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Three Kamadeva stories that feature Lord Shiva, Krishna and Brahma

Aniruddha Joshi “Shatayu”
Hundreds of myths and stories float about Kamadeva. The great trinity of Mythology (Shiva, Vishnu, Mahesha) also had its own share of stories. Here goes :

As per the first story Shiva’s wife Sati had burnt herself in the pyres of a Yagna after was being humiliated. After her demise Lord Shiva started living an austere life and delved in meditating. Later Sati reincarnated as Parvati. But when it seemed impossible to break Shiva’s meditation, Kamadeva’s help was sought. He came forward and struck Shiva with his arrow to rekindle in him. But Shiva got infuriated with it and opened his third eye. This reduced Kamadev to ashes.

Later Shiva gave him life but without a physical form. In the other story, according to Hindu Mythology, Once Kamadev tried to cast his spell on Lord too. Kamadev placed a bet that he will be attracted towards Gopis who were even more sensuous and beautiful than Apsaras. Krishna accepted the bet and started performing Raas among Gopis. Yet he remained untouched by lust.

The story related to Lord Brahma, which is also connected to Lord Shiva and Krishna, goes like this. Once was meditating. Suddenly took birth from him and asked for his directives. Brahma replied that he is born to create the new generations. After hearing this Kamadev disappeared from there. Displeased with this, Brahma cursed that he will cease to exist soon. Kamadev returned and apologized. Lord Brahma was pleased with his behavior and said “I provide you with twelve places to live”.

These  places were women’s waist, Hairs, thighs, breasts, naval, knees, pips, cukoo’s chirping,  moon light, rains, Chaitra & Vaishakh months. Lord Brahma fared him well by giving him a flower bow and five arrows. Basking in the boon of Brahma, Kamadev started travelling around the three lokas and had Pishacha, Gandharv, etc. spellbound. Later he along with went on to cast his spell on all creatures of the world. Finally he approached to Shiva with the same intentions. Shiva was engrossed in meditation. Kamadev entered Shiva’s body in the form of an insect through his ear.

After having an insight of his internal body Shiva came to know that kamadev has entered his body. Kamadev too noticed it and came out. He stood under a Mango tree and aimed an arrow at the heart of Lord Shiva. Infuriated by the sight, Shiva opened his third eye and reduced him to ashes. Seeing this, Rati burst into tears. Then she started worshipping Shiva devotedly. Impressed with her devotion and discipline Lord Shiva asked Kamadev’s soul to worship Shiv linga located in Mahakal Van. Kamadev (without a physical form of one’s own) arrived at Mahakal Van and worshipped linga. Shiva blessed him and said his soul will be potentially viable and he will be reincarnated as Krishna’s son by the name of Pradumna.

When Shiva burnt Kamadev to ashes, Rati began to mourn him. Moved by her mourning, Shiva told her that kamadev will be reincarnated as the son of Krishna. Later Krishna’s wife Rukmini gave birth to a baby boy called Pradumna, who was indeed an incarnation of Kamadev. In an attempt to take revenge with Lord Krishna, Shambharasur Navraaj Kidnapped Pradumna and thrown him into the sea. A Fish gobbled up infant Pradumna which was later got caught by fishermen.

Co-incidentally  the same fish reached the kitchen of Shambharasur. Disguised as the maid Mayawati, Rati entered the same kitchen and sliced the fish without hurting the infant. She then brought him up as mother. When the infant Pradumna grew young, he was told about the incidents that had occurred prior to his Birth. Pradyumna was trained to fight with weapons and later he assassinated Shambharasur. He married Mayawati (Rati) and arrived at Dwarka.

[ Sketch : Devdutt Pattnaik ]

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