THE RE- AWAKENING OF LOVE
It was Rati, Kamadeva’s wife. Dressed in widow’s weeds and looking haggard and careworn, she was holding a bundle close to her heart.
She looked around listlessly and did not care to bow to Shiva.
Shiva looked at her kindly and said “Rati, what Kamadeva did to me was wrong….”
Rati looked at him defiantly.
Shiva continued “….but what I did to Kamadeva was worse. As a yogi, I thought I had conquered every human emotion, but now I realize there was still one failing in me. I fell prey to the most dangerous emotion- anger”
“However, now I am prepared to make amends. Lay the bundle that you are carrying before me”
Looking hopeful, Rati opened the bundle and laid it before Shiva. It contained ashes- collected by a grief stricken Rati when Kamadeva was burnt down by Shambhu.
Shiva closed his eyes and murmured something under his breath A vapour like substance began to emerge out of the bundle and took the form of a man.
“Rati” said Shiva, pointing to the translucent figure, “Kamadev has been brought back to life. Though he will not have a physical body, you will be able to sense and feel his presence. From today, he will also be known as Atanu and Anang.”
Addressing the reborn Kamadev, Shiva said “ Kamadev- I have not given you a corporeal body so that you remember that Love is not mere physical lust. Now, as an invisible being, you can work on the mental and emotional aspect of Love. Hence, you will also be known as Manoj.”
Turning to Rati who was looking bewildered at the ghost image beside her, he said “Don’t despair Rati. In the Dwapara Yuga, when Sri Vishnu will incarnate on earth as Krishna, Kamadeva will be born as his son and you will be his wife. Kamadeva will return to his original form then.”
“Kamadeva and Rati- go and weave your magic once again in the world. I have realized that the world needs passion and ardor as much as it does renunciation and restraint. Go forth and make the world, the beautiful place it once was.”
With gratitude and happiness in their hearts, Kamadeva and Rati left the place.
Shiva also got up and began walking away. Nagaraja returned to his serpentine form and prepared to coil himself around his master’s shoulders.
Shiva looked surprised. “Er…Nagaraja- why don’t you take a break? Your wives may be missing you. And you too Chandra Dev….Rohini and the rest will be wondering where I have vanished you.” Shiva gave an awkward laugh.
Nagaraja and Chandra Dev looked at each other and smiled knowingly.
Chandra Dev replied, “We understand Lord. Kamadeva has started his work. You won’t be needing us anymore.”
Both of them bowed to Shiva and began to walk away. Just before vanishing, Nagaraja nudged Chandra Dev to look behind. They smiled as they saw Shiva materializing a bunch of pink lotuses and walking purposefully towards Manasarovar.