This definitive volume is the first modern translation of Vatsyayana's Kama Sutra to include two essential commentaries: the Jayamangala of Yashodhara and the modern Hindi commentary by Devadatta Shastri. Alain Danilou spent four years comparing versions of the Kama Sutra in Sanskrit, Hindi, Bengali, and English, drawing on his intimate experience of India, to preserve the full explicitness of the original. I wanted to demystify India, he writes, to show that a period of great civilization, of high culture, is forcibly a period of great liberty.
Alain Danilou (1907-1994) was without question a Renaissance man. Following his early years as an artist, dancer, and musician in Paris (Cocteau, Diaghilev, and Stravinsky were among his friends), Danilou settled in India, where he spent fifteen years in the study of Sanskrit, philosophy, and music. After numerous university appointments in India, he returned in 1963 to Europe, establishing the Institute of Comparative Music Studies in Berlin for the reevaluation of Asian music. Danilou wrote more than thirty books about the philosophy, religion, history, and arts of India, including Gods of Love and Ecstasy; Myths and Gods of India; Virtue, Success, Pleasure, and Liberation; While the Gods Play; The Phallus; and Music and the Power of Sound.Â
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