The higher layer (above the basement and middle layers) of Konark Sun Temple contains a number of bigger sculptures, mostly erotic. In some carvings, the obscentity is to such a great extent that Vatsayana, the famous author on sex-psychology, even did not mention about similar poses in his books. Not with standing the vulgarity presented in the erotic scenes, the sculpture reveal the through knowledge of human anatomy that the artists had. In one scene a man is lifting a woman with both his hands and the woman clings to his neck. In this case the sculptors have wonderfully shown the expansion and contraction of the muscles, as a result of his lifting the woman. It is a proof of their technical experiences of centuries.
The preponderance of the vivid sensual scenes scattered in profussion may offend our prudish and sophisticated minds. But they seem to indicate the existence of an uninhibited people to whom sex was not a taboo. It is not certainly their faults if what was natural to them, appears vulgar to us now. The morals of the people undergo various mutations in different periods of history. Some people say that these sensual figures were carred out their for the purpose of saving the temple by diverting the electrical flow from the eyes of the people or may be just a test for him, as to whether he has really come here to see the deity.
There is another altogether different interpretation of the matter. For the average man, the attainment of moksha (Success) can come after the fullfilment of all earthly desires, Dharma (religion), Artha (Wealth), Kama (desire) and not through repression. The figure of an ascetic in act of cotius seem to confirm the above interpretation. Whatever their object might be, love scenes in various poses, embracing hugging, kissing and in the act of cotious are indeed a feast to the visitors eye.
This was the age of Tantrism. Buddhism and Saivaism both were developing side by side to become popular in the society. During the period from 10th to 12th century A.D., Buddhism was followed by Saivaism and was gradually became instinct. Several Budhist temples were converted to Siva temple and even Asokan Pillar was found to have been used as Siva-Linga, during the period. But in the middle of the 12th century, Ananta Varma Chudaganga Deva, the great ancester of Narasimhadeva I, changed his faith from Saivaism to Vaisnavism, probably being influenced by the sudden appearance of Ramanuja, who was then preaching Vaisnavism in Orrisa.
While the Buddhism was preaching for renouncing everything for the purpose of achieving moksha (success), the Vaisnavism at that time were teaching people, that the achievement of success was possible, if he can fulfil all his desires even by staying among the members of his family. People can only think of this when he is almost disgusted with all sorts of enjoyments.