I came across this beautiful painting of Kamadeva, the Vedic deity of Love astride his mount the parrot, whose form embodies Rati, his consort. Together these two deities, Kama (Love) and Rati (Lust) keep even the greatest of transcendentalists under their grasp. Wielding five flowery arrows (representing the five senses), Kama shoots the living entities using a bow made of sugarcane, and a bowstring made of hovering bees both representing the mind succumbing to lust…
Scared yet? Well, there is hope. Kama and Rati have competition! The famous south Indian saint, and king, Kulasekhara prays in his Mukunda Mala stotra as follows:
O Cupid, abandon your residence in my mind, which is now the home of Lord Mukunda’s lotus feet. You have already been incinerated by Lord Siva’s fiery glance, so why have you forgotten the power of Lord Murari’s disc?
Srila Prabhupada mentions in his purport to this verse, “Kamadeva is also called Madana, a name that means “one who attracts.” But Lord Krishna is known as Madana-mohana, “the bewilderer of Cupid.” In other words, Krishna is so transcendentally attractive that anyone who absorbs his mind in Him will not be troubled by sex desire. Furthermore, Lord Krishna’s consort, Srimati Radharani, is called Madana-mohana-mohini because She alone can captivate even Krishna.”
Furthermore he states, “But the bhaktas have discovered an infallible shelter from Cupid – absorption in the beauty of Krishna. One who is captivated by the beauty of Krishna is not victimized by lust.”
So let us be captivated by the beauty of Krishna, who bewilders Cupid, and is Himself bewildered by Srimati Radharani’s matchless beauty!