserve. In the garden she
should plant beds of green vegetables, bunches of the sugar cane, and
clumps of the fig tree, the mustard plant, the parsley plant, the
fennel plant, and the xanthochymus pictorius. Clusters of various
flowers such as the trapa bispinosa, the jasmine, the jasminum
grandiflorum, the yellow amaranth, the wild jasmine, the
tabernamontana coronaria, the nadyaworta, the china rose and others,
should likewise be planted, together with the fragrant grass
andropogon schaenanthus, and the fragrant root of the plant andropogon
miricatus. She should also have seats and arbours made in the garden,
in the middle of which a well, tank, or pool should be dug.
The wife should always avoid the company of female beggars, female
Buddhist mendicants, unchaste and roguish women, female fortune
tellers and witches. As regards meals she should always consider what
her husband likes and dislikes and what things are good for him, and
what are injurious to him. When she hears the sounds of his footsteps
coming home she should at once get up and be ready to do whatever he
may command her, and either order her female servant to wash his feet,
or wash them herself. When going anywhere with her husband, she should
put on her ornaments, and without his consent she should not either
give or accept invitations, or attend marriages and sacrifices, or sit
in the company of female friends, or visit the temples of the Gods.
And if she wants to engage in any kind of games or sports, she should
not do it against his will. In the same way she should always sit down
after him, and get up before him, and should never awaken him when he
is asleep. The kitchen should be situated in a quiet and retired
place, so as not to be accessible to strangers, and should always look
In the event of any misconduct on the part of her husband, she
should not blame him excessively, though she be a little displeased.
She should not use abusive language towards him, but rebuke him with
conciliatory words, whether he be in the company of friends or alone.
Moreover, she should not be a scold, for, says Gonardiya, 'there is no
cause of dislike on the part of a husband so great as this
characteristic in a wife'. Lastly she should avoid bad expressions,
sulky looks, speaking aside, standing in the doorway, and looking at
passers-by, conversing in the pleasure groves, and remaining in a
lonely place for a long time; and finally she should always keep her
body, her teeth, her hair and everything belonging to her tidy, sweet,
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 unguents. 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.
At appropriate times of the year, and when they happen to be cheap,
she should buy earth, bamboos, firewood, skins, and iron pots, as also
salt and oil. Fragrant substances, vessels made of the fruit of the
plant wrightea antidysenterica, or oval leaved wrightea, medicines,
and other things which are always wanted, should be obtained when
required and kept in a secret place of the house. The seeds of the
radish, the potato, the common beet, the Indian wormwood, the mango,
the cucumber, the egg plant, the kushmanda, the pumpkin gourd, the
surana, the bignonia indica, the sandal wood, the premna spinosa, the
garlic plant, the onion, and other vegetables, should be bought and
sown at the proper seasons. 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. The expenditure of
the year should be regulated by the profits. The milk that remains
after the meals should be turned into ghee or clarified butter. Oil
and sugar should be prepared at home; spinning and weaving should also
be done there; and a store of ropes and cords, and barks of trees for
twisting into ropes should be kept. She should also attend to the
pounding and cleaning of rice, using its small grain and chaff in some
way or other. She should pay the salaries of the servants, look after
the tilling of the fields, and keeping of the flocks and herds,
superintend the making of vehicles, and take care of the rams, cocks,
quails, parrots, starlings, cuckoos, peacocks, monkeys, and deer; and
finally adjust the income and expenditure of the day. The worn-out
clothes should be given to those servants who have done good work, in
order to show them that their services have been appreciated, or they
may be applied to some other use. The vessels in which wine is
prepared, as well as those in which it is kept, should be carefully
looked after, and put away at the proper time. All sales and purchases
should also be well attended to. The friends of her husband she should
welcome by presenting them with flowers, ointment, incense, betel
leaves, and betel nut. Her father-in-law and mother-in-law she should
treat as they deserve, always remaining dependent on their will, never
contradicting them, speaking to them in few and not harsh words, not
laughing loudly in their presence, and acting with their friends and
enemies as with her own. In addition to the above she should not be
vain, or too much taken up with her enjoyments. She should be liberal
towards her servants, and reward them on holidays and festivals; and
not give away anything without first making it known to her husband.
Thus ends the manner of living of a virtuous woman.
During the absence of her husband on a journey the virtuous woman
should wear only her auspicious ornaments, and observe the fasts in
honour of the Gods. While anxious to hear the news of her husband, she
should still look after her household affairs. She should sleep near
the elder women of the house, and make herself agreeable to them. She
should look after and keep in repair the things that are liked by her
husband, and continue the works that have been begun by him. To the
abode of her relations she should not go except on occasions of joy
and sorrow, and then she should go in her usual travelling dress,
accompanied by her husband's servants, and not remain there for a long
time. The fasts and feasts should be observed with the consent of the
elders of the house. The resources should be increased by making
purchases and sales according to the practice of the merchants and by
means of honest servants, superintended by herself. The income should
be increased, and the expenditure diminished as much possible. And
when her husband returns from his journey, she should receive him at
first in her ordinary clothes, so that he may know in what way she has
lived during his absence, and should bring to him some presents, as
also materials for the worship of the Deity.
Thus ends the part relating to the behaviour of a wife during the
absence of her husband on a journey.
There are also some verses on the subject as follows:
'The wife, whether she be a woman of noble family, or a virgin
widow 1 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.
1 This probably refers to a girl married in her infancy, or when
very young and whose husband had died before she arrived at the age of
puberty. Infant marriages are still the common custom of the Hindoos.
ON THE CONDUCT OF THE ELDER WIFE TOWARDS THE OTHER WIVES OF HER
HUSBAND, AND ON THAT OF A YOUNGER WIFE TOWARDS THE ELDER ONES. ALSO ON
THE CONDUCT OF A VIRGIN WIDOW RE-MARRIED; OF A WIFE DISLIKED BY HER
HUSBAND; OF THE WOMEN IN THE KING'S HAREM; AND LASTLY ON THE CONDUCT
OF A HUSBAND TOWARDS MANY WIVES
THE causes of re-marrying during the lifetime of the wife are as
The folly or ill-temper of the wife
Her husband's dislike to her
The want of offspring
The continual birth of daughters
The incontinence of the husband
From the very beginning, a wife should endeavour to attract the
heart of her husband, by showing to him continually her devotion, her
good temper, and her wisdom. If however she bears him no children, she
should herself toilette her husband to marry another woman. And when
the second wife is married, and brought to the house, the first wife
should give her a position superior to her own, and look upon her as a
sister. In the morning the elder wife should forcibly make the younger
one decorate herself in the presence of their husband, and should not
mind all the husband's favour being given to her. If the younger wife
does anything to displease her husband the elder one should not
neglect her, but should always be ready to give her most careful
advice, and should teach her to do various things in the presence of
her husband. Her children she should treat as her own, her attendants
she should look upon with more regard, even than on her own servants,
her friends she should cherish with love and kindness, and her
relations with great honour.
When there are many other wives besides herself, the elder wife
should associate with the one who is immediately next to her in rank
and age, and should instigate the wife who has recently enjoyed her
husband's favour to quarrel with the present favourite. After this she
should sympathize with the former, and having collected all the other
wives together, should get them to denounce the favourite as a
scheming and wicked woman, without however committing herself in any
way. If the favourite wife happens to quarrel with the husband, then
the elder wife should take her part and give her false encouragement,
and thus cause the quarrel to be increased. If there be only a little
quarrel between the two, the elder wife should do all she can to work
it up into a large quarrel. But if after all this she finds the
husband still continues to love his favourite wife she should then
change her tactics, and endeavour to bring about a conciliation
between them, so as to avoid her husband's displeasure.
Thus ends the conduct of the elder wife.
The younger wife should regard the elder wife of her husband as her
mother, and should not give anything away, even to her own relations,
without her knowledge. She should tell her everything about herself,
and not approach her husband without her permission. Whatever is told
to her by the elder wife she should not reveal to others, and she
should take care of the children of the senior even more than of her
own. When alone with her husband she should serve him well, but should
not tell him of the pain she suffers from the existence of a rival
wife. She may also obtain secretly from her husband some marks of his
particular regard for her, and may tell him that she lives only for
him, and for the regard that he has for her. She should never reveal
her love for her husband, nor her husband's love for her to any
person, either in pride or in anger, for a wife that reveals the
secrets of her husband is despised by him. As for seeking to obtain
the regard of her husband, Gonardiya says, that it should always be
done in private, for fear of the elder wife. If the elder wife be
disliked by her husband, or be childless, she should sympathize with
her, and should ask her husband to do the same, but should surpass her
in leading the life of a chaste woman.
Thus ends the conduct of the younger wife towards the elder.
A widow in poor circumstances, or of a weak nature, and who allies
herself again to a man, is called a widow remarried.
The followers of Babhravya say that a virgin widow should not marry
a person whom she may be obliged to leave on account of his bad
character, or of his being destitute of the excellent qualities of a
man, she thus being obliged to have recourse to another person.
Gonardiya is of opinion that as the cause of a widow's marrying again
is her desire for happiness, and as happiness is secured by the
possession of excellent qualities in her husband, joined to love of
enjoyment, it is better therefore to secure a person endowed with such
qualities in the first instance. Vatsyayana however thinks that a
widow may marry any person that she likes, and that she thinks win
At the time of her marriage the widow should obtain from her
husband the money to pay the cost of drinking parties, and picnics
with her relations, and of giving them and her friends kindly gifts
and presents; or she may do these things at her own cost if she likes.
In the same way she may wear either her husband's ornaments or her
own. As to the presents of affection mutually exchanged between the
husband and herself there is no fixed rule about them. If she leaves
her husband after marriage of her own accord, she should restore to
him whatever he may have given her, with the exception of the mutual
presents. If however she is driven out of the house by her husband she
should not return anything to him.
After her marriage she should live in the house of her husband like
one of the chief members of the family, but should treat the other
ladies of the family with kindness, the servants with generosity, and
all the friends of the house with familiarity and good temper. She
should show that she is better acquainted with the sixty-four arts
than the other ladies of the house, and in any quarrels with her
husband she should not rebuke him severely but in private do
everything that he wishes, and make use of the sixty-four ways of
enjoyment. She should be obliging to the other wives of her husband,
and to their children she should give presents, behave as their
mistress, and make ornaments and playthings for their use. In the
friends and servants of her husband she should confide more than in
his other wives, and finally she should have a liking for drinking
parties, going to picnics, attending fairs and festivals, and for
carrying out all kinds of games and amusements.
Thus ends the conduct of a virgin widow remarried.
A woman who is disliked by her husband, and annoyed and distressed
by his other wives, should associate with the wife who is liked most
by her husband, and who serves him more than the others, and should
teach her all the arts with which she is acquainted. She should act as
the nurse to her husband's children, and having gained over his
friends to her side, should through them make him acquainted of her
devotion to him. In religious ceremonies she should be a leader, as
also in vows and fasts, and should not hold too good an opinion of
herself. When her husband is lying on his bed she should only go near
him when it is agreeable to him, and should never rebuke him, or show
obstinacy in any way. If her husband happens to quarrel with any of
his other wives, she should reconcile them to each other, and if he
desires to see any woman secretly, she should manage to bring about
the meeting between them. She should moreover make herself acquainted
with the weak points of her husband's character, but always keep them
secret, and on the whole behave herself in such a way as may lead him
to look upon her as a good and devoted wife.
Here ends the conduct of a wife disliked by her husband.
The above sections will show how all the women of the king's
seraglio are to behave, and therefore we shall now speak separately
only about the king.
The female attendants in the harem (called severally Kanchukiyas, 1
Mahallarikas, 2 and Mahallikas 3) should bring flowers, ointments and
clothes from the king's wives to the king, and he having received
these things should give them as presents to the servants, along with
the things worn by him the previous day. In the afternoon the king,
having dressed and put on his ornaments, should interview the women of
the harem, who should also be dressed and decorated with jewels. Then
having given to each of them such a place and such respect as may suit
the occasion and as they may deserve, he should carry on with them a
cheerful conversation. After that he should see such of his wives as
may be virgin widows remarried, and after them the concubines and
dancing girls. All of these should be visited in their own private
When the king rises from his noonday sleep, the woman whose duty it
is to inform the king regarding the wife who is to spend the night
with him should come to him accompanied by the female attendants of
that wife whose turn may have arrived in the regular course, and of
her who may have been accidentally passed over as her turn arrived,
and of her who may have been unwell at the time of her turn. These
attendants should place before the king the ointments and unguents
sent by each of these wives, marked with the seal of her ring, and
their names and their reasons for sending the ointments should be told
to the king. After this the king accepts the ointment of one of them,
who then is informed that her ointment has been accepted, and that her
day has been settled. 4
At festivals, singing parties and exhibitions, all the wives of the
king should be treated with respect and served with drinks.
But the women of the harem should not be allowed to go out alone,
neither should any women outside the harem be allowed to enter it
except those whose character is well known. And lastly the work which
the king's wives have to do should not be too fatiguing.
Thus ends the conduct of the king towards the women of the harem,
and of their own conduct.
A man marrying many wives should act fairly towards them all. He
should neither disregard nor pass over their faults, and should not
reveal to one wife the love, passion, bodily blemishes and
confidential reproaches of the other. No opportunity should be given
to any one of them of speaking to him about their rivals, and if one
of them should begin to speak ill of another, he should chide her and
tell her that she has exactly the same blemishes in her character. One
of them he should please by secret confidence, another by secret
respect, and another by secret flattery, and he should please them all
by going to gardens, by amusements, by presents, by honouring their
relations, by telling them secrets, and lastly by loving unions. A
young woman who is of a good temper, and who conducts herself
according to the precepts of the Holy Writ, wins her husband's
attachments, and obtains a superiority over her rivals.
Thus ends the conduct of a husband towards many wives.
1 A name given to the maid servants of the zenana of the kings in
ancient times, on account of their always keeping their breasts
covered with a cloth called Kanchuki. It was customary in the olden
time for the maid servants to cover their breasts with a cloth, while
the queens kept their breasts uncovered. This custom is distinctly to
be seen in the Ajunta cave paintings.
2 The meaning of this word is a superior woman, so it would seem
that a Mahallarika must be a person in authority over the maid
servants of the house.
3 This was also appertaining to the rank of women employed in the
harem. In latter times this place was given to eunuchs.
4 As kings generally had many wives, it was usual for them to enjoy
their wives by turns. But as it happened sometimes that some of them
lost their turns owing to the king's absence, or to their being
unwell, then in such cases the women whose turns had been passed over,
and those whose turns had come, used to have a sort of lottery, and
the ointments of all the claimants were sent to the king, who accepted
the ointment of one of them, and thus settled the question.
OF THE CHARACTERISTICS OF MEN AND WOMEN. THE REASONS WHY WOMEN
THE ADDRESSES OF MEN. ABOUT MEN WHO HAVE SUCCESS WITH WOMEN,
AND ABOUT WOMEN WHO ARE EASILY GAINED OVER
THE wives of other people may be resorted to on the occasions
already described in Part I, Chapter V, of this work, but the
possibility of their acquisition, their fitness for cohabitation, the
danger to oneself in uniting with them, and the future effect of these
unions, should first of all be examined. A man may resort to the wife
of another, for the purpose of saving his own life, when he perceives
that his love for her proceeds from one degree of intensity to
another. These degrees are ten in number, and are distinguished by the
Love of the eye
Attachment of the mind
Destruction of sleep
Emaciation of the body
Turning away from objects of enjoyment
Removal of shame
Ancient authors say that a man should know the disposition,
truthfulness, purity, and will of a young woman, as also the
intensity, or weakness of her passions, from the form of her body, and
from her characteristic marks and signs. But Vatsyayana is of opinion
that the forms of bodies, and the characteristic marks or signs are
but erring tests of character, and that women should be judged by
their conduct, by the outward expression of their thoughts, and by the
movements of their bodies.
Now as a general rule Gonikaputra says that a woman falls in love
with every handsome man she sees, and so does every man at the sight
of a beautiful woman, but frequently they do not take any further
steps, owing to various considerations. In love the following
circumstances are peculiar to the woman. She loves without regard to
right or wrong, 1 and does not try to gain over a man simply for the
attainment of some particular purpose. Moreover, when a man first
makes up to her she naturally shrinks from him, even though she may be
willing to unite herself with him. But when the attempts to gain her
are repeated and renewed, she at last consents. But with a man, even
though he may have begun to love, he conquers his feelings from a
regard for morality and wisdom, and although his thoughts are often on
the woman, he does not yield, even though an attempt be made to gain
him over. He sometimes makes an attempt or effort to win the object of
his affections, and having failed, he leaves her alone for the future.
In the same way, when a woman is once gained, he often becomes
indifferent about her. As for the saying that a man does not care for
what is easily gained, and only desires a thing which cannot be
obtained without difficulty, it is only a matter of talk.
The causes of a woman rejecting the addresses of a man are as
Affection for her husband
Desire of lawful progeny
Want of opportunity
Anger at being addressed by the man too familiarly
Difference in rank of life
Want of certainty on account of the man being devoted travelling
Thinking that the man may be attached to some other person
Fear of the man's not keeping his intentions secret
Thinking that the man is too devoted to his friends, and has too
great a regard for them
The apprehension that he is not in earnest
Bashfulness on account of his being an illustrious man
Fear on account of his being powerful, or possessed of too
impetuous passion, in the case of the deer woman
Bashfulness on account of his being too clever
The thought of having once lived with him on friendly terms only
Contempt of his want of knowledge of the world
Distrust of his low character
Disgust at his want of perception of her love for him
In the case of an elephant woman, the thought that he is a hare
man, or a man of weak passion
Compassion lest anything should befall him on account of his
Despair at her own imperfections
Fear of discovery
Disillusion at seeing his grey hair or shabby appearance
Fear that he may be employed by her husband to test her chastity
The thought that he has too much regard for morality
Whichever of the above causes a man may detect, he should endeavour
to remove it from the very beginning. Thus, the bashfulness that may
arise from his greatness or his ability, he should remove by showing
his great love and affection for her. The difficulty of the want of
opportunity, or of his inaccessibility, he should remove by showing
her some easy way of access. The excessive respect entertained by the
woman for him should be removed by making himself very familiar. The
difficulties that arise from his being thought a low character he
should remove by showing his valour and his wisdom; those that come
from neglect by extra attention; and those that arise from fear by
giving her proper encouragement.
The following are the men who generally obtain success with women:
Men well versed in the science of love
Men skilled in telling stories
Men acquainted with women from their childhood Men
who have secured their confidence
Men who send presents to them
Men who talk well
Men who do things that they like
Men who have not loved other women previously
Men who act as messengers
Men who know their weak points
Men who are desired by good women
Men who are united with their female friends
Men who are good looking
Men who have been brought up with them
Men who are their neighbours
Men who are devoted to sexual pleasures, even though these be with
their own servants
The lovers of the daughters of their nurse
Men who have been lately married
Men who like picnics and pleasure parties
Men who are liberal
Men who are celebrated for being very strong (Bull men)
Enterprising and brave men
Men who surpass their husbands in learning and good looks, in good
qualities, and in liberality
Men whose dress and manner of living are magnificent
The following are the women who are easily gained over:
Women who stand at the doors of their houses
Women who are always looking out on the street
Women who sit conversing in their neighbour's house
A woman who is always staring at you
A female messenger
A woman who looks sideways at you
A woman whose husband has taken another wife without any just cause
A woman who hates her husband, or who is hated by him
A woman who has nobody to look after her, or keep her in check
A woman who has not had any children
A woman whose family or caste is not well known
A woman whose children are dead
A woman who is very fond of society
A woman who is apparently very affectionate with her husband
The wife of an actor
A poor woman
A woman fond of enjoyments
The wife of a man with many younger brothers
A vain woman
A woman whose husband is inferior to her in rank or abilities
A woman who is proud of her skill in the arts
A woman disturbed in mind by the folly of her husband
A woman who has been married in her infancy to a rich man, and not
liking him when she grows up, desires a man possessing a disposition,
talents, and wisdom suitable to her own tastes.
A woman who is slighted by her husband without any cause
A woman who is not respected by other women of the same rank or
beauty as herself
A woman whose husband is devoted to travelling
The wife of a jeweller
A jealous woman
A covetous woman
An immoral woman
A barren woman
A lazy woman
A cowardly woman
A humpbacked woman
A dwarfish woman
A deformed woman
A vulgar woman
An ill-smelling woman
A sick woman
An old woman
There are also two verses on the subject as follows:
'Desire, which springs from nature, and which is increased by art,
and from which all danger is taken away by wisdom, becomes firm and
secure. A clever man, depending on his own ability, and observing
carefully the ideas and thoughts of women, and removing the causes of
their turning away from men, is generally successful with them.'
1 On peut tout attendre et tout supposer d'une femme amoureuse.--Balzac.
ABOUT MAKING ACQUAINTANCE WITH THE WOMAN, AND OF THE EFFORTS TO
GAIN HER OVER
ANCIENT authors are of opinion that girls are not so easily seduced
by employing female messengers as by the efforts of the man himself,
but that the wives of others are more easily got at by the aid of
female messengers than by the personal efforts of the man. But
Vatsyayana lays it down that whenever it is possible a man should
always act himself in these matters, and it is only when such is
impracticable, or impossible, that female messengers should be
employed. As for the saying that women who act and talk boldly and
freely are to be won by the personal efforts of the man, and that
women who do not possess those qualities are to be got at by female
messengers, it is only a matter of talk.
Now when a man acts himself in the matter he should first of all
make the acquaintance of the woman he loves in the following manner:
He should arrange to be seen by the woman either on a natural or
special opportunity. A natural opportunity is when one of them goes to
the house of the other, and a special opportunity is when they meet
either at the house of a friend, or a caste-fellow, or a minister, or
a physician, as also on the occasion of marriage ceremonies,
sacrifices, festivals, funerals, and garden parties.
When they do meet, the man should be careful to look at her in such
a way as to cause the state of his mind to be made known to her; he
should pull about his moustache, make a sound with his nails, cause
his own ornaments to tinkle, bite his lower lip, and make various
other signs of that description. When she is looking at him he should
speak to his friends about her and other women, and should show to her
his liberality and his appreciation of enjoyments. When sitting by the
side of a female friend he should yawn and twist his body, contract
his eyebrows, speak very slowly as if he was weary, and listen to her
indifferently. A conversation having two meanings should also be
carried on with a child or some other person, apparently having regard
to a third person, but really having reference to the woman he loves,
and in this way his love should be made manifest under the pretext of
referring to others rather than to herself. He should make marks that
have reference to her, on the earth with his nails, or with a stick,
and should embrace and kiss a child in her presence, and give it the
mixture of betel nut and betel leaves with his tongue, and press its
chin with his fingers in a caressing way. All these things should be
done at the proper time and in proper places.
The man should fondle a child that may be sitting on her lap, and
give it something to play with, and also take the same back again.
Conversation with respect to the child may also be held with her, and
in this manner he should gradually become well acquainted with her,
and he should also make himself agreeable to her relations.
Afterwards, this acquaintance should be made a pretext for visiting
her house frequently, and on such occasions he should converse on the
subject of love in her absence but within her hearing. As his intimacy
with her increases he should place in her charge some kind of deposit
or trust, and take away from it a small portion at a time; or he may
give her some fragrant substances, or betel nuts to be kept for him by
her. After this he should endeavour to make her well acquainted with
his own wife, and get them to carry on confidential conversations, and
to sit together in lonely places. In order to see her frequently he
should arrange so that the same goldsmith, the same jeweller, the same
basket maker, the same dyer, and the same washerman should be employed
by the two families. And he should also pay her long visits openly
under the pretence of being engaged with her on business, and one
business should lead to another, so as to keep up the intercourse
between them. Whenever she wants anything, or is in need of money, or
wishes to acquire skill in one of the arts, he should cause her to
understand that he is willing and able to do anything that she wants,
to give her money, or teach her one of the arts, all these things
being quite within his ability and power. In the same way he should
hold discussions with her in company with other people, and they
should talk of the doings and sayings of other persons, and examine
different things, like jewellery, precious stones, etc. On such
occasions he should show her certain things with the values of which
she may be unacquainted, and if she begins to dispute with him about
the things or their value, he should not contradict her, but point out
that he agrees with her in every way.
Thus end the ways of making the acquaintance of woman desired.
Now after a girl has become acquainted with the man as above
described, and has manifested her love to him by the various outward
signs and by the motions of her body, the man should make every effort
to gain her over. But as girls are not acquainted with sexual union,
they should be treated with the greatest delicacy, and the man should
proceed with considerable caution, though in the case of other women,
accustomed to sexual intercourse, this is not necessary. When the
intentions of the girl are known, and her bashfulness put aside, the
man should begin to make use of her money, and an interchange of
clothes, flowers should be made. In this the man should take
particular care that the things given by him are handsome and
valuable. He should moreover receive from her a mixture of betel nut
and betel leaves, and when he is going to a party he should ask for
the flower in her hair, or for the flower in her hand. If he himself
gives her a flower it should be a sweet smelling one, and marked with
marks made by his nails or teeth. With increasing assiduity he should
dispel her fears, and by degrees get her to go with him to some lonely
place, and there he should embrace and kiss her. And finally at the
time of giving her some betel nut, or of receiving the same from her,
or at the time of making an exchange of flowers, he should touch and
press her private parts, thus bringing his efforts to a satisfactory
When a man is endeavouring to seduce one woman, he should not
attempt to seduce any other at the same time. But after he has
succeeded with the first, and enjoyed her for a considerable time, he
can keep her affections by giving her presents that she likes, and
then commence making up to another woman. When a man sees the husband
of a woman going to some place near his house, he should not enjoy the
woman then, even though she may be easily gained over at that time. A
wise man having a regard for his reputation should not think of
seducing a woman who is apprehensive, timid, not to be trusted, well
guarded, or possessed of a father-in-law, or mother-in-law.
EXAMINATION OF THE STATE OF A WOMAN'S MIND
WHEN a man is trying to gain over a woman he should examine the
state of her mind, and act as follows:
If she listens to him, but does not manifest to him in any way her
own intentions, he should then try to gain her over by means of a
If she meets him once, and again comes to meet him better dressed
than before, or comes to him in some lonely place, he should be
certain that she is capable of being enjoyed by the use of a little
force. A woman who lets a man make up to her, but does not give
herself up, even after a long time, should be considered as a trifler
in love, but owing to the fickleness of the human mind, even such a
woman can be conquered by always keeping up a close acquaintance with
When a woman avoids the attentions of a man, and on account of
respect for him, and pride in herself, will not meet him or approach
him, she can be gained over with difficulty, either by endeavouring to
keep on familiar terms with her, or else by an exceedingly clever
When a man makes up to a woman, and she reproaches him with harsh
words, she should be abandoned at once.
When a woman reproaches a man, but at the same time acts
affectionately towards him, she should be made love to in every way.
A woman, who meets a man in lonely places, and puts up with the
touch of his foot, but pretends, on account of the indecision of her
mind, not to be aware of it, should be conquered by patience, and by
continued efforts as follows:
If she happens to go to sleep in his vicinity he should put his
left arm round her, and see when she awakes whether she repulses him
in reality, or only repulses him in such a way as if she was desirous
of the same thing being done to her again. And what is done by the arm
can also be done by the foot. If the man succeeds in this point he
should embrace her more closely, and if she will not stand the embrace
and gets up, but behaves with him as usual the next day, he should
consider then that she is not unwilling to be enjoyed by him. If
however she does not appear again, the man should try to get over her
by means of a go-between; and if, after having disappeared for some
time, she again appears, and behaves with him as usual, the man should
then consider that she would not object to be united with him.
When a woman gives a man an opportunity, and makes her own love
manifest to him, he should proceed to enjoy her. And the signs of a
woman manifesting her love are these:
She calls out to a man without being addressed by him in the first
She shows herself to him in secret places.
She speaks to him tremblingly and inarticulately.
She has the fingers of her hand, and the toes of her feet moistened
with perspiration, and her face blooming with delight.
She occupies herself with shampooing his body and pressing his
When shampooing him she works with one hand only, and with the
other she touches and embraces parts of his body.
She remains with both hands placed on his body motionless as if she
had been surprised by something, or was overcome by fatigue.
She sometimes bends down her face upon his thighs and, when asked
to shampoo them does not manifest any unwillingness to do so.
She places one of her hands quite motionless on his body, and even
though the man should press it between two members of his body, she
does not remove it for a long time.
Lastly, when she has resisted all the efforts of the man to gain
her over, she returns to him next day to shampoo his body as before.
When a woman neither gives encouragement to a man, nor avoids him,
but hides herself and remains in some lonely place, she must be got at
by means of the female servant who may be near her. If when called by
the man she acts in the same way, then she should be gained over by
means of a skilful go-between. But if she will have nothing to say to
the man, he should consider well about her before he begins any
further attempts to gain her over.
Thus ends the examination of the state of a woman's mind.
A man should first get himself introduced to a woman, and then
carry on a conversation with her. He should give her hints of his love
for her, and if he finds from her replies that she receives these
hints favourably, he should then set to work to gain her over without
any fear. A woman who shows her love by outward signs to the man at
his first interview should be gained over very easily. In the same way
a lascivious woman, who when addressed in loving words replies openly
in words expressive of her love, should be considered to have been
gained over at that very moment. With regard to all women, whether
they be wise, simple, or confiding, this rule is laid down that those
who make an open manifestation of their love are easily gained over.
ABOUT THE BUSINESS OF A GO-BETWEEN
IF a woman has manifested her love or desire, either by signs or by
motions of the body, and is afterwards rarely or never seen anywhere,
or if a woman is met for the first time, the man should get a
go-between to approach her.
Now the go-between, having wheedled herself into the confidence of
the woman by acting according to her disposition, should try to make
her hate or despise her husband by holding artful conversations with
her, by telling her about medicines for getting children, by talking
to her about other people, by tales of various kinds, by stories about
the wives of other men, and by praising her beauty, wisdom, generosity
and good nature, and then saying to her: 'It is indeed a pity that
you, who are so excellent a woman in every way, should be possessed of
a husband of this kind. Beautiful lady, he is not fit even to serve
you.' The go-between should further talk to the woman about the
weakness of the passion of her husband, his jealousy, his roguery, his
ingratitude, his aversion to enjoyments, his dullness, his meanness,
and all the other faults that he may have, and with which she may be
acquainted. She should particularly harp upon that fault or that
failing by which the wife may appear to be the most affected. If the
wife be a deer woman, and the husband a hare man, then there would be
no fault in that direction, but in the event of his being a hare man,
and she a mare woman or elephant woman, then this fault should be
pointed out to her.
Gonikaputra is of opinion that when it is the first affair of the
woman, or when her love has only been very secretly shown, the man
should then secure and send to her a go-between, with whom she may be
already acquainted, and in whom she confides.
But to return to our subject. The go-between should tell the woman
about the obedience and love of the man, and as her confidence and
affection increase, she should then explain to her the thing to be
accomplished in the following way. 'Hear this, Oh beautiful lady, that
this man, born of a good family, having seen you, has gone mad on your
account. The poor young man, who is tender by nature, has never been
distressed in such a way before, and it is highly probable that he
will succumb under his present affliction, and experience the pains of
death.' If the woman listens with a favourable ear, then on the
following day the go-between, having observed marks of good spirits in
her face, in her eyes, and in her manner of conversation, should again
converse with her on the subject of the man, and should tell her the
stories of Ahalya 1 and Indra, of Sakoontala 2 and Dushyanti, and such
others as may be fitted for the occasion. She should also describe to
her the strength of the man, his talents, his skill in the sixty-four
sorts of enjoyments mentioned by Babhravya, his good looks, and his
liaison with some praiseworthy woman, no matter whether this last ever
took place or not.
In addition to this, the go-between should carefully note the
behaviour of the woman, which if favourable would be as follows: She
would address her with a smiling look, would seat herself close beside
her, and ask her, 'Where have you been? What have you been doing?
Where did you dine? Where did you sleep? Where have you been sitting?'
Moreover, the woman would meet the go-between in lonely places and
tell her stories there, would yawn contemplatively, draw long sighs,
give her presents, remember her on occasions of festivals, dismiss her
with a wish to see her again, and say to her jestingly, 'Oh,
well-speaking woman, why do you speak these bad words to me?', would
discourse on the sin of her union with the man, would not tell her
about any previous visits or conversations that she may have had with
him, but wish to be asked about these, and lastly would laugh at the
man's desire, but would not reproach him in any way.
Thus ends the behaviour of the woman with the go-between.
When the woman manifests her love in the manner above described,
the go-between should increase it by bringing to her love tokens from
the man. But if the woman be not acquainted with the man personally,
the go-between should win her over by extolling and praising his good
qualities, and by telling stories about his love for her. Here
Auddalaka says that when a man or woman are not personally acquainted
with each other, and have not shown each other any signs of affection,
the employment of a go-between is useless.
The followers of Babhravya on the other hand affirm that even
though they be personally unacquainted, but have shown each other
signs of affection there is an occasion for the employment of a
go-between. Gonikaputra asserts that a go-between should be employed,
provided they are acquainted with each other, even though no signs of
affection may have passed between them. Vatsyayana however lays it
down that even though they may not be personally acquainted with each
other, and may not have shown each other any signs of affection, still
they are both capable of placing confidence in a go-between.
Now the go-between should show the woman the presents, such as the
betel nut and betel leaves, the perfumes, the flowers, and the rings
which the man may have given to her for the sake of the woman, and on
these presents should be impressed the marks of the man's teeth, and
nails, and other signs. On the cloth that he may send he should draw
with saffron both his hands joined together as if in earnest entreaty.
The go-between should also show to the woman ornamental figures of
various kinds cut in leaves, together with ear ornaments, and chaplets
made of flowers containing love letters expressive of the desire of
the man, 3 and she should cause her to send affectionate presents to
the man in return. After they have mutually accepted each other's
presents, then a meeting should be arranged between them on the faith
of the go-between.
The followers of Babhravya say that this meeting should take place
at the time of going to the temple of a Deity, or on occasions of
fairs, garden parties, theatrical performances, marriages, sacrifices,
festivals and funerals, as also at the time of going to the river to
bathe, or at times of natural calamities, 4 fear of robbers or hostile
invasions of the country.
Gonikaputra is of opinion however that these meetings had better be
brought about in the abodes of female friends, mendicants,
astrologers, and ascetics. But Vatsyayana decides that that place is
only well suited for the purpose which has proper means of ingress and
egress, and where arrangements have been made to prevent any
accidental occurrence, and when a man who has once entered the house
can also leave it at the proper time without any disagreeable
Now go-betweens or female messengers are of the following different
A go-between who takes upon herself the whole burden of the
A go-between who does only a limited part of the business
A go-between who is the bearer of a letter only
A go-between acting on her own account
The go-between of an innocent young woman
A wife serving as a go-between
A mute go-between
A go-between who acts the part of the wind
A woman who, having observed the mutual passion of a man and woman,
brings them together and arranges it by the power of her own
intellect, such a one is called a go-between who takes upon herself
the whole burden of the business. This kind of go-between is chiefly
employed when the man and the woman are already acquainted with each
other, and have conversed together, and in such cases she is sent not
only by the man (as is always done in all other cases) but by the
woman also. The above name is also given to a go-between who,
perceiving that the man and the woman are suited to each other, tries
to bring about a union between them, even though they be
not-acquainted with each other.
A go-between who, perceiving that some part of the affair is
already done, or that the advances on the part of the man are already
made, completes the rest of the business, is called a go-between who
performs only a limited part of the business.
A go-between who simply carries messages between a man and a woman,
who love each other, but who cannot frequently meet, is called the
bearer of a letter or message.
This name is also given to one who is sent by either of the lovers
to acquaint either the one or the other with the time and place of
A woman who goes herself to a man, and tells him of her having
enjoyed sexual union with him in a dream, and expresses her anger at
his wife having rebuked him for calling her by the name of her rival
instead of by her own name, and gives him something bearing the marks
of her teeth and nails and informs him that she knew she was formerly
desired by him, and asks him privately whether she or his wife is the
best looking, such a person is called a woman who is a go-between for
herself. Now such a woman should be met and interviewed by the man in
private and secretly.
The above name is also given to a woman who having made an
agreement with some other woman to act as her go-between, gains over
the man to herself, by the means of making him personally acquainted
with herself, and thus causes the other woman to fail. The same
applies to a man who, acting as a go-between for another, and having
no previous connection with the woman, gains her over for himself, and
thus causes the failure of the other man.
A woman who has gained the confidence of the innocent young wife of
any man, and who has learned her secrets without exercising any
pressure on her mind, and found out from her how her husband behaves
to her, if this woman then teaches her the art of securing his favour,
and decorates her so as to show her love, and instructs her how and
when to be angry, or to pretend to be so, and then, having herself
made marks of the nails and teeth on the body of the wife, gets the
latter to send for her husband to show these marks to him, and thus
excite him for enjoyment, such is called the go-between of an innocent
young woman. In such cases the man should send replies to his wife
through the same woman.
When a man gets his wife to gain the confidence of a woman whom he
wants to enjoy, and to call on her and talk to her about the wisdom
and ability of her husband, that wife is called a wife serving as a
go-between. In this case the feelings of the woman with regard to the
man should also be made known through the wife.
When any man sends a girl or a female servant to any woman under
some pretext or other, and places a letter in her bouquet of flowers,
or in her ear ornaments, or marks something about her with his teeth
or nails, that girl or female servant is called a mute go-between. In
this case the man should expect an answer from the woman through the
A person, who carries a message to a woman, which has a double
meaning, or which relates to some past transactions, or which is
unintelligible to other people, is called a go-between who acts the
part of the wind. In this case the reply should be asked for through
the same woman.
Thus end the different kinds of go-betweens.
A female astrologer, a female servant, a female beggar, or a female
artist are well acquainted with the business of a go-between, and very
soon gain the confidence of other women. Any one of them can raise
enmity between any two persons if she wishes to do so, or extol the
loveliness of any woman that she wishes to praise, or describe the
arts practised by other women in sexual union. They can also speak
highly of the love of a man, of his skill in sexual enjoyment, and of
the desire of other women, more beautiful even than the woman they are
addressing, for him, and explain the restraint under which he may be
Lastly a go-between can, by the artfulness of her conversation,
unite a woman with a man even though he may not have been thought of
by her, or may have been considered beyond her aspirations. She can
also bring back a man to a woman, who, owing to some cause or other,
has separated himself from her.
1 The wife of the sage Gautama, she was seduced by Indra the king
of the Gods.
2 The heroine of one of the best, if not the best, of Hindoo plays,
and the best known in Sanscrit dramatic literature. It was first
brought to notice by Sir William Jones, and has been well and
poetically translated by Dr Monier Williams under the title of
Sakoontala, or the lost ring, an Indian drama, translated into English
prose and verse from the Sanscrit of Kalidasa.
3 It is presumed that something like the following French verses
Quand on a juré le plus profond hommage,
Voulez vous qu'infidèle on change de langage;
Vous seul captivez mon esprit et mon coeur
Que je puisse dans vos bras seuls goûter le bonheur;
Je voudrais, mais en vain, que mon coeur en délire
Couche oû ce papier n'oserait vous dire.
Avec soin, de ces vers lisez leurs premiers mots,
Vous verrez quel remède il faut à tous mes maux
Quand on vous voit, on vous aime;
Quand on vous aime, oû vous voit on?
4 It is supposed that storms, earthquakes, famines and pestilent
diseases are here alluded to.
ABOUT THE LOVE OF PERSONS IN AUTHORITY FOR THE WIVES OF OTHER MEN
KINGS and their ministers have no access to the abodes of others,
and moreover their mode of living is constantly watched and observed
and imitated by the people at large, just as the animal world, seeing
the sun rise, get up after him, and when he sits in the evening, lie
down again in the same way. Persons in authority should not therefore
do any improper act in public, as such are impossible from their
position, and would be deserving of censure. But if they find that
such an act is necessary to be done, they should make use of the
proper means as described in the following paragraphs.
The head man of the village, the king's officer employed there, and
the man 1 whose business it is to glean corn, can gain over female
villagers simply by asking them. It is on this account that this class
of woman are called unchaste women by voluptuaries.
The union of the above mentioned men with this class of woman takes
place on the occasions of unpaid labour, of filling the granaries in
their houses, of taking things in and out of the house, of cleaning
the houses, of working in the fields, and of purchasing cotton, wool,
flax, hemp, and thread, and at the season of the purchase, sale, and
exchange of various other articles, as well as at the time of doing
various other works. In the same way the superintendents of cow pens
enjoy the women in the cow pens; and the officers, who crave the
superintendence of widows, of the women who are without supporters,
and of women who have left their husbands, have sexual intercourse
with these women. The intelligent accomplish their object by wandering
at night in the village, and while villagers also unite with the wives
of their sons, being much alone with them. Lastly the superintendents
of markets have a great deal to do with the female villagers at the
time of their making purchases in the market.
During the festival of the eighth moon, i.e. during the bright half
of the month of Nargashirsha, as also during the moonlight festival of
the month of Kartika, and the spring festival of Chaitra, the women of
cities and towns generally visit the women of the king's harem in the
royal palace. These visitors go to the several apartments of the women
of the harem, as they are acquainted with them, and pass the night in
conversation, and in proper sports, and amusement, and go away in the
morning. On such occasions a female attendant of the king (previously
acquainted with the woman whom the king desires) should loiter about,
and accost this woman when she sets out to go home, and induce her to
come and see the amusing things in the palace. Previous to these
festivals even, she should have caused it to be intimated to this
woman that on the occasion of this festival she would show her all the
interesting things in the royal palace. Accordingly she should show
her the bower of the coral creeper, the garden house with its floor
inlaid with precious stones, the bower of grapes, the building on the
water, the secret passages in the walls of the palace, the pictures,
the sporting animals, the machines, the birds, and the cages of the
lions and the tigers. After this, when alone with her, she should tell
her about the love of the king for her, and should describe to her the
good fortune which would attend upon her union with the king, giving
her at the time a strict promise of secrecy. If the woman does not
accept the offer, she should conciliate and please her with handsome
presents befitting the position of the king, and having accompanied
her for some distance should dismiss her with great affection.
Or, having made the acquaintance of the husband of the woman whom
the king desires, the wives of the king should get the wife to pay
them a visit in the harem, and on this occasion a female attendant of
the king, having been sent thither, should act as above described.
Or, one of the king's wives should get acquainted with the woman
that the king desires, by sending one of the female attendants to her,
who should, on their becoming more intimate, induce her to come and
see the royal abode. Afterwards when she has visited the harem, and
acquired confidence, a female confidante of the king, sent thither,
should act as before described.
Or, the king's wife should invite the woman, whom the king desires,
to come to the royal palace, so that she might see the practice of the
art in which the king's wife may be skilled, and after she has come to
the harem, a female attendant of the king, sent thither, should act as
Or, a female beggar, in league with the king's wife, should say to
the woman desired by the king, and whose husband may have lost his
wealth, or may have some cause of fear from the king: 'This wife of
the king has influence over him, and she is, moreover, naturally
kind-hearted, we must therefore go to her in this matter. I shall
arrange for your entrance into the harem, and she will do away with
all cause of danger and fear from the king.' If the woman accepts this
offer, the female beggar should take her two or three times to the
harem, and the king's wife there should give her a promise of
protection. After this, when the woman, delighted with her reception
and promise of protection, again goes to the harem, then a female
attendant of the king, sent thither, should act as directed.
What has been said above regarding the wife of one who has some
cause of fear from the king applies also to the wives of those who
seek service under the king, or who are oppressed by the king's
ministers, or who are poor, or who are not satisfied with their
position, or who are desirous of gaining the king's favour, or who
wish to become famous among the people, or who are oppressed by the
members of their own caste, or who want to injure their caste fellows,
or who are spies of the king, or who have any other object to attain.
Lastly, if the woman desired by the king be living with some person
who is not her husband, then the king should cause her to be arrested,
and having made her a slave, on account of her crime, should place her
in the harem. Or the king should cause his ambassador to quarrel with
the husband of the woman desired by him, and should then imprison her
as the wife of an enemy of the king, and by this means should place
her in the harem.
Thus end the means of gaining over the wives of others secretly.
The above mentioned ways of gaining over the wives of other men are
chiefly practised in the palaces of kings. But a king should never
enter the abode of another person, for Abhira, 2 the king of the
Kottas, was killed by a washerman while in the house of another, and
in the same way Jayasana, the king of the Kashis, was slain by the
commandant of his cavalry.
But according to the customs of some countries there are facilities
for kings to make love to the wives of other men. Thus in the country
of the Andhras 3 the newly married daughters of the people thereof
enter the king's harem with some presents on the tenth day of their
marriage, and having been enjoyed by the king are then dismissed. In
the country of the Vatsagulmas 4 the wives of the chief ministers
approach the king at night to serve him. In the country of the
Vaidarbhas 5 the beautiful wives of the inhabitants pass a month in
the king's harem under the pretence of affection for the king. In the
country of the Aparatakas 6 the people gave their beautiful wives as
presents to the ministers and the kings. And lastly in the country of
the Saurashtras 7 the women of the city and the country enter the
royal harem for the king's pleasure either together or separately.
There are also two verses on the subject as follows:
'The above and other ways are the means employed in different
countries by kings with regard to the wives of other persons. But a
king, who has the welfare of his people at heart, should not on any
account put them into practice.'
'A king, who has conquered the six 8 enemies of mankind, becomes
the master of the whole earth.'
1 This is a phrase used for a man who does the work of everybody,
and who is fed by the whole village.
2 The exact date of the reign of these kings is not known. It is
supposed to have been about the beginning of the Christian era.
3 The modern country of Tailangam which is to the South of
4 Supposed to be a tract of the country to the south of Malwa.
5 Now known by the name of Berar. Its capital was Kundinpura, which
has been identified with the modern Oomravati.
6 Also called Aparantakas, being the northern and southern Concan.
7 The modern provinces of Katteeawar. Its capital was called
Girinaguda, or the modern Junagurh.
8 These are Lust, Anger, Avarice, Spiritual Ignorance, Pride, and
ABOUT THE WOMEN OF THE ROYAL HAREM; AND OF THE KEEPING OF ONE'S OWN
THE women of the royal harem cannot see or meet any men on account
of their being strictly guarded, neither do they have their desires
satisfied, because their only husband is common to many wives. For
this reason among themselves they give pleasure to each other in
various ways as now described.
Having dressed the daughters of their nurses, or their female
friends, or their female attendants, like men, they accomplish their
object by means of bulbs, roots, and fruits having the form of the
lingam, or they lie down upon the statue of a male figure, in which
the lingam is visible and erect.
Some kings, who are compassionate, take or apply certain medicines
to enable them to enjoy many wives in one night, simply for the
purpose of satisfying the desire of their women, though they perhaps
have no desire of their own. Others enjoy with great affection only
those wives that they particularly like, while others only take them,
according as the turn of each wife arrives in due course. Such are the
ways of enjoyment prevalent in Eastern countries, and what is said
about the means of enjoyment of the female is also applicable to the
By means of their female attendants the ladies of the royal harem
generally get men into their apartments in the disguise or dress of
women. Their female attendants, and the daughters of their nurses, who
are acquainted with their secrets, should exert themselves to get men
to come to the harem in this way by telling them of the good fortune
attending it, and by describing the facilities of entering and leaving
the palace, the large size of the premises, the carelessness of the
sentinels, and the irregularities of the attendants about the persons
of the royal wives. But these women should never induce a man to enter
the harem by telling him falsehoods, for that would probably lead to
As for the man himself he had better not enter a royal harem, even
though it may be easily accessible, on account of the numerous
disasters to which he may be exposed there. If however he wants to
enter it, he should first ascertain whether there is an easy way to
get out, whether it is closely surrounded by the pleasure garden,
whether it has separate enclosures belonging to it, whether the
sentinels are careless, whether the king has gone abroad, and then,
when he is called by the women of the harem, he should carefully
observe the localities, and enter by the way pointed out by them. If
he is able to manage it, he should hang about the harem every day, and
under some pretext or other, make friends with the sentinels, and show
himself attached to the female attendants of the harem, who may have
become acquainted with his design, and to whom he should express his
regret at not being able to obtain the object of his desire. Lastly he
should cause the whole business of a go-between to be done by the
woman who may have access to the harem, and he should be careful to be
able to recognize the emissaries of the king.
When a go-between has no access to the harem, then the man should
stand in some place where the lady, whom he loves and whom he is
anxious to enjoy, can be seen.
If that place is occupied by the king's sentinels, he should then
disguise himself as a female attendant of the lady who comes to the
place, or passes by it. When she looks at him he should let her know
his feelings by outward signs and gestures, and should show her
pictures, things with double meanings, chaplets of flowers, and rings.
He should carefully mark the answer she gives, whether by word or by
sign, or by gesture, and should then try and get into the harem. If he
is certain of her coming to some particular place he should conceal
himself there, and at the appointed time should enter along with her
as one of the guards. He may also go in and out, concealed in a folded
bed, or bed covering, or with his body made invisible, 1 by means of
external applications, a receipt for one of which is as follows:
The heart of an ichneumon, the fruit of the long gourd (tumbi), and
the eyes of a serpent should all be burnt without letting out the
smoke. The ashes should then be ground and mixed in equal quantities
with water. By putting this mixture upon the eyes a man can go about
Other means of invisibility are prescribed by Duyana Brahmans and
Again the man may enter the harem during the festival of the eighth
moon in the month of Nargashirsha, and during the moonlight festivals
when the female attendants of the harem are all busily occupied, or in
The following principles are laid down on this subject.
The entrance of young men into harems, and their exit from them,
generally take place when things are being brought into the palace, or
when things are being taken out of it, or when drinking festivals are
going on, or when the female attendants are in a hurry, or when the
residence of some of the royal ladies is being changed, or when the
king's wives go to gardens, or to fairs, or when they enter the palace
on their return from them, or lastly, when the king is absent on a
long pilgrimage. The women of the royal harem know each other's
secrets, and having but one object to attain, they give assistance to
each other. A young man, who enjoys all of them, and who is common to
them all, can continue enjoying his union with them so long as it is
kept quiet, and is not known abroad.
Now in the country of the Aparatakas the royal ladies are not well
protected, and consequently many young men are passed into the harem
by the women who have access to the royal palace. The wives of the
king of the Ahira country accomplish their objects with those
sentinels in the harem who bear the name of Kashtriyas. The royal
ladies in the country of the Vatsagulmas cause such men as are
suitable to enter into the harem along with their female messengers.
In the country of the Vaidarbhas the sons of the royal ladies enter
the royal harem when they please and enjoy the women, with the
exception of their own mothers. In the Stri-rajya the wives of the
king are enjoyed by his caste fellows and relations. In the Ganda
country the royal wives are enjoyed by Brahmans, friends, servants and
slaves. In the Samdhava country servants, foster children, and other
persons like them enjoy the women of the harem. In the country of the
Haimavatas adventurous citizens bribe the sentinels and enter the
harem. In the country of the Vanyas and the Kalmyas, Brahmans, with
the knowledge of the king, enter the harem under the pretence of
giving flowers to the ladies, and speak with them from behind a
curtain, and from such conversation union afterwards takes place.
Lastly the women in the harem of the king of the Prachyas conceal one
young man in the harem for every batch of nine or ten of the women.
Thus act the wives of others.
For these reasons a man should guard his own wife. Old authors say
that a king should select for sentinels in his harem such men as have
their freedom from carnal desires well tested. But such men, though
free themselves from carnal desire, by reason of their fear or
avarice, may cause other persons to enter the harem, and therefore
Gonikaputra says that kings should place such men in the harem as may
have had their freedom from carnal desires, their fears, and their
avarice well tested. Lastly Vatsyayana says that under the influence
of Dharma 2 people might be admitted, and therefore men should be
selected who are free from carnal desires, fear, avarice, and Dharma.
The followers of Babhravya say that a man should cause his wife to
associate with a young woman who would tell him the secrets of other
people, and thus find out from her about his wife's chastity. But
Vatsyayana says that, as wicked persons are always successful with
women, a man should not cause his innocent wife to be corrupted by
bringing her into the company of a deceitful woman.
The following are the causes of the destruction of a woman's
Always going into society, and sitting in company
Absence of restraint
The loose habits of her husband
Want of caution in her relations with other men
Continued and long absence of her husband
Living in a foreign country
Destruction of her love and feelings by her husband
The company of loose women
The jealousy of her husband
There are also the following verses on the subject:
'A clever man, learning from the Shastras the ways of winning over
the wives of other people, is never deceived in the case of his own
wives. No one, however, should make use of these ways for seducing the
wives of others, because they do not always succeed, and, moreover,
often cause disasters, and the destruction of Dharma and Artha. This
book, which is intended for the good of the people, and to teach them
the ways of guarding their own wives, should not be made use of merely
for gaining over the wives of others.'
1 The way to make oneself invisible, the knowledge of the art of
transmigration, or changing ourselves or others into any shape or form
by the use of charms and spells, the power of being in two places at
once, and other occult sciences are frequently referred to in all
2 This may be considered as meaning religious influence, and
alludes to persons who may be gained over by that means.
3 It will be noted from the above remarks that eunuchs do nob
appear to have been employed in the king's harem in those days, though
they seem to have been employed for other purposes. See Part II,