BOOK REVIEW THE ANANDA RANGA (THE HINDU ART OF LOVE) (The Sir Richard Burton Translation) 1963 edition. Kimber Pocket Editions.
A companion volume to the better known Kama Sutra, the Ananga Ranga is a 16th Century good sex guide written to show a married couple the value of sexual diversity in their love lives. The author, believed to be Kalyana Malla, argues that a man who tires of the same kind of woman will soon feel inclined to commit adultery, but if his own monogamous wife is to behave like 32 or more women, he can never find her disappointing. / More than the Kama Sutra, which deals with wider social courtship than the mere sexual, the Ananga Ranga is a collection of sexual positionings and varied ways to kiss, use the finger nails, etc. Sometimes the descriptions, each given Sanskrit and Hindi names, gets tedious to read, and there are many complex diagrams to illustrate a series of sweeping generalizations.†
Malla sees four kinds of Women, or Nari (the Foe), as he sees love as comparable to the battlefield and the ways of the man as having to compare with military strategy. The four kinds of woman are Kadmani (Sword Release, mother to the Lotus), she who most men would want to make love to; the ideal of beauty, Chitrini (art woman) is a woman who has gained wisdom through many previous incarnations in the Karmic Cycle, and knows how to beguile and please her man, The Shankhini, or Conch-Woman, is more materialistic, seeking finery and comforts, which she will reward her man for while he is able to provide them Ė she is less attractive without her fineries. The Kama Salila, or Elephant-Woman, is possessive and takes much energy, time and effort to please.
††††††††††† Such generalisations abound in the book, with breaks for discussion on medicinal herbs, and sexual positions but it isnít really much of a good sex guide to the modern swingers who are likely to seek advice therein. They are likely to find it outmoded and even critical of their extravagance.
© Copyright. Arthur Chappell †
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