We know of manmatha as one of the names of kAmadEva, the god of desire.
Flying on a green parrot, with a sugarcane as a bow and flowers as his arrows!
What is not to like about this handsome god?
And yet s’iva reduced him to ashes for disturbing his samAdhi and making him notice pArvati.
And then again he restored him to life – atanu – without his handsome body.
Which he again got as kRSNa’s handsome son pradyumna!
- kAmahA – the one who destroys desire and kAmakRt – the one who causes it.
- he is kAntah – the one we desire
- kAmah – the desire itself
- and kAmapradah – the one who gives us what we desire!
My Veda Guru says that it is Vishnu we seek when we desire anything. Once we get the Bhagavad-Tatva (Divine essence) from anything – even dinner for eg, we lose interest in it.
Like kids on the beach we pick up each shell and see – is this it? and throw it away once we know that this piece isn’t it. (Kamaha Kamakrut Kanta Kamah Kamapradah Prabhuh Vishnuh ).
His other names are कन्दर्प(kandarpa), atanu (one without a body), rAgavrinta (रागवृन्त) (stalk of passion), ananga(incorporeal), kandarpa (“inflamer even of a god”), manmatha (churner of manas), manasija (he who is born of mind, a contraction of the Sanskrit phrase Sah Manasah jāta), madana (intoxicating), ratikānta (lord of Rati), pushpavān, pushpadhanva (one with bow of flowers) or just kāma (“longing”).
My thoughts :
manmatha is a mind-churner – or a manas churner. When someone is in the grip of this great longing, they cannot think straight or stay calm.
Those seeking knowledge, peace and freedom, see manmathana as an enemy.
Those who seek to do “karma” usually need the help of “kAma”. Desire is the driving force behind achievement.
What about us? With one foot in samsAra and one foot towards gnyAna?
If you have a wish that you cannot renounce, then work and pray to achieve it, there is some karma to be exhausted there for you. Some knowledge for you to gain, some interactions that need to be had.
Finally s’iva did resurrect pushpadhanva and marry pArvati because the dEvAs and the world needed skanda, (Karthikeya)!