I am not sure if there is an explanation to this question in Vedas or not but it came to my mind because we have often heard about 'KaamDeva' in mythological stories and what was expected of him when he was called upon. Also what do his bow & arrow portray?

Another reason for asking this was because what we normally hear & read is that not all men or women are sexually active/ To some extent, it proves that it is not the need of the body because all of us (even animals etc) have a body so it has something to do with soul, but then all of us have souls too, hence the confusion!

Are the carnal desires being needed by the body or the soul?
(Are there any references present in Veda-s.)

  • 2
    Person who gave down vote should explain the reason for that....
    – Just_Do_It
    Commented Sep 1, 2017 at 18:40
  • 2
    Soul can't be sexual otherwise there won't be any significance of Moksha. Commented Sep 1, 2017 at 19:32
  • Now question arises how can Kunti have kids without any sambhog .... how did that happen?
    – Just_Do_It
    Commented Sep 1, 2017 at 19:47
  • Kunti [& Madri] had kids via Sambhoga only. Possibly it was Niyoga. You may refer this answer. Soul definitely doesn't require Sambhoga, because it's merely an observer. It's the requirement of body, mind & senses. Since you want reference only from Veda, it may limit the number of answers.
    – iammilind
    Commented Sep 2, 2017 at 5:14
  • @iammilind The OP said that they are not sure about reference from Vedas. That's why I am unsure of the last line in the parantheses you added in the question about reference from the Vedas. Commented Sep 2, 2017 at 5:26

3 Answers 3


Are the carnal desires being needed by the body or the soul?

No Clearly carnal desires are not needed by soul , nor it is attached by it. It's also said in our Upanishads that he (soul) is pure one, without a (subtle) body, without blemish, without muscles (a gross body) . Himself devoid of senses, He shines through the functions of the senses. But three gunas, are responsible for the bondage of the soul. The soul is free, because it has no bonds of attachment. The soul is serene, because it cannot suffer or fear suffering.

The soul is free, because it has no bonds of attachment. Here is whatThe Brihadaranyaka Upanishad Verse 22 says -:

स एष नेति नेत्यात्मा, अगृह्यो नहि गृह्यते, अशीर्यो नहि शीर्यते, असङ्गो |
नहि सज्यते, असितो न व्यथते, न रिष्यति; एतमु हैवैते न तरत इति ||22||

sa eṣa neti netyātmā, agṛhyo nahi gṛhyate, aśīryo nahi śīryate, asaṅgo
nahi sajyate, asito na vyathate, na riṣyati; etamu haivaite na tarata iti

It never decays; unattached, for It is never attached; unfettered—It never feels pain, and never suffers injury. (It is but proper) that the sage is never overtaken by these two thoughts.

The Self in us functioning through the sense organs looks as though It possesses all sense organs. But the sense organs decay and perish while the Consciousness which functions through them and which provides each of them with its own individual faculty is Eternal Here is what Svetasvatara Upanisad - Page No. 33 says -

सर्वेन्द्रियगुणाभासं सर्वेन्द्रियविवर्जितम् |
सर्वस्य प्रभुमीशानं सर्वस्य शरणं बृहत ||१७||

sarvendriyaguṇābhāsaṃ sarvendriyavivarjitaṃ
sarvasya prabhum īśānaṃ sarvasya śaraṇaṃ suhṛt 3.17

Himself devoid of senses, He shines through the functions of the senses. He is the capable ruler of all; He is the refuge of all. He is great.

Considering the individual soul and the universal soul are two sides of the same reality.

Here in Isha-Upanishad verse -8 is said that

स पर्यागच्छुक्रकायमव्रणस्नाविरं शुद्धमपापविद्धम् ।
कविर्मनीषि परिभूः स्वयम्भूर्यथातथ्यतोऽर्थान्
व्यदधाच्छाश्वतीभ्यः समाभ्यः ॥ 8 ॥

sa paryāgacchukrakāyamavraṇasnāviraṃ śuddhamapāpaviddham |
kavirmanīṣi paribhūḥ svayambhūryathātathyato'rthān
vyadadhācchāśvatībhyaḥ samābhyaḥ ||

He, the self-existent One, is everywhere-the pure one, without a (subtle) body, without blemish, without muscles (a gross body), holy and without the taint of sin; the all seeing, the all knowing, the all-encompassing One is He. He has duly assigned their respective duties to the eternal Prajapatis (cosmic powers).

But When individual souls encounter Nature and enter her net of maya (illusion), she weaves her materiality around them and binds them to corporeality. For the soul the body becomes the field. Since the body is subject to the gunas, it engages in desire-ridden actions and becomes bound to karma and the cycle of births and deaths. The embodied souls also come under the influence of ego (ahamkara), which is a reality or a modification (tattvas) of Nature

Desire-ridden actions, which are induced by the triple gunas, are responsible for the bondage of the soul. Apart from the senses, the gunas or modes namely sattva (purity), rajas (activity) and tamas (inertia) play an important role in the bondage of the soul. When a soul is drawn into the body by the power of Shakti or Prakriti, it becomes bound to it and to the objective world through desires and attachment as part of the interplay of the triple gunas Thereby the mind and the intellect become clouded and the ego takes control of them. The ego is the false self or the not Self. It is a shadow or an illusion that survives by the power of Prakriti and acts as if it is the real Self to prevent the beings from knowing who they are.

Here is what Shreemad Bhagvad Gita 14.5 Says –

सत्त्वं रजस्तम इति गुणाः प्रकृतिसंभवाः।
निबध्नन्ति महाबाहो देहे देहिनमव्ययम्।।14.5।।

sattvaṁ rajas tama iti guṇāḥ prakṛti-sambhavāḥ
nibadhnanti mahā-bāho dehe dehinam avyayam

Material nature consists of three modes – goodness, passion and ignorance. When the eternal living entity comes in contact with nature, O mighty-armed Arjuna, he becomes conditioned by these modes.

Conclusion -So by looking at the above verses from Vedas , and looking at nature of soul (Atman) we can conclude that Sambhoga or Carnal desires are needed by Body and not by soul .


The soul does not have a gender like male, female etc. And, sexual needs are based on genders. So, needless to say, that the Soul can't be affected by sexual desires.

Here's a verse from the Upanishads:

Naiva stri Na PumAnesha Na ChaivAyam Napumsakaha |


[The Soul or Brahman or the Self] is neither female, nor male not even a Kliva or a sexless being.

ShwetAshataropanishad 5-10

Sexual desires, hunger, thirst etc are innate pravrittis of human bodies as acknowledged by Ayurveda in the following verse:

Sharire Na JAyate Nityam VAnchAh NrinAm ChaturvidhA | VubhukshA Cha PipAsA Cha SushupsA Cha RatisprihA ||


On a daily basis the following four-fold desires are born in a human body- Hunger (VubhukshA), thirst (pipAsA), desire for sleep (SushupsA) and the desire for sex (RatisprihA).

BhAva PrakAsha 1.110

So, the Soul does not need sex, its the body which have such needs. However, i could not find anything directly from the Vedas.

  • I appreciate all that you have explained above, if it's body then why do we have 'KaamDev' ... it means he can control our body?
    – Just_Do_It
    Commented Sep 5, 2017 at 14:02
  • Yes Kamdeva affects the body and mind. The soul is unaffected. @Just_Do_It The Soul just witnesses the acts of body and mind.
    – Rickross
    Commented Sep 6, 2017 at 5:25

As per Bhagwad Geeta, Shree Krishna said: Our life is like a CHARIOT (रथ). It has 5 horses that pulls it. All horses are senses (इन्द्रिया). Saarthi (driver) is the mann (invisible part of body who is responsible of all desires). And traveler in the chariot is soul.

As per Lord Krishna, mann gets attracted to the materialistic items like money, fame, person (man or woman) etc. mann is responsible for all attraction that human feel towards any object. And mann also forces person to do anything that is needed to get desired object. It is mann who force person to do any crime to fulfill his desires.

Since mann is saarthi of chariot (pulled by all senses/horses), it(mann) will drive chariot to the materialistic items only. And all senses has no choice but to follow the order of mann. Mann controls the senses and leads chariot as per desires. Thus mann create more distance between moksha and person.

And Traveler(soul) in the chariot sleeps all the time. One needs to awake his soul so that he can put control on mann. If mann try to move chariot as per his desires then it's soul's responsibility to stop mann and give order to mann to move chariot in path of devotion instead of materialistic items.

So by this teaching of Lord Krishan we come to know that all feelings and desires are because of mann. Mann is the one who got attracted by objects, not soul. So soul is free of any attraction and desires.

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