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God of Love

The Burning of the God of Love

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The gods decided to follow Brahma's advice. But how could it be ensured that Shiva and Parvati fell in love with each other? The king of the gods was Indra and the god of love was Kandarpa or Madana.

Indra summoned Kandarpa. You have to help us, said Indra. There is no other way out. Shiva is performing tapasya in the Himalayas. Parvati is also in the region. Make sure that the two fall in love. That is your job.

Kandarpa went to the place where Shiva was meditating. And as soon as the god of love appeared, the place took on the traits of a spring which was pernnial. Flowers bloomed and bees buzzed among the flowes. Cuckoos sang and fragant breezes started to waft throught the forest. Shiva tried to concentrate on his meditation. But he kept getting distracted.

While all this was going on, who should arrive there but Parvati? She was so beautiful that Shiva was smitten with love for her. Parvati also seemed to like Shiva.

But life is never simple. Shiva was, after all, Shiva. He realized that something was wrong. How could his meditation have been disturbed? How was it that the season seemed to be spring although it had no business to be spring? When Shiva glanced around, his eyes fell on Kandarpa who was hiding. He realized that it was Kandarpa who was responsible for all this mischief.

Shiva was angered. He had a third eye in the middle of his forehead. From this third eye flames sprouted and these flames burnt Kandarpa to ashes.

Kandarpa's wife was Rati. When Rati saw that her husband had been burnt to ashes, her grief knew no bounds. At first she lost consciousness. When she recovered, she lamented, Woe is me. What is going to happen to me? My husband, my love, where have you gone?

The gods and Rati sought out Shiva. They explained that it had been no fault of Kandarpa's. He had been asked to disturb Shiva's tapasya because of the Tarakasua problem. What would happen to Rati now?

Shiva replied, What has happened has happened. Nothing can be done about kandarpa now. He will eventually be born in the city of Dvaraka as Krishna's son Pradyumna. Rati will then be reuntied with Kandarpa. But till such time, let her simply wait.

The gods dispersed, still despondent. The matter of Shiva and Parvati's marriage had not progressed at all.



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