by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words
This page describes Eminence of Kameshvara (Kama-ishvara) which is chapter 40 of the English translation of the Skanda Purana, the largest of the eighteen Mahapuranas, preserving the ancient Indian society and Hindu traditions in an encyclopedic format, detailling on topics such as dharma (virtous lifestyle), cosmogony (creation of the universe), mythology (itihasa), genealogy (vamsha) etc. This is the fortieth chapter of the Arbuda-khanda of the Prabhasa Khanda of the Skanda Purana.
2-3. You had earlier stated that Śaṃbhu (i.e., an epithet of Śiva), taken over with fear by the weapon of Kāma had fled to the hermitage of Vālakhilya where he had seen his worshipable Liṅga fallen down and lying on the ground. Now, I have a great curiosity as to why he, i.e., Kāmadeva worshipped Śaṃbhu. O best of Brāhmaṇas! do also narrate all the details about the abode of Kāmeśvara (here).
4. Even after the downfall of the worshipable Liṅga, Kāmadeva had not given up following Śiva. Carrying his weapon in hand and aiming it at Śiva from behind he was following him.
5. Then out of fear, the Lord of the ultimate dissolution of the three regions, i.e., Śiva went to Vārāṇasī. On his way he also saw Kāmadeva following from behind with a similar mindset carrying his bow and arrow in hands.
7. Then passing through the sacred Gokarṇa and Prabhāsa as well as through the savage water bodies full of worms and insects, he went to Hardwar that forms one of the pathways of Gaṅgā, Gayā that is the master of all the centres of pilgrimage and the Vateśvara [Vaṭeśvara?] of which hymns of praises have been sung through Ages.
8. What more to mention about so many places of pilgrimage. On his way to the countless centres of pilgrimage, the God saw Kāmadeva following from behind.
9. So O king! wherever the God went out of fear of Kāmadeva, he saw Kāmadeva with his bow and arrow on his (i.e. God’s) heels behind him.
10. As time moved on he (i.e., the God) reached the Arbuda mountain again. There also he saw Kāmadeva with his bow and arrow pulled up in hand and intent for a fight. With his focus fixed and himself following one path single-mindedly, he (i.e., Kāmadeva) seemingly emerged as an impediment, O best of kings.
11. (As it is) the God was distressed for his beloved and his peace of mind was disturbed. So seeing him (i.e., Kāmadeva) the God became angry in particular.
12. Then O king! due to excessive anger, fire emitted out of the third eye of the Lord in which Kāmadeva got burnt out completely and turned up into ashes.
13. Then the king, with the extermination of Kāmadeva, along with his bow and arrow, the anger of Śaṃkara subsided and happiness again dawned on him.
14. Then evoking reverence of all gods, Śaṃkara went to the best of the mountains—the Kailāśa. But Rati, the devoted wife (of Kāmadeva) got tormented within and remained immersed in pitiable fear due to sorrow resulting from loss of her husband.
15. Then the depressed woman after preparing the funeral pyre for her husband ascended onto it to get herself dissolved in the radiant fire for she was so distressed (by the loss of her husband, O King). But as she stepped out to do so, a voice echoed from above for the reputed lady.
16. The voice exhorted, “O daughter, do not get into any such misadventure. Rather you, the beauty, get into arduous penance by which you can appease Śaṃkara and get back Kāma, your husband.”
17. As she heard such words, she got up well in the middle and began to worship the God, day and night incessantly and without retiring to bed for sleep. As part of her resolve, she remained fully engrossed in activities such as making offer of gifts, muttering the name of God repeatedly in mind, pacifying the Fire God through offerings and observation of fasting.
18. Then after a lapse of thousand years, Maheśvara became gratified and asked her to solicit the boon in her mind which might cause her welfare.
19. Rati said, “If God Śiva—the Creator of three worlds is pleased with me, let my husband Kāma regain life with all his limbs of body intact and without any handicap or disability.”
20. As soon as she completed saying so, the great king (i.e., Kāmadeva) instantly came to presence before her with his usual beaming appearance as if freshly awaken from a deep sleep.
21. Equipped with the bow resembling the pole of sugarcane and with flower-like arrows and the bow-string appearing like a row of black bees, he (i.e., Kāmadeva) was presenting a captivating sight.
22. Thereafter paying homage to Maheśvara along with Rati, Kāmadeva proceeded on his work after seeking permission of the Lord.
23. O best of kings! thus after experiencing the greatness of Lord Śiva, he (i.e., Kāmadeva) with full faith accompanied with complete awareness founded (the idol of) Śiva there on the Arbuda mountain.
24. O great king! bad fortune never touches either a man or a woman for a time span of seven rebirths after taking a look of Śiva here.
25. This is how I narrated to you (i.e., the King) the much recounted story with regard to the burning down of Kāmadeva and the greatness of Kāmeśvara which you were asking for.