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Koka Shastra/ Kokasara/ Ratirahasya. (The Secret of Love).


North Indian Manuscript around 1800. Small 8vo-oblong. 88 x 140 mm. Bound in later multi-coloured cotton over cardboards. Native polished paper. FF 87. ( Text FF 67 - F 1 Diagram - FF 19 of full-page minatures in gouache (verso blank)). Text in black and red ink, triple framed borders in orange red and black. 6 lines. Folios not paginated sequentially. Written in Devanagari in North Indian vernacular. Foliation in right margins sometimes cut short or missing. The 19 full-page miniatures in blue, orange, red, nude, white, purple and with details in gold. Highest foliation: 90, probably not complete. ¶ The miniatures comprise the four types of men: HARE (sasa), STAG (mrga), BULL (vrsa) ansd STALLION (asva). Three of the miniatures contain an image of one of the animals, except hare and it would appear that the elephant replaces the bull. - The four types of women: LOTUS (padmini), PICTURE (citrini), CONCH-SHELL (sankhini), ELEPHANT (hastini). 11 miniatures depict the so-called "EROTIC POSITIONS" (ratibandha), here probably incomplete as the usual numer is 16. The folio showing a diagram probably indicates the most opportunistic combinations (lunar ?, type-combinations ?). There are other diagrams in the text.

"The Ratirahasya (translated in English as Secrets of Love, also known as the Koka Shastra) is a medieval Indian sex manual written by Kokkoka, a poet, who is variously described as Koka or Koka Pundit. The exact date of its writing is not known, but it is estimated the text was written in the 11th or 12th century. It is speculated that Ratirahasya was written to please a king by the name Venudutta. Kokkoka describes himself in the book as siddha patiya pandita, i.e. "an ingenious man among learned men". The manual was written in Sanskrit.
Unlike the Kama Sutra, which is an ancient sex manual related to Hindu literature, Ratirahasya deals with medieval Indian society. During the medieval age, India became more conservative compared to ancient India, freedom of women decreased, and premarital and extramarital sex were frowned upon. A sex manual was needed that would be suitable for the medieval cultural climate, and Ratirahasya was written, quite different from the ancient text Kama Sutra.... Ratirahasya is the first book to describe in detail Indian feminine beauty."(Wikipedia).

44 721 SEK

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