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Ananga Ranga – A treatise Of Kama Shastra Of Kalyanamalla

Ananga Ranga is a treatise of Kama shastra by poet Kalyanamalla in the 15th century CE. This text is supposed to be the latest of the Sanskrit works on the subject. The ideas in it are evidently absorbed from the earlier writings like Kamasutra of Sage Vatsyayana, Ratirahasya of the same field.

Kalyanamalla, the son of Gajamalla whose father was Trailokya Candra, hailed from a family of kings. But Kalyanamalla seems to be a vassal of Ahmed shah Lodhi. Ananga Ranga was written by the poet of Ladhkan, the son of the king who is referred to differently as Ladana Mull and Ladana Balla. Ahmed shah Lodhi ruled in India from 1450-1526 CE. The popularity of this work amongst the Muslims is clear from the fact that it has been translated into Urdu, Persian and Arabic.

Anangaranga seems to follow Ratirahasya closely rather than Kamasutra. For example, instead of following the four-fold classification of women as Padmini, Sankhini, Hastini and Citrini; it follows Ratirahasya in classes such as mrigi, ashva and so on.

The work is divided into ten chapters. It deals with kama (the third purushartha along with dharma, artha and moksha), which is the pleasurable permissible within the brackets of dharma (righteousness) and moksha (liberation from bondages). It primarily deals with the personal and impersonal relationships between men and women. Apart from the usual description of the varieties of men and women according to geographical location, there is also classification of women under the different categories such as deva sattva and gandharva sattva depending on the dominance of either of the three gunas (qualifications of the inner self) – sattva, rajas and tamas. The work deals with medication and use of chants for Vashikarana (attraction). It also describes the various economic and socio-political uses and abuses of women. Apart from Anangaranga, the poet also composed a commentary on Meghaduta.