“He is not even aware of her presence, that’s the problem” cried a vexed Indra, slamming a fist into his palm. Being deprived of heaven’s pleasures had made Indra extremely short tempered.
The prospect of Shiva’s son making his appearance now seemed more distant than ever.
“If only Shiva could be made to open his eyes just for a fraction of second… if only he would glimpse at Parvati…Surely no one could fail to fall in love with the beautiful princess…” Indra muttered to himself. Suddenly, he thought he had found the answer “Love, -that’s it. Call Kama Deva”
Indra mentally summoned Kama Deva, who promptly appeared, with his wife, Rati. They were still lost in each others’ eyes, their arms entwined around each other. Indra cleared his throat loudly. Kamadeva, disengaged himself from Rati and folded his hands in front of Indra.
“Kamadev”, said Indra coming to the point immediately, “I need your help.”
‘Ah, who doesn’t?” grinned Kamadev. “Who is beautiful maiden you have set your eyes on, Devendra?. My arrows will not fail” Kamdeva stretched out his sugarcane and pointed to his flower tipped arrows.
“It is not a maiden” grunted Indra. “It is a man, that too an ascetic”
“A man?” sputtered Kamadev. “Has the king of Devas lost his heart to… a …Man?” Kamadeva was confounded. Rati, by his side, tittered.
Seeing the alarmed expression on Kamadev’s face, Indra got even more wild
“Fool,” shouted Indra. “I am not talking about myself. Falling in love is the last thing I want to do now, Kamdev. You have to stir the feelings of love in someone else’s heart.”
“Who is it, O king?” asked Kamadeva, already picking an arrow from his quiver.
“ Lord Shiva. Mahadev”
“Impossible, my Lord,” replied kamdeva, keeping the arrow back in its quiver.
“Aren’t you confident of your powers, Kamadeva?” asked Indra agitatedly
“My Lord, I am confident….” replied Kamadeva
Indra breathed easy
“….Of failing” finished Kamadev
“Why is it so?” questioned Indra
“My Lord, it is not easy to explain. I work with feelings, emotions. Where there are emotions, I convert them into feelings. Where there are feelings, I can transform them into thoughts and words. But Lord Shiva….” Kamadeva’s voice trailed off.
“Yes, what of Shiva?” asked Indra eagerly “Doesn’t he have feelings, emotions thoughts or words?”
“Mahadev is Pure Conciousness. All thoughts and emotions dissolve into the absolute silence that is within Him. Kama, krodha, lobha, moha cease to exist when they enter his mind. He is not made up of the pancha koshas or the sapta dhatus. He has risen above intellect and ego. He has only one existence and that is his Sat-chit-Ananda form. His mind roams in the realms where there only exists Truth, Knowledge and bliss. Do you really think, Devaraj, that my feeble flower tipped arrows will have any effect on Mahadev?” asked Kamadeva.
But Indra was in no mood to listen to such explanations. He brushed aside Kamadeva’s objections and ordered him to try his best.
Kama deva left the place muttering something about being caught between frying pan and fire.
Vayu, who had been observing all this said to Indra, “He is not going to like this”
“Who? Kamadev?” asked Indra
“No, Mahadev” replied Vayu.
The grove which had become Mahadev’s abode suddenly acquired a new look and became, if possible even more beautiful. The radiance which the grove had gained through Shiva’s tapas was heightened by the intoxicating fragrance of fresh flowers which had sprung overnight.
The blissful peace of the place was now broken by the call of a lovelorn cuckoo. A pair of swans appeared from nowhere and decided that this would be the best place for them to mate.
Parvati on entering the grove, sensed the new developments and looked around furtively. Kamadeva stationed himself behind a bush.