Kama stands for desire, longing in Hindu and Buddhist texts. It comes under one of the Arishadvargas, which keeps humans in prison of their emotions. Lord Ganesha took the form of Vikata to overcome Kamasura, the demon of lust. As the name implies, unjust desire created Kamasura. It was none other than Lord Vishnu’s trickery that had caused this.
The tale starts with Jalandhara, an evil demigod. After defeating gods, he had become emperor of three worlds (heaven, hell, and earth). He ruled with his wife, Vrinda. She was a pious soul. As Vrinda loved Jalandhara dearly, she had turned a blind eye to his cruel deeds.
Once, when Jalandhara was away, Vishnu created an illusion that the demigod had died at the hands of Shiva. Vrinda was hysterical when she heard the news. Vishnu, disguised in the form of Jalandhara, stood before her and told her that he was brought back to life. Vrinda, beside herself, ran and warmly embraced him.
She soon came to realize Vishnu’s deceit. Vrinda cursed him that he would soon meet the same fate. She couldn’t live anymore with this sham. Vrinda entered the fire to sacrifice herself. Some legends say that due to Vrinda’s curse, Vishnu’s avatar, Ram had to depart from his wife, Sita.
Vishnu felt sorry for his foul play. But the energy of his lustful thoughts had already come together to form Kamasura. The demon sought refuge under the ashrama(monastery) of sage Shukracharya. Kama’s desire for power delighted him. The sage told him to perform prayers for Lord Shiva. Eventually, he pleased Shiva, gaining a boon. He had enough power to conquer the three realms. Soon enough, these dreams become a reality.
In a short time, he took over the three worlds. He married Trishna, daughter of Mahishasura. He had two sons Soshana and Dushpoora. As time went by, people were on the edge of despair from his cruel ways. The gods were troubled as well. They took their problems to sage Mudgala. He advised them to chant the mantra ‘Om’ to call upon Lord Ganesha at a place called Mayuresa Kshetra. They acted upon his advice.
Their pleadings summoned Vikata, Ganesha’s incarnation. He advanced riding atop a peacock this time. He challenged Kamasura for a fight.
Kamasura sent his army of demons to fight Vikata, only to see them crumble before the mighty god. Even his powerful sons couldn’t stand before Vikata. Seeing that, Kamasura entered the battle. Vikata, with his immense knowledge and wisdom, easily defeated the demon.
This outcome brought joy to people’s lives. They didn’t have to live in fear anymore. They sang the praises of Vikata’s bravery
Symbolism Of Vikata
Vikata stands for the lord of evils and sins. While lust has sexual connotations in many texts, it refers to passion or desire in Hindu mythology. But the above story talks about harbouring wrongful desire. If your mind is controlled by such an unfair emotion, then it will only lead to your ruin.
Vikata overcoming Kamasura, who embodies the above trait, teaches us to defeat this evil with our will and self-confidence.