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Love and Lust - An Anthology of Erotic Literature from Ancient and Medieval India
Love and Lust - An Anthology of Erotic Literature from Ancient and Medieval India

Love and Lust - An Anthology of Erotic Literature from Ancient and Medieval India

by Pavan K Varma

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Product ID:12963

Language

English

Publisher

HarperCollins

ISBN

8172235496 - Year: 2004 - Pages: 344

Binding

Hardcover

Pavan K Varma
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Author: Pavan K Varma
Sandhya Mulchandani/
:
Publisher: HarperCollins
Year: 2004
Language: English
Pages: 344
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8172235496

Description

A compendium of evocative and sensual writings spanning 5000 years of Indian literature…

In this comprehensive anthology, the authors forcefully drive home the point that the fascination with eroticism is age-old. The absence of inhibition and guilt and the candour and boldness with which society set about seeking its pleasures find expression repeatedly in writings over the ages.

The literature of India, both religious and secular, is full of sexual allusions, sexual symbolisms and passages of such frank eroticism the likes of which are not to be found elsewhere in world literature. For example, some sections of ancient texts like the Vedas, the Upanishads, the epics (the Mahabharata and the Ramayana), the Brahmanas, the Puranas and devotional hymns like the Saundarya Lahiri (by Adi Shankaracharya) are studded with graphic sexual were thus seen as integrated elements of human existence.

In the medieval period, writers, poets, dramatists, painters, sculptors and artists, whatever be their language and idiom, gave full vent to their creative talents, suffused with the sexual metaphor. Kalidasa and Jayadeva stand out a exemplars of this genre.

It was basically the evangelical fervour of the Victorian era that imposed severe strictures on the so-called heathen amorous degradation and sought to cleanse the Indian people by propagating Western morality and values. And the Victorian hangover still persists. The underlying themes of this volume are that, in the Indian tradition, the relevance of desire, with eroticism as its natural attribute, was pragmatically accepted and that women were given equal status as men in the pursuit of pleasure.

Think of erotic literature from India and what immediately comes to mind is Vatsyayana’s Kamasutra. This was indeed not the first study in erotology nor was it the last. Beginning with the Rg Veda (written some 5000 years ago) right up to the seventeenth century, Indian literature is marked by diverse genres replete with unabashed eroticism in which love, lust and life are explored to their fullest extent.

Today, the philosophical acceptance of desire and the erotic sentiment has been asphyxiated by a hypocritical morality that has for much too long equated sex with sin and desire with guilt. The purpose of this anthology is to provide enough evidence of an alternative vision, so that readers can get a glimpse of the sense of maturity and honesty that animated our ancestors.



Contents

INTRODUCTION



The Vedas

The Mahabharata-Vyasa

The Brahmanas

The Upanishads

The Ramayana-Valmiki

Artha Shastra-Kautilya

Gatha-Saptashati-Hala

Nalinika Jataka

The Puranas

Poems of Love and War: Tamil, Sangam Literature

Kumarasambhava, Rtusamhara and Srngaratilaka-Kalidasa

Setubandha-Pravarasena

The Panchatantra-Vishnu Sharma

Shatakatrayam-Bhartihari

Dasakumaracharita-Dandin

Sanatkumara Charitam-Haribhadra

The Saundarya Lahiri-Adi Shankara

Vajjalaggam-Jayavallabha

Kadambari-banabhata

Amarusataka-Amaru

The Forest of Thieve and the Magic Garden-Udayaprabhasuri

Gaudavaho-Vakpatiraja

Kuttanimatam-Damodaragupta

Vasavadutta-Subandhu

Poems of Vidya and Shilabhattarika

Tantra

Dhvanyaloka-Anandavardhana

Vaddaradhane

Karpuramanjari-Rajashekhara

Katha Saritasagara-Somadeva

Samayamatrka, Kalavilasa and Desopadesa-Kshemendra

Gahun: Chando Ain Gangraj-Gahuni

Yogavishista

Kumarapala Padibodha-Hemachandra

Subhasitaratnakosa-Vidyakara

Caurapancasika-Bilhana

Gitagovinda-Jayadeva

Yashodhara Charite-Janna

Suka Saptati

Ratirahasya-Kokkoka

Naisadhiyacarita-Sriharsa

Veli Krishna Rukmani-Prithvi Raj Rathor

Verses of Vemana

Ananga Ranga-Kalyanamalla

Ritikal Poetry

Poems of Govindadasa

Satsai-Bihari

Manucharitramu-Allasani Peddana

Vaishikatantram

Unnichirutevicharitam

Ramayana-Krittivasa

Kadambari-Bhalan

Sahajiya Poetry

Gaudiya Vaishnavism Poems

Ratimanjari-Jayadeva

Madhavanala Kamakandalacharita

When God is a Customer: Telugu Courtesan Poems

Ghananjaghana-Dhananjaya Bhanja

Vidya Sundara-Bharatchandra Ray

Folk Mythology

Radhika Santwanam-Mudupalani



Glossary



Acknowledgements

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