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Bible Encyclopedias

1911 Encyclopedia Britannica

Kama

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Or Kamadeva, in Hindu mythology, the god of love. He is variously stated to have been the child of Brahma or Dharma (virtue). In the Rig Veda, Kama (desire) is described as the first movement that arose in the One after it had come into life through the power of fervour or abstraction. In the Atharva-Veda Kama does not mean sexual desire, but rather the yearning after the good of all created things. Later Kama is simply the Hindu Cupid. While attempting to lure Siva to sin, he was destroyed by a fiery glance of the goddess' third eye. Thus in Hindu poetry Kama is known as Ananga, the "bodiless god." Kama's wife Rati (voluptuousness) mourned him so greatly that Siva relented, and he was reborn as the child of Krishna and Rukmini. The babe was called Pradyumna (Cupid). He is represented armed with a bow of sugar-cane; it is strung with bees, and its five arrows are tipped with flowers which overcome the five senses. A fish adorns his flag, and he rides a parrot or sparrow, emblematic of lubricity.

Kamala, a red powder formerly used in medicine as an anthelmintic and employed in India as a yellow dye. It is obtained from Mallotus philippinensis, Miill., a small euphorbiaceous tree from 20 to 45 ft. in height, distributed from southern Arabia in the west to north Australia and the Philippines in the east. In India kamala has several ancient Sanskrit names, one of which, kapila, signifies dusky or tawny red. Under the name of wars, kanbil, or qinbil, kamala appears to have been known to the Arabian physicians as a remedy for tapeworm and skin diseases as early as the 10th century, and indeed is mentioned by Paulus iEgineta still earlier. The drug was formerly in the British Pharmacopoeia, but is inferior to many other anthelmintics and is not now employed.


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Bibliography Information
Chisholm, Hugh, General Editor. Entry for 'Kama'. 1911 Encyclopedia Britanica. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/bri/k/kama.html. 1910.

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Friday, September 20th, 2019
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
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