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Read about Kamadeva at Wikipedia

KAMA, KAMADEVA. [Source: Dowson's Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology] The god of love. Eros, Cupid. In the Rigveda (x. 129) desire is said to have been the first movement that arose in the One after it had come into life through the power of fervor or abstraction. "Desire first arose in It, which was the primal germ of mind; (and which) sages searching with their intellect, have discovered in their heart to be the bond which connects entity with nonentity."

"It is well known," observes Dr. Muir, "that Greek mythology connected Eros, the god of love, with the creation of the universe somewhat in the same way."

"This Kama or desire, not of sexual enjoyment, but of good in general, is celebrated in a curious hymn of the Atharvaveda," which exalts Kama into a supreme God and Creator: "Kama was born the first. Him neither gods, nor fathers, nor men have equaled. Thou art superior to these and for ever great."

In another part of the same Veda Kama appears to be first desire, then the power which gratifies the desire. Kama is also in the same Veda often identified with Agni, and when "distinguished from each other, Kama may be looked upon as a superior form of the other deity."

According to the Taittiriya Brahmana, he is the son of Dharma, the god of justice, by Sraddha, the goddess of faith; but according to the Harivansa he is son of Lakshmi. Another account represents his as springing from the heart of Brahma. A fourth view is that he was born from water, wherefore he is called Iraja, 'water-born;' a fifth is that he is Atmabhu, 'self-existent,' and therefore he is called, like other of the gods, Aja, 'unborn,' or Ananyaja, 'born of no other.'

In the Puranas his wife is Rati or Reva, the goddess of desire. He inspired Siva with amorous thoughts of Parvati while he was engaged in penitential devotion, and for this offence the angry god reduced him to ashes by fire from his central eye. Siva afterwards relented and allowed Kama to be born again a Pradyumna, son of Krishna and Rukmini or Maya, 'delusion.' He has a son named Aniruddha, and a daughter, Trisha.

He is lord of the Apsarases or heavenly nymphs. He is armed with a bow and arrows: the bow is of sugar-cane, the bowstring a line of bees, and each arrow is tipped with a distinct flower. He is usually represented as a handsome youth riding on a parrot and attended by nymphs, one of whom bears his banner displaying the Makar, or a fish on a red ground.

The mysterious origin of Kama and the universal operation of the passion he inspires have accumulated upon him a great variety of names and epithets. Among his names are Ishma, Kanjana and Kinkira, Mada, Rama or Ramana, and Smara. As produced in the mind or heart he is Bhavaja and Manoja. As Pradyumna, son of Krishna, he is Karshni, and as son of Lakshmi he is Mayi or Mayasuta and Srinandana. As reduced to ashes by Siva he is Ananga, 'the bodiless.' He is Abhirupa, 'the beautiful;' Darpaka and Dipaka, 'the inflamer;' Gadayitnu, Gridhu, and Gritsu, 'lustful or sharp;' Kamana and Kharu, 'desirous;' Kandarpa, 'the inflamer of Brahma;' Kantu, 'the happy;' Kalakeli, 'the gay or wanton;' Mara, 'destroyer;' Mayi, 'deluder;' Madhudipa, 'the lamp of honey or of spring;' Muhira, 'the bewilderer;' Murmura, 'the crackling fire;' Ragavrinta, 'the stalk of passion;' Rupastra, 'the weapon of beauty;' Ratanaricha, 'the voluptuary;' Samantaka, 'destroyer of peace;' Sansaraguru, 'teacher of the world;' Smara, 'remembrance;' Sringarayoni, 'source of love;' Titha, 'fire;' Vama, 'the handsome.' From his bow and arrows he is called Kusumayudha, 'armed with flowers;' Pushpadhanus, 'whose bow is flowers;' and Pushpasara, 'whose arrows are flowers.' From his banner he is known as Makaraketu; and from the flower he carries in his hand he is Pushpaketana.

ANANGA. [Source: Dowson's Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology] 'The bodiless.' A name of Kama, god of love. 

Modern Languages MLLL-4993. Indian Epics. Laura Gibbs, Ph.D. The textual material made available at this website is licensed under a Creative Commons License. You must give the original author credit. You may not use this work for commercial purposes. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one. No claims are made regarding the status of images used at this website; if you own the copyright privileges to any of these images and believe your copyright privileges have been violated, please contact the webmaster. Page last updated: October 16, 2007 12:22 PM