Story – Shiva Burning Kamadeva


Kamadeva is the Hindu God of Love and in an important story in the Puranas, Kamdeva was assigned with the mission to stop Lord Shiva’s penance that he started after the death of Sati Devi.

After the death of Sati, Lord Shiva entered into yogic penance in the Himalayas. Lord Shiva was no longer interested in the world.

Taking advantage of the situation, a demon named Tarakasura, son of Vjranga and Varangi, did Tapas (penance and austerities) and pleased Lord Brahma and got two boons. As the first boon, he asked Brahma to make him the most powerful man in the world. As the second boon he sought that his death should only happen at the hands of a son born to Shiva – thinking that Shiva will never again marry.

After getting the boons, Tarakasura showed his true color and started attacking the demi gods, saints and humans. He defeated all the Kings and Devas and took control over earth and heaven.

All the Devas and saints sought refuge at the feet of Brahma who told that the only solution for this problem was to bring back Lord Shiva to the world and stop his penance.

Brahma told them that Goddess Sati was reborn as Goddess Parvati and was doing penance to get Shiva as her husband. But Shiva was not ready to stop his intense penance.

Brahma asked the gods to take the help of Kamadeva to stop the penance by creating sexual desire and passion in Lord Shiva.

Kamadeva arrived in front of Shiva along with Rati Devi, and shot five arrows of flowers at the heart of Shiva.

Shiva’s meditation was interrupted and he was terribly angry and opened his third eye on his forehead, and a fierce blazing flame came out of his third eye and burned Kamadeva into ashes.

The sperm that split from Shiva as the result of the arrows of Kamadeva fell into River Ganga and it was born as six children. These six children were looked after by the Krithiga Stars and were later joined to a single child by Goddess Parvati after her marriage with Lord Shiva. This child was Kartik and he later killed Tarakasura.

Shiva was later convinced regarding the intention of Kamdeva and he was later restored.

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Shiva and Sati


Lord Shiva was never part of the society. He was not part of the illusion, instead he taught the worthlessness of the world by roaming around the cremation grounds. He wanted to show to all living beings that what they thought as eternal is only a bubble that can break anytime and transform. But if all the people followed Shiva, the universe will cease to exist. For the survival of society, Shiva had to mend his ways and for this Mother Goddess took birth as Sati, the youngest daughter of Daksha.

Daksha Prajapati was the lord of the civilization and he had created the rules of the traditional society. Shiva never accepted the traditions of society. This infuriated an ego-inflated Daksha, who failed to perceive truth. But Sati was already in love with Shiva because She had realized that there is nothing but Shiva.

The mendicant Shiva ignored Sati in the beginning as he had no interest in the world. But the intense austerities performed by Sati moved Shiva and He appeared before her. Shiva wanted to know why she wanted to marry someone like him who was hideous for the society. Sati, who was Prakriti (Mother Nature), said to Shiva (Purusha), we both are incomplete without each other.

A determined Sati was able to convince Shiva. They both roamed around the world far away from the society. Sati introduced kama (pleasure) to Shiva.

Daksha was unhappy about this and to show his anger, he decided to conduct a major yagna. All the gods and people were invited. But Shiva and Sati were not invited. Shiva knew very well that this was a plan to insult him.

But Sati wanted to know why her husband was not invited and went to the yagna despite the warnings given by Shiva.

At the yagna, Sati was not welcomed and respected. Instead Daksha showered insult on Shiva. His rustic ways were ridiculed and Sati soon realized the folly of not listening to Shiva. An insulted Sati could not bear the humiliation and she sat on the ground in yagna hall meditating on Shiva, the Yogi, one who is aware of the ways of the universe.

Soon she brought forth her inner fire and allowed it to consume her.

Separation from Sati aroused Krodha in Shiva. The anger caused by the death of Sati in Shiva was uncontrollable and it brought forth numerous Ganas, all ferocious killers. Their attack on the yagna field was equal to the attack of millions of rabies infected dogs. Daksha was beheaded by Virabhadra.

When Shiva’s anger subsided, he walked into the yagna hall and was moved by the bloodbath created by his anger. He realized that Kama and Krodha had trapped him in the ways of the Samsara. He restored the lives of the people. Daksha, who now realized nothing moves in the world without the knowledge of Shiva, gave him due respect.

Shiva walked away from the yagna hall with the body of Sati. He wandered across the cosmos with it. There seemed to be no end to Shiva’s anger and grief. This led to an imbalance in the cosmos. Finally, Lord Vishnu decided to decimate the body of Sati with his Sudhrashana Chakra. He cut the body of Sati into 51 pieces and the places where Sati’s body fell came to be known as Shaktipithas.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other uses, see kama (disambiguation).
“Manmadhan” redirects here. For other uses, see Manmadhan (disambiguation).
“Manmatha” redirects here. For the 2007 film, see Manmatha (film).
Kamadeva (Madan)
Hindu god of love, attraction and sexuality

Madan on his parrot
Devanagari कामदेव
Sanskrittransliteration Kāmadeva
Affiliation Pradyumna, Vasudeva
Abode Ketumala-varsa
Mantra काम गायत्री (kāma-gāyatrī)[1]
Weapon Sugarcane Bow and FloralArrow(pushpa dhanu and pushpa shar)
Consort Rati, Priti
Mount Parrot

Kāmadeva (Sanskrit in Devanagari: कामदेव), (Bengali: কামদেব), (Kannada: ಕಾಮದೇವ) also called Māra, is the Hindu god of human love[2] or desire. Other names for him include; Manmatha (Kannada: ಮನ್ಮಥ), Manmathudu (Telugu: మన్మథుడు) Atanu (Telugu: అతను) (one without a body), Ragavrinta (stalk of passion), Ananga (incorporeal), Kandarpa (inflamer even of a god), Madan[3][4] “Manmatha” मन्मथ (churner of hearts), Manasija {he who is born of mind}, a contraction of the Sanskrit phrase Sah Manasah jāta), Madana(intoxicating), Ratikānta (lord of Rati), Pushpavān, Pushpadhanva,Kusumashara कुसुमशर (one with arrow of flowers) or just Kāma (longing). Kamadeva is the son of the Hindu goddess Sri and, additionally, Pradyumna,Krishna’s son, is considered to be an incarnation of Kamadeva.[2]

Etymology and usage[edit]

The name Kama-deva (IAST kāma-deva) can be translated as ‘god of love’.Deva means heavenly or divine. Kama (IAST kāma) meaning “desire” or “longing”, especially as in sensual or sexual love. The name is used in Rig Veda (RV 9, 113. 11).[4] Kamadeva is a name of Vishnu in Vishnu Purana andBhagavata Purana (SB 5.18.15) and of Krishna as well as of Shiva. It is the name of author of Sanskrit work Prayaschita padyata. Kama is also a name used for Agni. The other name used to refer Kamadeva is Abhipura, which is also the other name of both Shiva and Vishnu.[5]


Kāmadeva is represented as a young, handsome winged man with green skin who wields a bow and arrows. His bow is made of sugarcane with a string of honeybees, and his arrows are decorated with five kinds of fragrant flowers.[6][7] The five flowers are Ashoka tree flowers, white and blue lotus flowers, Mallika plant (Jasmine) and Mango tree flowers. A terracottamurti of Kamadeva of great antiquity is housed in the Mathura Museum, UP, India.[8]


Reference in scripture[edit]

Kamadeva shooting his love-arrow at Shiva

Images and stories about Hindu god Kamadeva are traced to the verses of the Rig Veda and Atharva Veda although he is better known from prominent and lesser known stories of the Puranas.[6]

The story of the birth of Kamadeva has several variants in different Puranas.[9] In some Kamadeva arises from the mind of the creator god, Brahma:[10] in others he is the son of Sri. Kamadeva is sometimes portrayed as being at the service of Indra:[11]one of his names is “obedient to Indra”. Kamadeva’s consort Rati, whose very essence is desire, carries a discus and a lotus, her arms are compared with lotus-stalks.[12] Rati is a minor character in many traditional dramas involving Kamadeva and in some ways represents an attribute.[13] The goddess Vasanta, who also accompanies Kamadeva, emerges from a sigh of frustration.[14] Kama often takes part in Puranic battles with his troops of soldiers.[15]

The incineration of Kama
Madana-bhasma (Kama Dahana)

Madan-Bhasma (Shiva Turns Kama to Ashes)

One of the principal myths regarding Kama is that of his incineration by Shiva. It occurs in its most developed form in the Matsya Purana (verses 227-255)[16] but is also repeated with variants in the Shaiva Purana and other Puranas.[17]

Indra and the gods are suffering at the hands of the demon Tarakasur, who cannot be defeated except by Shiva’s son. Brahma who advises that Parvati woo Shiva; their offspring will be able to defeat Taraka. Indra assigns Kamadeva to break Shiva’s meditation. To create a congenial atmosphere, Kamadeva (Madana) creates an untimely spring (akAl vasanta). He evades Shiva’s guard, Nandin, by taking the form of the fragrant southern breeze, and enters Shiva’s abode.

Kama with his two wives Rati and Priti.

After he awakens Shiva with a flower arrow, Shiva, furious, opens his third eye, which incinerates Madana instantaneously and he is turned into ash. However Shiva observes Parvati and asks her how he can help her. She enjoins him to resuscitate Madana, and Shiva agrees to let Madana live but in a disembodied form, hence Kamadeva is also called ‘Ananga’ (an- = without; anga = body, “bodiless”), or ‘Atanu’ (a– = without; tan = body). The spirit of love embodied by Kama is now disseminated across the cosmos: it affects Shiva whose union with Parvati is consummated. Their son Kartikeya goes on to defeat Taraka.[18]

This story is used in the Matsya Purana to underline a relationship between Krishnaand Kamadeva.[7] Later Kama is reincarnated in the womb of Krishna’s wife Rukminias Pradyumna. Vaishnavas believe he is not the Pradyumna (name of Vishnu) but belongs to the category of jiva-tattva, or conditioned souls and, due toting special power in the category of demigods, devas, he became a part of the prowess ofVishnu form Pradyumna. This is the view of the Six Gosvamis, who maintained that Kamadeva was burned to ashes by the anger of Shiva and later merged into the body of Vasudeva. And it is explained that in order to get his body again he was placed in the womb of Rukmini. Particularly in the Gaudiya tradition, Krishna is identified as Kamadeva, and in Gaudiya Vaishnavism, Kamadeva is directly a part of Vasudeva. It is believed that because he was begotten by Krishna himself, his qualities were similar to those of Krishna, such as his colour, appearance and attributes.[19]

The attributes of demigod Kamadeva are as such: his companions are a cuckoo, a parrot, humming bees, the season ofspring, and the gentle breeze. All of these are symbols of spring season, when his festival is celebrated as Holi, Holika or Vasanta.

According to the text Shiva Purana, Kamadeva is a son or a creation of Brahma, while according to other sources including the Skanda Purana, Kamadeva is a brother of Prasuti; they are both the children of Shatarupa, a creation of Brahma. Later interpolations consider him the son of Vishnu[20] Kamadeva is wed to Ratī, the daughter of Daksha, created from his sweat.


A Hindu God (November 1853, X, p.127)[21]

The deity of Kamadeva along with his consort Rati is included in the pantheon of Vedic-Brahmanical deities such as Shiva and Parvati.[22] In Hindu traditions for the marriage ceremony itself, the bride’s feet are often painted with pictures of Suka, the parrot vahana of Kamadeva.[23] The religious rituals addressed to him offer a means of purification and reentry into the community. Devotion to Kamadeva keeps desire within the framework of the religious tradition.[24] Kamadeva also appears in other stories and becomes the object of certain devotional rituals for those seeking health, physical beauty, husbands, wives, and sons. In one story Kamadeva himself succumbs to desire, and must then worship his lover in order to be released from this passion and its curse.

According to some traditions worshiping Radha Krishna, Radha is without equal in the universe for beauty, and her power constantly defeats the god of love, Kamadeva.[25] when Krishna played his flute, as described Bhāgavata Purāṇa,the women from vraj came to Krishna but not because of the influence of kamadeva but because of love. It is a misconception that kama means love, kama literally means trishNa(Sanskrit) i.e. desire or thirst. On that day all the gopis and krishna played ‘Rasa’ and the 5 chapters which describes this rasa-leela is known as rasa-panchadhyayi and it is called as kama-vijayi-granth(the book which conquers the cupid. kamadeva)

Kama (left) with Rati on a temple wall of Chennakesava Temple, Belur.

Holi as a Spring New Year Festival In southern India and many western regions. It is sometimes called Madana-Mahotsava in Sanskrit, or Kama-Mahotsava. Some have suggested that the replacement of Kamadeva by Krishna, had its germ in the early medieval period. Initially spring festival Holi was being held in reverence to celestial Vedic figure of Kamadeva, however it is presently dedicated to Krishna.[26] This festival is mentioned in Jaiminis early writings such as Purvamimamsa-sutra, dated c.400 BC.[27] According to Gaudiya Vaishnava theologians of medieval period, when in Bhāgavata Purāṇa, book X, Kamadeva is mentioned by the word smara he is not the deva who incites lusty feelings. It is believed that the gopis are liberated souls beyond the touch of material nature, therefore according to Gaudiya views it is not possible for them to be contaminated by the lust which is produced of the mode of passion.[28]

According to the Matsya Purana, Visnu-Krishna and Kamadeva have a historical relationship.[7] Krishna is sometimes worshiped as Kamadeva in Gaudiya traditions, and according to the Krishna-centric Gaudiya Vaishnavism, Kamadeva was directly a form of Vasudeva Krishna after this deva was burned down by Shiva. In this particular form Kamadeva is believed to be a demigod of the heavenly planets especially capable of inducing lusty desires. Some Vaishnavas distinguish a form of Kamadeva who is a deva, demigod in charge of inciting lusty desires, the cause of generation and referred to in the Bhagavad Gita with the words “prajanas casmi kandarpa.” It is this Kamadeva who tried distract Lord Siva from deep meditation with his passionate influence and feminine associates. He is distinguished from spiritual Kamadeva.[28]

Krishna is believed by his bhaktas, devotees, to be the inciting power of Kamadeva and is known as the ever-freshtranscendental god of love of Vrindavana.[29] He is believed by Gaudiyas to be the origin of all forms of Kamadeva, but is considered above mundane forms of love in the hierarchi of devotional rati, raga, kama, and prema.[28][30]

The word smara in the tenth book of Bhagavata Purana refers to Krishna, who through the medium of his flute ever increases his influence on the devoted gopis. This, according to Vaishnavas, is the meaning of the word smarodayam inBhagavata Purana (SB 10. 21. 3) The different symptoms of smarodayam as experienced by the gopis has been described by the commentator Vishvanatha Cakravarti Thakur in the following way:[31] “First comes attraction expressed through the eyes, then intense attachment in the mind, then determination, loss of sleep, becoming emaciated, uninterested in external things, shamelessness, madness, becoming stunned and death. These are the ten stages of Cupid’s effects.”[28]

The Ashoka tree is often planted near temples. The tree is said to be a symbol of love and is dedicated to Kamadeva.[32]

Kama Gayatri Mantra || om kaam devaay vidmahe pushpabaanaay dheemahi tanno ananga prachodayat || 108 Times in Pradosh Kaal(Evening Time or twilight) (Preferably From Basant Panchami till Holi)


Main article: Salakapurusa

According to the Jain texts, Kamadeva is not a deity but a characteristic of person related to attractivense. There are a total of 24 Kamadevas in each cycle of Jain Cosmology, and current cycle Kamadevas were Bahubali, Prajapati, Sridhara,Prasenachandra, Chandravarna, Agniyukta, Sanatkumara, Vatsaraja, Kanakaprabha, Meghaprabha, Shantinatha,Kunthunatha, Arahanatha, Vijayaraja, Srichandra, Nalaraja, Hanuman, Baliraja, Vasudeva, Pradyumna, Nagakumata,Jivamdhara and Jambusvami.


While there is common understanding that there are no temples to Kamadeva and no murtis (images) of Kamadeva sold for the home worship in the market place,[33] some temples are dedicated or related to this deva:

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