The Wikipedia entry on Kamasutra does say it is a Hindu religious text, but as Wikipedia cites two references both of which are not of Indian origin, and then there is another reference which says :

The Kamasutra is neither exclusively a sex manual nor, as also commonly used art, a sacred or religious work.

While it is clear that Vātsyāyana himself was a Hindu philosopher, I am trying to find if there is any evidence in any other religious text about Kamasutra?

The origins of this question is from a comment on another question here where this was disputed and I felt its an injustice to leave the discussion without full clarity.

  • I don't think that's a religious text/manual
    – Mr. Alien
    Commented Nov 17, 2014 at 5:56
  • Besides my answer below, I have posted a response to the other disputed question that you refer to. Commented Nov 17, 2014 at 16:51
  • When you say Hinduism is a religion I am already lost there.. But when you say its a way of life than these category of answers are easy to reply.. so yeah sex/sex related spirituality is part of life and continuing that line, kamsutra intends to improve that experience but to say its a religious text, my counter question would be what was the religion of Vātsyāyana? ..;) Commented Nov 18, 2014 at 10:49
  • No it's not. We sometime confuse us with some book's because they are written in Sanskrit. Not every book written in Sanskrit is religious book at all.
    – UmeshA
    Commented Nov 20, 2014 at 11:59
  • It clearly is not a "religious" Scriptures. But it can be regarded as a "Hindu" Scriptures basing on the fact that it is written by Rishi Vatsyaayana . Hinduism not only talks about Religious and Spiritual practices, it also explains material prospects, sexual courses, grammar, et cetera.
    – user12826
    Commented Mar 27, 2018 at 10:19

1 Answer 1


Kamasutra is not a religious text. Religious texts talk of how to realize Brahman, what sacrifices to perform and how, hymns to the Devas, or Bhasyas on the preceding...to what Veda does the Kamasutra belong? To which school of Vedanta does it belong? Who has commented on it - Madhura, Ramanuja, Sankara?

The Kamasutra was never considered a religious text in India until 19th century Western orientalists came upon it and used it as another example of why Christianity was superior to 'pagan' Hinduism. The modern Western neo-orientalists in Western academia have continued this myth. They dare not do this to the Christians as they would lose their jobs and tenure. Some good Hindu arguments to see are in Chapter 8 'De-Spiritualizing Tantra' in Invading The Sacred: An Analysis of Hinduism Studies in America. The entire book is available as a free download at http://rajivmalhotra.com/books/invading-sacred/

Some of the conclusions at the end of Chapter 8 are:

"According to many members of the Hindu diaspora, the implications of the White-Doniger thesis for the study of India and Indic traditions has been disastrous. Malhotra summarizes the impact:

  1. White gives ammunition to those who attack Hinduism as being a collection of barbaric practices.

  2. ...

  3. He tries to undermine Hinduism's spiritual claims and renders its philosophical texts as fake or hypocritical.

  4. He feeds Hinduphobia in the minds of mainstream Americans who see everyday Hindu symbols as weird and/or as representing immoral practices."

further on he states: "What they [Hindu critics of this Western academics] do criticize is the attempt to reduce Hinduism to pornography and to wish away the profound spiritual component in Hinduism."

  • 1
    "To which school of Vedanta does it belong? Who has commented on it - Madhura, Ramanuja, Sankara?" Hinduism isn't limited to Vedanta. The Mimamsa-Sutrass don't belong to a Vedanta school either, they're part of the Purva Mimamsa school. The same can be said of the Sankhya Karika. Commented Nov 17, 2014 at 10:25
  • 3
    These are both ancient texts which are not part of Hinduism as practiced today. But as said in a comment on another question, the Vedanta is built upon the Sankya school. My first question - to what veda does it belong? Commented Nov 17, 2014 at 11:50
  • 1
    Yeah, ideas of Sankhya were used in Vedanta, but the Sankhya Karika is still not a Vedantic text. The point is, something doesn't need to be Vedantic to be Hindu. And you can similarly ask, to what Veda does the Sankhya Karika belong? Or to what Veda do the Pancharatra texts belong? The point is, just because a text isn't associated with one of the four Vedas doesn't mean it's not a Hindu religious text. Commented Nov 17, 2014 at 18:08
  • 2
    Let's be clear as to what 'Hinduism' is and is not. There are different schools and philosophies that have come and gone and some still today that are Indian, but are not Hindu. Swami Vivekananda has said that Hinduism can be defined by the following: 1) a belief in God 2) the vedas as the revealed truths of God 3) The universe as a projection of God (i.e. no creation, the eternity of the cycles 4) rebirth or the doctrine of karma. Those sects that do not ascribe to these may be considered Indian philosophy, but they are not orthodox Hindu. Commented Nov 18, 2014 at 4:48
  • 1
    I am ambivalent to that definition as the other schools are no longer practiced and we're splitting hairs. Pancharatra texts are not veda, not Sruti, but different sects accept different Smritis and still accept vedas as Sruti. Theistic versions of Sankhaya = Vedanta. The only God admitted by Sankhaya is a nearly perfected being temporarily in charge of a cycle of creation. But this is a tangent to the discussion. The real point to all of this is that Kamasutra is not a religious text. Commented Nov 19, 2014 at 11:30

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .