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The celebrated mistress of Krishna, was, in her mortal form, the wife of a cowherd of Gokal, whom she lived with in a forest near the Jumna. Her image is set up in the temples, and worshipped at the festivals with that of Krishna. (Fig. 5, plate 12.)
NINTH and TENTH AVATARS.
The ninth avatar of Vishnu, or his incarnation as Buddha, will be noticed under the head of Buddha : the tenth, or Kalki avatar, I have already mentioned in a preceding page. Fig. 1, plate 13, from a compartment in the temple of Rama, represents Vishnu richly apparelled, with a drawn sword in his hand, kneeling in front of a winged horse, whose fore foot is raised from the ground, prepared to announce the destruction of the universe.
Kamadeva, or Camdeo-Bala Rama-Juggarnat'h-Wittoba–Garuda-Hanuman Lakshmi.
KAMADEVA, or CAMDEO, The God of Love.
Whether we consider this universal deity (alike, through all ages and all climes, the object of the poet's, the hero's, the blockhead's, and the wise man's invocation), as Anteros with his leaden arrow; or as the beauteous Eros with his golden dart; as the Egyptian Horus with the wings of the Etesian winds, or as the Hindu adored Camdeo, with bee-strung bow and flower-tipped shaft; whether we consider him as the son of Jupiter, or Mars and Venus; of Porus the god of counsel, and Penia the goddess of poverty; of Cælus and Terra, or of Zephyrus and Flora ; or as the son of Brahma, or of Vishnu, or Krishna, or (which heaven forefend) of Maya or illusion ;
“ Whate'er thy seat, whate'er thy name,
Sir William Jones.
This deity is represented as the child of Brahma, and subsequently as the illusive offspring of Vishnu and Lakshmi, in their avatars as Krishna and Rukmini. He is hence called the son of Maya, or illusion. In his first birth, as the son of Brahma, he was promised by that god dominion over the hearts of the inhabitants of the three worlds; and that himself, Vishnu, and Siva, would be subject to his power The malicious urchin, upon obtaining this promise, immediately let fly an arrow, and pierced the bosom of his father; but on trying his skill, on a subsequent occasion, upon Siva, when he happened to be engaged in prayer, he so incensed him, that with the eye in the middle of his forehead he consumed the god of love to ashes: from which he is called Ananga, the bodyless. Brahma, however, assured him that his body should be restored. After his second birth of Rukmini, he was, on the sixth day, carried away by the Daitiya Shambara and thrown into the sea, where he was swallowed by a fish; which being taken, was opened, and the infant discovered and given to Shambara, who delivered it to his wife, Mayavati. This female was no other than Reti, the wife of Kama in his former birth, who had assumed the form and name of Mayavati, in consequence of having been assured by Siva that her husband would be born again as the son of Krishna. Kama, or Pradyumna, was immediately recognised and brought up carefully by her; till, at a proper period, he was informed who he was, and of the cruelty of Shambara, whom he instantly slew.
His standard is, in consequence of the circumstance just mentioned, a fish, and he is called the son of Maya.
“ Yes, son of Maya, yes, I know
The image of this god is represented as a beautiful youth, riding on a lory (or parrot) with emerald wings. In his hands he holds a bow strung with bees, and five arrows tipped with flowers.
6He bends the luscious cane, and twists the string,
Dry nagkesir, in silver smiling,
Sir William Jones.
He is supposed to be accompanied by his consort Reti, or affection:
“ Thy consort mild, affection ever true,
Also by the cuckoo, the humming bee, and gentle breezes, and to be always wandering through the world; but the banks of the Yamuna, the resort of Krishna and the Gopias, became his favourite haunt.
Kama, like the other Hindu deities, has numerous names, either indicative of the power of love over the mind, or descriptive of his attributes. He is called Smara, the son of Maya, Ananga the bodyless, Mudun, he whose banner is a fish, Pradyumna, &c. &c.
Fig. 2, plate 21, represents him as a beautiful youth kneeling on a lory with emerald wings, in the act of discharging the love-shaft arrow from his bow, strung with bees. Behind him hangs his quiver, filled with four other arrows tipped with the flowers of the chumpa, the amer, the naghesir, and the kiticum.
Images and pictures of this deity are not common. The one given in this work is from a drawing of a very inferior description. The sectarial mark on his forehead is that of Vishnu.
This god was the brother of Krishna, and, as I have remarked in the life of that deity, was saved from the fury of Cansa, by being translated from the womb of his mother into that of another female. He is frequently represented as the coadjutor of his brother in his exploits, and his image usually accompanies that of Krishna in his reanimation (after having been killed) under the form of Juggarnath. According to a note in my account