Laḏḏat al-nisā’ | Monography or Translations of known period | Sexology | Survey | Perso-Indica

Sexology

Monography or Translations of known period
Żiyā’ al-Dīn Naḫšabī, Laḏḏat al-nisā’

Żiyā’ al-Dīn-i Naḫšabī (d. ca. 751/1350-1) was a čištī Sufi who stemmed from Naḫšab (Qarshi) in Transoxiana, but had migrated to India. He was a follower of the Sufi master Šayḫ Farīd al-Dīn-i Nāgawrī (d. 752/1351-2) and probably collaborated with the Ḫaljī rulers. Naḫšabī lived and died in Badaun (Uttar Pradesh). It is possible that he practiced as a physician, and he is known for his Persian writings and translations from Sanskrit works. His writings encompass mystical and religious, literary and medical works. (Ṣafā 1363 š./1984, vol. 3/2, pp. 1293-1296; Berthels 2012).
The manuscripts of the Laḏḏat al-nisā (Pleasure of Women) often mention Żiyā’-i Naḫšabī as the author of the work or the translator of the Indic original. However, the common absence of the Laḏḏat al-nisā in lists of Naḫšabī’s works in the tadhkira (biographical) literature casts some doubt on his actual authorship which has not been critically evaluated yet. On the other hand, if the attribution of the Laḏḏat al-nisā’ to Naḫšabī is not true, it is certainly fabricated well. The work has been translated from an Indic source and its various versions oscillate between medical, ethical and entertaining contents. They also show literary features. Thus, the Laḏḏat al-nisā’ seems to bear Naḫšabī’s mark in combining elements of his otherwise known literary production. Nevertheless, for now Naḫšabī’s authorship of the Laḏḏat al-nisāremains an open question.
Beside the question of Naḫšabī’s authorship there is another problem when it comes to identifying Naḫšabī’s Laḏḏat al-nisā’ and to differentiating it from other Persian adaptations of the Kokaśāstra tradition with the same title. It is mainly caused by the varying contents of the extant manuscript copies of the Laḏḏat al-nisā’ ascribed to Naḫšabī in combination with the still poor state of research on often undated and anonymous copies listed in manuscript catalogues. As there are different groups of manuscripts mentioning Naḫšabī as author/translator, but with varying contents and copied at relatively late dates (17th century onwards), the “original” text possibly authored by Naḫšabī has not been identified yet. It is likely that it is the text of manuscript group one discussed below (or a similar text) because of its proximity to the Indic Kokaśāstra tradition. Hence, all texts explicitly claiming Naḫšabī as their author/translator or related to such texts should be treated as part of a wider “Naḫšabī tradition”.
Affairs are further complicated by works titled Laḏḏat al-nisā’, but adapted from completely different sources and by anonymous manuscripts and manuscripts with different titles that nonetheless belong to the “Naḫšabī tradition” e.g. because of striking textual and structural similarities with versions explicitly attributed to Naḫšabī. Given the current state of research, in this article I will only discuss manuscripts of the “Naḫšabī tradition” which I have personally analyzed. This is the only sound method to define relevant manuscripts until the whole body of extant manuscripts is sufficiently studied. Since there is no clear-cut “original” Sanskrit text of the Kokaśāstra as explained below and since the contents of manuscripts of the Persian “Naḫšabī tradition” have often undergone changes as discussed in this entry, the texts belonging to the “Naḫšabī tradition” are taken as adaptations rather than translations of their Indic source.
It is not clear what exactly the original Sanskrit source text(s) of the Laḏḏat al-nisā’ looked like. Commonly, it is assumed that the original work is the Sanskrit erotological treatise called Ratirahasya (The Secret of the Art of Love) of the pandit Kokkoka or Kōkā. It has also been named after its author and is therefore known as the Kokaśāstra (The Teachings of Kōkā) as well (Schmidt 1911, pp. 44, 64; Mylius 2009, p. 11). The reason for tracing the Laḏḏat al-nisā’ back to this work is that in most manuscripts it is designed as a translation of the “book of Kōkā”. Unfortunately, no reliable critical edition of the Ratirahasya does exist to date and even the basic data of the work are controversial. Klaus Mylius who has presented a philological German translation argues that it has been composed most probably during the 9th or 10th century in Northern India (Mylius 2009, p. 11f). By means of content, the Ratirahasya is an abridged adaptation of the earlier and more famous Kāmasūtra which it also complements with information from other traditions (Schmidt 1911, pp. 59-61; Mylius 2009, pp. 13-15). Since there are other works with the same profile often including characteristic elements of the Ratirahasya (Mylius 2009, pp. 13-14; Schmidt 1911, pp. 29, 52, 76) it is better to speak of a Kokaśāstra tradition rather than of a single work. This is illustrated by the fact that the “last work in the tradition of Kokkoka” (Mylius 2009, p. 100), the Anaṅgaraṅga (The Stage of the God of Love), has been titled Kokaśāstra as well (Schmidt 1911, p. 44). Besides, many Indic works have been translated into Persian not directly from the Sanskrit, but from prior, sometimes oral translations into vernacular languages. Such vernacular translations were also made for the Ratirahasya (Schmidt 1911, p. 64-65).
It is thus doubtful if the extant versions of the Persian Laḏḏat al-nisā’ are based directly on a Sanskrit version of Kōkā’s treatise, although this is claimed in at least one of the manuscripts under scrutiny (Ms. Leiden, Universiteitsbibliotheek, Or. 14.587, f. 7b). On the other hand, they are clearly based on parts of a complex broader Kokaśāstra tradition encompassing versions of the Sanskrit Ratirahasya, its vernacular translations and related treatises with similar contents. The “Naḫšabī tradition” of the Laḏḏat al-nisā’ and the Kokaśāstra tradition share several characteristic topics (sometimes even in the same order) such as: the four types of women (padmini, čitrini, sankhini, hastini), the erogenous zones or “phases of the moon”, general characteristics of women, foreplay and positions for sexual intercourse and sometimes the ways for winning the favour of other men’s wives and the matching of types of both sexes according to size of genitals. But all of the Persian manuscripts treated here present a rearranged and abbreviated version of the contents of the Kokaśāstra tradition and also differ in many respects from each other.
The manuscripts of the Laḏḏat al-nisā’ examined here were copied from the middle of the 17th to the middle of the 19th century. They have been arranged according to shared features in two major groups: i) manuscripts preserving much of the contents of the Kokaśāstra tradition and adding relatively little new content from Muslim medical culture or other Muslim writings; these manuscripts are not illustrated; ii) manuscripts including contents of the Kokaśāstra tradition amounting to about half of the chapters and inserting a considerable amount of content from Muslim medical culture, as well as displaying characteristics reminiscent of belles-lettres; these manuscripts are mostly illustrated. All of these manuscripts either mention Żiyāʾ-i Naḫšabī as the author/translator or resemble those that do.
Group one includes two manuscripts: the most ancient manuscript under scrutiny, copied in 1050/1640 (Ms. Copenhagen, Det Kongelige Bibliotek, XXXVII/1), and an undated, but clearly later one containing the same chapters, but with a considerably larger body of recipes (Ms. London, British Library, IO Islamic 908/4). These manuscripts are divided into an introduction and ten chapters (bāb): introduction mentioning Żiyāʾ-i Naḫšabī as the author (only in Ms. Copenhagen, Det Kongelige Bibliotek, XXXVII/1, f. 1b), providing an introductory story that frames the whole work and a passage connecting the story to the subsequent text; (i) chapter one on the knowledge of women (maʿrifat-i ‘awrat) presenting the four types of women characteristic of the Kokaśāstra tradition; (ii) chapter two on the suitable times for sexual intercourse with these four types, explaining also how to deal with women of different ages; (iii) chapter three on sexual desire (šahwat) of women, pointing out the body parts to be stimulated on different days of the month to arouse sexual desire; (iv) chapter four on the temperament of women of different regions, including regions outside India not mentioned in the Kokaśāstra tradition, and how to deal with them during foreplay and sexual intercourse; (v) chapter five on matching men and women according to size of genitals, also giving details on the external features of the different types; (vi) chapter six on “taming” women (rām kardan-i ʿawrat) in four sub-chapters (faṣl), expounding the methods of winning women, the modes of embracing, kissing, applying nails, and biting as well as the five forms of sexual intercourse and twenty sexual positions along with their Indic terms; (vii) chapter seven on making women ejaculate (inzāl kunānīdan), explaining genital foreplay and the signs that indicate ejaculation in women; (viii) chapter eight on seducing women (farīftan-i ʿawrat), warning against this unethical endeavour, pointing out acceptable reasons for it and expounding how to recognise women susceptible to the courting of strangers and the methods of courtship; (ix) chapter nine on good and bad qualities of women regarding both physical and personality traits, including recipes for enchanting women; (x) chapter ten on recipes for the retention of semen (imsāk), providing a long list of all kinds of medicines spanning from enhancing desire and potency to cosmetics.
Setting the stage for the treatise, the introductory story hints at the practical use of the knowledge presented. The narrative is taken from the background story of the Ratirahasya and exists in almost all manuscripts of both manuscript groups (with some revealing changes in detail, see below). In manuscript group one it recounts how the vizier Kōkā Pandit misappropriates belongings of his king to spend them for pleasure and is consequently confined. Later on, during an audience of the king, a woman enters the room bare-headed. Taken to task by the king, the woman responds that she cannot see a single man in the room, hence there is no reason for clothing or behaving coyly. In his distress the king remembers Kōkā’s crime and expects him to have learnt the treatment of women while wallowing in pleasures. In fact, Kōkā knows what to do: he has a room prepared as a love nest and applies his art of stimulating suitable body parts. Consequently, the woman reaches the height of sexual pleasure and gets out of control. When she realizes her situation, she feels ashamed. Defeated and now veiled properly, she appears in court. The king is delighted by Kōkā’s success and asks him to write a book on his art.
In this story, a serious threat to male authority is presented as caused by a woman breaking the rules of shamefacedness. Male authority, on the other hand, is shown to be dependent on virility and virility on the capability of sexually satisfying women. On the individual level the story holds the promise that a man well-versed in the art of love will be able to prove his virility beyond doubt and to turn every stubborn woman obedient. Exactly this is stated explicitly at the end of the subsequent paragraph: whoever learns the prerequisites of successful sexual intercourse from this book, it states, will be potent and even “a disobedient woman will become submissive” (‘awrat ki ū-rā dast namīdahad muṭī‘ wa farman-burdār-i ū gardad). Therefore, it is no wonder that chapter six on erotic techniques and sexual positions is titled “on taming women”. The message of the introductory story, the explicit passage on making disobedient women submissive by sexual skills and potency and the title of the chapter on erotic techniques and sexual positions thus indicate that erotological knowledge as presented in the Laḏḏat al-nisā’ is essential to control women and the dangers arising from them for male authority. The explicit aim of the treatise as explained in the introduction as well as the “taming” in the title of chapter six have apparently been introduced to the Persian Laḏḏat al-nisā’ while the Sanskrit original is focussed mainly on male pleasure. In this way, the treatise is integrated into a larger Islamicate discourse on controlling women as a means of preserving male authority. This integration becomes more explicit in the manuscripts of group two where contents of Islamicate literature pertaining to this discourse are added (see below).
The rest of the introduction expounds the three aims in life of the Hindus. By way of expression through Perso-Arabic vocabulary derived from Islamic terminology they are acculturated to Islamicate culture. Dharma is thus equated with worship (‘ibādat, ‘ubūdat warzīdan), artha with worldly goods (ḥazzhā-yi dunyāwī) and kama with the intimate company and sexual intercourse with women (ulfat wa ‘išrat kardan bā zanān). While worship is styled as the aim of human existence, the negative Islamic connotations of worldly goods are alleviated by presenting them as necessary to uphold human life. Finally, sexual intercourse is described as being indispensable for the continuity of the world (baqā’-i ‘ālam). But taking a wife is crucial to the well-being of a man for yet another reason: without a wife sexual desire will throw him into corruption (ġalaba-yi šahwat dar fasād andāzad) and that is against worship and causes loss of worldly goods, wherefore it is an essential concern (amr-ī kullī) to take a wife. While the idea that sexual intercourse is needed for upholding life is self-evident and thus common to medical and ethical writings alike, concern for the spiritual well-being of a bachelor is reminiscent of religious writings like the Kīmiyā-yi sa‘ādat of al-Ġazālī (d. 505/1111) (notably Ġazālī 1364 š./1985, vol. 1, pp. 304, 307 and vol. 2, pp. 55-56. Given that Ġazālī’s Kīmiyā-yi sa‘ādat as well as Persian translations of his Iḥyā' ‘ulūm al-dīn were important sources of Naḫšabī’s religious work Silk al-sulūk, this similarity may hint to Naḫšabī’s authorship of the Laḏḏat al-nisā’.
Manuscript group two comprises five manuscripts and fragments ranging from 18th century Kashmir to 19th century Deccan and Qajar Iran (Ms. Bethesda, National Library of Medicine, P 24/1, Ms. Leiden, Universiteitsbibliotheek, Or. 14.588 and Or. 14.587, Ms. Islamabad, Ganj Baḫš, 791, Ms. London, Wellcome Library, Persian 223). At least three of them are either variations of the same source or copied from each other, including the manuscript from Iran (Ms. London, Wellcome Library, Persian 223, copied in 1240/1824). Another manuscript (Ms. Islamabad, Ganj Baḫš, 791) has only a very brief version of the contents of each chapter, and the oldest manuscript (Ms. Bethesda, National Library of Medicine, P 24/1) is only a fragment. All manuscripts of this group are illustrated.
Again, the contents are divided into an introduction and ten chapters (bāb): introduction mentioning Naḫšabī as the author (except two manuscripts with missing pages in the beginning (Ms. Islamabad, Ganj Baḫš, 791; Ms. London, Wellcome Library, Persian 223) and recounting the introductory story; (i) chapter one on the four types of women; (ii) chapter two on characteristics (ḫāṣiyyat) of women expounding different ages and good and bad characteristics; (iii) chapter three on the (ejaculation of) female semen (āb-i manī), explaining techniques of genital foreplay to make the woman ejaculate and the body parts where “semen” is located on different days of the month (i.e. the erogenous zones); (iv) chapter four on forms (hay’at) of sexual intercourse presenting a highly abbreviated version of foreplay, briefly mentioning the best time for sexual intercourse according to Muslim medical texts and explaining twenty-nine positions for sexual intercourse along with illustrations and short verses; (v) chapter five on the uterus (raḥim) and pregnancy (ḥaml) expounding the onset of fertility in girls and how to determine the sex of a child; (vi) chapter six on suitable foods for potency (bāh); (vii) chapter seven on the arousal of sexual desire (hayajān-i šahwat) explaining the role of the main organs according to Graeco-Islamic medicine and listing foods to enhance desire; (viii) chapter eight on magical remedies; (ix) chapter nine on pastes for enhancing potency (ma‘jūnhā-yi bāh) explaining functions of the main organs according to Muslim medical concepts and providing medicines; (x) chapter ten on the “binding of women” (bastan-i zan) listing recipes for preventing women from fornication, enhancing potency, strengthening the stomach, increasing semen etc.
There are some slight variations in the order and headings of chapters. Contents sometimes differ in scope, especially in the chapters on recipes. Still, there are lots of passages that have almost identical wording. Main contents and resulting profile are basically the same. As shown by the chapter division, most of the Indic erotological material is compressed into the first four chapters. Therefore, some topics like types of men and women according to size of genitals and temperaments of women according to regions have been omitted. On the other hand, the positions for intercourse take a great deal of the pages now, being accompanied by an illustration and verses for each. Erotological contents are complemented by information from Muslim medical culture. From chapter five onwards the text takes a markedly medical turn and introduces topics like fertility and pregnancy. This “medicalisation” of the Laḏḏat al-nisā’ is an acculturation to Islamicate culture, since the medical theory presented here is taken from this background. This is due to the integration of the treatise into Islamicate literary categories and its classification as a treatise on the “knowledge of coitus” (‘ilm al-bāh), which is obvious from a verse in the introduction designating the work explicitly as a “book on coitus/potency” (bāh-nāme). It is thus no wonder that the treatise was also appreciated in Muslim Persian speaking regions outside India as evidenced by the manuscript produced in Qajar Iran. One of the variations in the introductory story supports the import of Muslim medical notions by introducing a new element: while in seclusion with the unruly woman, Kōkā touches her in such a way that she starts to “ejaculate” heavily. While in group one only sexual lust and delight was mentioned, this explicit statement about ejaculation indicates that the scandalous behaviour of the woman can be interpreted as a symptom of a disease caused by lack of sexual satisfaction which translates into lack of ejaculation (Kurz 2016). According to Muslim medical thought, without regular ejaculation superfluous semen remains in the body and causes disease. Sexual pleasure thus heals the woman who consequently turns obedient.
On the other hand, medical explanations in these manuscripts are rather basic. They are usually very brief and include inaccuracies or the text is corrupt. This indicates that the communication of medical knowledge almost certainly was not the main aim of these manuscripts. Instead, it seems that they were produced to enhance erotic fantasies and pleasure especially for men. Since the illustrations always clearly depict genitals, one may even classify them as obscene. The fact that in the manuscripts of group two, in the introductory story the unruly woman does not just appear bare-headedly, but drops her underwear in front of the king, a scene which in all but one manuscript (Ms. Islamabad, Ganj Baḫš, 791) is accompanied by a detailed illustration, further stresses this aspect. At the same time, the descriptions of positions are accompanied by small amounts of poetry generally containing imagery that could have enhanced erotic feelings. These features hint at the aim of producing aesthetic pleasure along with a sense of eroticism. In spite of being called a bāh-nāme in the text itself, on the modern academic meta level these manuscripts may thus be better classified as part of erotic belles-lettres. This would conform to the development of Arabic bāh literature in the late medieval and early modern periods from medical treatises into erotic manuals often including arousing material by merging formerly distinct literary categories (see Franke 2012). It also corresponds to observations about features in Arabic treatises on bāh oscillating between belles-lettres and medical literature (Newman 2014, pp. 36-49). The blending of medicine and erotology may even be a consequence of the advice of medical authors to treat certain cases of impotence by making the patient listen to erotic stories or watch the copulation of animals (e.g. Šīrāzī, ‘Ilājāt-i Dārā-Šikū, Ms. Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, 342A, f. 365b). Thus, complementing the erotic manual Laḏḏat al-nisā’ with medical information and erotic illustrations at the same time, appears logical in order to ensure both, sexual pleasure and potency. In this sense, the Laḏḏat al-nisā’ can indeed be also understood as a bāh-nāme, i.e., a treatise mainly occupied with enhancing potency, albeit not in a strictly technical sense, and this may explain the classification of the work as a bāh-nāme in the introduction of the work itself that indicates how the treatise has been integrated into the literary canon of the target culture.
There is a third group of much more voluminous “mixed” manuscripts (featuring mostly more than ten chapters) with and without illustrations presumably from the 18th and 19th centuries (Ms. Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, supplément persan 1804; Ms. Berlin, Staatsbibliothek, Sprenger 1657; Ms. Islamabad, Ganj Baḫš, 3949). None of these manuscripts ascribes the text explicitly to Naḫšabī. But this is also a feature of the more recent manuscript from group one (Ms. London, British Library, IO Islamic 908). Therefore, it is possible that being anonymous is a characteristic of more recent manuscripts in the “Naḫšabī tradition”. Nevertheless, the British Library manuscript of group one is clearly based on the same version of the Laḏḏat al-nisā’ as the Copenhagen manuscript which mentions Naḫšabī as the author. The introduction and part of the chapters of the third group of manuscripts are very similar to the British Library manuscript of group one, sometimes even in wording, but they include chapters and topics of second group as well. Therefore, they are probably influenced by both groups and should thus be counted as part of the “Naḫšabī tradition”. Besides, they carry on the discourse on controlling women and virility and enhance the elements of both prior groups by inserting material from belles-lettres, medical works and ethical literature (like formulations clearly pointing back to Naṣīr al-Dīn-i Ṭūsī’s (d. 672/1274) Aḫlāq-i nāṣirī and Jalāl al-Dīn-i  Dawānī’s (d. 908/1502) Aḫlāq-i Jalālī as well as Abū Ḥāmid Muḥammad-i Ġazālī’s Kīmiyā-yi sa‘ādat). Besides, new contents from the Kokaśāstra tradition are added which probably indicates influences from different Persian adaptations of the Kokaśāstra materials.
In summary, the main differences between the first group of manuscripts of the Laḏḏat al-nisā’ and the Sanskrit Kokaśāstra tradition are the adaptation to Islamicate culture in the introductory passages, the widening of the geographical scope in chapter four on the temperament of women of different regions and rearrangement of information on women’s characteristics and foreplay. In the second group of manuscripts further shifts include the explicit incorporation of the work into the “knowledge of coitus” (‘ilm-i bāh), further shortening and rearrangement of the chapters on women’s characteristics and foreplay and the introduction of a great amount of Muslim medical material. These differences show that the various manuscripts of the “Naḫšabī tradition” of the Laḏḏat al-nisā’ have undergone great changes between the 17th and the 19th centuries. Sexual pleasure is also merged with a more aesthetic vein of experiencing pleasure and linked with entertainment. In this regard, it is worth to remember that the genitive in the title of the work can be understood both as “Pleasure of Women” and “Pleasure derived from Women”.
Nevertheless, the exact development of the “Naḫšabī tradition” of the Laḏḏat al-nisā’ for now remains as elusive as that of its Indic source. The fact that Ayāz’s Miftāḥ al-surūr-i Adilšāhī (q.v.), written around 922/1516, includes materials which look close to those of the “Naḫšabī tradition” could suggest that copies of texts were already available by that time. The number of manuscript copies which are extant seems also to indicate that these knew a wide readership in South Asia, from the Mughal period until the 19th century. Moreover, the production of several illustrated copies would suggest that some of these manuscripts were made for wealthy readers who could afford the cost of such objects. Later Persian texts refer to the Laḏḏat al-nisā’ ascribed to Naḫšabī, among them Nūr al-Dīn Šīrāzī’s ‘Ilājāt-i Dārā-Šukūhī a medical encyclopaedia dedicated to the Mughal prince Dārā-Šukūh (d. 1069/1659). It exists at least one undated fragmentary manuscript of an adaptation into Urdu by an unknown translator which seemingly follows the version of Copenhagen and British Library manuscripts up to chapter six (Kōkā šāstar wa laḏḏat al-nisā’, Ms. Islamabad, Ganj Baḫš, 10958/2). One of the Persian manuscripts presented in this article was copied in Iran, although the diffusion of the “Naḫšabī tradition” of the Laḏḏat al-nisā’ outside South Asia remains very little studied.

 

i) Place of copying; ii) Period of copying; iii) Copyist; iv) Commissioner;
v) Information on colophon; vi) Description of miniatures/illustrations; vii) Other remarks; viii) Information on catalogue(s)
Manuscripts: 

Copenhagen, Det Kongelige Bibliotek, XXXVII/1, ff. 23

, ii)

ḏū l-qa’da 1050/February-March 1641

, vii)

illuminated opening

, viii)

Mehren 1857, p. 15

.

London, British Library, IO Islamic 908/4, ff. 23

, vii)

According to Ethé identical with Risāla dar 'awrat in Ms. 1626, Bodleian Catalogue.

, viii)

Ethé 1903, vol. 1, c. 1511

.

Berlin, Staatsbibliothek, Sprenger 1657, ff. 38

, vii)

Copied probably not before the 18th century (estimation of Christoph Rauch, Head of the Oriental Section of the library judging from paper and ink, communicated in an email from 3rd April 2014); table of contents gives the same division as the Copenhagen and British Library Mss., yet the text differs from it probably because of addition and replacement of materials.

, viii)

Pertsch 1888, p. 589-590

.

Islamabad, Ganj Baḫš, 3949, ff. 27

, ii)

13th/19th century

, v)

dar milk-i mawlavī Quṭb al-Dīn۱۲

, vii)

paginated, 53 pages; religious contents inserted; title on front flyleaf: Jawāmi‘ al-qawānīn-i fārsī ya‘nī Kōkā šāstar

, viii)

Tasbīḥī 1384š./1426/2005, p. 625

.

Illustrated manuscripts: 

Bethesda, National Library of Medicine, P 24/1, 10 ff.

, i) Probably North-West India, possibly Kashmir, ii)

probably 18th century

, vi)

five full-page miniatures, one half-page and two three-quarter-page miniatures, painted in a variety of opaque watercolors with gilt of a provincial Mughal style typical of north-west India, especially Kashmir, in the 18th century (see: www.nlm.nih.gov/hmd/arabic/diet5.html, accessed 05 November 2018); full-page illustrations: audience of the king (f. 3b), padmini type (f. 7b), čitrini type (f. 8b), hastini type (f. 9b), sankhini type (f. 10b); half-page illustration: Kōkā in amorous play with the yogini (f. 5a); three-quarter-page illustrations: the yogini showing her genitals (f. 4a), Kōkā leaving the yogini (f. 5b)

, vii)

illuminated opening; contains only introduction and chapter 1

, viii)

www.nlm.nih.gov/hmd/arabic/diet5.html (accessed 05 November 2018)

.

Islamabad, Ganj Baḫš, 791, ff. 48

, ii)

probably 12th/18th century

, vi)

coloured illustrations: king and woman (in this case not showing her genitals, f. 1a), woman threatening to burn herself and king near the fire (f. 3a), types of women (shown in presence of men and sometimes in embrace, ff. 5b, 7a, 8a, 9b), positions for sexual intercourse (ff. 12a, 45a)

, vii)

paper massively damaged (water stains, blurred text, worm-eaten), lacunae at the beginning, leaves from the beginning of chapter eight missing entirely. Persian verses joined to the illustrations of positions on top and bottom of the pages.

, viii)

Tasbīḥī 1384š./2005, p. 625

.

Leiden, Universiteitsbibliotheek, Or. 14.588, ff. 53

, i) Deccan, ii)

probably ca. 1800

, vi)

thirty seven illustrations; thirty three full-page illustrations of the positions for sexual intercourse; four three-quarter-page illustrations of the four types of women on ff. 4a, 5a, 6a, 7a

, vii)

illuminated opening. Persian verses on separate pages following the pages with illustrations of the positions.

, viii)

Witkam 2007, vol. 15, p. 268

.

Leiden, Bibliotheek Universiteit Leiden, Or. 14.587, ff. 54

, i) Deccan, ii)

Probably ca. 1850

, vi)

forty one illustrations, half-page illustrations of: woman showing her genitals in front of the king (f. 3a), the four types of women (sitting in together with a man and showing the related animal, ff. 8a, 9a, 10a, 11a); three-quarter-page illustrations: positions for sexual intercourse (ff. 14b, 49b)

, vii)

illuminated opening. Worn pages. Verses attached to the positions for sexual intercourse.

, viii)

Witkam 2007, pp. 267-268

.

London, Wellcome Library, Persian 223, 38 ff.

, ii)

1240/1824

, vi)

thirty eight detailed and colourful paintings in Qajar style; five illustrations in the introductory story (ff. 2b, 3a, 4a, 4b, 5a) including the woman showing her genitals in front of the king (f. 2b); three illustrations of the four types of women including all but the hastini type (ff. 6b, 7a, 7b); an illustration showing the setting to be prepared for a rendezvous (f. 10a); twenty nine  illustrations of positions for sexual intercourse (ff. 9a, 9b, 10b-23b)

, vii)

fine Oriental paper, damaged lacquer binding, pages in black, blue and golden rules. Lacuna in the beginning; folio 9 is misplaced; treatise ending on 27r followed by ten illustrated stories told by ten slave girls beginning on f. 27b (illustrations showing sexual intercourse). Persian verses joined to the illustrations of positions on top of the page, descriptions of positions in red ink on bottom of the page

, viii)

Keshavarz 1986, p. 377

.

Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, supplément persan 1804, ff. 100

, ii)

between 1775 and 1825 (1825 being a birth-date recorded on a flyleaf at the end of the manuscript)

, v)

mentions the Laḏḏat al-nisā’ and the Miftāḥ al-surūr

, vi)

fifty one illustrations; three illustrations of the introductory story all of them showing the yogini completely naked (ff. 2b, 3b, 4b:), pictures of the four types of women (ff. 9b, 10b, 11b, 12b), illustrations of interspersed stories (ff. 18a, 19a), illustration of one type of embrace (f. 28b), illustrations of the three types of men according to the length of their penis (ff. 40a-41a), illustrations of the three types of women according to the depth of their vagina (ff. 41b-42b), thirty five illustrations of positions for sexual intercourse (ff. 49b-66b)

, vii)

illuminated opening; Indian stamped leather binding, text in coloured rules (including gold); contains tables of the body parts to be stimulated on different days of the month.

.


Urdu translation: Anonymous, Kōkā šāstar wa laḏḏat al-nisā’, Ms. Islamabad, Ganj Baḫš, 10958/2.

English translation: Nakhshabi, Diya, 1928, Ladhdhat al-Nisa [Sensual Delights of Women], Paris.

Bibliography:

Berthels, E., 2012 [1992/3], “Nakhshabī”, Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, available at <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_SIM_5776> [Accessed 31 August 2016].

Dawānī, Jalāl al-Dīn Muḥammad ibn As‘ad, 1916, Aḫlāq-i Jalālī, Lawāmi‘ al-ašrāq fī makārim al-aḫlāq, Lucknow.

Ethé, Hermann, 1903, Catalogue of Persian Manuscripts in the Library of the India Office, Oxford, vol. 1.

Franke, Patrick, 2012, “Before scientia sexualis in Islamic culture: ‘ilm al-bāh between erotology, medicine and pornography”, Social Identities, 18, 2, pp. 161-173.

Ġazālī, Abū Ḥāmid Muḥammad, 1364 š./1985, Kīmiyā-yi sa‘ādat, Ḥusayn-i Ḫadīwjam, ed., 2 vols. 4th ed., Tehran, Širkat-i intišārāt-i ‘ilmī wa farhangī (1st ed. 1354 š./1975).

Keshavarz, Fateme, 1986 A Descriptive and Analytical Catalogue of Persian Manuscripts in the Library of the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, London.

Kurz, Susanne, 2016. “Never just for fun? Sexual intercourse in Persophone medicine, erotology and ethics”, in: S. Kurz - C. Preckel - S. Reichmuth, eds., Muslim Bodies: Körper, Sexualität und Medizin in muslimischen Gesellschaften, Münster.

Mehren, A.F, 1857, Codices Orientales Bibliothecae Regiae Hafniensis Jussu Et Auspiciis Regiis Enumerati Et Descripti: Pars Tertia Codices Persicos, Turcicos, Hindustanicos etc. Continens, Copenhagen.

Mylius, Klaus, ed., 2009, Das Ratirahasya des Kokkoka und der Anaṅgaraṅga des Kalyāṇamalla: zwei indische Lehrbücher der Liebeskunst, Wiesbaden.

Pertsch, Wilhelm, 1888, Die Handschriften-Verzeichnisse der Königlichen Bibliothek zu Berlin. Vierter Band. Verzeichniss der persischen Handschriften, Berlin.

Ṣafā, Ḏabīḥ Allāh, 1363 š./1984, Tārīḫ-i adabiyyāt dar Īrān: Az awāʾil-i qarn-i haftum tā pāyān-i qarn-i haštum-i hijrī, vol. 3, 2, Tehran, 3rd ed.

Savage-Smith, Emilie, 2013 [2004], Catalogue of the Islamic Medical Manuscripts at the National Library of Medicine, available at <www.nlm.nih.gov/hmd/arabic/diet5.html> [Accessed 25 January 2016].

Schmidt, Richard, 1911, Beiträge zur indischen Erotik: das Liebesleben des Sanskritvolkes, Halle, 3rd ed..

Šīrāzī, Nūr al-Dīn Muḥammad ‘Abd Allāh, ‘Ilājāt-i Dārā-Šikūhī, Ms. Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, supplément persan 342, 342 A, 342 B.

Tasbīḥī, Muḥammad Ḥusayn, 1384š./2005, Fihrist-i alifbāyī-yi nusḫahā-yi ḫaṭṭī-yi Kitāb-ḫāna-yi Ganj Baḫš, Islamabad, 2nd ed.

Ṭūsī, Ḫwāja Naṣīr al-Dīn, 2536 š.š./1356 š./1978, Aḫlāq-i nāṣirī, Mujtabā Mīnuwī - ‘Alī-Riżā Ḥaydarī, eds., Tehran.

Ṭūsī, Naṣīr al-Dīn al-, 2014, Kitāb albāb al-bāhiyya wa al-tarākīb al-sulṭāniyya, English translation: The Sultan's sex potions: Arab aphrodisiacs in the Middle Ages, Daniel L. Newman, ed., London, Saqi Books.

Witkam, Jan Just, 2007, Inventory of the Oriental Manuscripts of the Library of the University of Leiden, Leiden, vol. 15.

Susanne Kurz


Originally published: 05 November 2018
How to quote this article:

Kurz, Susanne, 2018, "Laḏḏat al-nisā’", Perso-Indica. An Analytical Survey of Persian Works on Indian Learned Traditions, F. Speziale - C. W. Ernst, eds.,

available at http://www.perso-indica.net/work/kokasastra_%28laddat_al-nisa%29.
 
Illustrated work
Main Persian Title: Laḏḏat al-nisā’
English Translation of Main Persian Title: Pleasure of Women, Pleasure Derived from Women
Translator: Żiyā’ al-Dīn Naḫšabī
Original Sources:
Pandit Kokkoka, Kokaśāstra.
Other Persian texts quoting this Original Source:
Kokaśāstra, Kokaśāstra (Laḏḏat al-nisā’), Kokaśāstra (Laḏḏat al-nisā’).
Approximate period of composition: 1290-1500
Place: Bada'un  - Northern India 
Other Languages of Work: Persian
Quoted sources on India:
Kokaśāstra (as “book of Kōkā” with varying titles)
Later texts quoting this Work:

Nūr al-Dīn Muḥammad ‘Abd Allāh-i Šīrāzī, ‘Ilājāt-i Dārā-Šikūhī