The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana: The Classic Hindu Treatise on Love and Social Conduct

The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana: The Classic Hindu Treatise on Love and Social Conduct

The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana: The Classic Hindu Treatise on Love and Social Conduct

The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana: The Classic Hindu Treatise on Love and Social Conduct

Synopsis

A work of philosophy, psychology, sociology, Hindu dogma, scientific inquiry, and sexology, the Kama Sutra has been an indisputable classic of world literature for more than 1,700 years.

Excerpt

One of the curious, but rather saddening, aspects of colonialism in Asia was that those of us who managed to get an education at all were largely educated in the language and culture of our foreign rulers. While we learned "A is for Apple" (in a part of the world where apples don't grow) and while we were lulled to sleep by parents (as I was) with long recitations from Shakespeare or Tennyson, we never had a chance to learn our own classics. It took a major effort and considerable intellectual stubbornness to explore, say, the great Sanskrit literature of ancient India.

At the same time, Westerners, more concerned with imposing foreign cultures on Asians than in learning about the cultures they were ruling, did not do a great deal toward fostering Asian studies in their own schools and colleges. For the most part, it has been only since the end of World War II, and the ensuing end of colonialism, that the great literature of Asia has been authoritatively translated and has found an audience in the West.

To me, in an age when we are urged by politicians to "understand" one another (although they never seem to tell us how to understand a foreign nation), the best bridge between cultures is literature. Most of us have not the opportunity to travel very widely, and even if we do, we usually cannot stay in a country long enough to "understand" or appreciate the culture. Writers--often acci-

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