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Thursday, January 06, 2011

Kāmadeva trivia


Kāmadeva's (Cupid's) bow is made of sugarcane - that is why brahmacārīs are not allowed to eat too many sweets. This is the cause of sugar according to the Purāṇas.

Kāmadeva's bow-string is made of honeybees. Kāmadeva's consort Rati carries a disc and a lotus in her hands, and her arms are compared with the stalks of that lotus.

Goddess Vasanta [spring] also accompanies Kāmadeva, but unlike Rati, whose very essence is desire, Vasanta emerges from a sigh of frustration.

In Hindu traditions for the marriage ceremony itself, the bride's feet are often painted with pictures of Śuka, the parrot vahana [vehicle] of Kāmadeva.

Kāmadeva's companions are a cuckoo, a parrot, humming bees, the season of spring, and the gentle breeze. All of these are symbols of the spring season, when his festival is celebrated as Holi, Holikā or Vasanta.

Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda comments on Śrīmad Bhāgavat 10.55.2 that Kāmadeva is actually Pradyumna but when he was conceived in the womb of Rukmiṇī, the mundane Cupid entered into him as Droṇa entered into Nanda Mahārāja and Dharā into mother Yaśodā.

Blog originally composed in summer 2010


  1. Radhe Radhe!

    But I heard before that vahana of Kamadeva is makara. So, was it wrong?
    Dvijati Pujaka dasa

  2. The Makara is his banner [makara-dhvaja or makara ketana], not his vehicle.

  3. how you guys can believe in mythology. and personalizing the objects of analogy you make everything even more unscientific and unacceptable for modern educated intelligentsia.

  4. Anon, this is a long story for which I do not have so much time. Briefly, there are three sources of knowledge - the mind, the senses and the shastras. The first two are fallible sources, whereas the last one is not. Secondly, conditioned souls are subject to four flaws - mistakes, inattentiveness, deceit and imperfect senses. Such flaws do not exist in shastra. Thirdly, there is surely a symbolic side to things [adhyatmika] but that does not exclude a personal and more concrete and tangible side to different phenomena. It is best if you would study our scriptures first to discover all these points.