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Kāmadeva (Sanskrit: कामदेव) is the Hindu deity of love. His other names include Ragavrinta (stalk of passion), Ananga (incorporeal), Kandarpa ("inflamer even of a god"), Manmatha (churner of hearts), 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"). Kamadeva, is son of Hindu goddess Sri and, additionally, is the incarnation of Pradyumna, Krishna’s son. In his spiritual form he is believed to be Krishna, by Vaishnava followers in Hinduism.

Kāmadeva is represented as a young and handsome winged man who wields a bow and arrows. His bow is made of sugarcane with a string of honeybees, and his arrows are decorated with five kinds of fragrant flowers. The five flowers are Ashoka tree flowers, white and blue lotus flowers, Mallika tree(Jasmine) and Mango tree flowers. A terracotta murti of Kamadeva of great antiquity is housed in the Mathura Museum, UP, India.

stories about Hindu god Kamadeva are traced to the verses of the Rig Veda and Atharva Veda although he is better known from prominent and lesser known stories of the Puranas.

The story of the birth of Kamadeva is told differently in several Puranas. In some stories Kamadeva arises from the mind of the creator god, Brahma. In other stories he is the son of Sri. Kamadeva is sometimes portrayed as being completely at the service of Indra. Just as Shiva accepted the river Ganga, flowing from the snowy mountain, Kamadeva married his consort Rati. She carries a discus and a lotus in her hands, with arms compared with the lotus-stalks. Rati is often a minor character in many traditional dramas involving Kamadeva, she is in some ways represents an attribute of the god of desire. Goddess Vasanta also accompanies Kamadeva, but unlike Rati whose very essence is desire, Vasanta emerges from a sigh of frustration. Kama is often takes part in Puranic battles. As a warrior, Kamadeva needs troops of soldiers.

According to the Matsya Purana, Visnu-Krishna and Kamadeva have a historical relationship. Krishna is sometimes worshiped as Kamadeva in Gaudiya traditions, but according to the Krishna-centric Gaudiya Vaishnavism, Kamadeva was directly a part of Vasudeva Krishna after this deva was burned down by Shiva. In this form Kamadeva is believed to be a demigod of the heavenly planets especially capable of inducing lusty desires. This Kamadeva, who later takes his birth from the womb of Rukmini - Krishna's wife, was named Pradyumna, but some suggest that he is not the Pradyumna of the Vishnu category and thus Vaishnavas believe that he belongs to the category of jiva-tattva, or conditioned souls, however due to exhibiting special power in the category of demigods, devas, he became a part of the prowess of Vishnu form Pradyumna. That is the view of the Six Gosvamis, who maintained that Kamadeva was burned to ashes by the anger of Shiva and later merged into the body of Vasudeva. And it is explained that in order to get his body again he was placed in the womb of Rukmini. It is believed that because he was begotten by Krishna himself, his qualities were similar to those of Krishna, such as his colour, appearance and attributes.

The attributes of demigod Kamadeva are as such: his companions are a cuckoo, a parrot, humming bees, the season of spring, and the gentle breeze. All of these are symbols of spring season, when his festival is celebrated as Holi, Holika or Vasanta.

According to the text Shiva Purana, Kamadeva is a son or a creation of Brahma, while according to other sources including the Skanda Purana, Kamadeva is a brother of Prasuti; they are both the children of Shatarupa, a creation of Brahma. Later interpolations consider him the son of Vishnu All sources concur on the fact that Kamadeva is wed to Ratī, a daughter of Prasuti and Daksha.

The deity of Kamadeva along with his consort Rati is included in the pantheon of Vedic-Brahmanical deities such as Shiva and Parvati. In Hindu traditions for the marriage ceremony itself, the bride's feet are often painted with pictures of Suka, the parrot vahana of Kamadeva. One should not misunderstand or associate worship of Kamadeva, as being sexually oriented, as the religious rituals addressed to him offer a means of purification and reentry into the community. Devotion to Kamadeva keeps desire within the framework of the religious tradition. Kamadeva also appears in other stories and becomes the object of certain devotional rituals for those seeking health, physical beauty, husbands, wives, and sons. In one story Kamadeva himself succumbs to desire, and must then worship his lover in order to be released from this passion and its curse.

According to some traditions worshiping Radha Krishna, Radha is without equal in the universe for beauty, and her power constantly defeats the god of love, Kamadeva. However when Krishna played his flute, as described Bhāgavata Purāṇa, book X, the women of Vraja heard that flute music, and this music which incites even Kama, attracted them to Krishna, the original Kamadeva.

Holi as a Spring New Year Festival In southern India and many western regions. It is sometimes called Madana-Mahotsava in Sanskrit, or Kama-Mahotsava. Some have suggested that the replacement of Kamadeva by Krishna, had its germ in the early medieval period. Initially spring festival Holi was being held in reverence to celestial Vedic figure of Kamadeva, however it is presently dedicated to Krishna. This festival is mentioned in Jaiminis early writings such as Purvamimamsa-sutra, dated c.400 BC. According to Gaudiya Vaishnava theologians of medieval period, when in Bhāgavata Purāṇa, book X, Kamadeva is mentioned by the word smara he is not the deva who incites lusty feelings. Its believed that the gopis are liberated souls beyond the touch of material nature, therefore according to Gaudiya views it is not possible for them to be contaminated by the lust which is produced of the mode of passion.

There are several personalities who are called Kamadeva. Some Vaishnavas distinguish Kamadeva who is a deva, demigod in charge of inciting lusty desires, the cause of generation and referred to in the Bhagavad Gita with the words “prajanas casmi kandarpa.” It is this Kamadeva who tried distract Lord Siva from deep meditation with his passionate influence and feminine associates. He is distinguished from spiritual Kamadeva.

Krishna is believed by his bhaktas, devotees, to be the inciting power of Kamadeva and is known as the ever-fresh transcendental god of love of Vrindavana. He is believed by Gaudiyas to be the origin of all forms of Kamadeva, but is considered above mundane forms of love in the hierarchi of devotional rati, raga, kama, and prema.

The word smara in the tenth book of Bhagavata Purana refers to Krishna, who through the medium of his flute ever increases his influence on the devoted gopis. This, according to Vaishnavas, is the meaning of the word smarodayam in Bhagavata Purana (SB 10. 21. 3) The different symptoms of smarodayam as experienced by the gopis has been described by the commentator Vishvanatha Cakravarti Thakur in the following way "First comes attraction expressed through the eyes, then intense attachment in the mind, then determination, loss of sleep, becoming emaciated, uninterested in external things, shamelessness, madness, becoming stunned and death. These are the ten stages of Cupid’s effects."

The tree is often planted near temples. The tree is said to be a symbol of love and is dedicated to Kamadeva.

temples are dedicated to Kamadev:

* Kameshwara Temple, in Aragalur.
The Sthala purana indicates that Kamadeva woke up Shiva at this place.
* Kameshvara Temple, in Kamyavan, one of the twelve forests of Vrindavana.
* Harsat-Mata Temple at Abaneri has representation of Kamadeva.