Kamadeva, The God of Love

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. He is accompanied by his wife Rati (passion) and his friend Vasanta (spring), who selects for him the shaft to be used on the current victim. Kamadeva’s vehicle is the parrot.

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 specially in springtime, loosing his shafts indiscriminately, but with a preference for innocent girls, marrieØ 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 be had married Parvati. During all this time Kamadeva lay dead and love disappeared from the 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 (lefty in the pantheon associated with love.

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