Kama ( Sanskrit काम , “love”, “sensual attraction”) or Kama-deva - the god of love in Hinduism  , the son of Lakshmi and Vishnu (in some sources - the son of Brahma  ). Religious rituals in honor of Kama are aimed at improving health and increasing external attractiveness  . The Kama cult is part of Vishnu worship and is common in South India .
|Kama, Kama Deva|
|Skt. काम , Kāma IAST , Kāmadeva IAST|
God of love
|God of love and sensual attraction|
|Mythology||Hinduism , Vaishnavism|
|Spouse||Rati and Prity|
|Children||Trisha (daughter) and Aniruddha (son)|
|Attributes||sugarcane bow and five flower arrows|
Iconography and its Symbolism
Depicted as a handsome young man with green skin, holding in his hand a bow made of sugarcane and five arrows of flowers. His wahana (mount bird) is a parrot named Suka. Around Kama honey bees are curling  . In some interpretations, Kama holds a banner with the image of a makara (sea monster) and a bow in which instead of a bowstring there are bees. Kama shoots with five flower arrows and arouses love in his victims  .
A parrot as a sled bird symbolizes the truth, because the parrot verbatim repeats what he heard. Sugarcane becomes sweet as it ripens. This means that love matures with time. At the same time, sugarcane leaves are sharp and can cut the one who touches them. Thus, sensual desire can hurt. Five arrows symbolize the five senses that form a love desire. These include vision, hearing, taste, touch and smell. In the spring of love blooms, the mating season begins in animals and birds. Bees symbolize the sweetness of honey and the pain of a bite. At the same time, the demonic spirit accompanies the Kama phenomenon. It creates suffering resulting from strong love or its loss. Love can also turn into hatred, which reflects the power of initial attraction  .
The name Kama-deva can be translated as "God of love." Virgo means "heavenly" or "divine," and Kama means "desire" or "attraction." The name was first mentioned in the Rig Veda (9, 113.11)  .
Kama is also referred to as the name of Vishnu in Vishnu Purana and Srimad-Bhagavatam (5.18.15). It is one of the names of Krishna and Shiva. The name Kama is also used to refer to the god Agni in Atharva Veda (6.36.3).
Srimad Bhagavatam, Book 5, Chapter 18, Text 15 :
The inhabitants of Ketumala, under the leadership of the patriarch Samvatsara and his sons, gods of the day, worship the Almighty in His form as Kama-virgin, the God of love, the joy of the Goddess of fortune Lakshmi. At the end of each year, the night goddesses, who are the patriarch Samvatsara’s own daughters, at the sight of the dazzling radiance of the wheel of fire come to extreme excitement, which is why before the deadline they are allowed from the burden.- Srimad Bhagavatam
Kama also has other names: Madana or intoxicating with love; Manmatha or exciting mind; Mara or wounded; Pradyumna ( Pradyumna ) or all-conquering; Ananga or incorporeal  . The last name is associated with the story of his attempt to seduce Shiva .
In Hinduism, Kama is revered because sensual love or attraction is one of the driving forces of life. God Kama personifies the sensual attraction, its most powerful manifestation is considered libido . He is associated with the birth and preservation of the universe. According to the Rig Veda, desire was the first feeling that arose in the Creator  . In ancient times and the Middle Ages, spring festivals dedicated to Kama were popular, full of erotic games, rituals, songs  .
In one tradition, Kama was not born from anyone and is considered self-manifest . This is evidenced by one of his names, the Unborn ( Aja ). In another tradition, Kama is the son of Dharma and Shraddha . In the third tradition, Kama is considered the son of Vishnu and Lakshmi , as stated in the Harivansa Purana , supplement to the Mahabharata . After Kama was burned by the flame of Shiva, he was reborn as Pradyumna , the son of Krishna and Rukmini  .
Family and Environment
According to the South Indian tradition, Kama has two wives: Rati , or pleasure, and Priti, or affection. Kama has a younger brother named Krodha, or anger, and also a daughter named Trisha, or passion, and son Aniruddha, or unhindered. His best friend and eternal companion is Vasanta, or spring. In addition, Maras , or the demon tempter, follows along with Kama. His image is described both in European mythology and in Buddhism . Kama is surrounded and served by singers, musicians and dancers in the person of Gandharv and Apsar  .
The Legend of Shiva and Kama
There is a legend about how Shiva incinerated Kama with the look of his third eye for the fact that he dared to shoot him with his arrow, wishing to arouse Shiva's love for Parvati . As a result, Kama receives the name Anang, which means "without parts (body)" or "incorporeal." According to one hypothesis, the legend of Kama's incineration is associated with an attempt to explain the etymology of the Tamil word “anangu” (one of the meanings of which is an excruciating love passion)  . Subsequently, Shiva, yielding to the plea of Rati , the wife of Kama, made Kama reborn in the body of Pradyumna , the first son of Krishna and Rukmini . In Gaudiya Vaishnavism, Kama, after being burned by Shiva, became part of Krishna-Vasudeva  .
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- Vigasin, Dubyansky, 1996 .
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- in Russian
- Vigasin A. , Dubyansky A.M. Kama // Hinduism. Jainism. Sikhism: Dictionary / Ed. ed. M.F. Albedil and A.M. Dubyansky . - M .: Republic , 1996 .-- S. 226.
- Dubyansky A.M. Anang // Hinduism. Jainism. Sikhism: Dictionary / Ed. ed. M.F. Albedil and A.M. Dubyansky . - M .: Republic , 1996 .-- S. 52.
- in other languages
- Artola G. The banner of Kāmadeva and other topics of Sanskrit literature and Indian culture. - Bombay: Popular Prakashan, 1977.
- Chandramouli A. Kamadeva: the God of desire. - New Delhi: Rupa, 2014.
- Pathak AS Kāmasāra of Kamadeva: text with English translation. - New Delhi: Chaukhambha Publications, 2010.
- Ramanuja R. Vaiṣṇava Iconology based on Pañcarātra Āgama. - 2013 .-- S. 52-53.