We have all heard the name of one of the greatest love manuals of all time, the Kama Sutra. The history of this book is quite fascinating as it offers us a glimpse into a culture where spirit and sex were seen as complimentary.

The Kama Sutra is a book on both love and relationship and takes its name from the word “kama” which means all things pleasurable. This not only includes sexuality and sensuality, but eating, gaming, cultural activities and activities with friends and family. Just as the Greeks have the God Eros, the Hindu's have Kama the God that represents the procreative, sexual nature of man. Sutra means a short book of sayings or aphorisms. For many in the West the Kama Sutra is most often associated with sexual acts and sexual positions. Although it does an outstanding job in this area it is not all that it offers.

It is believed that the version of the Kama Sutra that is used today was compiled and put into written form from a rich tradition of oral history. It was originally written in Sanskrit by a man named Vatsyayana, and its structure appears as poetry and verse. Most of the descriptions of the positions are short and to the point, as if they were reminders rather than detailed instructions.

The Kama Sutra details kissing techniques, courting practices, modes of touching including very detailed biting and scratching techniques, sexual positions or asanas, how to find, court and treat marriage partners as well as consorts, the ‘jobs’ of the husband and wife, the concocting of aphrodisiacs, and much more. It also goes into the specific finer points of the Sixty-Four Arts. In addition to the Sixty-Four sexual arts there are Sixty-Four cultural arts. Men, and especially women, were encouraged to become good at as many of these ‘arts’ as possible. These include music, singing, sciences, lovemaking, homemaking, poetry, dance, shooting of the bow and arrow, conversation, sewing, art, games, magic, chemistry, perfumery, and rituals. Attention was also given to courting, gift-giving, secret rendezvous, and moral and ethical attitudes during marriage.

Even though the Kama Sutra focuses on lovemaking arts it also speaks of other arts that make one attractive. Both inner and outer beauty are spoken of as both are essential qualities to cultivate in being an attractive person.

Attractiveness comes from a refined and imaginative mind as much as it does from darkened eyes, ruby lips, and a fine figure. Cultivating as many of the arts other than the art of lovemaking was of great importance to society. (Suzie Heumann)

The Hindu culture, from where the Kama Sutra comes, states that there are four aims of life - wealth, moral standing, pleasure, and enlightenment. So it is understandable that to be good in the art of pleasure one would need to study the arts of love. To be good at your job you would need to learn the skills that it requires, and to be a citizen of honor one would need to know certain things that would make them an outstanding citizen. Whatever creative endeavor one did was considered by the Sutras to make a more expansive individual.

The Kama Sutra was translated in the middle 1800's by Sir Richard Burton. After it was published it shocked Victorian England. He also wrote other books that unpublished on similar subjects that were from other cultures. His wife later finding these other manuscripts burned them and most them have not been re-translated and many may be lost forever.

Probably the most known and revered portion of the works is the descriptions of erotic sexual positions. One of the ways man studied his relationship with the natural world was to mimic sexual positions and to name them after animals which are in the Kama Sutra. Learning, exploring and practicing with new sexual positions is a wonderful way to up the ante on communication, intimacy, variety, fun and consciousness expansion.

Suzie Hemann founder of Tantra.com says, "When a couple ‘works’ with a new category of positions they tend to have to communicate about what works and doesn’t work for them. And, almost always, some of the new positions you explore will be sort of magical for you and some won’t. It can’t be described any other way. The positions will feel special and will fit within your coupled-ness as if they were made for the two of you. If you stay open and aware of this phenomena, while you are making love in new ways, you’ll see what a little adventurous activity will do for you as a couple. The more subtle the move within the position the more deepening attraction and connection you’ll have. It’s a feedback loop that gets fascinating to explore."

Author's Bio: 

Luminessa Enjara is a writer for the Examiner.com and E-zine Articles. She is a teacher of the Sacred Sensual Arts and of Sacred Sexuality. Luminessa is the founder of The School of Womyn's Mysteries and offers on-line programs for women in reconnecting with the Divine Feminine and the source of their Feminine Power. She is also a spiritual evolution coach and offers Akashic Record readings and on going spiritual evolution coaching programs.