God of Desire: Tales of Kāmadeva in Sanskrit Story Literature
God of Desire presents Sanskrit tales of the Indian deity Kāmadeva as he battles the ascetic god Śiva, assists the powerful goddess Devī, and incarnates as the charming son of Kṛṣṇa. Exploring the imagery and symbolism of the god of desire in art and ritual, Catherine Benton reflects on the connection of Kāmadeva to parrots, makaras (gharials), and apsarases (celestial nymphs), and to playful devotional rituals designed to win his favor. In addition to examining the Hindu literature, Benton also highlights two Buddhist forms of Kamadeva, the demonic Māra, who tries to persuade the Buddha to trade enlightenment for the delights of a woman, and the ever-youthful Ma˝juśri, who cuts through ignorance with the bodhisattva sword of wisdom. Tales of Kāmadeva from the Hindu and Buddhist traditions present desire as a powerful force continually redefining the boundaries of chaos and order and gently pulling beyond the ephemeral lure of passionate longings.
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Stories mold worldview
Structure of this study
Priti Karṇotpalā Skanda Purana
CHAPTER THREE KAMADEVA Reborn AS PRADYUMNA
The Tale of Khanḍaśila and the Well
CHAPTER FIVE WORSHIPPING KAMADEVA
Other editions - View all
actions anger appears apsarases arrows ascetic associated beautiful become begins bodhisattva body Brahma Brahmin Buddha Buddhist called century chapter character charming continued created crocodile cursed death deity demon described desire devotion Dharma discipline discussion Doniger early edited enlightenment existence explains eyes fire flower force gain gandharvas gharials give goddess gods Hindu human husband illusion Indian Indra Kāma Kama's Kamadeva kill king known Kṛṣṇa literature living Lord lover makara Ma˝juśrī Māra māyā means mind moves Nanda narrative nature object offers original parrot passion performed pleasure practice Pradyumna present Press pūjā Purāṇa Rati reference reflects religious rituals river sages Sanskrit senses sexual Śiva Śiva's stands stone story Studies symbol tale Tantric teaching tells texts tradition transformation translated understanding University University Press Upagupta variants Veda Wendy wife wisdom woman women worship