Kamadeva, the god of love, is very fair and handsome and
the best looking among the gods. He carries a bow made of sugarcane and strung with a line of humming
bees. He shoots with his bow the five flower-tipped shafts of desire. RATI (passion)
his wife and his friend VASANTA (spring), who selects for him the shaft to be
used on the current victim accompanies him. Kamadeva's vehicle is the parrot.
|KAMADEVA - GOD OF LOVE
Generally described as the son of Lakshmi and Vishnu, he
is also said to be the son of Brahma. Surrounded by beautiful nymphs (apsaras), he loves to wander around
especially in springtime, loosing his shafts indiscriminately, but with a preference
for innocent girls, married women and ascetic sages. Shiva burned him to ashes
as punishment for disturbing his deep meditation, but Kamadeva's shaft had gone
home and Shiva could not obtain peace until he had married Parvati.
The legend is that once tormented by Taraka, the demon, all the gods under the
leadership of Indra, went to the Creator to rid them off this monster. The Creator
advised them that only the seed of Shiva could produce a fighter, who can defeat
the demon. Shiva was then lost in deep meditation. The god of love, named Kama,
was asked to break Shiva's penance. Kama Deva was highly flattered by all gods
and he boasted that he could conquer the mind of Shiva within no time. Kama consulted
his wife Rati, who reproved him for this temerity but consented to accompany
her husband and help him in disturbing Shiva's meditation. They set off together
with Vasanta (spring season' s god) to Himalayas. Kama Deva pulled an arrow and
shot at Shiva. The great Lord, smitten thus, awoke from meditation and shouted
who had dared to interrupt his meditation. Looking towards south he spotted Kama
Deva. In anger Shiva opened his third eye in the center of his forehead and thus
reduced Kama to ashes. Taking pity at the woes and responding to the pleas of
his widow, Rati, Lord Shiva restored her husband but only as a mental image,
representing true love and affection and not just physical lust. Hence the other
name of Kama Deva is ANANGA (the bodiless).
For a long long time Kamadeva lay dead and love disappeared from this earth.
At length Shiva allowed him to be born as the son of Krishna. The god of desire
thus fittingly became the son of the other deity in the pantheon associated with