What is the story behind Kama Dahanam? Why Lord Shiva burnt Kamadeva into ashes? If you have any queries regarding Kama Dahanam, read this article…
Puranas describe the tremendous sacrifice of Kamadeva for the sake of Loka Kalyanam (Universal peace and prosperity). When Shakti became Parvati, the daughter of Himavanta, she was performing Thapas for Lord Shiva. At the same time, the four sons of Lord Brahma – Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana and Sanatkumara came to Lord Shiva and requested him to provide them enlightenment. Lord Shiva gave them enlightenment in the form of Lord Dakshinamurthy.
For many days, Shakti and Shiva were on Meditation (Dhayanam) without the concern of worldly matters. The life sustenance in the world was in trouble due to the Yoga of Shakti (energy) and Shiva (Layakara). During the same time, Devas were tortured by demons called Surapadma, Tarakasura and Simhamukha. These demons had the boon of getting killed only by the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
Devas came to know that instead of getting married and giving birth to a son who can kill all these demons, the Adi Purusha and Adi Shakti were performing meditation. They deliberately want to break the silence of Lord Shiva & Parvati and make them married. They approached the God of Love, Kamadeva, and asked him to generate lust between Shiva and Parvathi. Kamadeva refused to do it as he knows the anger of Lord Shiva. Devas warned and threatened Kamadeva to curse him if did not accept to do it. Kamadeva agrees to it, thinking getting killed in the hands of Lord Shiva is better than falling for the curses the Gods.
Kamadeva went to abode of Lord Shiva with his wife, Rathi Devi. While Shiva was in meditation, Manmadha shot the arrow of love on Lord Shiva. The next moment Lord Shiva opened his third eye and burnt the Lord of Love into ashes. Shocked by the death of Kamadeva, all the devas throng Lord Shiva and offered prayers to pacify him. They explained everything to Lord Shiva and requested him to make Kama alive. Shiva forgave Kamadeva and all other Gods and brought him back. But, Kamadeva would be visible only to his wife, Rathi Devi, and not to others. Due to this reason, Kamadeva is also referred to as Ananga (the one without limbs).
To commemorate this Puranic legend, Kamadahanam is performed during Holi in South Indian states like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.