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STORY: WHY SHIVA REDUCES KAMDEV TO ASHES–Check, the arrogance in you


    Powerful asura (demon) Tarkasur, after seeking the blessings of Lord God Shiva (also known as Sadashiv), conquered, all the three lokas (worlds). He then, threw, all the devtas (deities) out of Swarg (heaven) and started ruling the place all by himself. Terrorized, Devtas, then approached Lord Brahma.

    When, Devtas narrated their plight to him. He said, ‘since Tarkasur has been blessed directly, by Lord God Shiva. There is no one else in the cosmos who can intervene in this matter. So, the only person who can kill Tarkasur, is his own avatar (embodiment of God). As and when, he is born.

    ‘But how will that happen?’ asked Devraj Indra. Who was leading the team of Devtas. Replying to Indra, Brahma said.

    ‘If Lord Shiva falls for Girija, (Goddess Parvati) who is anyway in Himachal, where, Shiva is in dhyan (meditation). They can get married, and as a consequence of that, have his avatar. Who will be named, Rudra. He would then be empowered to kill Tarkasur. But this will not be easy. As, Lord Shiva, is beyond any worldly and even, cosmic allurement. So, it’ll not be that easy for Girija to attract him.’

    With the humungous challenge ahead, Devraj Indra suddenly thought of Kamdev (the god of love). And within no time Kamdev appeared with folded hands and said—Prabhu (God) what made you, think of me?

   Indra said, ‘Dear Kamdev. There is a demon by the name of Tarkasur. He is blessed by Lord God Shiva and that makes him invincible. As, no one, can kill him for now. Therefore, he is troubling the whole world. He has also conquered our abode—Swarg (heaven). He can only be killed by God Rudra. Who, happens to be an avatar of Lord Shiva. But he is yet to be born. This is what Lord Brahma has told us. And, Lord Shiva can have Rudra, only if he marries Girija. So, to get Lord Shiva attracted to Girija, is now your job.     Girija, in order to worship and serve Lord Shiva goes to him every day. If they both get married, the wishes of Devtas can be fulfilled—which is, the death, of Tarkasur.’

    After, patiently, listening to Devraj Indra, Kamdev said—‘Rajendra! (Indra) I will surely do this job for the welfare of the Devatas.’ Thereafter, Kamdev with all his paraphernalia reached the spot. Where, Lord Shiva was meditating.

     At the particular place, where, Shiva was sitting in dhyan (meditation), there, Kamdev, used his illusory tricks to arouse his feelings. He made the surroundings, look like, the beautiful erotic spring, where, the birds started chirping in melodious tones. The ambience soon got romantic that did not spare, even the Lord. When, he got the sudden whoosh of Goddess Girija, but nothing beyond that.

    Kamdev used all his five arrows on him. But he was unsuccessful in all his attempts. As, there, was no effect of his arrows on Shiva. After all, who had the power to unsettle Shiva? Most certainly, no one in the universe.

    During that time, Girija with a tray in her hands. Filled with flowers and ingredients, came there, for the puja of Lord Shiva. With her, she also had her friends. And coincidentally, even Lord Shiva, was out of his dhyan at the same time. Kamdev thought, this was the opportunity, and shot his arrow of crush on Shiva and thereafter in continuity. He shot, one arrow after another. This struck Lord Shiva momentarily.

   With that he got attracted to Girija at once.  But soon he realised, something abnormal was happening to him. He questioned—‘what is this! I’m nirvikar (changeless). Yet I’m impacted by this stroke of infatuation. If, as, God I’m affected. What will happen to the average people of the world? It surely, appears to be the job of Kamdev.’ He thought in some regret.

    Sure enough, when he turned to his left, he saw Kamdev standing there with his bow and arrow. He could not control his anger. And with that, all the three lokas started shivering. It appeared, as if, hell is about to swallow the universe. Just then his third eye opened and from that. In great velocity fire oozed out, and that reduced Kamdev to ashes. All the three lokas quaked in fright. Devtas saddened, but Asuras were happy. After Kamdev was dead. Even, Girija returned home with her friends, feeling devastated.

    Kamdev’s wife Rati, upon, seeing, her dead husband, fainted. When she regained consciousness. She started wailing—’Swami!   Why did you go to Shivlok at all, without telling me? What should I do now? Where should I go? All this is a result of the arrogant talk, you often made in Indralok (Indra’s abode). Devtas, have only done bad for me. They sent my husband here. Only to get him reduced, to ashes.’

    Moral of the story: One should know his limits. Kamdev tried to transgress his powers and had to pay the price.

    Later Devtas assembled around Lord Shiva. Shiva asked for the reason. Devtas said, ‘Lord you are antaryami (omniscient) and you know the reason.’ Shiva understood. They had assembled for Kamdev. He clarified—’whatever happened. Happened, because, of Brahma’s shaap (curse), which, can’t be reversed now. But yes. When, Lord Vishnu will take avatar as Krishna. Then Kamdev will be his son. His name will be Pradhuman. A demon by the name of Shambar will pick Pradhuman and throw him in the sea. Rati, Kamdev’s wife, during that time will be residing in the same city. That is Shambar. She will get her husband back, in this city only. Kamdev will kill Shambar and along with his wife, he will come to Krishna.


Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi




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    Both Sabharwal and Swami were very senior to me both in age and seniority. Our office those days was in the sprawling boulevard of Parliament Street in New Delhi. Just opposite to the VIP police station, and not very far from the point where it embraced the ever famous Connaught circus. The pride of New Delhi and even India.

    Sabharwal, a Punjabi Khatri used to reside in Kirti Nagar. While, Swami a Tamil Brahmin in Karol Bagh. That happened to be the nerve center of the huge South Indian population, residing in Delhi then. Sabharwal and Swami (S&S) made an interesting duo. One being the likes of a carefree, lively and mast Punjabi. The other, a conservative and ritualistic Brahmin from the South. Sabharwal then was the liaison manager and Swami the admin manager of the company.

    While Sabharwal truly believed in YOLO (You only live once) and often basked in the theory of carpe diem. Swami prescribed to the simple Brahmin culture of south. And he made it more evident by sporting the famous horizontal chandan tilak on his forehead. Which noticeably, by the time he use to reach office used to dry up and change its colour.

    But even with all the asymmetry between them in terms of their origin, habits, language and gait, I still found S&S to be the toast of office. I guess, the combination was explosive and somewhat different. Apparently, they were very good friends. They used to come to office together in the morning and even leave together in the evening. In Sabharwal’s faded, yet rugged Vespa scooter.

    Once, like every other morning. Sabharwal, with his helmet tied to his chin. That reduced his audibility anyway, in the crowded traffic of Karol Bagh. Reached the usual spot, from where Swami use to hop on to his scooter.  He saw Swami standing there. And as usual he halted for a moment and moved on. Thinking, Swami is well perched behind him. In about half an hour he reached office. As traffic used to be much less those days. Only to realise Swami was there. Most likely he was left behind.

    Sabharwal, perplexed to this very unexpected one waited for some moments at the car park for him. Then slowly walked up to the office in the second floor. And following him soon. In Rambo style entered Swami, fuming. Mobiles were not invented then.

    ‘Arrey Baba, kya hua? Before, I could even sit. You moved the scooter, when my leg was midair.’

    ‘Arrey Swami, sorry yaar! I just don’t know what happened to me. I was in deep thoughts. Thinking, how to tackle that idiot in Udyog Bhawan. I stopped and moved, thinking you were on board, and since I was in deep thoughts. I never spoke to you and for some strange reason. I thought even you are quiet today. It was only when I was nearing Patel Chowk. I realised the scooter was feeling very light. Is when I turned around and you were not there.’

    Out of breath Swami was slowly coming to terms with Sabharwal’s gross error. Is when we all had a hearty laugh followed by a cup of tea.

    Today, Mr Sabharwal is not with us. To laugh and remember about this endearing and hearty episode. But we all have cherished memories of him. And this is what life is all about. My tributes to him, and may, he rest in peace.