Wednesday, March 3

64 Tantric Temple Arts

Kama Sutra, Part 1, Chapter 3

 The following are the arts to be studied, together with the Kama Sutra:

2.Playing on musical instruments


4.Union of dancing, singing, and playing instrumental music

5.Writing and drawing


7.Arraying and adorning an idol with rice and flowers

8.Spreading and arranging beds or couches of flowers, or flowers upon the ground

9.Colouring the teeth, garments, hair, nails and bodies, i.e. staining, dyeing, colouring and painting the same

10.Fixing stained glass into a floor

11.The art of making beds, and spreading out carpets and cushions for reclining

12.Playing on musical glasses filled with water

13.Storing and accumulating water in aqueducts, cisterns and reservoirs

14.Picture making, trimming and decorating

15.Stringing of rosaries, necklaces, garlands and wreaths

16.Binding of turbans and chaplets, and making crests and top-knots of flowers

17.Scenic representations, stage playing

18.Art of making ear ornaments

19.Art of preparing perfumes and odors

20.Proper disposition of jewels and decorations, and adornment in dress

21.Magic or sorcery

22.Quickness of hand or manual skill

23.Culinary art, i.e. cooking and cookery

24.Making lemonades, {sherbert
sherbets], acidulated drinks, and spirituous extracts with proper flavour and colour

25.Tailor's work and sewing

26.Making parrots, flowers, tufts, tassels, bunches, bosses, knobs, etc., out of yarn or thread

27.Solution of riddles, enigmas, covert speeches, verbal puzzles and enigmatical questions

28.A game, which consisted in repeating verses, and as one person finished, another person had to commence at once, repeating another verse, beginning with the same letter with which the last speaker's verse ended, whoever failed to repeat was considered to have lost, and to be subject to pay a forfeit or stake of some kind

29.The art of mimicry or imitation

30.Reading, including chanting and intoning

31.Study of sentences difficult to pronounce. It is played as a game chiefly by women, and children and consists of a difficult sentence being given, and when repeated quickly, the words are often transposed or badly pronounced

32.Practice with sword, single stick, quarter staff and bow and arrow

33.Drawing inferences, reasoning or inferring

34.Carpentry, or the work of a carpenter

35.Architecture, or the art of building

36.Knowledge about gold and silver coins, and jewels and gems

37.Chemistry and mineralogy

38.Colouring jewels, gems and beads

39.Knowledge of mines and quarries

40.Gardening; knowledge of treating the diseases of trees and plants, of nourishing them, and determining their ages

41.Art of cock fighting, quail fighting and ram fighting

42.Art of teaching parrots and starlings to speak

43.Art of applying perfumed ointments to the body, and of dressing the hair with unguents and perfumes and braiding it

44.The art of understanding writing in cypher, and the writing of words in a peculiar way

45.The art of speaking by changing the forms of words. It is of various kinds. Some speak by changing the beginning and end of words, others by adding unnecessary letters between every syllable of a word, and so on

46.Knowledge of language and of the vernacular dialects

47.Art of making flower carriages

48.Art of framing mystical diagrams, of addressing spells and charms, and binding armlets

49.Mental exercises, such as completing stanzas or verses on receiving a part of them; or supplying one, two or three lines when the remaining lines are given indiscriminately from different verses, so as to make the whole an entire verse with regard to its meaning; or arranging the words of a verse written irregularly by separating the vowels from the consonants, or leaving them out altogether; or putting into verse or prose sentences represented by signs or symbols. There are many other such exercises.

50.Composing poems

51.Knowledge of dictionaries and vocabularies

52.Knowledge of ways of changing and disguising the appearance of persons

53.Knowledge of the art of changing the appearance of things, such as making cotton to appear as silk, coarse and common things to appear as fine and good

54.Various ways of gambling

55.Art of obtaining possession of the property of others by means of mantras or incantations

56.Skill in youthful sports

57.Knowledge of the rules of society, and of how to pay respect and compliments to others

58.Knowledge of the art of war, of arms, of armies, etc.

59.Knowledge of gymnastics

60.Art of knowing the character of a man from his features

61.Knowledge of scanning or constructing verses

62.Arithmetical recreations

63.Making artificial flowers

64.Making figures and images in clay

These are among the skills traditionally taught to both genders, while emphasizing masculinity in men and femininity in women. Their subject matter draws on such texts as the Vedangas and Upavedas, and the Shilpa Shastras, or craft manuals. Through the centuries, writers have prescribed many more skills and accomplishments. These include sculpture, pottery, weaving, astronomy and astrology, mathematics, weights and measures, philosophy, scriptural study, agriculture, navigation, trade and shipping, knowledge of time, logic, psychology and ayurveda. In modern times, two unique sets of 64 kalas have been developed, one for girls and one for boys.


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