Kama and Rati

The Death And Rebirth Of Kama, The God Of Love

- February 8, 2021


By Mansee Jain Kama, the god of love, once distracted Shiva during his meditation. Enraged by this, Shiva opened his third eye and burnt him to ashes, much to the horror of Kama’s wife, Rati. The distraught Rati lit a pyre and was about to enter it when a heavenly proclamation stopped her. It told her that her husband was still alive and she would be reunited with him on the day of Shiva’s marriage. If she wished to meet him, she was to seek work in the kitchen of the asura, Shambara. Rati disguised herself as a maid and called herself Mayavati. The head cook of Shambara’s palace kitchen accepted her and she began to work there. Illustration: Chandane Meanwhile, Dwaraka was celebrating the birth of Krishna and Rukmini’s son, Pradyumna. He was the reincarnation of Kama. A week after Pradyumna’s birth, Shambara had a dream. Through this dream, he came to know that he would meet his end at the hands of Pradyumna. Unperturbed, Shambara decided to kill Pradyumna before he was old enough to be a threat. He made himself invisible and flew to Krishna’s palace in Dwarka. There, Shambara stole baby Pradyumna from his sleeping mother’s side and flew with him to the ocean. He then threw Pradyumna into the ocean and presumed that the threat was over. However, unknown to Shambara, Pradyumna did not die but was instead swallowed by a large fish. By a turn of events, the fish was caught and ended up in the kitchen at Shambara’s palace! On cutting the fish, the cooks found baby Pradyumna and entrusted him into Mayavati’s care. A befuddled Mayavati wondered about the child’s parents when the sage, Narada, appeared before her. He explained to her that the baby was none other than her husband, Kama. On being burnt, Kama had begged to be reborn as Krishna’s son. Narada also told Mayavati that Pradyumna, the son of Krishna and Rukmini, was fated to end the wicked Shambara’s life. He also detailed how Shambara, wanting to prevent this, threw baby Pradyumna into the ocean, which resulted in the baby being swallowed by a large fish and ending up in Shambara’s kitch...

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