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An Indian goddess of love, passion, desire, and pleasure, she is more or less the Indian equivalent to Greek goddess Aphrodite; and the female counterpart to Kama, the god of Love. Rati is also a member of the Apsaras, and her name occurs as well among the 28 Flesh-Eating Goddesses of the Bardo Thödol; where she's described as a horse- headed deity.

It is this goddess whose "sexual secrets" have been described in the Ratirahyasa, a medieval text that has become better known as the Koka Shastra. In this work, the name Rati appears also in terms used for sexual techniques and positions. One example of this is ratipasa, the "noose of Rati", a position in which the woman locks her legs behind her partner's back.

Rati is also known under the name Ragalata, the "Vine of Love". However, on the Indonesian island of Bali, she is often depicted as a dark, demonic figure with huge and pointed breasts; a fact that is interpreted by some (strange, male) writers as a sign of "aggressiveness".