The earliest foundations of the kamasutra are found in the Vedic era literature of Hinduism. Vatsyayana acknowledges this heritage in verse 1.1.9 of the text where he names Svetaketu Uddalaka as the "first human author of the kamasutra". Uddalaka is an early Upanishadic rishi (scholar-poet, sage), whose ideas are found in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad such as in section 6.2, and the Chandogya Upanishad such as over the verses 5.3 through 5.10. These Hindu scriptures are variously dated between 900 BCE and 700 BCE, according to the Indologist and Sanskrit scholar Patrick Olivelle. Among with other ideas such as Atman (self, soul) and the ontological concept of Brahman, these early Upanishads discuss human life, activities and the nature of existence as a form of internalized worship, where sexuality and sex is mapped into a form of religious yajna ritual (sacrificial fire, Agni) and suffused in spiritual terms:
According to the Indologist De, a view with which Doniger agrees, this is one of the many evidences that the kamasutra began in the religious literature of the Vedic era, ideas that were ultimately refined and distilled into a sutra-genre text by Vatsyayana. According to Doniger, this paradigm of celebrating pleasures, enjoyment and sexuality as a dharmic act began in the "earthy, vibrant text known as the Rigveda" of the Hindus. The Kamasutra and celebration of sex, eroticism and pleasure is an integral part of the religious milieu in Hinduism and quite prevalent in its temples.
Another example of the forms of intimacy discussed in the Kamasutra includes chumbanas (kissing). The text presents twenty-six forms of kisses, ranging from those appropriate for showing respect and affection, to those during foreplay and sex. Vatsyayana also mentions variations in kissing cultures in different parts of ancient India. The best kiss for an intimate partner, according to kamasutra, is one that is based on the awareness of the avastha (the emotional state of one's partner) when the two are not in a sexual union. During sex, the text recommends going with the flow and mirroring with abhiyoga and samprayoga.
Vatsyayana obviously did not write the Kamasutra himself. Love-making was alive and well in India long before him. But he did amalgamate many different texts into one corpus. Vatsyayana himself clearly states this in the very first chapter of the book: Salutation to Dharma, Artha and Kama. In the beginning, the Lord of Beings created men and women, and in the form of commandments in one hundred thousand chapters laid down rules for regulating their existence with regard to Dharma, Artha, and Kama. Some of these commandments, namely those which treated of Dharma, were separately written by Swayambhu Manu; those that related to Artha were compiled by Brihaspati; and those that referred to Kama were expounded by Nandikeshvara, the follower of Mahadeva, in one thousand chapters. Now these kamasutras, Aphorisms of Love, written by Nandikeshvara in one thousand chapters, were reproduced by Shvetaketu, the son of Uddalaka, in an abbreviated form in five hundred chapters, and this work was again similarly reproduced in an abridged form, in one hundred and fifty chapters, by Babhravya, an inhabitant of the Panchala, south of Indraprashta [Delhi]. These one hundred and fifty chapters were then put together under seven heads: 2b1af7f3a8