Nāgarasarvasva of Padmaśrī
The Nāgarasarvasva is a medieval treatise on the “Science of Desire” (Kāmaśāstra), composed in South Asia probably around the year 1000 (although its date is far from clear and could be anywhere between 800 and 1300 CE). It comprises 38 chapters, altogether 330 Sanskrit verses, covering a number of related topics that are intended as the totality (sarvasva) of what an urbane townsman (nāgara) should know, in order to refine and amplify one’s sexual pleasures.
The author, Padmaśrī, shows a rather clear affiliation to Buddhism. The treatise begins with a praise of Red Mañjuśrī, the great Bodhisattva of Insight, here invoked in connection to success in one’s enjoyment of women. The initial sections of the treatise also explain the necessity of this branch of knowledge, in terms of benefitting others (especially desirous women), and quote a Buddhist stanza that stresses the importance of relieving others’ suffering. More precisely, the text praises those meritorious men who go beyond their...
KeywordsHand Gesture Sexual Pleasure Human Concern Sexual Enjoyment Living Tradition
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