The Kama Sutra is an ancient Indian text on
human sexual behavior, widely considered to be
the standard work on love in the Sanskrit
literature. The text was written by Vatsyayana and
the correct full title of the text is vatsyayana kama
sutra, "Aphorisms on Love, by Vatsyayana".
The author is believed to have lived sometime
between the 1st to 6th centuries A.D., probably
during the Gupta Empire period.
The Kama Sutra contains a total of 64 sexual
positions and depicts positions as arts.
Vatsyayana believed there were eight ways of
making love, multiplied by eight positions within
each of these. In the book, they are known as the
The chapter listing sexual positions is the most
well-known, however, only about 20 percent of
the book is devoted to sexual positions. The
remainder gives guidance on how to be a good
citizen and insights into men and women in
The Kama Sutra describes making love as "divine
union" and this relief is intended to capture that.
Some scholars suggest such erotic carvings to be
tantric sexual practices. Other scholars state that
the erotic arts are part of Hindu tradition of
treating kama (desire) as an essential and proper
part of human life, and its symbolic or explicit
display is common in Hindu temples.