Banteay Srei: Kama shooting arrows at Shiva

Kama firing arrows at Shiva - A scene from a story based on Shiva Purana depicted on the west-facing pediment of the south library

Kāma shooting arrows at Shiva

Kāmafiring arrows at Shiva
The south library is situated near the entrance to the inner enclosure of the Banteay Srei Temple, about 16 miles northeast of Siem Reap, Cambodia.

The image shows a pediment of the west facing facade of the south library. Carved into this pediment is a popular story from the Shiva Purana, depicting Kāma (also known as Kāmadeva, Manmatha), the god of love and carnal desire, striking Shiva with Kāmabānas (Kāma’s arrows) to arouse passion and desire in meditating Shiva.

In this story, a grief-stricken Shiva started meditating after the death of his wife, Sati, resulting in a great imbalance in the world. Meanwhile, Sati was reborn as Pārvati, and the gods wanted Shiva to marry Pārvati. To accomplish this goal, Indra, the king of heaven and the devas (demigods), sends Kāma to break Shiva’s meditation and arouse passion and desire in him to make him love Pārvati.

Related Images
Hampi Virupaksha Temple Murals: Manmatha Vijaya – Kāma shooting Kāmabānas at Shiva

Related Pages
Banteay Srei, Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Bayon, Ta Prohm, Phnom Kulen, Tonle Sap, Cambodia
Bali, Prambanan, Prambanan Bas-Reliefs, Borobudur, Indonesia

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